Yesterday saw progress on ending the crisis in the Ukraine with a diplomatic agreement reached in Geneva.
After ongoing talks between officials from the Ukraine, Russia, the United States and the European Union, it was agreed that the situation in Ukraine must de-escalate. The agreement calls for all illegal military formations in Ukraine to be dissolved and everyone illegally occupying buildings to be disarmed and to evacuate. There is added amnesty for all anti-government protesters under the agreement as well. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) will moniter the de-escalation efforts.
Beyond this general agreement, however, much is left unclear. I think most of the world with access to the Internet could deduce that the situation in Ukraine needed de-escalation even without going to Geneva. And we could reasonably assume that for this to happen, violence and occupation of buildings needed to stop. This agreement leaves much to be desired in the realm of resolving the conflict in the region and stabilizing the government and economy of the Ukraine. Already today there are reports that the protestors in East Ukraine are refusing to disperse, showing the cracks in the weak facade of this "deal."
Less certain is whether or not Russia will actually support the agreement or agree simply to save face, but not act. Putin is an unpredictable leader and has shown that he has no qualms about bending the rules to ensure that he remains in control. Hopefully Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov’s assent to this agreement will hold true and the Russian government will remain committed to ending the conflict with the Ukraine, but there is no certainty in dealing with Vladimir Putin.