Over all, there are questions about whether groups on both sides that have driven the confrontation will abandon fighting, particularly the separatists.
Russia is believed to be trying to create a frozen conflict that could be used to destabilize Ukraine any time it draws too close to the West.
“The practical, realistic expectation is a frozen conflict with no effective control by Kiev over those areas, but no formal responsibility of Russia,” said Fyodor Lukyanov, the editor of the journal Russia in Global Affairs.
But the conflict has also reached a point where Russia would have to commit significant new resources for any advance, which helped clear the way for a settlement, Mr. Lukyanov said.
The separatists “cannot advance very much without direct Russian involvement, and Russia does not want to get directly involved,” he said.