What people want is some concrete sign that all will end good, not rumors of Surkov being in Donbass, or that Putin may or may not have winked after saying something. Let these people actualy say something that people want to hear, not what Obama wants to hear.
There are plenty of signs that it will end good, more and more of them every day. Most important one is that ukrops got their balls twisted into stopping the shelling and forced to fully focus on digging their own and their country's grave.
All the shelling and small scale attacks up to the end of August were the preliminary to the offensive which would have begun between 25 and 28 August. When Poroshenko returned from his visit to Merkel and Hollande on 24 August it all stopped. They have not attacked because they have been told not to, not because they lack the capability.
They always had capability to attack, but capability to win anything disappeared permanently in august 2014.
As for Strelkov, he is firebrand with an agenda. I would be extremely glad to have him with me in the trenches but when it comes to making sensitive political decisions I would give the job to someone else.
Shelling can be restarted anytime and is not a good indication that the future is settled. In a year, five years or ten years from now, what country will DNR/LNR be part of, their own country, Russia, Ukraine. We are told that the territorial integrity of Ukraine will be maintained, so presumably it means that Donbass remains part of Ukraine, fantastic, just what everybody wants.....
Illovaisk was a year ago and is irrelevant to the current situation. At Debltsevo it was planned to take the city within a week at the most, and then if the situation was favorable to advance to Artemovsk from Gorlovka and Popasnya. But Popasnya could not be taken and it took a month to take Debaltsevo and many ukrops positions along the south of the pocket caused major problems, Nikishin for instance. Ukrops are not the same as they were and it is not wise to underestimate them. They do not need to take all Donbass in one operation, they just need to take a chunk, then wait to see what happens, then another chunk. That first chunk will be the south, and if they cannot take Telmanovo and Novoazovsk, they could cut them off from Donetsk without needing to advance to the border and risk another Zelenepole, and this will cause political problems in Donetsk.
About Strelkov. As I wrote above, where did his orders come from? I have no argument with Zakharchenko, yet we know were his orders came from at the beginning, and not from Moscow.... Strelkov now clearly serves a purpose similar to Zhirinovsky, and something else, as the affair about Shirokino showed, yet some who cheered him last year now call him "traitor" and those who listen to him "morons" wtf!