Ukraine: What Everyone Needs To Know by Serhy Yekelchyk:
The new cabinet was sworn in on December 2, 2014, just as the first Minsk ceasefire collapsed and fierce fighting resumed in the Donbas. During the next two months, the hryvnia went over a cliff, causing the population to empty supermarket shelves. The government desperately needed the next installment of the IMF loan, but it was only after some painful military defeats and a second Minsk agreement in February 2015 that it could push through some austerity measures, making the funding possible. On March 2 the parliament approved measures that would see household energy bills triple and also reduce some categories of state pensions. The IMF immediately disbursed US $5 billion with another US $5 billion promised within a year, an announcement that halted the hryvnia’s free-fall. Yet, all sides understood that Ukraine needed a lasting peace to start serious economic reforms.