‘It’s the last chance to keep the peace in Europe’

The path Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande are now treading to try to end the war in eastern Ukraine will not be easy. So far, all diplomatic initiatives have failed. And the outcome of the new mission is far from certain.
Yet the German chancellor and the French president have now brought their entire political weight to bear. They know there is a great deal at stake – because this war could still become far, far worse if they do not manage to halt the cycle of violence.

The lives of thousands of people in eastern Ukraine are currently in serious danger. The inhabitants of the small town of Debaltseve are caught in the crossfire. Thousands of civilians, along with thousands of Ukrainian soldiers, could become trapped by the separatists. Europe could face a huge bloodbath on a scale it has not experienced since the Bosnian war. And it is also clear that if the conflict escalates and spreads to more parts of Ukraine, the dramatic consequences would be felt throughout Europe.

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(Photo: Bundesregierung/Steffen Kugler)