Russia today seems to have stepped back from the brink over Ukraine; talks in Geneva have produced a surprise agreement on de-escalating the crisis. Of course, words need to be put into action. On the face of it, the agreement not only means that armed men in eastern cities like Donetsk need to leave their barricades and the buildings they occupy, but that Maidan’s defences in Kiev also need to be dismantled — a demand made by Yanukovych’s administration months ago that sparked the violence that precipitated his flight from Ukraine.
Russia still has an agenda; what they means by federalism may be very different from what Kiev understands that to be. And things have come to such a pass that Ukraine needs to completely reinvent itself if it is to survive as a viable state. Tough choices remain to be made.