After days of peace talks in Minsk under the auspices of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Ukraine, Russia, the DPR and the LPR agreed on a ceasefire on 5 September. [42] OSCE observers said they would respect the ceasefire and help the Ukrainian government implement it. [355] According to the New York Times, the agreement was an “almost literal” replica of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko`s “15-point peace plan” in June. [356] It was agreed that there would be an exchange of all captured prisoners captured by both sides and that heavy weapons would be withdrawn from the combat zone. Humanitarian corridors should be preserved to allow civilians to leave the affected areas. President Poroshenko said that the Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts would enjoy a “special status” and that the use of the Russian language in these areas would be protected by law. [356] [357] The leaders of DPR and LPR stated that, despite these concessions, they maintained their desire for full independence from Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Poroshenko discussed the ceasefire on 6 September. [358] Both sides stated that they were satisfied with the ceasefire and that they generally maintained it.

After months of ceasefire violations, the Ukrainian government, the DPR and LPR agreed to end all fighting from 1 September 2015. This agreement coincided with the start of the school year in Ukraine and should allow a further attempt to implement the Minsk II points. [444] Until 12 September, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said that the ceasefire had been maintained and that the parties to the conflict were “very close” to an agreement on the withdrawal of heavy weapons from the contact line, such as Minsk II. There was no fighting in the Marioupol area, including Shyrokyne. According to Ukrainian Defence Minister Stepan Poltorak, violence in Donbass has reached its lowest level since the start of the war. [445] While the ceasefire continued until November, no definitive solution to the conflict was agreed. The New York Times described the result as part of a “common arc of post-Soviet conflict visible in the Georgian enclaves of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh in Azerbaijan and Transnistria,” and said that areas controlled by the separatists had become a “frozen zone” where people live “in ruins, in the midst of an ideology, destroyed in the ruins.” [446] This situation continued until 2016, when a BBC report on 15 April described the conflict as “Europe`s forgotten war”. [447] Minor outbreaks of fighting continued along the contact line, despite the absence of major territorial changes. [447] While the 2015 municipal elections in Ukraine were scheduled for 25 October, DPR leader Alexander Zakhartchenko adopted a decree on 2 July ordering the mailing election on 18 October. [68] He stated that this measure was “in accordance with the Minsk agreements”. [69] According to Zakharchenko, this meant that the DPR had “started to implement the Minsk agreements independently”. [69] Zakharchenko stated that the elections would be held “on the basis of The Ukrainian Law on the Status of Temporary Self-Domination of Certain Districts of the Donetsk and Luhansk Regions”, as they were not in contradiction with the DPR Constitution and laws.

[69] The full text of the agreement reads:[44][45] Although fighting has generally stopped after the ceasefire came into force on 15 February at 0:00 EET, skirmishes and gunfire continued in several parts of the conflict zone. [46] Gunfire and fighting continued in Debaltseve, with DPR chief Alexander Zakharchenko saying the ceasefire did not apply to the area. [47] South of Donetsk Oblast, fighting continued between DPR troops and members of the Azov Battalion in villages near Marioupol. [47] [48] On 16 February, Minsk II appeared to be on the brink of collapse. [49] [50] The separatists continued a severe attack on Debaltsewe.