In today’s SOFREP Pic of the Day, we see a balaclava-clad pro-Russian rebel supposedly paying his respects to the dead somewhere in the Donbas region of Ukraine in 2014

Russians in Crimea

In 2014, the Donbas region of Ukraine became a focal point of significant geopolitical conflict following Russia’s annexation of Crimea. Shortly thereafter, tensions escalated into a full-scale conflict between Ukrainian government forces and separatist groups in Eastern Ukraine, particularly in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, collectively known as Donbas. These separatist groups were supported by Russia, which has been a critical aspect of the conflict.

The situation in Donbas deteriorated rapidly, with both sides engaging in intense and often deadly clashes. This conflict has led to a significant humanitarian crisis, with thousands of lives lost and many more displaced from their homes. The area has seen sporadic fighting and uneasy ceasefires, often violated, contributing to a protracted and unresolved conflict.

Internationally, the situation in Donbas has led to increased tensions between Russia and Western countries, resulting in economic sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union against Russia. The conflict has had profound implications for security and stability in the region, with ongoing international efforts to find a lasting resolution, though with limited success.