The study examines the preconditions and background of the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine, the chronology of the implementation of the agreements reached in Minsk in 2014-2015, as well as the relationship between the adopted and implemented ceasefire decisions from the political component of the Normandy format and international efforts of security institutions. It further addresses issues that complicate the prospects for de-escalation on both sides of the ‘contact line’ and minimize the ability of civil society to have impact on the peaceful settlement of armed conflict, along with providing recommendations for entry points for resolving the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine.
The study finds that prospects for resolving the armed conflict are negatively affected by the insufficient effectiveness of the existing international security institutions, which cannot overcome the accumulated differences between the parties to the conflict with their authority and available capabilities. At the same time, due to efforts, including global diplomacy, it was possible to significantly reduce the intensity of hostilities in eastern Ukraine by mid-2015, as well as partially open the possibility for international humanitarian projects to support the affected local population. The Trilateral Contact Group on the peaceful settlement of the situation in eastern Ukraine is an important platform supporting the negotiation process as its activities are directly related to the implementation of decisions made within the Normandy format to resolve the conflict in eastern Ukraine.