Brilliant analysis from Chatham House:
"Ceasefire in Ukraine is a Mirage"
Putin imaged taking the Donbas would be a straight forward re-run of the taking of Crimea. Ukrainians, including, most importantly millions of Russian-speaking Ukrainians, have fought back fiercely to defend their country. Ukrainians will continue to fight and defend their country - this is the biggest reason Putin has eased off his assault.
'Догнать и перегнать' - 'catch up and overtake', was the catch phrase sometimes used by Soviet Communists..If Russia is to succeed in this aim its economic growth must exceed that of neighbours in the years to come. Close co-operation with neighbours is vital because Russia on its own lacks expertise and resources in fields such as scientific and technological research and development, in marketing, banking etc. which have to be shared. Its economy in which extraction of hydrocarbons and minerals predominate is most unbalanced. Tackling rampant corruption is vital component if progress is to be made. Smart money essential for investment is already draining away at a precipitous rate.
Putin's adventure in Ukraine significantly adds to the country's problems and will turn out to be a disaster for its people, perhaps quicker than anyone imagines. And it must always be remembered the Ukrainians who have suffered the greatest hardship from this calamity are those from the Donbas region.