Last month's shelling near Avdiivka left local residents without water, central heating or electricity amid freezing temperatures.
Speaking to Sputnik Italy, Gian Micalessin, a columnist of the Italian newspaper Il Giornale, attributed the current escalation of the conflict in eastern Ukraine's Donbass region to the fact that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has "finally lost hope in the West's increased interest in Ukraine, something that he has hoped for in the past four years."
According to Micalessin, "four years ago the United States fought for the interests of Ukraine with persistence and enthusiasm; with the Obama Administration leaving the White House, conditions for major changes in Ukraine has also disappeared."
"Kiev feels the dissatisfaction of its citizens and knows its time is running out, which prompts Ukrainian authorities to try and win back Western donors' trust. However, the West has other troubles on the eve of April's elections in France. So at the moment, no one in the West is ready 'to die' for Ukraine, and this is understood both by Poroshenko and by the rest of [the country]," Micalessin said.
As for the current situation in Donbass and the lack of a European response, "the main reason for it, I think, is that Europe is not able to function as an integrated organism," according to him.
"The EU lacks the ability to make tough political decisions, something that any "great power' should be able to do. We can see this in the example of how they have responded to the economic and migration crises, which affected them in a direct way," Micalessin said.
On the future of Poroshenko, he suggested that the Ukrainian President's fate will depend on the Trump Administration's policy regarding Russia and the conflicts in Ukraine.
It's most likely, Micalessin said, that Poroshenko will remain in the dark about whether those Western countries, which earlier supported him, will continue to do so in the future.
"However, I think that the Trump Administration will hardly provide Poroshenko with the same support as Obama's team did [in previous years," he concluded.
Key points of the Minsk agreements include a ceasefire, a heavy weapons withdrawal from the line of contact in eastern Ukraine, constitutional reforms, including a decentralization of power in the country, and the granting of special status to the Donbass region.
The accords have yet to be fully implemented, with Kiev's constitutional reforms still in limbo and frequent ceasefire violations continuing.
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