Published: May 25, 2015

Novorossiya is frozen. Last week Oleg Tsarev, leader of the ‘parliament’ that ostensibly united the eastern Ukraine separatist entities, the Donetsk Peoples Republic (DPR) and the Luhansk Peoples Republic (LPR), announced the project was now on hold. The reason Tsarev gave was that Novorossiya was incompatible with the Minsk II Accords, the principles agreed by the ‘Normandy Four’ — French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin – in February to end the crisis in eastern Ukraine. His statement and similar ones by others may signal that rebel leaders have been encouraged to consolidate around territory they now control rather than launching a new offensive to grab more. Time will tell. What it does reveal is belated recognition on the part of separatists and perhaps the Kremlin that Novorossiya as a geopolitical project to break Ukraine has fallen well short of its objective.

Read entire Washington Post aricle by By Gerard Toal and John O'Loughlin