The war in the Donbas acquired a protracted character. In the twentieth century, there is a so-called "trench warfare", when the parties are not capable of winning via successful military operations; they opt for tactical operations or just demonstrate their power to each other. In such circumstances, neither the "Croatian scenario" for the Ukrainian Armed Forces, nor the blitzkrieg for the separatists have practical sense, except from occasionally scare actions.
Five years of war, including more than a 2 years of economic blockade of Donbas (the certain districts of Donetsk and Lugansk regions (oblasts)), significantly changed life in Ukraine and Ukraine itself.
There are thousands of victims of the war. There are tens of thousands of those who have been affected by the military actions. There are hundreds of thousands of refugees and internally displaced persons. A new generation of "the children of war" is growing up.
The country's single social and economic system has been destroyed.
The spontaneous and uncontrolled redistribution of property, resources and assets is happening. There are those who make big business and breed corruption on a massive scale at the expense of the war.
Due to the shutdown of enterprises and mines and as the result of military operations, Donbas is on the verge of an ecological catastrophe with unpredictable consequences. Ecologists reasonably believe that Donbas is turning into Chornobyl-2 in terms of the effects and consequences.
The civilian national space is chaotic: tens of thousands of Ukrainians who live in the certain districts of Donetsk and Lugansk regions (oblasts) use the documents of the self-proclaimed republics.
However, the most tragic thing is the disruption of social ties, the increasing mutual distrust and alienation, and the gradual acceptance of the fact that Ukraine and Donbas have different future.
There is no doubt that Russia is responsible for its direct support of the separatist organizations and particular individuals during this war. The fact that Russia provides financial, military, material, technical, and propaganda-related support to the so-called DPR and LPR have caused a storm of indignation in the world. The annexation of the Crimea and the RF's direct interference into the conflict in Donbas have undermined the foundations of the established European order.
Ukraine enjoys broad international support. Ukraine's undeniable advantages include the sanctions against the Russian Federation by the US and the EU, the support of Ukraine's efforts to restore its borders, as well as diplomatic assistance of the leading international organizations (UN, OSCE, PACE) during the negotiation process.
At the same time, Ukraine suffers from the further escalation of the conflict and the deadlock in Ukrainian-Russian relations, the lack of an internal dialogue, tough economic situation in the country, and the lost time.
The feeling of a deadlock and the spreading fear of new shocks in society are getting stronger and stronger.
It is necessary to be aware of our part in global responsibility for the overall situation in Europe. The war in Donbas, the deterioration of relations between the EU countries and the Russian Federation in the context of sanctions, the growing wave of nationalism in Ukraine and in Central Europe as a whole, undermine European stability and strengthen the position of the Euro-pessimists.
Over the past five years, Ukrainians have learned to survive. However, they still do not have clear and coherent answers to the following questions. How to end the armed conflict in Donbas? How to build peace? How to restore a united and peace- loving country? What is the future of the Ukrainian-Russian relations? Will the window of opportunity for Ukraine's further European integration be closed due to the war and the crisis?