There is renewed violence between Ukrainian Forces and Russian-backed separatists, as both sides blame each other for the recent escalation in the simmering conflict.
As violence flares up again, Ukraine is watching warily as US President Donald Trump moves towards closer engagement with Russia and Vladimir Putin.
Some in Ukraine fear that the US and Russia could make a deal that would leave Ukraine at the mercy of Russia, though the US has officially condemned perceived Russian involvement in Eastern Ukraine.
As has happened throughout the conflict, both sides offer drastically differing reports of what is happening.
While Ukraine says pro-Russia rebels fired at their positions, the rebels say it was the other way around.
The rebels have also accused Ukrainian troops of cutting off power to the city of Horlivka, while Ukraine says Russian-backed troops fired at Ukrainian forces trying to fix the power lines.
Minsk agreement has been shaky from the start
About two years ago, the Minsk Agreement was signed. It was supposed to be a treaty that ended the violence and brought peace to the region.
Unfortunately, that has not occurred. Fighting has taken place off-and-on since then, and peace does not seem any closer.
Russia has shown that military power is still what matters
Both the conflict in Eastern Ukraine and Crimea previously, have shown that military force is the determining factor in international affairs. As much as people talk about treaties and international agreements, having military power is indispensible for any country that wishes to remain safe and secure.
If Ukraine had a larger and more powerful military, they would not have lost Crimea, and they would not be enduring fighting in the eastern part of their country.
This doesn’t mean Russia’s actions are right, but it does mean Russia clearly understands the importance of having a strong military. That understanding is something that many nations – Canada included – need to get.
There is no nicely worded treaty or agreement that can protect a country from attack. Only a strong military – the best deterrent that exists – can keep a country safe.
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