Armed forces of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic at the airfield in Luhansk, October 2019
Alexander Ermochenko / Reuters

For more than five years, Russian forces and their proxies have waged a bloody war against Ukrainian forces in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine. The conflict has claimed more than 13,000 lives, driven almost two million people from their homes, and caused immense material damage. France and Germany have together sought to broker peace but failed to produce a durable cease-fire—let alone a political settlement.

On December 9, French President Emmanuel Macron will host a summit with his Ukrainian, Russian, and German counterparts aimed at bringing the conflict to an end. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky appears committed to making peace, while Moscow appears committed to sustaining the war. Whether the summit will yield any progress toward closing that gap remains in doubt.

If European efforts continue to falter, the United States should take a more active role in the peacemaking process, working with European countries to make Russia’s military

To read the full article

  • STEVEN PIFER is a William Perry Research Fellow at Stanford’s Center for International Security and Cooperation and a former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine.
  • More By Steven Pifer