A frozen conflict between Ukrainian troops and Russian-backed rebels has killed more than 13,000 people since 2014. The major fighting ended in 2015 with an agreed ceasefire in the Belarusian capital, Minsk, but civilians, Ukrainian soldiers and separatists are still regularly killed in isolated clashes. The agreement was drawn up by the trilateral contact group on Ukraine, made up of representatives from Ukraine, Russia and the OSCE.  The group was established in June to facilitate dialogue and conflict resolution in eastern and southern Ukraine. On 31 July, 26 August, 1 September and 5 September 2014 informal meetings of the group and informal representatives of the separatist People`s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk took place. The details of the agreement signed on 5 September 2014 were largely similar to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko`s “15-point peace plan” of 20 June 2014. The following representatives signed the document: Although fighting generally decreased after the ceasefire came into force on 15 February at 0000, the cart and shooting continued in several parts of the conflict.  Gunfire and fighting continued in Debaltseve, with DPR chief Alexander Zakharchenko saying the ceasefire did not apply to the area.  South of Donetsk Oblast, fighting continued between DPR troops and members of the Azov Battalion in villages near Marioupol.   On 16 February, Minsk II appeared to be on the brink of collapse.
  The separatists continued a severe attack on Debaltsewe. Both sides said they would not withdraw heavy weapons during the fighting in Debalzewe, as stipulated in the agreement.  Reuters called the ceasefire in Debalzewe a “stillborn.  Ukrainian forces were forced to withdraw from Debaltseve on 18 February and let the separatists take control of the city.  Government officials and pro-Russian separatists agreed on the conditions for a full ceasefire in eastern Ukraine. European leaders had called for such an agreement before agreeing to hold a new summit on Ukraine. In January 2015, the ceasefire of the Minsk Protocol had completely collapsed.  After the separatists` victory at donetsk International Airport in defiance of protocol, DPR spokesman Edouard Basurine said that “the Minsk memorandum is not considered in the form in which it was adopted.”  Later in the day, DPR Chief Alexander Zakharchenko said that the DPR “will no longer make any attempts at ceasefire talks” and that its troops will “attack to the borders of the Donetsk region”.  The New York Times reported that the ceasefire had “almost disappeared.”  The July ceasefire this year led to a drastic reduction in fighting between Ukrainian and Russian forces.