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Concept.png Donbass 
Interest of• Anne-Laure Bonnel
• DONi News Agency
• Vera Graziadei
• Patrick Lancaster

The Donbas is an historical, cultural, and economic region in south-eastern Ukraine, occupied in part by two separatist states, the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) and the Luhansk People's Republic (LPR).[1] According to Russian President Vladimir Putin it was vital in deciding in favour of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, saying the area was in severe distress and with ethnic Russians falling victim to "genocide".


A detailed map with front lines from 2016

Surveys of regional identities in Ukraine have shown that around 40% of Donbass residents claim to have a "Soviet identity".[2]


According to a 2016 survey of religion in Ukraine, 65.0% of the population in Donbass believe in Christianity (including 50.6% Orthodox, 11.9% who declared to be "simply Christians", and 2.5% who belonged to Protestant churches). Islam is the religion of 6% of the population of Donbass and Hinduism of the 0.6%, both the religions with a share of the population that is higher compared to other regions of Ukraine. People who declared to be non believers or believers in some other religions, not identifying in one of those listed, were 28.3% of the population.

2014 Ukraine coup/Civil war

Full article: 2014 Ukraine coup/Civil war


President Putin recognising both DPR & LPR

On 15 February 2022, the Russian Duma voted to appeal to President Putin to recognise the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) and Luhansk People's Republic (LPR).[3]

On 21 February 2022, President Putin signed decrees recognising independence of #Donetsk People's Republic and #Lugansk People's Republic, as well as treaties on friendship and cooperation between #Russia and DPR and LPR.[4]

The State Duma voted for the ratification of the treaties unanimously the next day.[5][6]

Special Military Operation

On 24 February 2022, in a televised address on Russian TV, President Putin said:

"The people’s republics of Donbass have asked Russia for help.

"In this context, in accordance with Article 51 (Chapter VII) of the UN Charter, with permission of Russia’s Federation Council, and in execution of the treaties of friendship and mutual assistance with the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Lugansk People’s Republic, ratified by the Federal Assembly on 22 February 2022, I made a decision to carry out a Special Military Operation.

"The purpose of this operation is to protect people who, for eight years now, have been facing humiliation and genocide perpetrated by the Kiev regime. To this end, we will seek to demilitarise and denazify Ukraine, as well as bring to trial those who perpetrated numerous bloody crimes against civilians, including against citizens of the Russian Federation."[7]

Media coverage

Pregnant lady from shelled Maternity Ward in Mariupol speaks about media manipulation during the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine


Related Quotations

Azov Battalion“In 2014, when the volunteer squads were defending the country, many of their appeals were quite radical against the Russian Federation. They were volunteers and it was their personal point of view. The Azov battalion are not volunteers, but are part of the National Guard. They are the official army of our state. Those who wanted to engage in politics - they were engaged in politics. Those who decided to be in the AFU, they became part of the AFU,”Volodymyr ZelenskyMay 2022
Patrick Lancaster“I mean the people that were born there before 1956 were born in Russia so it just makes sense to them to go back and then once I was there for the referendum and then once that kind of fizzled off and started calming down once you know Russia was in, and you know you know it was a done deal for pretty much, then Donetsk started to develop so I ended up going to Donetsk here and staying showing the referendum here as well again.

It was a lot different than the west was making it out to see, you know, seeing the fact that there's no Ukrainian language that's spoken here.

There's you know the vast majority of the population is ethnically Russian and they all you know would like to consider this, you know this area part of Russia I mean they definitely do now at that point.”
Patrick Lancaster
Cyrus Janssen
Patrick Lancaster“I mean I'm just I've been working here on this side of the contact line and the anti-Ukraine government territory so I've only been able to show what happened here, but what I've seen here with my own eyes is indiscriminate shelling of civilian areas year after year by Ukrainian forces. Indiscriminate and targeted in fact, just last month (..) two civilian electric plants targeted by Ukrainian forces. (...)

Now that the war is really hot attacks are coming in every hour, and I mean the only thing that's being shown in the west is the results of Russian attacks on Ukraine, but what the west isn't showing is every day here in Donetsk there is attacks from Ukraine controlled territory Ukraine attacking the civilian population here. In the last 12 days there has been 19 civilians killed.

I mean it's not a huge amount like across Ukraine right now but in the last 12 days in the Donetsk people's republic controlled territory there's been 19 civilians killed and I believe 27 injured and these are results of Ukrainian attacks on mostly civilian areas of course battle's been raging on the front line since this new development happened and even before, but so you know a lot of the shells are hitting civilian areas and I assume a lot are hitting military areas as well... Those aren't as free to report on as the other ones.”
Patrick Lancaster
Cyrus Janssen



2022 Russian invasion of UkraineIn a new episode of Cold War 2.0 Russia forcefully halted NATO expansion by invading Ukraine, with financial support of China. Although the EU and US denounced the "war crimes" as multiple cities were bombed, several countries opted less severe sanctions to keep importing diamonds and luxury goods and gas (and their loaned money) from Russia, seemingly creating a new iron curtain in Eastern Europe.


Related Documents

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
Document:Faced with Donbass defeat, US and UK up the ante in UkraineArticle8 June 2022Chris NinehamIvan Katchanovski, a Ukrainian professor of political studies at the University of Ottawa, argues: “The US and UK governments show no efforts or desire to achieve peaceful settlement of the armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine.”
Document:The Time to Negotiate Peace in Ukraine Is NOWArticle24 October 2022Richard E. RubensteinAre things in Ukraine getting worse? Yes, for both sides. This is precisely the right time to give peace a chance.
Document:Vladimir Putin announces Special Military Operation in UkraineSpeech24 February 2022Vladimir Putin"They did not leave us any other option for defending Russia and our people, other than the one we are forced to use today. In these circumstances, we have to take bold and immediate action. The people’s republics of Donbass have asked Russia for help."
Document:What Might A Ukraine Peace Agreement Look Like?blog post13 May 2022Craig MurrayCurrently nobody in power wants peace. It is often impossible to resolve a geographic conflict without some element that can be portrayed as endorsement of ethnic cleansing. These are the problems of peace.
Intel Slava - assessment of the Donbass situation end 2021TextIntel Slava
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