Understanding the fight over the Donbas

The Russian fight over the Donbas is rooted in political interests with a history of territorial exchanges. The Ukraine’s origin is centered in Salvic state known as Kievan Rus which was later engulfed in the Mongul invasion of the region.

The region was controlled by Ottoman other empires and finally became a part of the Russian Empire. After World War I and the fall of the Czarist Empire, a Parliament convened in Kyiv and proclaimed the independence of Ukraine People’s Republic in November 1917, which then became Soviet Republic under the USSR and gained its independence after the break of the Soviet Union.

There was a nationalist revolt in Kyiv in 2013 known as the Orange revolution to oppose the government’s establishment of closer ties with Russia resulting in the establishment of an anti-Russian government. This created a rift within Ukraine between some non-ethnic Ukrainian regions still having loyalties to Russia.

Russia took advantage of this internal dissension and by occupying and then annexed the Turkic Crimea region in 2014 which led to a revolt in the Donbas region. Russia has been funding the rebel forces in the region and entered territory by recognizing and then defending the Luhansk and Donetsk independent republics.

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