Ukraine Rebels, Military Both Build Up Near Mariupol

Ceasefire Holding, But Both Sides Remain Uneasy

Ukraine’s military abandonment of Debaltseve continues to pay dividends for the ceasefire, which is again holding today, and prisoner exchanges today add to hope that the deal will hold.

Not that there hasn’t been any fighting in the past couple of days, as some shelling has been reported against the rebel capital of Donetsk, though its minor compared to the fighting before the ceasefire began a week ago.

The town of Novoazovsk seems to be another potential site of tensions, as Ukraine is accusing the rebels of building up on the outskirts, and are themselves building up at the town.

Novoazovsk would be the route through which fighting would take place in Mariupol, a major port city that would likely be the rebels’ next target if the ceasefire falls.

It’s only natural, as both sides continue to redeploy troops during the ceasefire, that they are both positioning their forces to maximum advantage for reacting if the ceasefire falls. Still, the momentum seems to be with the ceasefire holding for now.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.