Incarnation, Julia. “Here`s how to save the Minsk II agreement.” The national interest. July 10, 2015. nationalinterest.org/feature/heres-how-save-the-minsk-ii-agreemen…. With the 2015 Ukrainian municipal elections scheduled for 25 October, DPR leader Alexander Zakhartchenko adopted a decree on 2 July ordering the sending election on 18 October.  He stated that this measure was “in accordance with the Minsk agreements”.  According to Zakharchenko, this meant that the DPR had “started to implement the Minsk agreements independently”.  Zakharchenko stated that the elections would be held “on the basis of The Ukrainian Law on the Status of Temporary Self-Domination of Certain Districts of the Donetsk and Luhansk Regions”, as they were not in contradiction with the DPR Constitution and laws.  Five years ago, the Minsk Protocol – also known as Minsk-2 – was signed on 12 February to stop fighting in Ukraine`s eastern Donbass region. However, the 13 conditions of the peace agreement were never properly implemented.
While Russia called Minsk-2 a diplomatic victory, the Ukrainians were more skeptical and unsure of the improvements the agreement would make. They feared that the agreement would give the separatists broad autonomy and allow them to deepen their relations with Russia. It was feared that Kiyv would take all political gaze into the Donbass – while leaving it to pay the bill. The Ukrainian president at the time, Poroshenko, did not want to make political concessions to the separatists without an appropriate ceasefire. As a result, the Minsk 2 agreement was never fully implemented. But Poroshenko`s successor, Wolodymyr Zelenskiy, has pledged to finally implement the peace agreement. Russia was not ready. Sourkov coordinated the development of additional requirements (published on 13 May in the form of DNR/NRL proposals). These would give even more powers to the occupied regions: responsibility for the legal regulation of the border between Ukraine and Russia; The right to enter into agreements with foreign states; its own charters (which would, for example, prevent the Ukrainian president from dismissing local executive bodies); their own budgets to ensure financial independence; and the right to establish emergencies and hold elections and referendums. Finally, Ukraine would enshrine in its Constitution a neutrality clause.54 Many commentators have pointed out that Russia does not seem to want peace and that they have repeatedly been the worst culprits for violating the Minsk II ceasefire agreement. But it is also true that Western policy must try to change that if it is to succeed with Minsk II or any other contract that will succeed it.  As long as the United States and Russia deliver on both sides and stop or pressure their clients to fully respect the peace agreements, future attempts at peace will suffer the same fate as Minsk I and II. As I said earlier, Putin could withdraw enough support for the rebels to trust Ukraine and place the ball in the Kiev court to reflect the de-escalation measures.  Although the rebels represent a threat as a cheerleader, they are still dependent on Russia, and if that support were completely withdrawn, it could reconcile them, as they could not win the war alone.  … None of the heads of state and government signed the agreements, but left other representatives of the European antagonists and ceasefire observers and sent a discreet signal that they are not taking full responsibility for the outcome. [Chancellor Angela] Merkel stressed that Putin must put pressure on rebel leaders to sign.