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The BBC reports that pro-Russian separatists are already violating the Four Party Geneva agreement before the ink is dry on the paper.

Pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk say they will not leave the government building there, defying the Kiev authorities and threatening a new international deal on Ukraine.

The separatists' spokesman told the BBC that the Kiev government was "illegal", so they would not go until the Kiev government stepped down.

Russia, Ukraine, the EU and US earlier agreed that illegal military groups in Ukraine must leave official buildings.

They reached the deal in Geneva.

What's a deal if nobody respects it? Barack Obama himself seemed to know the deal he reposed such hope in wasn't worth the paper it was printed on. USA Today reports:

President Obama expressed skepticism Thursday over a possible diplomatic deal over Ukraine and indicated that he remains ready to impose new sanctions on Russia if necessary.

"My hope is that we actually do see follow-through over the next several days, but I don't think -- given past performance -- that we can count on that," Obama said during a White House news conference.

But he authorized it anyway and went straight to the press declaring he didn't even believe in his own deal.  To paraphrase Groucho Marx, Obama should warn everybody to stay clear of a deal negotiated by himself.

Many Ukranians didn't think Geneva would make much difference either.

Reflecting the complexity of the situation, a rally was earlier held in the heart of rebellious Donetsk but this time by supporters of a united Ukraine.

Dmitry Durniev is an activist and journalist:

“We are living under threat, but we are not afraid, we are tired of being afraid. You see, when you are told every day that you are gonna be killed, when one is constantly under pressure, that pressure blows up. Look at these people, everyone was afraid to come here, but they came here anyway. This is the tip of the iceberg.”

Another attending the rally had come from Kyiv:

“I came here to support my friends, I came to support the unity of Ukraine. And, well, to feel the thrill, because it is not dangerous in Kiev anymore and it is bloody dangerous over here.”

An administration which came to office promising to use diplomacy to solve every international crisis has come very close to destroying its chosen instrument. They are within an ace of wrecking the credibility in agreements themselves.  His deal with Putin, like his forgotten "deal" with Assad and his hoped for "deal" with Iran are worth less than Mickey Mouse money.

Ironically the demolition of diplomacy began when Obama declared his intention to rely upon it to the near-exclusion of everything else. Diplomacy is an expression of real politics, not a substitute for it. It relies upon governance, competence, strategic savvy. It is the expression of sagacity and power, not a thing in itself.

Take away the governance, remove the competence, declare yourself wiser than George Kennan, abolish your instruments of military strength, and what have you got? Obama. Once Putin understood just what he was up against, he knew he wasn't up against anything.

Will the Geneva agreement survive or will it go the way of the Budapest accord? It will survive until its replacement. Obama will soon replace Geneva with the Paris Pact, the Brussels Bond, the London Legislation and the Milan Manifesto, the Prague Paper, the Warsaw Writ, etc. etc. because he doesn't know how to do anything else. And each will last just as long as the previous.

And so the sad parade will shamble along until it goes right around the world. But the problem won't be solved by changing locales. The solution to the problem lies at its root: in Washington DC.

Putin is, properly considered, Obama's dual.  He is Obama's policy doppelganger; the shadow which exists only because of a corresponding hole in Washington.  There's really nobody in the White House; that is the core of the problem.  Perhaps there hasn't been these last five years. And the expression of that void is Putin.

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