Ivan Yakovyna in "Novoye Vremya" notes the importance of a recent official appeal of Ukraine to the Council of Europe.
It declares the territories in eastern Ukraine not under Kyiv's control to be temporarily occupied, as result of armed aggression, by the Russian Federation. According to Kyiv, responsibility for the welfare of people in this territory should therefore fall onto what is the de facto occupying power.
Yakovyna considers this to be an extremely beneficial and important decision that should have to been made a year ago at the beginning of the occupation when it could have saved hundreds, if not thousands of lives [rather than declaring the Anti Terrorist Action - ATO].
Now the Kremlin has two choices - either take on the burden of maintaining the Donbas, or commence direct negotiations with Ukraine about the conditions of reintegration of the occupied territories back into Ukraine. Kyiv should insist: We will only take occupied parts of Donbas back in one package together with Crimea.