KIEV, September 12. /TASS/. The current development of the situation in Ukraine’s Donbass may case a frozen conflict in that region, Ukraine’s former President Leonid Kuchma, representing Kiev at meetings of the Contact Group on settlement the crisis, told the Yalta European Strategy Conference on Saturday.
"The situation seems to develop in a state of a frozen conflict where there is neither war nor peace," he said, adding it necessary to use "political, diplomatic ways to reach a solution to stop the confrontation in the east."
A peace deal struck on February 12 in Minsk, Belarus, by the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France envisaged a ceasefire between Ukrainian forces and people’s militias starting from February 15, followed by withdrawal of heavy weapons from the line of military engagement and prisoner release.
The package of measures envisages the pullback of all heavy weapons by both parties to locations equidistant from the disengagement line in order to create a security zone at least 50 kilometres wide for artillery systems with a calibre of 100 mm or more, a zone of security 70 kilometres wide for multiple rocket launchers and a zone 140 kilometres wide for multiple rocket launchers Tornado-S, Uragan and Smerch and for Tochka-U tactical rocket systems.
The Ukrainian forces and the self-defence forces of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk republics (DPR and LPR) have repeatedly accused each other of violating ceasefire and other points of the Minsk agreements.
According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the violence in Ukraine has killed 6,500 people in the past year, wounded 16,000 and left 5 million people in need of humanitarian aid. With more than 1.3 million registered IDPs, Ukraine has now the ninth largest number of internally displaced in the world, according to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre.