The Russo-Ukrainian War (Ukrainian: російсько-українська війна, romanized: rosiisko-ukrainska viina; Russian: российско-украинская война, romanized: rossiysko-ukrainskaya voyna) is an ongoing and protracted conflict between Russia and Ukraine that began in February 2014. The war has centered around the status of the Ukrainian regions of Crimea and Donbas.
Military situation in October 2014:
Areas held by the insurgents and Russia
Areas under the control of Ukraine
|Commanders and leaders|
A. Zakharchenko †
Forces in Crimea:|
Black Sea Fleet:
11,000 (including Marines)
30 + Warships
4 Squadrons of fighter aircraft
(18 planes each)
Reinforcements: 16,000 (March 2014)–42,000
4,000–5,000 (UK estimate, August 2014) 7,500 (Ukrainian estimate, November 2014) 12,000 (US estimate, November 2015) 9,000 (Ukrainian estimate, June 2015)
|Armed Forces: 232,000|
|Casualties and losses|
15,000 defected to Russia 300+ tanks
3,350 civilians killed|
13,000–13,200 killed; 29,000–31,000 wounded overall
Following the Euromaidan protests and the 22 February subsequent removal of Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych, and amidst wide unrest across southern and eastern Ukraine, Russian soldiers without insignias took control of strategic positions and infrastructure within the Ukrainian territory of Crimea. On 1 March 2014, the Federation Council of the Russian Federation unanimously adopted a resolution on petition of the President of Russia Vladimir Putin to use military force on territory of Ukraine. The resolution was adopted several days later after the start of the Russian military operation on "Returning of Crimea". Russia then annexed Crimea after a widely criticised referendum which was organized by Russia after the capturing of the Crimean Parliament by the Russian "little green men" and in which the population of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea voted to join the Russian Federation, according to Russian official results (it was reported about 95.5% of participating voters in Crimea (turnout was 83%) were in favour of seceding from Ukraine and joining Russia). In April, demonstrations by pro-Russian groups in the Donbas area of Ukraine escalated into a war between the Ukrainian government and the Russian-backed separatist forces of the self-declared Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics. In August, Russian military vehicles crossed the border in several locations of Donetsk Oblast. The incursion by the Russian military was seen as responsible for the defeat of Ukrainian forces in early September.
In November 2014, the Ukrainian military reported intensive movement of troops and equipment from Russia into the separatist-controlled parts of eastern Ukraine. The Associated Press reported 80 unmarked military vehicles on the move in rebel-controlled areas. The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Special Monitoring Mission observed convoys of heavy weapons and tanks in DPR-controlled territory without insignia. OSCE monitors further stated they observed vehicles transporting ammunition and soldiers' dead bodies crossing the Russian-Ukrainian border under the guise of humanitarian aid convoys. As of early August 2015, OSCE observed over 21 such vehicles marked with the Russian military code for soldiers killed in action. According to The Moscow Times, Russia has tried to intimidate and silence human rights workers discussing Russian soldiers' deaths in the conflict. OSCE repeatedly reported that its observers were denied access to the areas controlled by "combined Russian-separatist forces".
The majority of members of the international community and organizations such as Amnesty International have condemned Russia for its actions in post-revolutionary Ukraine, accusing it of breaking international law and violating Ukrainian sovereignty. Many countries implemented economic sanctions against Russia, Russian individuals or companies – to which Russia responded in kind.
In October 2015, The Washington Post reported that Russia has redeployed some of its elite units from Ukraine to Syria to support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. In December 2015, Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin admitted that Russian military intelligence officers were operating in Ukraine, insisting though that they were not the same as regular troops. Currently, 7% of Ukraine's territory is under occupation.
Despite being an independent country since 1991, as the former Soviet republic Ukraine has been perceived by Russia as being part of its sphere of influence. Iulian Chifu and his co-authors claim that in regard to Ukraine, Russia pursues a modernized version of the Brezhnev Doctrine on "limited sovereignty", which dictates that the sovereignty of Ukraine cannot be larger than that of the Warsaw Pact prior to the demise of the Soviet sphere of influence. This claim is based on statements of Russian leaders that possible integration of Ukraine into NATO would jeopardize Russia's national security.
Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, both Ukraine and Russia continued to retain very close ties for decades. At the same time, there were several sticking points, most importantly Ukraine's significant nuclear arsenal, which Ukraine agreed to abandon in the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances (December 1994) on the condition that Russia (and the other signatories) would issue an assurance against threats or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine. In 1999, Russia was one of signatories of Charter for European Security, where it "reaffirmed the inherent right of each and every participating State to be free to choose or change its security arrangements, including treaties of alliance, as they evolve"; both would prove worthless in 2014.
A second point was the division of the Black Sea Fleet. Ukraine agreed to lease a number of naval facilities including those in Sevastopol so that the Russian Black Sea fleet could continue to be based there together with Ukrainian naval forces. Starting in 1993, through the 1990s and 2000s, Ukraine and Russia engaged in several gas disputes. In 2001, Ukraine, along with Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Moldova, formed a group called GUAM Organization for Democracy and Economic Development, which was seen by Russia as a direct challenge to the CIS, the Russian-dominated trade group established after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Russia was further irritated by the Orange Revolution of 2004, which saw the Ukrainian populist Viktor Yushchenko elected president instead of the pro-Russian Viktor Yanukovich. Moreover, Ukraine continued to increase its cooperation with NATO, deploying the third-largest contingent of troops to Iraq in 2004, as well as dedicating peacekeepers to NATO missions such as the ISAF force in Afghanistan and KFOR in Kosovo.
A pro-Russian president, Viktor Yanukovich, was elected in 2010 and Russia felt that many ties with Ukraine could be repaired. Prior to this, Ukraine had not renewed the lease of naval facilities in Crimea, meaning that Russian troops would have to leave Crimea by 2017. However, Yanukovich signed a new lease and expanded allowable troop presence as well as allowing troops to train in the Kerch peninsula. Many in Ukraine viewed the extension as unconstitutional because Ukraine's constitution states that no permanent foreign troops shall be stationed in Ukraine after the Sevastopol treaty expired. Yulia Tymoshenko, the main opposition figure of Yanukovich, was jailed on charges that were called political persecution by international observers, leading to further dissatisfaction with the government. In November 2013, Viktor Yanukovich declined to sign an association agreement with the European Union, a treaty that had been in development for several years and one that Yanukovich had earlier approved of. Yanukovich instead favored closer ties with Russia.
In September 2013, Russia warned Ukraine that if it went ahead with a planned agreement on free trade with the EU, it would face financial catastrophe and possibly the collapse of the state. Sergey Glazyev, adviser to President Vladimir Putin, said that, "Ukrainian authorities make a huge mistake if they think that the Russian reaction will become neutral in a few years from now. This will not happen." Russia had already imposed import restrictions on certain Ukrainian products and Glazyev did not rule out further sanctions if the agreement was signed. Glazyev allowed for the possibility of separatist movements springing up in the Russian-speaking east and south of Ukraine. He insisted that, contrary to international law, if Ukraine signed the agreement, from a legal point of view, the Ukrainian government would violate the bilateral treaty on strategic partnership and friendship with Russia that delineates the countries' borders. Russia would no longer guarantee Ukraine's status as a state and could possibly intervene if pro-Russian regions of the country appealed directly to Russia.
Euromaidan and Anti-MaidanEdit
Following months of protests as part of the Euromaidan movement, on 22 February 2014, protesters ousted the government of Viktor Yanukovych, who had been democratically elected in 2010. The protesters took control of government buildings in the capital city of Kyiv, along with the city itself. As the police abandoned their posts across the capital Kyiv and the opposition established control over key intersections and the parliament, President Yanukovych fled Kyiv for Kharkiv in the east of Ukraine, where he traditionally has had more support. After this incident, the Ukrainian parliament voted to restore the 2004 Constitution of Ukraine and remove Yanukovych from power. A vote on the resolution that stated that Yanukovych "is removing himself [from power] because he is not fulfilling his obligations" emerged 328–0 in support. The vote was 10 short of three-quarters of the Parliament members, the requirement of the Constitution of Ukraine for impeachment. Yanukovych stated that the vote was unconstitutional because of this issue,[c] and refused to resign. Leaders of Russian-speaking eastern regions of Ukraine declared continuing loyalty to Yanukovych.
One of the first issues the parliament approached was that of the language, annulling a bill that provided for Russian to be used as a second official government language in regions with large Russian-speaking populations. The parliament adopted a bill to repeal the 2012 law on minority languages, which protected the status of languages other than Ukrainian. The proposal alienated many in the Russian-speaking regions of Ukraine and a few days later, on 1 March, acting President Oleksandr Turchynov said that he refused to sign the bill, and he promised to veto (but did not make it), effectively stopping its enactment.
In the meantime, on the morning of 27 February, Berkut special police units from Crimea and other regions of Ukraine, which had been dissolved on 25 February, seized checkpoints on the Isthmus of Perekop and Chonhar peninsula. According to Ukrainian MP Hennadiy Moskal, former chief of the Crimean police, these Berkut had armoured personnel carriers, grenade launchers, assault rifles, machine guns, and other weapons. Since then, they have controlled all land traffic between Crimea and continental Ukraine.
Russian financing of militias ("Glazyev tapes")Edit
In August 2016, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) published the first batch of telephone intercepts from 2014 of Sergey Glazyev (Russian presidential adviser), Konstantin Zatulin, and other people in which they discussed covert funding of pro-Russian activists in Eastern Ukraine, the occupation of administration buildings and other actions that in due course led to the armed conflict. Glazyev refused to deny the authenticity of the intercepts, while Zatulin confirmed they were real but "taken out of context". Further batches were presented as evidence during criminal proceedings against former president Yanukovych in Kyiv's Obolon court between 2017 and 2018.
As early as February 2014, Glazyev was giving direct instructions to various pro-Russian parties in Ukraine to instigate unrest in Donetsk, Kharkiv, Zaporizhia, and Odessa. Glazyev instructs various pro-Russian actors on the necessity of taking over local administration offices, what to do after they were taken over, how to formulate their demands and makes various promises about support from Russia, including "sending our guys".
Konstantin Zatulin: ... That's the main story. I want to say about other regions – we have financed Kharkiv, financed Odesa.
Sergey Glazyev: Look, the situation in the process. Kharkiv Regional State Administration has been already stormed, in Donetsk the Regional State Administration has been stormed. It is necessary to storm Regional State Administration and gather regional deputies there!
Sergey Glazyev: It is very important that people appeal to Putin. Mass appeals directly to him with a request to protect, an appeal to Russia, etc. This appeal has been already in your meeting.
Denis Yatsyuk: So we after storming building of Regional State Administration we gather a session of the Regional State Administration, right? We invite MPs and force them to vote? [...]— Sergey Glazyev et al., "English translation of audio evidence of the involvement of Putin's adviser Glazyev and other Russian politicians in the war in Ukraine", UAPosition.com
In further calls recorded in February and March 2014, Glazyev points out that the "peninsula doesn't have its own electricity, water, or gas" and a "quick and effective" solution would be expansion to the north. According to Ukrainian journalists, this indicates that the plans for military intervention in Donbas to form a Russia-controlled puppet state of Novorossiya to ensure supplies to annexed Crimea were discussed long before the conflict actually started in April. Some also pointed out the similarity of the planned Novorossiya territory to the previous ephemeric project of South-East Ukrainian Autonomous Republic proposed briefly in 2004 by pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine.
On 4 March 2014, Russian permanent representative to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin presented a photocopy of a letter signed by Victor Yanukovich on 1 March 2014 asking that Russian president Vladimir Putin use Russian armed forces to "restore the rule of law, peace, order, stability and protection of the population of Ukraine". Both houses of the Russian parliament voted on 1 March to give President Putin the right to use Russian troops in Crimea. On 24 June Vladimir Putin asked the Russian parliament to cancel the resolution on use of Russian forces in Ukraine. The next day the Federation Council voted to repeal its previous decision, making it illegal to use Russian organized military forces in Ukraine.
Russian bases in CrimeaEdit
Some of this section's listed sources may not be reliable. (June 2020) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Beside the Black Sea Fleet, according to treaties between the Russian Federation and Ukraine such as the Kharkiv Pact among few in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea were located Russian Armed Forces in several localities throughout Crimean peninsula like Sevastopol, Kacha, Hvardiiske, Simferopol Raion, Sarych and several others. The dislocation of the Russian armed forces in Crimea was not disclosed clearly to public which led to several incidents like the 2005 conflict near Sarych cape lighthouse.[failed verification] The total number of Russian military component in Crimea was limited to a maximum of 25,000 troops, 132 armored combat vehicles and 24 pieces of artillery. Their activity on the peninsula was not unconstrained, however: the agreements required Russian forces in Crimea to respect the sovereignty of Ukraine, honor its legislation and not interfere in the internal affairs of the country. They were required to show their "military identification cards" when crossing the international border and their operations beyond designated deployment sites was permitted only after coordination with the competent agencies of Ukraine.
According to original treaty on division of the Soviet Black Sea Fleet signed in 1997, the Russian Federation was allowed to have its military bases in Crimea until 2017, after which it had to evacuate all its military units including its portion of the Black Sea Fleet out of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol. However Russia never really planned to move its fleet to Russia. On 21 April 2010 the former President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych signed a new deal known as the Kharkiv Pact extending the stay until 2042 with an option to renew and in return receiving some discount on gas delivered from the Russian Federation (see 2009 Russia–Ukraine gas dispute). The Kharkiv Pact was rather an update to complex of several fundamental treaties that were signed in 1990s between prime ministers of both countries Viktor Chernomyrdin (Russia) and Pavlo Lazarenko (Ukraine) and presidents Boris Yeltsin (Russia) and Leonid Kuchma (Ukraine). The Constitution of Ukraine, whilst having a general prohibition of a deployment of foreign bases on the country's soil, originally also had a transitional provision, which allowed the use of existing military bases on the territory of Ukraine for the temporary stationing of foreign military formations. This permitted Russian military to keep its basing in Crimea as an "existing military base". The constitutional provision on "[pre]-existing bases" was revoked in 2019, but by that time Russia had already annexed Crimea and withdrew from the basing treaties unilaterally.
The treaty about the Black Sea Fleet was also based on the 1997 Treaty about Friendship, Cooperation, and Partnership between Ukraine and the Russian Federation and the 1993 agreement about Free Trade. The 1997 Treaty about Friendship was based on the 1990 Treaty between the Ukrainian SSR and the Russian SFSR that was in its turn based on declarations about state sovereignty of both republics.
Days after Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich fled the capital of Kyiv in late February 2014, armed men opposed to the Euromaidan movement began to take control of the Crimean Peninsula. Checkpoints were established by unmarked Russian soldiers with green military-grade uniforms and equipment in the capital of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, Simferopol, and the independently administered port-city of Sevastopol, home to a Russian naval base under the Kharkiv Pact of 2010. The local population and the media referred to these men as "little green men". After the occupation of the Crimean parliament by these unmarked troops, believed to be Russian special forces, the Crimean leadership announced it would hold a referendum on secession from Ukraine. This heavily disputed referendum was followed by the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation in mid-March. Ukraine and most of the international community refused to recognize the referendum or the annexation. On 15 April, the Ukrainian parliament declared Crimea a territory temporarily occupied by Russia. Since annexing Crimea, the Russian government increased its military presence in the region, with Russian president Vladimir Putin saying a Russian military task force would be established there. In December 2014, Ukrainian Border Guard Service announced Russian troops began withdrawing from the areas of Kherson Oblast. Russian troops occupied parts of the Arabat Spit and the islands around the Syvash which are geographically parts of Crimea but are administratively part of Kherson Oblast. One of such villages occupied by Russian troops was Strilkove, Henichesk Raion, located on the Arabat Spit, which housed an important gas distribution centre. Russian forces stated they took over the gas distribution center to prevent terrorist attacks. Russian forces withdrew from southern Kherson and continued to occupy the gas distribution center outside Strilkove. The withdrawal from Kherson ended nearly 10 months of Russian occupation of the region. Ukraine's border guards stated the areas that were under Russian occupation will have to be checked for mines prior to them overtaking these positions.
In November, NATO stated that it believed Russia was deploying nuclear-capable weapons to Crimea.
Andrey Illarionov, former advisor of Vladimir Putin, said in a speech on 31 May 2014, that some technologies of Russo-Georgian War, were updated and again being exploited in Ukraine. According to him, since Russian military operation in Crimea began on 20 February 2014, Russian propaganda could not argue that the Russian aggression was the result of Euromaidan. The war in Ukraine did not happen "all of sudden", but was pre-planned and the preparations began as early as 2003. Illarionov later stated that one of the Russian plans envisaged war with Ukraine in 2015 after a presidential election, however Maidan accelerated the confrontation.
Renewed conflict in 2016Edit
On 8 August 2016, Ukraine reported that Russia had increased its military presence along the Crimea demarcation line. Border crossings were then closed. On 10 August, Russia's FSB claimed it has prevented Ukrainian terrorist attacks and that two servicemen were killed in clashes in Armiansk (Crimea), adding that "several" Ukrainian and Russian citizens were detained. Russian media reported that one of the killed soldiers was a commander of the Russian GRU, and later was buried in Simferopol. Ukraine denied that the incident took place, and parallel to the incident on 9 August, a Ukrainian official claimed that a number of Russian soldiers had deserted but had not entered into Ukraine, and that skirmishes broke out between Russian intelligence officers and border guards. Russian President Putin accused Ukraine of turning to the "practice of terror". Ukrainian President Poroshenko called the Russian version of events "equally cynical and insane". The U.S. denied Russia's claims, with its ambassador to Ukraine (Geoffrey R. Pyatt) stating "The U.S. Government has seen nothing so far that corroborates Russian allegations of a "Crimea incursion".
2018 Kerch Strait incidentEdit
On 25 November, near the Russia-controlled Kerch Strait, Russian warships fired on and seized three Ukrainian boats; 24 Ukrainian sailors were detained. A day later on 26 November 2018, lawmakers in the Ukrainian parliament overwhelmingly backed the imposition of martial law along Ukraine's coastal regions and those bordering Russia in response to the firing upon and seizure of Ukrainian naval ships by Russia near the Crimean peninsula a day earlier. A total of 276 lawmakers in Kyiv passed the measure to take effect on 28 November 2018 and automatically expire after 30 days.[needs update]
The war in Donbas is an armed conflict in the Donbas region of Ukraine. From the beginning of March 2014, demonstrations by pro-Russian and anti-government groups took place in the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts of Ukraine, together commonly called the "Donbas", in the aftermath of the 2014 Ukrainian revolution and the Euromaidan movement. These demonstrations, which followed the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, and which were part of a wider group of concurrent pro-Russian protests across southern and eastern Ukraine, escalated into an armed conflict between the Russia-backed separatist forces of the self-declared Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics (DPR and LPR respectively), and the Ukrainian government. The SBU claimed key commanders of the rebel movement during the beginning of the conflict, including Igor Strelkov and Igor Bezler were Russian agents. The prime minister of Donetsk People's Republic from May to August 2014 was a Russian citizen Alexander Borodai. From August 2014 all top positions in Donetsk and Lugansk have been held by Ukrainian citizens. Russian volunteers are reported to make up from 15% to 80% of the combatants, with many claimed to be former military personnel. Recruitment for the Donbas insurgents was performed openly in Russian cities using private or voyenkomat facilities, as was confirmed by a number of Russian media.
In an interview with French television channel TF1 and Radio Europe1 in June 2014, Russian president Vladimir Putin said: "There are no armed forces, no 'Russian instructors' in Ukraine—and there never were any."
Economic and material circumstances in Donbas had generated neither necessary nor sufficient conditions for a locally rooted, internally driven armed conflict. The role of the Kremlin's military intervention was paramount for the commencement of hostilities.
In late March Russia continued the buildup of military forces near Ukraine reaching 30–40,000 troops total. Concerns were expressed that Russia may again be readying an incursion into Ukraine following its annexation of Crimea.
Ukrainian media have described the well-organised and well-armed pro-Russian militants as similar to those which occupied regions of Crimea during the Crimean crisis. The former deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Admiral Ihor Kabanenko, said that the militants are Russian military reconnaissance and sabotage units. Arsen Avakov stated that the militants in Krasnyi Lyman used Russian-made AK-100 series assault rifles fitted with grenade launchers, and that such weapons are only issued in the Russian Federation. "The Government of Ukraine is considering the facts of today as a manifestation of external aggression by Russia," said Avakov. Militants in Sloviansk arrived in military lorries without license plates. A reporter from Russia's Novaya Gazeta, having visited separatist artillery positions in Avdeyevka, wrote that in his opinion "it's impossible that the cannons are handled by volunteers" as they require a trained and experienced team, including observers and adjustment experts.
David Patrikarakos, a correspondent for the New Statesman said the following: "While at the other protests/occupations there were armed men and lots of ordinary people, here it almost universally armed and masked men in full military dress. Automatic weapons are everywhere. Clearly a professional military is here. There's the usual smattering of local militia with bats and sticks but also a military presence. Of that there is no doubt." Zbigniew Brzezinski, a former American National Security Advisor, said that the events in the Donbas were similar to events in Crimea, which led to its annexation by Russia, and noted that Russia acted similarly.
In April 2014, a US State Department spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, said, "there has been broad unity in the international community about the connection between Russia and some of the armed militants in eastern Ukraine". The Ukrainian government released photos of soldiers in eastern Ukraine, which the US State Department said showed that some of the fighters were Russian special forces. US Secretary of State John Kerry said the militants "were equipped with specialized Russian weapons and the same uniforms as those worn by the Russian forces that invaded Crimea." The US ambassador to the United Nations said the attacks in Sloviansk were "professional," "coordinated," and that there was 'nothing grass-roots seeming about it'. The British foreign secretary, William Hague, stated, "I don't think denials of Russian involvement have a shred of credibility, ... The forces involved are well armed, well trained, well equipped, well co-ordinated, behaving in exactly the same way as what turned out to be Russian forces behaved in Crimea." The commander of NATO operations in Europe, Philip M. Breedlove, assessed that soldiers appeared to be highly trained and not a spontaneously formed local militia, and that "what is happening in eastern Ukraine is a military operation that is well planned and organized and we assess that it is being carried out at the direction of Russia."
The New York Times journalists interviewed Sloviansk militants and found no clear link of Russian support: "There was no clear Russian link in the 12th Company's arsenal, but it was not possible to confirm the rebels' descriptions of the sources of their money and equipment." Commenting on the presence of the Vostok Battalion within insurgent ranks, Denis Pushilin, self-declared Chairman of the People's Soviet of the Donetsk People's Republic, said on 30 May, "It's simply that there were no volunteers [from Russia] before, and now they have begun to arrive – and not only from Russia."
A significant number of Russian citizens, many veterans or ultranationalists, are currently involved in the ongoing armed conflict, a fact acknowledged by separatist leaders. Carol Saivets, Russian specialist for the Security Studies Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, described the role of Russian soldiers as 'almost certainly' proceeding with the blessing and backing of the Russian state, "even if the Russians are indeed volunteers rather than serving military men".
A Russian opposition politician, Ilya Ponomarev, said "I am absolutely confident that in the eastern regions of Ukraine there are Russian troops in very small numbers. And it's not regular soldiers, but likely representatives of special forces and military intelligence." Later in July, after the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, he said that "Putin now understands that he has passed weapons to the wrong people". He also said that even if Moscow stopped the supply of weapons to the Donbas, there would still be enough supporters of the war within the Russian military to continue such shipments unofficially.
At a meeting held on 7 July, in the city of Donetsk, Russian politician Sergey Kurginyan held a press conference with representatives of the Donbas People's Militia, including Pavel Gubarev, and said that Russia did provide significant military support for the separatists. During a discussion among the participants, Gubarev complained that the arms that had been sent were old, and not fully functional. In response, Kurginyan listed specific items, including 12,000 automatic rifles, grenade launchers, 2S9 Nona self-propelled mortars, two BMPs, and three tanks, that he knew had been supplied to the separatists by Russia. He also said he saw new, fully functional weapons unloaded at locations in Donbas which he would not "disclose as we are filmed by cameras". Kurginyan admitted that Russia had initially sent "4th category weapons", but since 3 June had supplied equipment that was fully functional. He also said one of his goals whilst in Donetsk was to ensure that military support from Russia was increased.
An Ukrainian An-26 military cargo plane was shot down over the Ukrainian village of Davydo Myilske near the Russian border on 14 July. It had been flying at an altitude of 6,500 metres. The head of Ukraine's Security Service Valentyn Nalyvaichenko, stated on 15 July that the SBU had "indisputable" evidence of Russian involvement in the attack.
Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down over the conflict zone on 17 July near Torez in Donetsk Oblast, over an area of Ukraine controlled by pro-Russia separatists. Evidence from open sources indicated that Buk missile launcher, that widely believed to have been used to shoot down the passenger flight, came from Russia, and was transported on 17 July from Donetsk to Snizhne. According to Bellingcat, the launcher was operated by Russian military of 53rd Anti-Aircraft Rocket Brigade.
In August, Russia sent dozens of white lorries, green army trucks painted white, into eastern Ukraine, without inspection by Ukraine. The trucks were "almost empty" the BBC's Steve Rosenberg reported, and the action was characterized as a diversion, a distraction, so that at other points equipment and personnel came into Ukraine.
On 17 August, Ukraine accused Russia of sending more military equipment, including Grad rocket launchers, across the border and on to Nizhny Nagolchyk. Sergei Lavrov continued to deny that Russia was sending any equipment across the border. He asserted that an OSCE observer mission placed at border crossing points in the region had not identified any unlawful crossings of the border but the OSCE mission that Lavrov mentioned had no mandate to check the long, unguarded sections of the border where crossings of men and equipment occurred frequently.
Ukrainian Defence Minister Valeriy Heletey said on 21 August that the militants were using Russian-made weapons that had never been used or bought by the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Injured pro-Russian fighters were usually treated in Russia, with help from the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations. They were also questioned and registered by the Federal Security Service (FSB), the Russian domestic security and intelligence agency.
Bellingcat has reported on the presence of Russian T-72B3 and T-90A tanks in the Donbas since 2014; the significance of this is that these tanks were not exported to or fielded by Ukraine. T-72B3 and T-90A tanks have reportedly been used near Ilovaisk, Luhansk airport and Debaltseve.
2014 cross-border artillery shellingEdit
Russia shelled Ukrainian units from across the border since mid-July. On 11 July 2014, a Ukrainian camp in Zelenopillya village near Ukrainian-Russian border was shelled by modern Russian MLRS system 9K51M "Tornado-G", suffering heavy casualties.
On 24 July, the American government stated that it had evidence that the Russian military was firing on Ukrainian territory from across the border. A spokesman for the US Department of Defence stated that there was "no question" as to Russia's involvement in the attacks on Ukrainian Armed Forces. On 28 July, it published satellite photos showing heavy artillery shelling Ukrainian positions from Russian territory. On 27 July, U.S. officials confirmed Russia had shelled Ukrainian territory. At the time, Russian government spokesman denied these allegations.
The shelling escalated at least one week prior to the invasion. According to NATO reports, Russian military shelled Ukrainian positions across the border from mid-August, and by 22 August, Russian artillery and personnel had crossed the border into Ukraine itself.
August 2014 military invasionEdit
On 13 August, members of the Russian Human Rights Commission stated that over 100 Russian soldiers had been killed in the fighting in Ukraine and inquired why they were there.
A convoy of military vehicles, including armoured personnel carriers, with official Russian military plates crossed into Ukraine near the militant-controlled Izvaryne border crossing on 14 August. The Ukrainian government later announced that they had destroyed most of the armoured column with artillery. Secretary General of NATO Anders Fogh Rasmussen said this incident was a "clear demonstration of continued Russian involvement in the destabilisation of eastern Ukraine". The same day, Russian President Vladimir Putin, speaking to Russian ministers and Crimean parliamentarians on a visit to Crimea, undertook to do everything he could to end the conflict in Ukraine, saying Russia needed to build calmly and with dignity, not by confrontation and war which isolated it from the rest of the world. The comments came as international sanctions against Russia were being stepped up.
On 24 August 2014, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko referred to the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) as Ukraine's "Patriotic War of 2014" and a war against "external aggression". The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine labeled the conflict an invasion on 27 August 2014.
On 26 August 2014, a mixed column composed of at least 3 T-72B1s and a lone T-72BM was identified on a video from Sverdlovsk, Ukraine by the International Institute for Strategic Studies. The sighting undermined Russia's attempts to maintain plausible deniability over the issue of supplying tanks and other arms to the separatists. Russia continuously claimed that any tanks operated by the separatists must have been captured from Ukraine's own army. The T-72BM is in service with the Russian Army in large numbers. This modernized T-72 is not known to have been exported to nor operated by any other country. Reuters found other tanks of this type near Horbatenko in October. In November, the United Kingdom's embassy in Ukraine also published an infographic demonstrating specific features of the T-72 tanks used by separatists not present in tanks held by Ukrainian army, addressing it to "help Russia recognize its own tanks". The equipment included for example Thales Optronics thermal vision instruments exported to Russia between 2007 and 2012 only.
On 27 August, two columns of Russian tanks entered Ukrainian territory in support of the pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk and Luhansk and engaged Ukrainian border forces, but US officials were reluctant to declare that Russia had begun invading Ukraine. NATO officials stated that over 1,000 Russian troops were operating inside Ukraine, but termed the incident an incursion rather than an invasion. The Russian government denied these claims. NATO published satellite photos which it said showed the presence of Russian troops within Ukrainian territory. The pro-Russian separatists admitted that Russian troops were fighting alongside them, stating that this was "no secret", but that the Russian troops were just soldiers who preferred to take their vacations fighting in Ukraine rather than "on the beach". The Prime Minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic stated that 3,000 to 4,000 Russian troops had fought in separatist ranks and that most of them had not returned to Russia, having continued to fight in Ukraine.
In late August, NATO released satellite images which it considered to be evidence of Russian operations inside Ukraine with sophisticated weaponry, and after the setbacks of Ukrainian forces by early September, it was evident Russia had sent soldiers and armour across the border and locals acknowledged the role of Putin and Russian soldiers in effecting a reversal of fortunes.
The 76th Guards Air Assault Division based in Pskov allegedly entered Ukrainian territory in August and engaged in a skirmish near Luhansk, suffering 80 dead. The Ukrainian Defence Ministry said that they had seized two of the unit's armoured vehicles near Luhansk city, and reported about another three tanks and two armoured vehicles of pro-Russian forces destroyed in other regions. The Russian government denied the skirmish took place.
On 18 August, the 76th Guards Air Assault Division was awarded with Order of Suvorov, one of Russia's highest awards, by Russian minister of defence Sergey Shoigu for the "successful completion of military missions" and "courage and heroism". Russian media highlighted that the medal is awarded exclusively for combat operations and reported that a large number of soldiers from this division had died in Ukraine just days before, but their burials were conducted in secret. Some Russian media, such as Pskovskaya Guberniya, reported that Russian paratroopers may have been killed in Ukraine. Journalists traveled to Pskov, the reported burial location of the troops, to investigate. Multiple reporters said they had been attacked or threatened there, and that the attackers erased several camera memory cards. Pskovskaya Guberniya revealed transcripts of phone conversations between Russian soldiers being treated in a Pskov hospital for wounds received while fighting in Ukraine. The soldiers reveal that they were sent to the war, but told by their officers that they were going on "an exercise".
A Bellingcat contributor published a series of investigations revealing the involvement of the Russian Northern Fleet Coastal troops units, 200th Motor Rifle Brigade and 61st Naval Infantry Brigade, which had participated in combats in Luhansk region: Troops of the 200th Motor Rifle Brigade fought in a battle of Luhansk Airport, and later in October in clashes for 32nd checkpoint. Marines of the 61st Naval Infantry Brigade were spotted in Luhansk and took part in fights in villages nearby.
On 24 August 2014, Amvrosiivka was occupied by Russian paratroopers, supported by 250 armoured vehicles and artillery pieces. Ten Russian paratroopers of the 331st Guards Airborne Regiment, military unit 71211 from Kostroma, were captured in Dzerkalne that day, a village near Amvrosiivka, 20 kilometres (12 mi) from the border, after their armoured vehicles were hit by Ukrainian artillery. On 25 August, the Security Service of Ukraine reported about the captured paratroopers, claiming they've crossed Ukrainian border in the night of 23 August. The SBU also released their photos and names. The next day, the Russian Ministry of Defence said that they had crossed the border "by accident". On 31 August, the Russian media reported that ten Russian paratroopers captured inside Ukraine had returned home following a troop exchange. The 64 Ukrainian troops provided in exchange were captured after entering Russia to escape the upsurge in fighting. Russia claimed that the Russian troops had mistakenly crossed an unmarked area of the border while on patrol. Ukraine released videos of captured Russian soldiers which challenged Russia's claim that it had nothing to do with the conflict.
On 29 August, after Ukrainian forces agreed to surrender Ilovaisk, they were bombarded by Russian forces while they evacuated through a "green corridor." The assault on the troops who were marked with white flags was variously described as a "massacre." At least 100 were killed.
According to Bellingcat, Russian military vehicles crossing the border of Ukraine and artillery positions close to the Ukrainian borders are clearly visible on satellite photos from 23 August 2014.
On 25 August, a column of Russian tanks and military vehicles was reported to have crossed into Ukraine in the southeast, near the town of Novoazovsk located on the Azov sea coast, and headed towards Ukrainian-held Mariupol, in an area that had not seen pro-Russian presence for weeks. The Bellingcat's investigation reveals some details of this operation. Russian forces captured the city of Novoazovsk. and Russian soldiers began arresting and deporting to unknown locations all Ukrainians who did not have an address registered within the town. Pro-Ukrainian anti-war protests took place in Mariupol which was threatened by Russian troops. The UN Security Council called an emergency meeting to discuss the situation.
On 3 September, a Sky News team filmed groups of troops near Novoazovsk wearing modern combat gear typical for Russian units and traveling in new military vehicles with number plates and other markings removed. Specialists consulted by the journalists identified parts of the equipment (uniform, rifles) as currently used by Russian ground forces and paratroopers.
On 3 September 2014, Ukrainian President Poroshenko said he had reached a "permanent ceasefire" agreement with Russian President Putin. Russia denied the ceasefire agreement took place, denying being party to the conflict at all, adding that "they only discussed how to settle the conflict". Poroshenko then backtracked from his previous statement about the agreement.
Also on 3 September, the OSCE for the first time reported "light and heavy calibre shootings from the east and south-east areas which are also bordering Ukraine". The report also stated that the OSCE Observer Teams had seen an increase of military-style dressed men crossing the border in both directions, including ones with LPR and Novorossiya symbols and flags, and wounded being transported back to Russia.
Lindsey Hilsum wrote in the Channel 4 news blog that in early September Ukrainian troops at Dmytrivka came under attack from BM-30 Smerch rockets from Russia. On 4 September, she wrote of rumours that Ukrainian troops who had been shelling Luhansk for weeks were retreating west and that Russian soldiers with heavy armour were reported to have come over the border to back up the rebels.
Journalist Tim Judah wrote in the NYR blog about the scale of the devastation suffered by Ukrainian forces in southeastern Ukraine over the last week of August 2014 that it amounted "to a catastrophic defeat and will long be remembered by embittered Ukrainians as among the darkest days of their history." The scale of the destruction achieved in several ambushes revealed "that those attacking the pro-government forces were highly professional and using very powerful weapons." The fighting in Ilovaysk had begun on 7 August when units from three Ukrainian volunteer militias and the police attempted to take it back from rebel control. Then, on 28 August, the rebels were able to launch a major offensive, with help from elsewhere, including Donetsk—though "not Russia," according to Commander Givi, the head of rebel forces there. By 1 September it was all over and the Ukrainians had been decisively defeated. Commander Givi said the ambushed forces were militias, not regular soldiers, whose numbers had been boosted, 'by foreigners, including Czechs, Hungarians, and "niggers." '
Mick Krever wrote on the CNN blog that on 5 September Russia's Permanent Representative to the OSCE, Andrey Kelin had said it was natural pro-Russian separatists "are going to liberate" Mariupol. Ukrainian forces stated that Russian intelligence groups had been spotted in the area. Kelin said 'there might be volunteers over there.' On 4 September 2014, NATO officer said there were several thousand regular Russian forces operating in Ukraine. Lindsey Hilsum reported on the Channel 4 news blog about the total destruction of Luhansk International Airport which was being used as a base by the Ukrainian forces to shell Luhansk, probably because the Russians decided to 'turn the tide' - the terminal building and everything around was utterly destroyed. Forces from Azerbaijan, Belarus and Tajikistan who were fighting on the side of the rebels allowed themselves to be filmed.
On 12 September 2014, The Guardian saw a Russian armoured personnel carrier in Lutuhyne. The next day, it was reported that Moscow had sent a convoy of trucks delivering "aid" into Ukraine without Kyiv's consent. This convoy was not inspected by Ukraine or accompanied by the ICRC. Top Ukrainian leaders largely remained silent about the convoys after the ceasefire deal was reached. The "aid" was part of the 12-point Minsk agreement.
The speaker of Russia's upper house of parliament and Russian state television channels acknowledged that Russian soldiers entered Ukraine, but referred to them as "volunteers". A reporter for Novaya Gazeta, an opposition newspaper in Russia, stated that the Russian military leadership paid soldiers to resign their commissions and fight in Ukraine in the early summer of 2014, and then began ordering soldiers into Ukraine. This reporter mentioned knowledge of at least one case when soldiers who refused were threatened with prosecution. Russian opposition MP Lev Shlosberg made similar statements, although he said combatants from his country are "regular Russian troops", disguised as units of the DPR and LPR.
In December, Ukrainian hackers published a large cache of documents coming allegedly from a hacked server of Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs (MID). The documents originated from various departments coordinated by MID, such as local police, road police, emergency services etc. The cache included documents describing Russian military casualties arriving on 25 August to hospitals in the Rostov area after a battle "10 km northwest of the small village of Prognoi", which matched a battle in Krasnaya Talovka reported on the same date by Ukrainian side.
In early September 2014, Russian state-owned television channels reported on the funerals of Russian soldiers who died in Ukraine during the war in Donbas, but described them as "volunteers" fighting for the "Russian world". Valentina Matviyenko, a top politician in the ruling United Russia party, also praised "volunteers" fighting in "our fraternal nation", referring to Ukraine. Russian state television for the first time showed the funeral of a soldier killed fighting in east Ukraine. State-controlled TV station Channel One showed the burial of paratrooper Anatoly Travkin in the central Russian city of Kostroma. The broadcaster said Travkin had not told his wife or commanders about his decision to fight alongside pro-Russia rebels battling government forces. "Officially he just went on leave," the news reader said.
After a series of military defeats and setbacks for the Donetsk and Lugansk separatists, who united under the banner of "Novorossiya", a term Russian President Vladimir Putin used to describe southeastern Ukraine, Russia dispatched what it called a "humanitarian convoy" of trucks across the Russo-Ukrainian border in mid-August 2014. Ukraine reacted to the move by calling it a "direct invasion". Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council published a report on the number and contents of these convoys, claiming they were arriving almost daily in November (up to 9 convoys on 30 November) and their contents were mainly arms and ammunition. In total, in November there were 1,903 trucks crossing the border from Russia to Donbas, 20 buses with soldiers or volunteers, 402 armoured personnel carriers, 256 tanks, 138 "Grad" launchers, 42 cannons and howitzers, 35 self-propelled artillery vehicles, 5 "Buk" launchers, 4 "Uragan" launchers, 4 "Buratino" flamethrowers, 6 pontoon bridge trucks, 5 "Taran" radio interception systems, 5 armoured recovery vehicles, 3 radiolocation systems, 2 truck cranes, 1 track layer vehicle, 1 radiolocation station, unknown number of "Rtut-BM" electronic warfare systems, 242 fuel tankers and 205 light off-road vehicles and vans.
About the same time, multiple reports indicated separatist militias were receiving reinforcements that allowed them to turn the tables on government forces. Armoured columns coming from Russia also pushed into southern Donetsk Oblast and reportedly captured the town of Novoazovsk, clashing with Ukrainian forces and opening a new front in the Donbas conflict.
Russian officials denied reports that Russian military units were operating in Ukraine (see war in Donbas), claiming instead they had been sent on routine drills close to the border with Ukraine and crossed the border by mistake. On 28 August 2014, Dutch Brigadier-General Nico Tak, head of NATO's crisis management center, said that "over 1,000 Russian troops are now operating inside Ukraine".
On 5 September, Sergey Krivenko, a member of Russian President's Council for Civil Society and Human Rights, commented on the growing number of Russian soldiers killed in Ukraine, saying that "the situation now is very strange, something unusual is going on; it could be described as massive dying of soldiers, which is not typical for a time of peace; people from different military units are killed as a result of shots, from loss of blood, all these reasons are documented; and the military command explains that it happened during training or provides no explanation at all".
November 2014 escalationEdit
On 7 November, NATO officials confirmed the continued invasion of Ukraine, with 32 Russian tanks, 16 howitzer cannons and 30 trucks of troops entering the country. On 12 November, NATO reiterated the prevalence of Russian troops; US general Philip Breedlove said "Russian tanks, Russian artillery, Russian air defence systems and Russian combat troops" were sighted. The Lithuanian Mission to the United Nations denounced Russia's 'undeclared war' on Ukraine. Journalist Menahem Kahana took a picture showing a 1RL232 "Leopard" battlefield surveillance radar system in Torez, east of Donetsk; and Dutch freelance journalist Stefan Huijboom took pictures which showed the 1RL232 traveling with the 1RL239 "Lynx" radar system.
Burnt-out remains of tanks and vehicles left after battles appeared to provide further evidence of Russian involvement.
The Associated Press reported 80 unmarked military vehicles on the move in rebel-controlled areas. Three separate columns were observed, one near the main separatist stronghold of Donetsk and two outside the town of Snizhne. Several of the trucks were seen to be carrying troops.
OSCE monitors further observed vehicles apparently used to transport soldiers' dead bodies crossing the Russian-Ukrainian border – in one case a vehicle marked with Russia's military code for soldiers killed in action crossed from Russia into Ukraine on 11 November 2014, and later returned. On 23 January 2015 the Committee of Soldiers' Mothers warned about conscripts being sent to east Ukraine. NATO said it had seen an increase in Russian tanks, artillery pieces and other heavy military equipment in eastern Ukraine and renewed its call for Moscow to withdraw its forces.
The Center for Eurasian Strategic Intelligence estimated, based on "official statements and interrogation records of captured military men from these units, satellite surveillance data" as well as verified announcements from relatives and profiles in social networks, that over 30 Russian military units were taking part in the conflict in Ukraine. In total, over 8,000 soldiers had fought there at different moments. The Chicago Council on Global Affairs stated that the Russian separatists enjoyed technical advantages over the Ukrainian army since the large inflow of advanced military systems in mid-2014: effective anti-aircraft weapons ("Buk", MANPADS) suppressed Ukrainian air strikes, Russian drones provided intelligence, and Russian secure communications system thwarted the Ukrainian side from communications intelligence. The Russian side also frequently employed electronic warfare systems that Ukraine lacked. Similar conclusions about the technical advantage of the Russian separatists were voiced by the Conflict Studies Research Centre.
In November 2014, Igor Girkin gave a long interview to the extreme right-wing nationalist newspaper Zavtra ("Tomorrow") where for the first time he released details about the beginning of the conflict in Donbas. According to Girkin, he was the one who "pulled the trigger of war" and it was necessary because acquisition of Crimea alone by Russia "did not make sense" and Crimea as part of the Novorossiya "would make the jewel in the crown of the Russian Empire". Girkin had been directed to Donbas by Sergey Aksyonov and he entered Ukraine with a group of 52 officers in April, initially taking Slavyansk, Kramatorsk and then other cities. Girkin also talked about the situation in August, when separatist forces were close to defeat and only a prompt intervention of Russian "leavers" (ironic term for "soldiers on leave") saved them. Their forces took command in the siege of Mariupol as well. In response to internal criticism of the Russian government's policy of not officially recognizing Russian soldiers in Ukraine as fulfilling military service and leaving their families without any source of income if they are killed, president Vladimir Putin signed a new law in October entitling their families to a monthly compensation. Two new entitlement categories were added: "missing in action" and "declared dead" (as of 1 January 2016).
Alexandr Negrebetskih, a deputy from the Russian city of Zlatoust who fought as a volunteer on the side of separatists, complained in an interview that "the locals run to Russia, and we have to come here as they are reluctant to defend their land" which resulted in his detachment being composed of 90% Russians and only 10% locals from Donetsk.
In November, Lev Shlosberg published a response from a military attorney's office to questions he asked about the status of Pskov paratroopers killed in Ukraine in August. The office answered that the soldiers died while "fulfilling military service outside of their permanent dislocation units" (Pskov), but any further information on their orders or location of death was withheld as "classified". A political expert Alexey Makarkin compared these answers to those provided by Soviet ministry of defence during the Soviet–Afghan War when the USSR attempted to hide the scale of their casualties at any cost.
Numerous reports of Russian troops and warfare on Ukrainian territory were raised in United Nations Security Council meetings. In 12 November meeting, the representative of the United Kingdom also accused Russia of intentionally constraining OSCE observatory missions' capabilities, pointing out that the observers were allowed to monitor only two kilometers of border between Ukraine and Russia, and drones deployed to extend their capabilities were being jammed or shot down.
In November, Armament Research Services published a detailed report on arms used by both sides of the conflict, documenting a number of "flag items". Among vehicles, they documented the presence of T-72B Model 1989 and T-72B3 tanks, armoured vehicles of models BTR-82AM, MT-LB 6MA, MT-LBVM, and MT-LBVMK, and an Orlan-10 drone and 1RL239 radar vehicle. Among the ammunition, they documented 9K38 Igla (date of manufacture 2014), ASVK rifle (2012), RPG-18 rocket launchers (2011), 95Ya6 rocket boosters (2009) MRO-A (2008), 9M133 Kornet anti-tank weapons (2007), PPZR Grom (2007), MON-50 (2002), RPO-A (2002), PKP (2001), OG-7 (2001), and VSS rifles (1987). These weapons, mostly manufactured in Russia, were used by pro-Russian separatists in the conflict zone, but never "were in the Ukrainian government inventory prior to the outbreak of hostilities". The report also noted the use of PPZR Grom MANPADs, produced in Poland and never exported to Ukraine. They were however exported to Georgia in 2007 and subsequently captured by the Russian army during the Russian-Georgian War 2008. Also in November, Pantsir-S1 units were observed in separatist-controlled areas near Novoazovsk, which were never part of the UAF's inventory. Bellingcat maintains a dedicated database of geolocated images of military vehicles specific to each side of the conflict, mostly focused on Russian military equipment found on Ukrainian territory.
Poroshenko spoke of a dangerous escalation on 21 January amid reports of more than 2,000 additional Russian troops crossing the border, together with 200 tanks and armed personnel carriers. He abbreviated his visit to the World Economic Forum in Davos because of his concerns at the worsening situation. On 29 January, the chief of Ukraine's General Military Staff Viktor Muzhenko said 'the Ukrainian army is not engaged in combat operations against Russian regular units,' but that he had information about Russian civilian and military individuals fighting alongside 'illegal armed groups in combat activities.' Reporting from DPR-controlled areas on 28 January, the OSCE observed on the outskirts of Khartsyzk, east of Donetsk, "a column of five T-72 tanks facing east, and immediately after, another column of four T-72 tanks moving east on the same road which was accompanied by four unmarked military trucks, type URAL. All vehicles and tanks were unmarked." It reported on an intensified movement of unmarked military trucks, covered with canvas. After the shelling of residential areas in Mariupol, NATO's Jens Stoltenberg said: "Russian troops in eastern Ukraine are supporting these offensive operations with command and control systems, air defence systems with advanced surface-to-air missiles, unmanned aerial systems, advanced multiple rocket launcher systems, and electronic warfare systems."'
Svetlana Davydova, a mother of seven, was accused of treason for calling the Ukrainian embassy about Russian troop movements and arrested on 27 January 2015. She was held at the high-security Lefortovo jail in Moscow until her release on 3 February with charges against her still pending. The Russian General Staff said details of the case constituted a "state secret." On 9 February 2015, a group of twenty contract soldiers from Murmansk raised an official complaint to the Russian ministry of defence when they were told they would "go to the Rostov area and possibly cross the Ukrainian border to fulfill their patriotic duty". The soldiers notified human rights activists and requested the orders in written form, which they were not given. On 13 February, a young soldier, Ilya Kudryavtsev, was found dead after calling home and informing his relatives that he was to be sent on a mission to Rostov-on-Don, which is the usual starting point to Ukraine. Although he was severely beaten, his death was officially classified as a suicide.
According to a top U.S. general in January, Russian supplied drones and electronic jamming have ensured Ukrainian troops struggle to counter artillery fire by pro-Russian militants. "The rebels have Russian-provided UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) that are giving the rebels the detection capability and the ability to target Ukrainian forces". Advanced electronic jamming was also reported by OSCE observers on numerous occasions.
In February, both Ukrainian and DNR sides reported unknown sabotage groups firing at both sides of the conflict and also on residential areas, calling them a "third force". SBU published an intercepted call in which DNR commanders reported such a group had been arrested with Russian passports and military documents. DNR confirmed that such groups were indeed stopped and "destroyed" but called them "Ukrainian sabotage groups working to discredit the armed forces of the Russian Federation".
US Army commander in Europe Ben Hodges stated in February 2015 that "it's very obvious from the amount of ammunition, type of equipment, there's direct Russian military intervention in the Debaltseve area". According to estimates by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs in February, Russian separatists forces number around 36,000 troops (as compared to 34,000 Ukrainian), of which 8,500-10,000 are purely Russian soldiers. Additionally, around 1,000 GRU troops are operating in the area. According to a military expert, Ilya Kramnik, total Ukrainian forces outnumber the Russian forces by a factor of two (20,000 Russian separatists vs. 40,000 fighting for Ukraine).
In February 2015, the leading independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta reported that it had obtained documents, allegedly written by oligarch Konstantin Malofayev and others, which provided the Russian government with a strategy in the event of Viktor Yanukovych's removal from power and the break-up of Ukraine, which were considered likely. The documents outlined plans for the annexation of Crimea and the eastern portions of the country, closely describing the events that actually followed after Yanukovych's fall. The documents also described plans for a public relations campaign which would seek to justify Russian actions.
In March 2015, Novaya Gazeta published an interview with a Russian soldier, Dorzhi Batomunkuev, who operated a tank in the Battle of Debaltseve and was wounded. He confirmed that the tanks came from his military unit in Ulan-Ude in Russia and that his unit "painted over the serial numbers and unit signs straight away on the rail platforms". In November 2014, Batomunkuev was sent as a conscript to Rostov-on-Don, where he became a contract soldier. Traveling by train with his unit from Ulan-Ude, Batomunkuev said he saw "plenty of such trains" travelling along with them "day after day". After three months at Kosminskiy training facility, their unit of 31 tanks and 300 soldiers in total (mostly Buryats) was given an order to move on 8 February 2015 and crossed the Ukrainian border in the night, arriving in Donetsk in the morning. They took part in the battle on 12–14 February. Joseph Kobzon met Batomunkuev in the same hospital a few days before the NG interview. In 2016 Alexander Minakov, another Russian soldier wounded in the battle of Debaltseve, was awarded a medal "For services to the Fatherland". In March 2015, president Putin awarded the honorary name of "Guards" to two divisions: 11. paratroopers brigade from Ulan-Ude, 83. paratroopers brigade from Ussuriysk and 38. communications regiment from Moscow area. The status was awarded for undisclosed combat operations.
A report by Igor Sutyagin published by the Royal United Services Institute in March 2015 stated that a total of 42,000 regular Russian combat troops have been involved in the fighting, with a peak strength of 10,000 in December 2014. The direct involvement of the Russian troops on Ukrainian territory began in August 2014, at a time when Ukrainian military successes created the possibility that the pro-Russian rebels would collapse. According to the report, the Russian troops are the most capable units on the anti-Ukrainian side, with the regular Donetsk and Luhansk rebel formations being used essentially as "cannon fodder". The Chicago Council on Global Affairs stated that the Russian separatists enjoyed technical advantages over the Ukrainian army since the large inflow of advanced military systems in mid-2014: effective anti-aircraft weapons ("Buk", MANPADS) suppressed Ukrainian air strikes, Russian drones provided intelligence, and Russian secure communications system thwarted the Ukrainian side from communications intelligence. The Russian side also frequently employed electronic warfare systems that Ukraine lacked. Similar conclusions about the technical advantage of the Russian separatists were voiced by the Conflict Studies Research Centre.
In March 2015, a commander of the DPR special forces unit, Dmitry Sapozhnikov, gave an interview to the BBC in which he spoke openly about the involvement of Russian soldiers in the conflict. He described the arrival of Russian military vehicles and personnel from across the border as critical to the success of large-scale operations such as the battle of Debaltseve. Russian high-rank officers planned the operations and regular Russian army units with DPR forces carried them out jointly. In Sapozhnikov's opinion, "everyone knows that" and it's "no secret", but he was surprised to find out that it is not so widely acknowledged in Russia when he returned to Saint Petersburg.
In April 2015, a group of Russian volunteers returning to Ekaterinburg complained in an interview to local media about a lack of support from the local population, who sometimes called them "occupiers", and their highly ambiguous status while in Donbas: Ukraine and "the court in Madrid" considered them to be terrorists; the DPR considered them "illegal armed groups" and offered them contracts, but if they signed they would become mercenaries under Russian law. Another volunteer, a citizen of Latvia nicknamed "Latgalian", told on his return from Donbas that he was disappointed with how the situation there differed from what he had seen in the Russian media: he saw no support and sometimes open hostility to the insurgents from the local civilians, presence of Russian troops and military equipment. Also in early April, a number of Russian spetsnaz soldiers took pictures of themselves changing their military uniforms into "miner's battledress" used by the insurgents, and posted them on their VK pages, where they were picked up by Ukrainian media. Another volunteer, Bondo Dorovskih, who left to Donbas to "fight fascism" gave a long interview to Russian media on his return, describing how he found himself "not in an army, but in a gang", involved in large-scale looting. He also described the methods used by Russian army to covertly deliver military equipment, people and ammunition to Donbas, as well as hostile attitude of the local civilian population.
On 22 April 2015, the US Department of State accused the "combined Russian-separatist forces" of accumulating air defence systems, UAV along with command and control equipment in eastern Ukraine, and of conducting "complex" military training that "leaves no doubt that Russia is involved in the training". Russia is also reinforcing its military presence on the eastern border with Ukraine as well as near Belgorod which is close to Kharkiv.
In May 2015, Reuters interviewed a number of Russian soldiers, some named and some speaking under condition of anonymity, who were serving in Donbas as truck drivers, crew of a T-72B3 tank and of a "Grad" launcher. Some of their colleagues resigned when asked to go to Donbas by their commanders, which was "not an easy decision" because the salary offered was between 20 and 60,000 rubles per month. The members of the "Grad" launcher crew confirmed they were shelling targets in Ukraine from Russian territory, around 2 km from the border.
Allies of Boris Nemtsov released Putin. War in May 2015, a report on Russian involvement that he had been working on before his death. Other Russian opposition activists announced that they had found fresh graves of members of a GRU special forces brigade that had operated in Ukraine.
In May, two GRU soldiers, Alexander Alexandrov and Yevgeny Yerofeyev, were captured in a battle near Schastie and were later interviewed by press, admitting to being on active duty at the time of capture. Russian military command declared they left active service in December 2014, a claim that was repeated on Russian television by the wife of Alexandrov. Consequently, Ukraine declared it would try them as terrorists, not prisoners of war, and a controversy developed in the Russian press regarding the status of the soldiers. At the same time, Russian journalists found out that their families were strictly isolated from contacts with press and the captured soldiers. While Alexandrov declared he would seek legal methods to confirm his status in Russia, military analyst Alexander Golts considers this impossible as special forces soldiers routinely sign contract termination declaration to be backdated in such a situation.
Shortly afterward, a Russian military drone, "Forpost", was shot down near Avdeevka and recovered in good condition, with all the serial numbers and nameplates intact. On 28 May 2015, the Atlantic Council released Hiding in Plain Sight: Putin's War in Ukraine, a report which they said provided "irrefutable evidence of direct Russian military involvement in eastern Ukraine".
On 17 May 2015 two Russian soldiers of the 3rd Guards Spetsnaz Brigade were captured by Secret Service of Ukraine during a battle near town Shchastya (Lughansk oblast, Ukraine). On 18 May they were transferred to Kyiv. On 19 May a spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry stated that the two named prisoners were not active servicemen when they were captured, thus depriving the two Russians of their status as combatants and their protection under the Geneva Convention. The head of Ukraine's Security Service stated that the two men will be prosecuted for "terrorist acts". On 20 May 2015 members of the OSCE mission to Ukraine spoke with the Russian soldiers in the hospital. The OSCE 20 May 2015 report includes the following:
One of them said he had received orders from his military unit to go to Ukraine; he was to "rotate" after three months. Both of them said they had been to Ukraine "on missions" before.
In June 2015, Vice News reporter Simon Ostrovsky investigated the movements of Bato Dambaev, a Russian contract soldier from Buryatia, through a military camp in Rostov Oblast to Vuhlehirsk in Ukraine during the battle of Debaltseve and back to Buryatia, finding exact locations where Dambaev photographed himself, and came to a conclusion that Dambaev had fought in Ukraine while in active service in the Russian army. With Russia refusing to allow the OSCE to expand its mission, OSCE observer Paul Picard stated that "We often see how Russian media outlets manipulate our statements. They say that we have not seen Russian troops crossing the borders. But that only applies to two border crossings. We have no idea what is going on at the others."
In July 2015, Ukraine arrested a Russian officer, Vladimir Starkov, when his truck loaded with ammunition took a wrong turn and ended up at a Ukrainian checkpoint. On arrest, Starkov declared that he was a Russian military officer in active service and later explained that he was officially assigned to a Russian military unit in Novocherkassk, but immediately on arrival reassigned to join DPR forces.
In November 2015, a Russian judge accepted a Russian citizen's claim that serving in the DNR militia was a mitigating circumstance. On 17 December 2015, Putin admitted that Russian military intelligence officers were operating in Ukraine, stating "We never said there were not people there who carried out certain tasks including in the military sphere."
In 2020 analysis of publicly available Russian railway traffic data (gdevagon.ru) indicated that in January 2015, period of especially heavy fighting, thousands of tons of cargo declared "high explosives" was sent by railway from various places in Russia into Uspenskaya, a small train station on a line crossing from Rostovskaya oblast' (Russia) into separatist-controlled part of Ukraine.
In September 2016, OSCE monitoring mission noticed military trucks with partially covered Russian number plates 26 km east from Donetsk. Also in September a Russian soldier Denis Sidorov surrendered to the Ukrainian forces in Shirokaya Balka, revealing details of Russian leadership of the local DNR forces in the area.
On 17 October 2016, the OSCE mission noted a minivan with "black licence plates with white lettering" which are used on military vehicles in Russia. A number of people in civilian and military camouflage were travelling on the vehicle.
Details of Russian involvementEdit
Russia officially has long denied organized presence of their military units in Ukraine. Nevertheless, evidence of its soldiers' involvement is rampant. OSCE monitoring mission has on numerous occasions spotted military convoys covertly crossing the border from Russia into Donbas, as well as presence of military equipment produced in Russia and never exported to Ukraine.
On 25 August 2014, ten Russian paratroopers were captured in Ukraine, the Russian Ministry of Defense maintained that the men were lost and crossed the border into Ukraine by accident. In May 2015 two suspected Russian GRU agents (Military intelligence) were detained by Ukrainian forces, Russia's Ministry of Defense stated the men were former soldiers who were not on active duty at the time of capture. The two men were later exchanged for captured Ukrainian pilot and politician Nadiya Savchenko. In July 2015 a Russian major was detained near Donetsk as he drove an ammunition truck into a Ukrainian checkpoint, the Russian military maintained the man was not involved with the Russian military and fought for local separatists. The major was later exchanged for captured Ukrainian soldiers. In September 2015 Ukraine's border guards detained 2 Russian internal troops when they crossed the border in Ukraine's Luhansk oblast, the Russian servicemen stated they were lost and crossed the border by accident, with the Russian Military of Defense accusing Ukraine's forces of crossing into the nearby Russian village and abducting the servicemen. In October 2015, Russian Ministry of Defence admitted that "special forces were pulled out of Ukraine and sent to Syria" and that they were serving in eastern Ukraine on territories held by pro-Russian rebels. On 17 December 2015 when asked about the two detained Russian citizens in Ukraine who were being accused of being military intelligence officers President Vladimir Putin responded: "We never said there were not people there who carried out certain tasks including in the military sphere." This was generally taken as an admission that Russian military operatives were deployed to Ukraine. Before that declaration there had been a large amount of circumstantial evidence that confirmed the presence of Russia's military.
Large part of the circumstantial evidence are military vehicles and weapons that are unique to Russian armed forces and never present in Ukraine before the conflict captured by journalists and found on social media. The OSCE monitoring mission has also noted the presence of troops declaring themselves as Russian servicemen in DPR-controlled territory. As the rest of the post-Soviet republics every Russian military equipment has a hull number (bortovoi nomer). However equipment in possession of the LPR and DPR has all hull number painted over to conceal its relation to the Russian Armed Forces."THE BATTLE OF ILOVAISK". Forensic Architecture. 19 August 2019. Retrieved 17 November 2020.
In 2015, NATO spokesman Robert Pszczel stated in an interview for Dozhd TV that the alliance has sufficient evidence to make "28 member states of the alliance have no doubts about military involvement of Russia" in the Donbas conflict.
In a battle at Donetsk airport at least 31 of the people killed were Russian citizens and were delivered back to Russia. A report for the independent news site Novaya Gazeta, reprinted in The Guardian, tracked down the widow of one Russian man who died during the fighting at Donetsk airport, and sought to shed light onto the obscure structures that organised the transfer of fighters to Ukraine. The report further highlighted the 'frustration of dealing with Russian officialdom apparently so keen to cover up all traces of those fighting across the border'.
Alexander Zakharchenko said that 1200 fighters had trained in Russia for four months, crossed the border, and were ready to fight. Zakharchenko said the reinforcements included 30 tanks and 120 armoured vehicles. He later denied making the comments.
Cases of Russian soldiers killed and wounded in Ukraine are widely discussed in local Russian media in the republics from which they originated. Recruitment for Donbas is performed rather openly via veteran and other paramilitary organisations. Vladimir Yefimov, leader of one of such organisations, explained in details in an interview how the process works in Ural area. The organisation recruits mostly army veterans, but also policemen, firefighters etc. with military experience. The cost of equipping one volunteer is estimated at around 350,000 rubles (around $6500) plus cost of the volunteer's salary from 60,000 to 240,000 rubles per month depending on their experience. The volunteers are issued a document claiming that their participation is limited to "offering humanitarian help" to avoid Russian mercenary laws. In Russia's anti-mercenary legislation a mercenary is defined as someone who "takes part [in fighting] with aims counter to the interests of the Russian Federation". The recruited travel to the conflict zone without weapons, which are given at the destination. Often, Russian troops have travelled disguised as Red Cross personnel. Igor Trunov, head of Russian Red Cross in Moscow condemned these convoys, saying they made delivery of real humanitarian aid more difficult.
Another leader of a "patriotic organisation" from Orsk, Pavel Korovin, estimated that a total of around 12,000 fighters for Donbas had been recruited from Russia. A significant proportion were people in difficult financial situations, attracted by a high salary (one of the volunteers was promised 100,000 rubles or $1600). Responding to concerns about crossing the Ukrainian border, he explained that "there is a green light for the volunteers on the border" and "all that is covered by appropriate structures". The family of a killed volunteer, when asking about help in bringing back the body, is advised to "speak to the FSB, only they are controlling everything there".
Shortly before his death, Boris Nemtsov was reportedly contacted by a group of "paratroopers from Ivanovo" who complained about significant losses in their unit during a battle in Ukraine and the lack of the promised payment. Nemtsov was preparing a larger report documenting cases of Russian soldiers taking part in the war in Donbas, which is considered a possible reason for his assassination.
The repatriation of Russians killed in action or taken as prisoners of war has become a controversial topic in the media due to the Russian state's denial of involvement in Ukraine. The Associated Press compared it to the Soviet Union's secrecy during its war in Afghanistan, noting "When the true numbers of casualties became known, the invasion turned unpopular." Russian military officials tell family members only that the soldiers are on "training exercises".
Valentina Melnikova, head of the Russian Union of Committees of Soldiers' Mothers, has said that the Russian authorities were threatening the relatives of soldiers who had been killed in Ukraine, and forcing them to keep silent about their deaths. The Kremlin has tried to systematically intimidate and silence human rights workers who have raised questions about Russian soldiers' deaths in Ukraine. In mid-September 2014, Ksenia Batanova, a senior producer for the news network Dozhd, was assaulted in an attack that fractured her skull. Dozhd is a channel that has covered the Russian involvement in Ukraine, and kept a running tally of soldiers' deaths. The Kremlin's pressure on Dozhd intensified during the Ukrainian crisis. The BBC reported on the death on 12 August 2014 of a Russian soldier, Konstantin, whose telephone calls to his sister had spoken of Ukraine. The BBC team was stopped and attacked by thugs and its video camera smashed. Lev Shlosberg, an MP who was beaten unconscious after investigating the deaths of twelve paratroopers, said, "A great many Russian servicemen have died in Ukraine and their families are outraged but they don't speak out because they are afraid for their lives." Boris Vishnevsky, of the Yabloko political party, and Lyudmila Ivakhnina of the civil rights group Memorial, said that gathering information about conscripts pressured to sign professional contracts is difficult because of the fear of reprisals.
The Union of the Committees of Soldiers' Mothers of Russia started actively questioning the government's policy of "secret war" after a number of Russian soldiers officially sent for "training" to Rostov area died for reasons never officially revealed to the families. These cases were further investigated by non-mainstream media in Russia. The Russian Ministry of Defence always denied the presence of any Russian soldiers in Ukraine and, when presented with undeniable evidence about specific individuals, suggested that they might have crossed the border "by mistake", were "on holiday" at the time, or that their contracts were cancelled (but actually backdated). Soldier's Mothers stated that if the deceased Russian soldiers weren't officially sent to the war zone, their families would not receive social support and the veteran's pension.
On 2 October 2014, RBC published An RBC investigation: Where Russian soldiers in Ukraine are from, in which it listed Russian military divisions, soldiers of which are assumed to have been secretly dispatched from Russia to Ukraine and used there. In 2015, Vice News published a series titled Russia's Ghost Army in Ukraine in which they spoke to a number of families of Russian soldiers killed in Ukraine. The mother of Sergey Andrianov, a Russian from Podsolnechnoe in Samara Oblast who was killed on 28 August 2014, presents a number of documents she received from her son's military unit: the death certificate issued in Rostov-on-Don that specifies that he died at a "place of temporary placement" while "completing a special task" and a document certifying "transportation of the body through the border of Russian Federation". All of the mother's questions to her son's commanders were dismissed as a "state secret" and she was told that she would receive compensation of 100,000 rubles ($1600).
On 16 October 2014, the deputy chief of the Security Service of Ukraine said that the service had released 16 out of 131 servicemen of the Armed Forces of Russian Federation back home to their relatives who petitioned through a hotline.
According to soldiers' rights advocates, the families of Russian soldiers killed after being sent to Ukraine have been told to keep silent, and some families say they have not received the various compensations they are entitled to after a breadwinner in military service has been killed. Svetlana Davydova, a mother of seven, was arrested in 2015, accused of treason for calling the Ukrainian embassy about Russian troop movements, and was held at the high-security Lefortovo jail in Moscow. The Russian General Staff said details of the case constituted a "state secret". The charges against Davydova were dropped the following month. An amendment signed by Putin in late May 2015 banned information about the deaths of Russian servicemen "during special operations" in peacetime.
Discussing Russian volunteers in an interview with RIA Novosti on 22 June 2015, Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of the Security Council of Russia, stated: "We don't call on anyone to do this, we don't encourage it. But realistically, to stop them would be impossible". While Russia has charged one of its citizens, Roman Zheleznov, for fighting in the Ukrainian Azov Battalion, as of 25 June 2015, it has charged no one for fighting alongside the separatists. Since counting began on 1 September 2014 until 1 June 2015, the European monitoring mission on the Russian side of the border has recorded 20,021 men in military uniforms crossing to and from rebel-controlled eastern Ukraine.
In July 2015, a number of Russian contract soldiers at "Kadamovskiy" poligon (Rostovskaya oblast) were charged with desertion after they refused to go into Ukraine as "volunteers". They reported frequent visits of recruiters promising veteran status and daily payment of 8,000 rubles for those fighting in Donbas. They said they were unaware that the money is rarely paid and in case of death, capture or injury in battle they will be most likely abandoned and their official military status denied by Russian army. Later that year they were convicted for "refusal to carry out orders" in spite of lack of any orders presented by the prosecution and other inconsistencies.
In September 2015 OSCE monitoring mission spotted Russian TOS-1 "Buratino" thermobaric weapon launchers in separatist training area near Lugansk and in June 2016 its drone spotted a camouflaged R-330ZH "Zhitel" electronic countermeasure station 15 km from Donetsk, these findings being notable as both weapons are unique to the army of Russian Federation.
By October 2015, eastern Ukraine and Crimea were two of Russia's frozen zones. The chances were that the frozen conflict might persist in the Donbas, where the fighting was at a low level, but the threat of escalation remained.
In June 2017 another GRU officer Viktor Ageyev was captured by Ukrainian Forces in Zhelobok in the Luhansk oblast. Russian Ministry of Defence denied that he was in active military service but investigation by BBC Russian Service confirmed Ageyev was on military contract in Russian army since March 2017.
I have read and heard much criticism regarding our decision to join the fight in Donbass and in Syria. ... Would it be acceptable for Russia, considering its international standing, to keep mum and recognise the coup in Ukraine, and to leave Russians and Russian speakers in Ukraine in the lurch after the first order issued by the organisers of the anti-constitutional armed revolt, which was supported by their foreign sponsors, banned many things that were connected with the Russian language?— Sergey Lavrov, Primakov Readings International Forum, Moscow, June 30, 2017
Russian medal countEdit
Bellingcat founder and journalist Eliot Higgins has referred to the unusual spike in medals awarded to Russian troops coinciding with major battles occurring in Ukraine. It was noticed that between 25 August 2003 and 7 November 2014 there was 0.6 medals For Distinction in Combat awarded to Russian servicemen per day. However, between 7 November 2014 and 18 February 2016 there was an average of 9.3 medals awarded per day, over a fifteenfold increase. Moreover, the award dates directly coincide with major conflicts occurring in Ukraine at the time. August 2014 sees an initial spike of 60 medal per day being awarded, which coincides with reports of regular Russian troops crossing into Ukraine to aid separatist forces. The medal awards peak during November and December 2014, at over 70 per day, which was a crucial turning point during the Second Battle of Donetsk Airport, continuing to remain at over 10 medals per day until March 2015, which coincides with the Battle of Debaltseve. Also important to note is that the medal For Distinction in Combat may only be awarded for activities undertaken during a combat mission, therefore the large spike in medals awarded in late 2014 and early 2015 suggests a large contingent of Russian servicemen undertaking combat missions. In all 4300 medals were awarded between 7 July 2014 and 18 February 2016, suggesting combat operations involving active duty Russian military personnel occurred during the time period. Likewise spikes in awarding other medals were seen as well. The medal For Courage which was awarded at a rate of 1.4 medals per day between September 2008 and August 2014 increased to 6.3 medals per day between August 2014 and November 2015. The Medal of Suvorov saw an increase of award rate from 1.5 medals per day between October 2013 and November 2014 to 6.8 medals per day after November 2014. In fact in the time period between 24 November 2014 and 25 January 2015 more of the medals were awarded then all of 2013 combined.
In a press briefing by the Ukrainian Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council (NSDC), Andriy Parubiy stated that militants were trained in a military facility in Rostov-on-Don, Russia. "Near Rostov-on-Don, there is a big military base where terrorists are preparing for deployment into the territory of the Ukrainian state. This is confirmed not only by our intelligence, but also Russian prisoners who were detained, and they testify about this base," Parubiy said. He added that more than a thousand militants are trained by Russian instructors, and then they in small armed groups try to break into the territory of Ukraine. On 21 May, Ukraine detained a Russian citizen trying to enter the country; he had military experience and was found to have recently trained in the Rostov facility.
According to Russian 'volunteer' insurgent organiser Aleksandr Zhuchkovsky, Rostov-on-Don acts as a staging area, where soldiers live in hotels, rented flats and tent camps. In particular, the New York Times reports that the small village of Golovinka (about 60 kilometres (37 mi) northwest of Rostov-on-Don) and nearby Kuzminka military base is a staging area for Russian soldiers and weapons headed to Ukraine.
In June 2014, Jen Psaki stated that the United States Department of State was confident that Russia had sent tanks and rocket launchers from a deployment site in southwest Russia into eastern Ukraine, and NATO satellite imagery showed that on 10 and 11 June main battle tanks were stationed across the border at Donetsk in a staging area in Rostov-on-Don.
In July 2014, Reuters published a logbook of an 9K38 Igla missile that was signed out of military storage in Moscow for a military base in Rostov-on-Don, and ended up with insurgents in Donbas, where it was eventually taken over by the Ukrainian forces.
After OSCE observers arrived at Gukovo border crossing on 9 August, they reported that there was a stream of multiple groups of people wearing military-style dress crossing the border between Russia and Ukraine, in both directions, some of them clearly identifying themselves as members of DNR militia. They also observed several ambulance evacuations of wounded supporters of the DPR and LPR.
In February 2015, a group of Spanish nationals were arrested in Madrid for fighting in the war in Donbas on the separatist side. Travelling through Moscow, they were met by a "government official" and sent to Donetsk, where they were provided with accommodation, uniforms and weapons, but they fought as volunteers. They stated there are "a few hundreds" of Western volunteers, mostly from Serbia and France, "half of them communists, half Nazis", fighting jointly for the "liberation of Russia from Ukrainian invasion".
In March 2016, Germany's Bild reported that minutes from an October 2015 meeting of the "Interministerial Commission for the Provision of Humanitarian Aid for the Affected Areas of the Southeast of the Donetsk and Lugansk Regions" indicated that Russia was running militant-controlled parts of east Ukraine. According to Bild, "It is notable that no members of the self-declared people's republics in eastern Ukraine are on the commission".
Russian Order of Battle: 2021Edit
Separatist Forces in the Donbas are organized into two corps: 1st Army Corps and 2nd Army Corps. Ukrainian sources have described these two corps as "operationally subordinate" to the 8th Guards Combined Arms Army HQ within Russia's Southern Military District. As of 2021, subordinate units in these two corps are said to include:
- 1st Army Corps:
- 4 Motorized Rifle Brigades (1st, 3rd, 5th, 100th Motorized Rifle Brigades)
- 2 Motorized Rifle Regiments (9th and 11th Motorized Rifle Regiments)
- 2 special forces battalions (1st and 3rd SF Battalions)
- 1 tank battalion (2nd Battalion)
- 1 reconnaissance battalion (Sparta Separate Reconnaissance Battalion)
- 1 artillery brigade (Kalmius Artillery Brigade)
- 2nd Army Corps:
- 3 Motorized Rifle Brigades (2nd, 4th, 7th Motorized Rifle Brigades)
- 1 Motorized Rifle Regiment (6th Motorized Rifle Regiment)
- 1 tank battalion (Pantzir Special Mechanized Force)
- 1 reconnaissance battalion (Greka" Separate Reconnaissance Battalion)
- 1 artillery brigade
More than 110 Ukrainian soldiers were killed in the conflict between Ukrainian government forces and Russian-backed separatists in 2019.
2021 Russian military buildupEdit
In late March–early April 2021, the Russian military moved large quantities of arms and equipment from western and central Russia, and as far away as Siberia, into occupied Crimea and the Voronezh and Rostov oblasts of Russia. A Janes intelligence specialist identified fourteen Russian military units from the Central Military District that had moved into the vicinity of the Russo-Ukrainian border, and called it the largest unannounced military movement since the 2014 invasion of Crimea. Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces Ruslan Khomchak said that Russia has stationed twenty-eight battalion tactical groups along the border, and that it was expected that twenty-five more were to be brought in, including in Bryansk and Voronezh oblasts in Russia's Western Military District. The following day, Russian state news agency TASS reported that fifty of its BTGs consisting of 15,000 soldiers were massed for drills in the Southern Military District, which includes occupied Crimea and also borders the Donbas conflict zone. By 9 April, the head of the Ukrainian border guard estimated that 85,000 Russian soldiers were already in Crimea or within 40 kilometres (25 mi) of the Ukrainian border.
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky spoke to American president Joe Biden and urged NATO members to speed up Ukraine's request for membership. A Kremlin spokesman said that Russian military movements pose no threat, but Russian official Dmitry Kozak warned that Russian forces could act to "defend" Russian citizens in Ukraine, and any escalation of the conflict would mean "the beginning of the end of Ukraine" – "not a shot in the leg, but in the face". At the time some half a million people in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic and Luhansk People's Republic had been issued with Russian passports since fighting broke out in 2014. Russia refused to participate when Ukraine requested a Vienna Document meeting with France, Germany, and the OSCE. German chancellor Angela Merkel telephoned Russian president Vladimir Putin to demand a reversal of the buildup. United States White House press secretary Jen Psaki announced in early April 2021 that a buildup of Russian troops on Ukrainian border was the largest since 2014.
On 17 April, Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) detained the Ukrainian consul general in Saint Petersburg, Oleksandr Sosoniuk, over spying allegations, accusing Sosoniuk of trying to get classified information from a database of FSB. The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that it had summoned Ukraine's chargé d'affaires, Vasyl Pokotylo, and told him that Sosoniuk had to leave the country by 22 April. Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs then stated that Sosoniuk was held for several hours before being released. It also protested Sosoniuk's detention and rejected Russia's accusations, adding that it will expel a "senior diplomat of the Russian embassy in Kyiv" in response to the "provocation" within 72 hours beginning 19 April.
Reactions to the Russian invasion in CrimeaEdit
Interim Ukrainian President Oleksandr Turchynov accused Russia of "provoking a conflict" by backing the seizure of the Crimean parliament building and other government offices on the Crimean peninsula. He compared Russia's military actions to the 2008 Russo-Georgian War, when Russian troops occupied parts of the Republic of Georgia and the breakaway enclaves of Abkhazia and South Ossetia were established under the control of Russian-backed administrations. He called on Putin to withdraw Russian troops from Crimea and stated that Ukraine will "preserve its territory" and "defend its independence". On 1 March, he warned, "Military intervention would be the beginning of war and the end of any relations between Ukraine and Russia."
On 1 March, Acting President Oleksandr Turchynov placed the Armed Forces of Ukraine on full alert and combat readiness.
On 16 September 2015, the Ukrainian parliament voted for the law that sets 20 February 2014 as the official date of the Russian temporary occupation of Crimean peninsula. On 7 October 2015 the President of Ukraine signed the law into force.
The Ministry of Temporarily Occupied Territories and IDPs was established by Ukrainian government on 20 April 2016 to manage occupied parts of Donetsk, Luhansk and Crimea regions affected by Russian military intervention of 2014.
US and NATO military responseEdit
On 4 March 2014, the United States pledged $1 billion in aid to Ukraine.
Russia's actions increased tensions in nearby countries historically within its sphere of influence, particularly the Baltic and Moldova. All have large Russian-speaking populations, and Russian troops are stationed in the breakaway Moldovan territory of Transnistria. Some devoted resources to increasing defensive capabilities, and many requested increased support from the U.S. and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which they had joined in recent years. The conflict "reinvigorated" NATO, which had been created to face the Soviet Union, but had devoted more resources to "expeditionary missions" in recent years.
In 2014, Alexander Vershbow said, that Russia "have declared NATO as an adversary", adding, that NATO must do the same. Initial deployments in March and early April were restricted to increased air force monitoring and training in the Baltics and Poland, and single ships in the Black Sea. On 16 April, officials announced the deployment of ships to the Baltic and Mediterranean Seas, and increasing exercises in "Eastern Europe". The measures were apparently limited so as not to appear aggressive. Leaders emphasized that the conflict was not a new Cold War but Robert Legvold disagreed. Others[who?] supported applying George F. Kennan's concept of containment to possible Russian expansion. Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul said, "We are enduring a drift of disengagement in world affairs. As we pull back, Russia is pushing forward. I worry about the new nationalism that Putin has unleashed and understand that many young Russians also embrace these extremist ideas."
Beginning 23 April 600 US troops from the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team held bilateral exercises in Poland and the Baltic. Plans were made for a communications mission to counter Russian propaganda in eastern Ukraine, improve internal Ukrainian military communication, and handle apparent Russian infiltration of the security services.
In addition to diplomatic support in its conflict with Russia, the U.S. provided Ukraine with US$1.5 billion in military aid during the 2010s. In 2018 the U.S. House of Representatives passed a provision blocking any training of Azov Battalion of the Ukrainian National Guard by American forces. In previous years, between 2014 and 2017, the U.S. House of Representatives passed amendments banning support of Azov, but due to pressure from the Pentagon, the amendments were quietly lifted. On 24 September 2019 the U.S. House of Representatives initiated an impeachment inquiry against incumbent U.S. president Donald Trump in the wake of scandal surrounding a phone conversation that Trump had with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on 25 July.
On 5 March the Pentagon announced, independently of NATO, that it would send six fighter jets and a refueling aircraft to augment the four already participating in the Baltic Air Policing mission. The US rotation was due to last through the end of April. The Polish Air Force was scheduled to participate from 1 May through 31 August.
- Throughout the second half of March, the UK, France, the Czech Republic, and Denmark all offered aircraft to augment the Polish rotation. UK officials announced plans to send six Eurofighter Typhoon. Over the next two weeks, France offered four fighters, and anonymous officials mentioned possible air support for Poland and stationing AWACs in Poland and Romania. The Czech Republic offered to deploy fighter aircraft to interested countries bordering or near Ukraine. Denmark planned to send six F-16 fighters.
- After some consideration, Germany's Defence Ministry committed to sending six Eurofighters (to reinforce the Portuguese rotation beginning in September) and leading "minesweeping maneuvers" in the Baltic Sea. A multinational group of four minesweeper ships and a supply ship from the Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1 left Kiel, Germany on 22 April.
- Swedish, Lithuanian, and US aircraft took part in exercises over the Baltic in early April. The US was considering establishing a small but "continuous" military force in the Baltic to reassure its allies. NATO and Estonia agreed to base aircraft at the Ämari Air Base, which was reportedly possible due to the increased number of planes offered by allies. The Lithuanian defence ministry reported that the number of Russian planes flying close to the border had increased in January and February.
Black and Mediterranean SeasEdit
An Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, USS Truxtun, crossed into the Black Sea on 6 March to participate in long-planned exercises with Bulgaria and Romania.[d] American officials stated that it was part of a routine deployment for exercises with the Bulgarian and Romanian navies. Truxtun left the Black Sea by 28 March, but some politicians argued that it should return as a show of support. An additional 175 Marines were to be deployed to the Black Sea Rotational Force in Romania, though this was decided in late 2012.
On 10 April, the guided missile destroyer USS Donald Cook entered the Black Sea to "reassure NATO allies and Black Sea partners of America's commitment to strengthen and improve interoperability while working towards mutual goals in the region", according to a Pentagon spokesman. On 14 April, the ship was repeatedly buzzed by a Su-24 Russian attack aircraft. Donald Cook left the Black Sea on 28 April, leaving USS Taylor.
On 30 April, Canada redeployed HMCS Regina from counter-terrorist operations in the Arabian Sea, likely to join Standing NATO Maritime Group 1, which had itself been reassigned to the eastern Mediterranean in response to events in Ukraine.
Poland and RomaniaEdit
- Seven U.S. F-16's were scheduled to participate in a training exercise in Poland. On 6 March, it was announced that 12 fighters and 300 service personnel would go to Poland. The increase was attributed to concerns over Russian activities in Crimea. It was later announced that the detachment from the 555th Fighter Squadron would remain through the end of 2014. Six F-16's were also stationed in Romania with no given departure date.
- On 10 March, NATO began using Boeing E-3 Sentry AWACS airborne radar aircraft to monitor Poland's and Lithuania's border with Kaliningrad. Monitoring also took place in Romania.
- On 26 March, US and UK defence chiefs agreed to accelerate the development of the NATO missile defence system. Talks were "dominated" by the situation in Ukraine, but officials emphasized that this was not a response to Russian actions.
NATO foreign ministers at a meeting in early April did not rule out stationing troops in countries near Russia, saying that Russia had "gravely breached the trust upon which our cooperation must be based". Poland requested that "two heavy brigades" be stationed on its territory, to mixed responses; NATO considered increased support for Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Moldova.
- On 17 April, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced a deployment of six CF-18 jet fighters to be based in Poland, and 20 additional staff officers to the NATO headquarters. The planes were apparently redirected to Romania, along with at least 220 Canadian personnel.
- On 24 April, France announced the deployment of four Rafale fighters to Poland's Malbork Airbase as a "defensive posture". The jets have been replaced by four Mirage 2000.
- The Allied Joint Force Command based in Naples, Italy, relocates to Cincu, Romania, for 12 days.
Relations with RussiaEdit
According to Stars and Stripes, the Atlas Vision exercise with Russia (planned for July) was cancelled. The Rapid Trident exercise in western Ukraine, scheduled for the same time, was to proceed as planned, as was the naval exercise Sea Breeze.
France suspended most military cooperation with Russia and considered halting the sale of two Mistral-class warships it had been contracted to build. Canada, the UK, and Norway all suspended cooperation to some extent. On 1 April, NATO suspended all military and civilian cooperation with Russia. Russian diplomatic access to NATO headquarters was restricted.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has called for more cooperation with Russia in the fight against terrorism following a deadly attack on the headquarters of a French satirical weekly magazine Charlie Hebdo in January 2015.
Military actions in other countriesEdit
In March 2014, Ukraine reported that Russian units in Belarus were participating in Russia's military exercises near the Ukrainian border and expressed concern about this being a direct threat to Ukraine.
On 7 March 2014, the Turkish Air Force reported it scrambled six F-16 fighter jets after a Russian surveillance plane flew along Turkey's Black Sea coast. It was the second incident of its kind reported that week, with one occurring the day before on 6 March. The Russian plane remained in international airspace. Diplomatic sources revealed that Turkey has warned Russia that if it attacks Ukraine and its Crimean Tatar population, it would blockade Russian ships' passage to the Black Sea.
International diplomatic and economic responsesEdit
Several members of the international community have expressed grave concerns over the Russian intervention in Ukraine and criticized Russia for its actions in post-revolutionary Ukraine, including the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Canada, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, South Korea, Georgia, Moldova, Turkey, Australia and the European Union as a whole, which condemned Russia, accusing it of breaking international law and violating Ukrainian sovereignty. Many of these countries implemented economic sanctions against Russia or Russian individuals or companies, to which Russia responded in kind. Amnesty International has expressed its belief that Russia is fuelling the conflict. The UN Security Council held a special meeting 1 March 2014 on the crisis. The G7 countries condemned the violation of Ukraine's sovereignty, and urged Russia to withdraw. All G7 leaders are refusing to participate in it due to assumed violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, in contravention of Russia's obligations under the UN Charter and its 1997 basing agreement with Ukraine.
In 2014, OSCE Parliamentary Assembly published a statement (the "Baku Declaration") discussing the events in Ukraine in detail. Specifically, it pointed out that Russia is a signatory of the Helsinki Accords and committed to observing its rules, including respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of other member countries, as well as the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances that specifically guaranteed the integrity of Ukraine's borders. As noted by OSCE, "Russian Federation has, since February 2014, violated every one of the ten Helsinki principles in its relations with Ukraine, some in a clear, gross and thus far uncorrected manner, and is in violation with the commitments it undertook in the Budapest Memorandum, as well as other international obligations". OSCE condemned actions of the Russian Federation, calling them "coercion" and "military aggression" that are "designed to subordinate the rights inherent in Ukraine's sovereignty to the Russian Federation's own interests". In 2016 OSCE deputy mission head in Ukraine Alexander Hug summarized the mission's two years of observations stating that "since the beginning of the conflict" the mission has seen "armed people with Russian insignia", vehicle tracks crossing border between Russia and Ukraine as well as talked to prisoners who were declaring themselves Russian soldiers.
In January 2015, Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) accepted a resolution that noted "the direct involvement of the Russian Federation in the emergence and worsening of the situation in these parts of Ukraine" and called both sides to fully respect the terms of Minsk Agreement.
In June 2015, OSCE PA repeated condemnation of "Russia's aggression against Ukraine, including its illegal annexation and occupation of Crimea" ("Helsinki Declaration"). On 28 August 2015 Poland's newly elected President Andrzej Duda said in Berlin during talks with German President Joachim Gauck and Chancellor Angela Merkel that Poland is already taking in large numbers of refugees from the Ukraine conflict as part of the EU's refugee programme, and does not intend to join in talks conducted since 2014 by France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine. The policy of strategic partnership between Kyiv and Warsaw requires further strengthening of military and technical cooperation, best exemplified by the Lithuanian–Polish–Ukrainian Brigade, but the more immediate task, informed Poland's State secretary Krzysztof Szczerski, is Ukraine's constitutional reform leading to broad decentralization of power, in which Poland's post-Soviet experience is going to be used.
In September 2015 the United Nations Human Rights Office estimated that 8000 casualties had resulted from the conflict, noting that the violence has been "fuelled by the presence and continuing influx of foreign fighters and sophisticated weapons and ammunition from the Russian Federation".
The intervention caused turbulence in financial markets. Many markets around the world fell slightly due to the threat of instability. The Swiss franc climbed to a 2-year high against the dollar and 1-year high against the Euro. The Euro and the US dollar both rose, as did the Australian dollar. The Russian stock market declined by more than 10 percent, whilst the Russian ruble hit all-time lows against the US dollar and the Euro. The Russian central bank hiked interest rates and intervened in the foreign exchange markets to the tune of $12 billion to try to stabilize its currency. Prices for wheat and grain rose, with Ukraine being a major exporter of both crops. In early August 2014, the German DAX was down by 6 percent for the year, and 11 percent since June, over concerns Russia, Germany's 13th biggest trade partner, would retaliate against sanctions.
Reactions to the Russian intervention in DonbasEdit
- Amnesty International considers the war to be "an international armed conflict" and presented independent satellite photos analysis proving involvement of regular Russian army in the conflict. It accuses Ukrainian militia and separatist forces for being responsible for war crimes and has called on all parties, including Russia, to stop violations of the laws of war. Amnesty has expressed its belief that Russia is fueling the conflict, 'both through direct interference and by supporting the separatists in the East' and called on Russia to 'stop the steady flow of weapons and other support to an insurgent force heavily implicated in gross human rights violations.'
- NATO – The Russian government's decision to send a truck convoy into Luhansk on 22 August without Ukrainian consent was condemned by NATO and several NATO member states, including the United States. NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen called it "a blatant breach of Russia's international commitments" and "a further violation of Ukraine's sovereignty by Russia".
- European Union – Leaders warned that Russia faced harsher economic sanctions than the EU had previously imposed if it failed to withdraw troops from Ukraine. In 2015 the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe [PACE] published a resolution that openly speaks about a "Russian aggression in Ukraine".
- Ukraine – Chairman of the Ukrainian Parliament Oleksandr Turchynov said "It's a hybrid war that Russia has begun against Ukraine, a war with the participation of the Russian security services and the army."
- United States – US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power commented on the invasion by noting that "At every step, Russia has come before this council to say everything but the truth. It has manipulated, obfuscated and outright lied. Russia has to stop lying and has to stop fuelling this conflict." The United States government said it supported stiffer sanctions as well.
- Nordic countries – On 9 April 2015 a joint declaration by the ministers of defence of Norway, Denmark, Finland and Sweden and the minister of foreign affairs of Iceland (which does not have a ministry of defence) was brought by the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten. The declaration first asserts that the Russian aggression against Ukraine and the illegal annexation of Crimea is a violation of international law and other international treaties and that the Nordic countries must judge Russia not by the rhetoric of the Kremlin, but by the actions of the country. After pointing out that Russia has increased its military exercise and intelligence gathering activity in the Baltic and Northern areas violating Nordic borders and jeopardizing civilian air traffic, the declaration states the intention of the Nordic countries to face this new situation with solidarity and increased cooperation. The Nordic unity commitment is extended to include solidarity with the Baltic countries and to a collaboration within NATO and EU to strengthen also the unity within these entities and to maintain the cross-Atlantic link.
Street protests against the war in Ukraine have arisen in Russia itself. Notable protests first occurred in March and large protests occurred in September when "tens of thousands" protested the war in Ukraine with a peace march in downtown Moscow on Sunday, 21 September 2014, "under heavy police supervision".
Critics of Vladimir Putin also express cautious criticism in the press and social media. Garry Kasparov, a consistent critic of Putin, whom he has called 'a revanchist KGB thug', has written on the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 shootdown and called for Western action.
Former Russian vice-minister of foreign affairs Georgy Kunadze (1991 –1993) said that if Western policy toward Russia had been tougher in 2008, during the Russo-Georgian War, "there would be no Crimea nor Lugandon" (the latter was a reference to the LPR).
Ukrainian public opinionEdit
A poll of the Ukrainian public, excluding Russian-annexed Crimea, was taken by the International Republican Institute from 12 to 25 September 2014. 89% of those polled opposed 2014 Russian military intervention in Ukraine. As broken down by region, 78% of those polled from Eastern Ukraine (including Dnipropetrovsk Oblast) opposed said intervention, along with 89% in Southern Ukraine, 93% in Central Ukraine, and 99% in Western Ukraine. As broken down by native language, 79% of Russian speakers and 95% of Ukrainian speakers opposed the intervention. 80% of those polled said the country should remain a unitary country.
A poll of the Crimean public in Russian-annexed Crimea was taken by the Ukrainian branch of Germany's biggest market research organization, GfK, on 16–22 January 2015. According to its results: "Eighty-two percent of those polled said they fully supported Crimea's inclusion in Russia, and another 11 percent expressed partial support. Only 4 percent spoke out against it."
In March 2014, Estonia's president Toomas Hendrik Ilves said: "Justification of a military invasion by a fabricated need to protect ethnic "compatriots" resuscitates the arguments used to annex Sudetenland in 1938." During the Group of 20 (G-20) summit of world leaders in Brisbane, Australia in November 2014, an incident occurred during private meetings that became quite public. At the private leaders' retreat, held the weekend before the official opening of the summit, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper told Russian President Vladimir Putin "I guess I'll shake your hand but I have only one thing to say to you: You need to get out of Ukraine." The incident occurred as Putin approached Harper and a group of G-20 leaders and extended his hand toward Harper. After the event was over, a "spokesman for the Russian delegation said Putin's response was: 'That's impossible because we are not there'."
In March 2015, NATO's top commander in Europe General Philip M. Breedlove has been criticized by German politicians and diplomats as spreading "dangerous propaganda" by constantly inflating the figures of Russian military involvement in an attempt to subvert the diplomatic solution of the war in Donbas spearheaded by German Chancellor Angela Merkel. According to Germany's Der Spiegel magazine, "the German government, supported by intelligence gathered by the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), Germany's foreign intelligence agency, did not share the view of NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR)."
- Buhas bus attack near Volnovakha
- Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 shootdown
- Russia–Ukraine border and Russia–Ukraine barrier
- Russia–Ukraine relations
- Russian military intervention in Syria
- Temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine
- Occupied territories of Georgia
- Ministry of Temporarily Occupied Territories and IDPs
- The Forgotten (2019 film)
- Cherkasy (film)
- Arms, military exercises and general aid.
- There remain "some contradictions and inherent problems" regarding date on which the annexation began. Ukraine claims 20 February 2014 as the date of "the beginning of the temporary occupation of Crimea and Sevastopol by Russia.", citing timeframe inscribed on the Russian medal "For the Return of Crimea", and in 2015 the Ukrainian parliament officially designated the date as such. On 20 February 2014 Vladimir Konstantinov who at that time was a chairman of the republican council of Crimea and representing the Party of Regions express his thoughts about succession of the region from Ukraine. On 23 February 2014 the Russian ambassador to Ukraine Mikhail Zurabov was recalled to Moscow to due "worsening of situation in Ukraine". In early March 2015, President Putin stated in a Russian movie about annexation of Crimea that he ordered the operation to "restore" Crimea to Russia following an all-night emergency meeting of 22–23 February 2014, and in 2018 Russian Foreign Minister claimed that earlier "start date" on the medal was due to "technical misunderstanding".
- Feffer (2014) "Article 11 maintains that a vote on impeachment must pass by two-thirds of the members, and the impeachment itself requires a vote by three-quarters of the members. In this case, the 328 out of 447 votes were about 10 votes short of three-quarters,"
- Baldor (2014) "A U.S. warship is also now in the Black Sea to participate in long-planned exercises."
- "Nato members 'send arms to Ukraine'". BBC News. 14 September 2014.
- Russian Opposition Party Will Not Campaign In Annexed Crimea, Radio Free Europe (19 August 2016)
- McDermott, Roger N. (2016). "Brothers Disunited: Russia's use of military power in Ukraine". In Black, J.; Johns, Michael (eds.). The Return of the Cold War: Ukraine, the West and Russia. London. pp. 99–129. doi:10.4324/9781315684567-5. ISBN 9781138924093. OCLC 909325250.
- "7683rd meeting of the United Nations Security Council. Thursday, 28 April 2016, 3 p.m. New York".
Mr. Prystaiko (Ukraine): <...> In that regard, I have to remind the Council that the official medal that was produced by the Russian Federation for the so-called return of Crimea has the dates on it, starting with 20 February, which is the day before that agreement was brought to the attention of the Security Council by the representative of the Russian Federation. Therefore, the Russian Federation started — not just planned, but started — the annexation of Crimea the day before we reached the first agreement and while President Yanukovych was still in power.
- (in Ukrainian) "Nasha" Poklonsky promises to the "Berkut" fighters to punish the participants of the Maidan, Segodnya (20 March 2016)
- The speaker of the ARC Verkhovna Rada considers that the Crimea may get detached from Ukraine (Спікер ВР АРК вважає, що Крим може відокремитися від України). Ukrayinska Pravda. 20 February 2019
- "Putin describes secret operation to seize Crimea". Yahoo News. 8 March 2015. Retrieved 24 March 2015.
- "Russia's Orwellian "diplomacy"". unian.info. Retrieved 30 January 2019.
- Russian Military Forces Come Into Chonhar Village, Kherson Region. Ukrainian News, 8 March 2014
- Office of the Spokesperson (13 April 2014). "Evidence of Russian Support for Destabilization of Ukraine". Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of State. Retrieved 14 April 2014.
- Kramer, Andrew E. (9 June 2014). "Russians Yearning to Join Ukraine Battle Find Lots of Helping Hands". The New York Times. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- "US: Photos show Russia fired into Ukraine – Videos – CBS News". cbsnews.com. 28 July 2014. Retrieved 30 January 2019.
- "Eight border guards rescued, two missing after shelling in Sea of Azov". Kyiv Post. 1 September 2014. Archived from the original on 1 September 2014. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
- "Putin admits Russian forces were deployed to Crimea", Reuters, 17 April 2014, archived from the original on 19 April 2014,
We had to take unavoidable steps so that events did not develop as they are currently developing in southeast Ukraine. ... Of course our troops stood behind Crimea's self-defence forces.
- Alison Smale (3 March 2014). "Ukraine puts troops on high alert, threatening war". The New York Times. Reuters. Retrieved 11 January 2015.
- Willis Raburu (17 April 2014). "Putin admits unmarked soldiers in Ukraine were Russian; optimistic about Geneva talks". PBS. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
- Дороги в Крым перекрыли блокпостами, которые охраняет Беркут и вооруженные люди в камуфляже [Roads in Crimea are blocked by checkpoints protecting Berkut and armed men in camouflage]. Gazeta.ua (in Russian). 27 February 2014. Retrieved 14 October 2014.
- Paul Sonne (28 February 2014). "Crimea Checkpoints Raise Secession Fears". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
- Под Армянск стянулись силовики из "Беркута". armyansk.info (in Russian). 27 February 2014. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
- Chonhar Peninsula fully under Ukraine's control, Interfax-Ukraine (27 December 2014)
(in Ukrainian) Ukrainian military released Chonhar in Kherson oblast, korrespondent.net (26 December 2014)
- "Vladimir Putin cools Ukraine tensions as U.S. talks sanctions". CBC News. CBC. 4 March 2014. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
- Steven Lee Myers; Alison Smale (13 March 2014). "Russian Troops Mass at Border With Ukraine". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 March 2014.
- "DOD Video Exercise Rapid Trident 2019". Retrieved 8 December 2019.
- Juergen Baetz; John-Thor Dahlburg (16 April 2014). "NATO increases military moves to counter Russia". The Star (Canada). Brussels. Associated Press. Archived from the original on 16 April 2014. Retrieved 19 April 2014.
- Nicolas Miletitch; Dmitry Zaks (15 April 2014). "Ukraine pushes tanks toward flashpoint separatist city". The Daily Star (Lebanon). Agence France-Presse. Retrieved 15 April 2014.
- "Ukraine crisis: 'Russia has launched a great war'". BBC. London. 2 September 2014. Retrieved 11 January 2015.
- Linda Kinstler (16 December 2014). "Russian Ruble Collapses, Performs Worse Than Ukraine's Hryvnia in 2014". New Republic. Archived from the original on 16 December 2014. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
- Zahra Hankir; Natasha Doff (15 December 2014). "Russia Takes Ukraine's Spot in Currency Abyss: Chart of the Day". Bloomberg. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
- "Russian ruble falls to historic lows, while pressure increases on Putin". Fox News. Associated Press. 16 December 2014. Archived from the original on 16 December 2014. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
- Irakli Metreveli (1 January 2015). "Ex-Soviet republics hit by Russian economic crisis". The China Post. AFP. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
- "Russian Lieutenant General Alexander Lentsov leading Russian groups in Debaltseve". YouTube, LifeNews. 18 February 2015. Retrieved 18 February 2015.
- В Джанкое находятся войска Чеченской Республики [Armies of the Chechen Republic to be found in Dzhankoy] (in Russian). IPC-Dzhankoy. 5 March 2014. Archived from the original on 10 July 2015. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
- Shaun Walker; Oksana Grytsenko; Leonid Ragozin (4 September 2014). "Russian soldier: 'You're better clueless because the truth is horrible'". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
- "Russia's 200th Motorized Infantry Brigade in the Donbass: The Hero of Russia". 21 June 2016. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
- Депутат: Псковские десантники переброшены на Украину [Deputy: Pskov paratroopers deployed in Ukraine] (in Russian). Pskov Lenta News. 28 February 2014. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
- В СНБО подтвердили захват силами АТО 2 БМД Псковской дивизии [The National Security Council confirmed the seizure of two airborne combat vehicles by the ATO 2 BMD Pskov division] (in Russian). Interfax-Ukraine. 21 August 2014. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
- Anna Nemtsova (10 September 2014). "Russian Soldiers Reveal the Truth Behind Putin's Secret War". Newsweek. Retrieved 20 March 2015.
- "Russia redeploys ships of Baltic and Northern fleets to Sevastopol, violates agreement with Ukraine". Ukrinform. 3 March 2014. Archived from the original on 10 September 2015. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
- "Ukraine says Russian special forces involved in attacks on airport in east". Reuters. 1 December 2014. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- "Ukraina: Krimmis on Tšetšeeniast ja Uljanovskist pärit Vene sõdurid" [Ukraine:In Crimea there are Russian troops from Chechnya and Ulyanovsk] (in Estonian). Postimees. 5 March 2014. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
- Interest, The National. "Get Ready, America: Russia Has Its Own Deadly 'Delta Force'". Retrieved 12 April 2017.
- Galeotti, Mark (2015). Spetsnaz: Russia's Special Forces (Elite ed.). Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing. p. 50. ISBN 978-1-4728-0722-9. Retrieved 11 April 2017.
- Gambarli, Gulnaz. "REN TV-nin aparıcısı keçmiş azərbaycanlı hərbçiləri "terrorçu" adlandırdı" [The host of REN TV called the former Azerbaijani servicemen "terrorists"]. Meydan TV (in Azerbaijani). Retrieved 2 April 2021.
"Verilişin aparıcısı İqor Prokopenko onların Cövhər Dudayev adına Könüllülər Batalyonunda fundamental islamçılar, terrorçu və banditlərlə birlikdə Rusiyaya qarşı vuruşduğunu iddia edərək deyir: “Belə könüllülər arasında İslamçı-Bozqurd dəstəsinin keçmiş komandiri, 703 sayli briqadanın tərkibində Azərbaycan tərəfindən Dağılq Qarabağda döyüşən Nurəddin İsmayılov və “Bozqurd”çu dəstəsinin daha bir keçmiş döyüşçüsü İsa Sadıqovdur. İsa Sadıqov 1990-ci illərdə Azərbaycan müdafiə nazirinin müavini olub. Sonra isə axtarışa verilib. Lakin bu, onun 2004-cu ildə Norveçdə məskunlaşmasına mane olmayıb. Hazırda Norveç vətəndaşıdır. İndi isə Ukraynada Cövhər Dudayev adına batalyonun qərargah rəisidir".
- "Poroşenkonun mükafatlandırdığı azərbaycanlı: "Bu, Ukrayna uğrunda döyüşən bütün azərbaycanlıların xidmətinə verilən qiymətdir"" [The Azerbaijani that was awarded by Poroshenko: "This is an appreciation of the services of all Azerbaijanis fighting for Ukraine"]. Azeri Press Agency (in Azerbaijani). 25 October 2017. Retrieved 2 April 2021.
- Lashenko, Sergei (20 October 2016). ""На Украину вся надежда": Почему азербайджанцы воюют за нас" ["All hope for Ukraine": Why are Azerbaijanis fighting for us]. The Day (in Russian). Retrieved 2 April 2021.
- Greg Botelho; Diana Magnay; Phil Black (5 March 2014). "Ukraine looks for 'sign of hope' from Russia over Crimea". CNN. Retrieved 11 January 2015.
- В Криму перебувають вже 30 тисяч російских військових - прикордонники [Already 30 thousand Russian military personnel in Crimea in the capacity of border guards]. Ukrayinska Pravda (in Ukrainian). 7 March 2014. Retrieved 11 January 2015.
- Michael Weiss (3 January 2014). "Russia Stages a Coup in Crimea". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 11 January 2015.
- "An eerie mood on the ground in Crimea". CNN. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
- Lizzie Dearden (1 March 2014). "Ukraine crisis: Putin asks Russian parliament's permission for military invasion in Crimea". The Independent. London. Retrieved 11 January 2015.
- Россия незаконно увеличила численность своих войск в Украине до 16 тыс. – и.о. министра обороны [Russia illegally increased the number of its troops in Ukraine up to 21 thousand - Acting Minister of Defence] (in Russian). Interfax.ua. 3 March 2014. Retrieved 11 January 2015.
- "Insider's view: Moscow is in control of Crimea in Ukraine". Daily News. New York. 3 March 2014. Archived from the original on 6 March 2014. Retrieved 6 March 2014.
- "Putin: You better not come after a nuclear-armed Russia". CNN. 29 August 2014. Retrieved 25 September 2014.
- "Russia has '7500 troops in Ukraine'". NewsCom.au. 23 November 2014. Retrieved 15 February 2015.
- "Some 12,000 Russian soldiers in Ukraine supporting rebels - U.S. commander". Reuters. 3 March 2015. Retrieved 3 March 2015.
- "Kyiv Says 42,500 Rebels, Russian Soldiers Stationed in East Ukraine". RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty. 8 June 2015. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
- "Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Report on the human rights situation in Ukraine 16 November 2019 to 15 February 2020" (PDF). OHCHR. 12 March 2020. Retrieved 12 March 2020.
- "The overview of the current social and humanitarian situation in the territory of the Donetsk People's Republic as a result of hostilities between 8 and 14 February 2020". 14 February 2020.
"Обзор социально-гуманитарной ситуации, сложившейся на территории Донецкой Народной Республики вследствие военных действий в период с 06 по 12 июня 2020 г." 12 June 2020.
- Книга пам'яті загиблих [Memorial Book to the Fallen]. Herman Shapovalenko, Yevhen Vorokh, Yuriy Hirchenko (in Ukrainian). Retrieved 31 January 2015.
- The Museum of Military History also lists separately 139 currently unidentified soldiers who were killed: 66 at Krasnopolye cemetery, 63 at Kushugum cemetery  and 10 at Starobilsk cemetery.
- Top Ukrainian And German Diplomats Talk NATO And Conflict In Eastern Ukraine
- "UNIAN: 70 missing soldiers officially reported over years of war in Donbas". Ukrainian Independent Information Agency. 6 September 2019. Retrieved 6 September 2019.
- "Militants held in captivity 180 Ukrainian servicemen". Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 16 March 2015.
- Isaac Webb (22 April 2015). "An Eye for an Eye: Ukraine's POW Problem". The Moscow Times. Archived from the original on 18 May 2015. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
- "Donbas rebels still hold 300 Ukraine army servicemen and civilians prisoners". zik.ua. 2 May 2015.
- "Ukraine troops leave Crimea by busload; defense minister resigns after Russia seizes peninsula - CBS News". 25 March 2014. Archived from the original on 25 March 2014.
- Pike, John. "Ukrainian Military Personnel". www.globalsecurity.org.
- "В жертву "Оплотам": Почему тормозит модернизация Т-64". www.depo.ua.
- Snyder, Timothy (2018). The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America. New York: Tim Duggan Books. p. 197. ISBN 9780525574477.
Almost everyone lost the Russo-Ukrainian war: Russia, Ukraine, the EU, the United States. The only winner was China.; Mulford, Joshua P. (2016). "Non-State Actors in the Russo-Ukrainian War". Connections. 15 (2): 89–107. doi:10.11610/Connections.15.2.07. ISSN 1812-1098. JSTOR 26326442.; Shevko, Demian; Khrul, Kristina (2017). "Why the Conflict Between Russia and Ukraine Is a Hybrid Aggression Against the West and Nothing Else". In Gutsul, Nazarii; Khrul, Kristina (eds.). Multicultural Societies and their Threats: Real, Hybrid and Media Wars in Eastern and South-Eastern Europe. Zürich: LIT Verlag Münster. p. 100. ISBN 9783643908254.
- The Federation Council gave approval on use of the Russian Armed Forces on territory of Ukraine (Совет Федерации дал согласие на использование Вооруженных Сил России на территории Украины). Federation Council. 1 March 2014
- Morello, Carol; Constable, Pamela; Faiola, Anthony (17 March 2014). "Crimeans vote in referendum on whether to break away from Ukraine, join Russia". The Washington Post. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
- "BBC Radio 4 - Analysis, Maskirovka: Deception Russian-Style". BBC. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- Lally, Kathy (17 April 2014). "Putin's remarks raise fears of future moves against Ukraine — The Washington Post". washingtonpost.com. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
- "President of Russia". Eng.kremlin.ru. 1 June 2010. Retrieved 20 April 2014.
- Per Liljas (19 August 2014). "Rebels in Besieged Ukrainian City Reportedly Being Reinforced". Time. TIME. Retrieved 28 August 2014.
- "How the war zone transformed between June 16 and Sept. 19". KyivPost. 25 September 2014. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
- "Exclusive: Charred tanks in Ukraine point to Russian involvement". Reuters. 23 October 2014.
- unian, 8 April 2015 debaltseve pocket created by Russian troops - yashin
- Channel 4 News, 2 September 2014 tensions still high in Ukraine
- Luke Harding. "Ukraine ceasefire leaves frontline counting cost of war in uneasy calm". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
- "Kiev claims 'intensive' movements of troops crossing from Russia". AFP. 2 November 2014. Archived from the original on 14 November 2014. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
- various reuters (9 November 2014). "worst east Ukraine shelling for month". Reuters. Retrieved 10 November 2014.
- "Spot report by the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM), 8 November 2014". osce.org. 8 November 2014. Retrieved 9 November 2014.
- "Ukraine crisis: Russian 'Cargo 200' crossed border — OSCE". BBC. 13 November 2014. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
- "OSCE monitors saw 21 coffins with dead soldiers cross Russian-Ukrainian border since August 2014 - Aug. 06, 2015". KyivPost. 6 August 2015. Retrieved 17 November 2020.
- "Moscow Stifles Dissent as Soldiers Return From Ukraine in Coffins". The Moscow Times. Reuters. 12 September 2014. Retrieved 9 November 2014.
- "Response to Special Representative in Ukraine Ambassador Martin Sajdik and OSCE Special Monitoring Mission Chief Monitor Ertugrul Apakan". U.S. Mission to the OSCE. 4 November 2015. Archived from the original on 22 December 2015. Retrieved 6 November 2015.
- "The world reacts to Russia's military intervention in Crimea". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
- "UN committee passes resolution on Crimea, condemning Russian occupation | Toronto Star". thestar.com. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
- "OSCE Parliamentary Assembly adopts resolution condemning Russia's continuing actions in Ukraine". www.oscepa.org. Archived from the original on 13 March 2017. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
- "Ukraine: Mounting evidence of war crimes and Russian involvement". www.amnesty.org. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
- Overland, Indra; Fjaertoft, Daniel (2015). "Financial Sanctions Impact Russian Oil, Equipment Export Ban's Effects Limited". Oil and Gas Journal. 113 (8): 66–72.
- "Russia said to redeploy special-ops forces from Ukraine to Syria". Fox News Channel. 24 October 2015. Archived from the original on 24 October 2015. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
"The special forces were pulled out of Ukraine and sent to Syria," a Russian Ministry of Defense official said, adding that they had been serving in territories in eastern Ukraine held by pro-Russia rebels. The official described them as "akin to a Delta Force," the U.S. Army's elite counterterrorism unit.
- Walker, Shaun (17 December 2015). "Putin admits Russian military presence in Ukraine for first time". The Guardian.
- "Speakers Urge Peaceful Settlement to Conflict in Ukraine, Underline Support for Sovereignty, Territorial Integrity of Crimea, Donbas Region". United Nations. 20 February 2019. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
- Iulian Chifu; Oazu Nantoi; Oleksandr Sushko (2009). "Russia–Georgia War of August 2008: Ukrainian Approach" (PDF). The Russian Georgian War: A trilateral cognitive institutional approach of the crisis decision-making process. Bucharest: Editura Curtea Veche. p. 181. ISBN 978-973-1983-19-6. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
- "Istanbul Document 1999". Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. 19 November 1999. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
- nbc 18 March 2014 , ukrainesolidaritycampaign the oligarchic rebellion in the donbas
- Overland, Indra. "The Hunter Becomes the Hunted: Gazprom Encounters EU Regulation". In Anderson, Svein; Goldthau, Andreas; Sitter, Nick (eds.). Energy Union: Europe's New Liberal Mercantilism?. Blasingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan. p. 115130.
- "Axis of Evil Shaping Against Moscow". Kommersant. Archived from the original on 20 May 2014. Retrieved 14 October 2014.
- White, Gregory L. (23 February 2014). "Russia Stung By Ally Yanukovych's Defeat in Ukraine". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 11 August 2016.
- Harding, Luke (22 April 2010). "Ukraine extends lease for Russia's Black Sea fleet". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 October 2014.
- "Yanukovych flexes but will resist EU over jailed rival". Kyiv Post. 9 April 2013. Archived from the original on 10 April 2013. Retrieved 14 October 2014.
- Walker, Shaun (22 September 2013). "Ukraine's EU trade deal will be catastrophic, says Russia". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
- Feffer, John (14 March 2014). "Who Are These 'People,' Anyway?". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
- "Ukraine Protestors Seize Kiev As President Flees". Time. 22 February 2014. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
- Balmforth, Richard (21 February 2014). "Ukraine parliament votes in favor of return to old constitution". Reuters. Retrieved 12 June 2015.
- Sindelar, Daisy (23 February 2014). "Was Yanukovych's Ouster Constitutional?". Radio Free Europe, Radio Liberty (Rferl.org). Retrieved 25 February 2014.
- "Ukraine President Yanukovich impeached". Al Jazeera. 22 February 2014. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
- "Rada removes Yanukovych from office, schedules new elections for May 25". Interfax-Ukraine. 24 February 2014. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
- Stern, David (22 February 2014). "Ukrainian MPs vote to oust President Yanukovych". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
- Polityuk, Pavel; Robinson, Matt (22 February 2014). Roche, Andrew (ed.). "Ukraine parliament removes Yanukovich, who flees Kiev in "coup"". Reuters. Gabriela Baczynska, Marcin Goettig, Peter Graff, Giles Elgood. Retrieved 18 November 2020.
- Traynor, Ian (24 February 2014). "Western nations scramble to contain fallout from Ukraine crisis". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
- Ayres, Sabra (28 February 2014). "Is it too late for Kiev to woo Russian-speaking Ukraine?". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
- На отмену закона о региональных языках на Украине наложат вето [The abolition of the law on regional languages in Ukraine will be vetoed] (in Russian). Lenta.ru. 1 March 2014. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
- Беседы "Сергея Глазьева" о Крыме и беспорядках на востоке Украины. Расшифровка — Meduza (in Russian). Retrieved 22 August 2016.
- "Грани.Ру: Глазьев: Запись моих переговоров - "бред нацистских преступников"". mirror694.graniru.info. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
- Shandra, Alya (16 May 2019). "Glazyev tapes, continued: new details of Russian occupation of Crimea and attempts to dismember Ukraine |". Euromaidan Press. Retrieved 16 June 2019.
- Whitmore, Brian (26 August 2016). "Podcast: The Tale Of The Tape". RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty. Retrieved 29 August 2016.
- "English translation of audio evidence of Putin's Adviser Glazyev and other Russian politicians involvement in war in Ukraine". 29 August 2016. Retrieved 29 August 2016.
- Umland, Andreas. "Glazyev Tapes: What Moscow's interference in Ukraine means for the Minsk Agreements". Raam op Rusland (in Dutch). Retrieved 26 April 2021.
- Чуркин сообщил об обращении Януковича к Путину (in Russian). Lenta.ru. 4 March 2014. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- Путін оголосив Україні війну [Putin declared war against Ukraine]. Ukrayinska Pravda (in Ukrainian). 1 March 2014. Retrieved 3 March 2014.
- "Russian Troops Take Over Ukraine's Crimea Region". ABC News. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
- "Putin asks Federation Council to cancel the resolution on use of Russian forces in Ukraine". TASS. 24 June 2014. Retrieved 17 April 2015.
- "Federation Council cancels resolution on using Russian troops in Ukraine". TASS. 25 June 2014. Retrieved 17 April 2015.
- "Янукович пошел по стопам Ющенко – суды опять отбирают маяки у российских военных" [Yanukovych followed in Yushchenko's footsteps - courts again take away beacons from Russian military]. DELO (in Russian). 11 August 2011. Retrieved 26 November 2020.
- "Bound by treaty: Russia, Ukraine and Crimea". Deutsche Welle. 11 March 2014. Retrieved 17 December 2020.
- Will the Russian Fleet not be going anywhere out of Crimea after 2017? (Російському флоту нікуди буде плисти з Криму після 2017 року?) Ukrayinska Pravda. 12 March 2010
- Yanukovych gave away Crimea to the Russian Fleet on 25 years longer (ЯНУКОВИЧ ВІДДАВ КРИМ РОСІЙСЬКОМУ ФЛОТУ ЩЕ НА 25 РОКІВ). Ukrayinska Pravda. 21 April 2010
- Treaty between Ukraine and the Russian Federation about the status and conditions of stay of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation on territory of Ukraine (Угода між Україною і Російською Федерацією про статус та умови перебування Чорноморського флоту Російської Федерації на території України). Verkhovna Rada. 8 August 1997 (updated 21 April 2010)
- Treaty between Ukraine and the Russian Federation about parameters of division of the Black Sea Fleet (Угода між Україною і Російською Федерацією про параметри поділу Чорноморського флоту). Verkhovna Rada. 8 August 1997 (updated 21 April 2010)
- Treaty between the Government of Ukraine and the Government of the Russian Federation about mutual charges connected with division of the Black Sea Fleet and stay of the Black Sea Fleet... (Угода між Урядом України і Урядом Російської Федерації про взаємні розрахунки, пов'язані з поділом Чорноморського флоту та перебуванням Чорноморського флоту …). Verkhovna Rada. 8 August 1997 (updated 21 April 2010)
- Treaty between Ukraine and the Russian Federation in regards to the Black Sea Fleet (Угода між Україною та Російською Федерацією щодо Чорноморського флоту). Verkhovna Rada. 7 July 1995
- "Rada secures Ukraine's course for EU, NATO in Constitution". Ukrinform. Retrieved 17 December 2020.
- Treaty about Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership between Ukraine and the Russian Federation (Договір про дружбу, співробітництво і партнерство між Україною і Російською Федерацією). Verkhovna Rada. 31 May 1997
- (Угода між Урядом України та Урядом Російської Федерації про вільну торгівлю). Verkhovna Rada. 24 June 1993
- Treaty between the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic and the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (ДОГОВІР між Українською Радянською Соціалістичною Республікою і Російською Радянською Федеративною Соціалістичною Республікою). Verkhovna Rada. 19 November 1990
- "Armed men seize two airports in Ukraine's Crimea, Russia denies involvement — Yahoo News". news.yahoo.com. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
- Birnbaum, Michael (15 March 2015). "Putin Details Crimea Takeover Before First Anniversary". The Washington Post. Retrieved 11 June 2015.
- Mackinnon, Mark (26 February 2014). "Globe in Ukraine: Russian-backed fighters restrict access to Crimean city". Toronto: The Globe & Mail. Retrieved 2 March 2014.
- "Russia flexes military muscle as tensions rise in Ukraine's Crimea". CNN. 26 February 2014. Retrieved 2 March 2014.
A CNN team in the area encountered more than one pro-Russian militia checkpoint on the road from Sevastopol to Simferopol.
- "Checkpoints put at all entrances to Sevastopol". Kyiv Post. 26 February 2014. Archived from the original on 26 February 2014. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
Checkpoints were put up at all entrances to Sevastopol last night and the borders to the city are guarded by groups of people, police units, and traffic police.
- Shevchenko, Vitaly (11 March 2014). ""Little green men" or "Russian invaders"?". BBC News. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
- "Russian special forces on Crimea frontline: experts". Gulf News. 4 March 2014. Retrieved 4 March 2014.
- Ewen MacAskill (22 April 2014). "Does US evidence prove Russian special forces are in eastern Ukraine?". the Guardian. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
The US state department has claimed Russian special forces are engaged in covert actions in the Ukraine, citing as evidence controversial photographs that purportedly identify known personnel and show bullet-proof jackets and "Russian-designed weapons like AK-47s"
- "Armed men seize Crimea parliament". The Guardian. 27 February 2014. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
- "BBC News — Russian parliament approves troop deployment in Ukraine". BBC News. bbc.com. March 2014. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
- "Ukraine crisis: 'Russians' occupy Crimea airports". BBC News. 28 February 2014. Retrieved 28 August 2014.
- "Putin Reclaims Crimea for Russia and Bitterly Denounces the West". The New York Times. 18 March 2014. Retrieved 28 August 2014.
- "Ukraine Parliament declares Crimea temporarily occupied territory". IANS. news.biharprabha.com. Retrieved 15 April 2014.
- "Putin: Russia to set up military force in Crimea". ITV. 19 August 2014. Retrieved 28 August 2014.
- Herszenhorn, David M.; Baker, Peter; Kramer, Andrew E. (15 March 2014). "Russia Seizes Gas Plant Near Crimea Border, Ukraine Says". NY Times. Retrieved 11 January 2015.
- "Russia withdrew its troops from Kherson oblast of Ukraine". Capital. Retrieved 11 January 2015.
- "Ukraine crisis: Russian troops crossed border, Nato says". BBC News. 12 November 2014. Retrieved 11 January 2015.
- "Speech by Andrei Illarionov at NATO PA Session in Vilnius". The Lithuania Tribune. 16 June 2014. Archived from the original on 20 April 2015. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- "Putin's former aid: Russia has been preparing for global war since 2003". Delfi. 26 September 2014.
- Sharkov, Damien (8 August 2016). "Ukraine Reports Russian Military Activity on Crimea Border". Newsweek. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
- "Russia says it thwarted 'armed Ukrainian incursion' into Crimea". Deutsche Welle. 10 August 2016. Retrieved 25 November 2020.
- "ФСБ России обвинила спецслужбы Украины в подготовке теракта в Крыму" [FSB of Russia accused the special services of Ukraine of preparing a terrorist attack in Crimea]. BBC Russian Service (in Russian). 10 August 2016. Retrieved 25 November 2020.
- "Russia: Ukraine 'terrorist attacks' in Crimea foiled". Aljazeera. 10 August 2016. Retrieved 25 November 2020.
- "One of the Russian soldiers allegedly killed by Ukrainian spies has already been buried in Simferopol". Meduza.io. 10 August 2016. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
- Oliphant, Roland (10 August 2016). "Putin accuses Ukraine of 'terror' over alleged Crimea raid". The Telegraph. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
- Osborn, Andrew; Stolyarov, Gleb (10 August 2016). "Putin accuses Ukraine of trying to provoke a new conflict over Crimea". Reuters. Retrieved 25 November 2020.
- "Competing Narratives of the Crimean "Terrorist Attacks"". AtlanticCouncil's Digital Forensic Research Lab. 10 August 2016. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
- "Ukrainian intelligence says there was an armed skirmish in Crimea between Russian soldiers and Russian federal agents". Meduza.io. 11 August 2016. Retrieved 11 August 2016.
- Walker, Shaun (10 August 2016). "Putin raises stakes over alleged Ukrainian terror plot in Crimea". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 25 November 2020.
- "Comment of President: Russia's accusing Ukraine of terrorism in occupied Crimea is absurd and cynical". Presidential Administration of Ukraine. 10 August 2016. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
- Williams, Matthias (11 August 2016). Jones, Gareth (ed.). "No evidence so far to corroborate Russia allegations over Crimea: U.S." Reuters. Retrieved 11 August 2016.
- "Ukraine's Poroshenko warns of 'full-scale' Russia invasion". BBC News. 4 June 2015. Retrieved 17 November 2020.
- Balmforth, Richard; Polityuk, Pavel (4 June 2015). Prentice, Alessandra (ed.). "Ukraine's Poroshenko warns of threat of "full-scale invasion" from Russia". Reuters. Retrieved 17 November 2020.
- "Russia-Ukraine sea clash in 300 words". BBC News. 30 November 2018. Retrieved 25 November 2020.
- "Kiev declares martial law after Russian seizure of Ukrainian ships in Black Sea". The Independent. Retrieved 26 November 2018.
- Grytsenko, Oksana (12 April 2014). "Armed pro-Russian insurgents in Luhansk say they are ready for police raid". Kyiv Post. Archived from the original on 12 April 2014. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- Leonard, Peter (14 April 2014). "Ukraine to deploy troops to quash pro-Russian insurgency in the east". Yahoo News Canada. Associated Press. Archived from the original on 14 April 2014. Retrieved 26 October 2014.
- Alec Luhn (20 July 2014). "Three pro-Russia rebel leaders at the centre of suspicions over downed MH17". the Guardian.
- Shaun Walker (29 July 2014). "An audience with Ukraine rebel chief Igor Bezler, the Demon of Donetsk". the Guardian.
- "Pushing locals aside, Russians take top rebel posts in east Ukraine". Reuters. 27 July 2014. Retrieved 27 July 2014.
- Kramer, Andrew E. (20 August 2014). "Plenty of room at the top of Ukraine's fading rebellion". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 November 2014.
- Strelkov/Girkin Demoted, Transnistrian Siloviki Strengthened in 'Donetsk People's Republic', Vladimir Socor, Jamestown Foundation, 15 August 2014
- Представитель ДНР назвал процент российских добровольцев в местной армии Archived 25 February 2015 at the Wayback Machine. 27 June 2014.
- "Российский Наемник: "Половина Ополченцев - Из России. Мне Помогают Спонсоры. Мы Возьмем Львов"". M.censor.net.ua. 26 July 2014. Archived from the original on 27 July 2014. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
- "Interview: I Was A Separatist Fighter In Ukraine". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Retrieved 29 August 2014.
- Tavernise, Sabrina (15 July 2014). "Whisked Away for Tea With a Rebel in Ukraine". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 August 2014.
- Yans, Georgy (9 June 2014). "Груз 200" из Донецка (in Russian). MK.RU. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
- James Rupert (5 January 2015). "How Russians Are Sent to Fight in Ukraine". Newsweek. Retrieved 10 January 2015.
- Makarenko, Victoria (11 June 2014). "Фермы для "диких гусей"". Novaya Gazeta. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
- Putin Taunts US And Ukraine Leaders Ahead Of D-Day Anniversary Meeting, Business Insider, 4 June 2014.
- Mykhnenko, Vlad (2020). "Causes and Consequences of the War in Eastern Ukraine: An Economic Geography Perspective". Europe-Asia Studies. 72 (3): 528–560. doi:10.1080/09668136.2019.1684447.
- "Russia's buildup near Ukraine may reach 40,000 troops: U.S. sources". Reuters. 28 March 2014. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
- Josh Rogin; Eli Lake (29 April 2014). "Kerry: U.S. Taped Moscow's Calls to Its Ukraine Spies". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
- In an intercept from April 2014 Igor Girkin talks to another commander: "You're covered from the south by Russian artillery. And while we still have the night, while the reserves are coming, you must clean up everything there." "Intercept Reveals Separatist Leader's Admission of Russian Artillery Back-Up". The Interpreter Magazine. April 2014. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
- Rachkevych, Mark (12 April 2014). "Armed pro-Russian extremists launch coordinated attacks in Donetsk Oblast, seize buildings and set up checkpoints". Kyiv Post. Archived from the original on 12 April 2014. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- Під Слов'янськом з'явилися "зелені чоловічки". Ukrayinska Pravda (in Ukrainian). 12 April 2014.
- "Вторгнення військ РФ на сході країни відбулося — джерела" [Sources say that Russian troops have invaded the east of the country]. Ukrayinska Pravda (in Ukrainian). 12 April 2014.
У Слов'янську та Червоному Лімані (Донецька обл.) діють не сепаратисти, а військові розвідувально-диверсійні підрозділи.
- На Донбасі сепаратисти і міліція влаштували перестрілку. Ukrayinska Pravda (in Ukrainian). 12 April 2014.
- "У Слов'янськ на вантажівках привезли "зелених чоловічків" із Криму" [In Sloviansk are "little green men" brought in lorries from the Crimea]. Ukrayinska Pravda. 14 April 2014.
- Sokolov, Sergey (4 February 2015). "If it is not a war, then what is it?". Novaya Gazeta (11). Archived from the original on 20 August 2016.
- "Ukraine Liveblog Day 54: Russian Invasion Underway?". The Interpreter. 13 April 2014.
- "Crisis in Ukraine; Interview with Zbigniew Brzezinski; Interview with Nir Barkat; The Year of China?". CNN. 13 April 2014. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- HIGGINS, ANDREW; GORDON, MICHAEL R.; KRAMER, ANDREW E. (20 April 2014). "Photos Link Masked Men in East Ukraine to Russia". The New York Times. Retrieved 21 October 2015.
- Damon, Arwa; Pearson, Michael; Payne, Ed (21 April 2014). "Ukraine: Photos show undercover Russian troops". CNN.com. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- Los Angeles Times (12 April 2014). "Kerry warns Russia of new sanctions because of Ukraine moves". latimes.com.
- Nick Paton Walsh, Tim Lister and Steve Almasy, "U.N. Security Council meets as Ukraine 'teeters on the brink'," CNN (14 April 2014).
- "Ukraine raises rates as west discusses more sanctions". Financial Times.
- Breedlove, Philip (20 April 2014). "NATO COMMANDER: Ukraine 'Activists' Are Clearly A Professional Military Force Under Russian Control". Business Insider.
- C. J. Chivers; Noah Sneider (3 May 2014). "Behind the Masks in Ukraine, Many Faces of Rebellion". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
- "Ukraine forces claim upper hand over pro-Russia rebels". Irish Independent. 31 May 2014. Retrieved 31 May 2014.
- Депутат Госдумы: Путин не может остановиться, иначе его назовут слабаком : Новости УНИАН (in Russian). Ukrainian Independent Information Agency. 25 April 2014. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
- Silke Mülherr und Inga Pylypchuk (26 July 2014). "Putin realisiert, dass er die Falschen bewaffnete". Die Welt. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
- "Secret training base for Ukraine's militias - BBC News". YouTube. 19 May 2014. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- Fitzpatrick, Catherine A. (8 July 2014). "Novorossiya Theory Meets Novorossiya Reality in Donetsk". The Interpreter Magazine. Retrieved 26 May 2016.
- Fitzpatrick, Catherine A. (21 July 2014). "Russia This Week: Kurginyan Brags About Sending Repairman for Buks (14–19 July)". The Interpreter Magazine. Retrieved 26 May 2016.
- Pavel Gubarev (7 July 2014). "Full press conference of Kurginyan in Donetsk".
- Ідеолог сепаратистів: Росія постачає 'ДНР' сучасною бронетехнікою [Ideologue of the separatists: Russia supplies the 'DPR' with modern armaments] (in Ukrainian). Hromadske.tv. 8 July 2014. Archived from the original on 26 August 2014.
- "Terrorists of DNR admitted that Russia delivers them the weapon and equipment, but complain of quality". News.pn. 8 July 2014.
- "Shooting down of Ukrainian military aircraft at cruising altitude reflects ongoing escalation risk and possible Russian support". janes.com. 16 July 2014. Archived from the original on 5 May 2015. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
- "MH17 crash investigation team to publish preliminary findings". the Guardian. Associated Press. 4 September 2014. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
- Helen Davidson (23 July 2014). "MH17: Rebels likely shot down plane 'by mistake'". the Guardian. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
- "Russian rebels are 'likely responsible' for shooting down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over the Ukraine". NewsComAu. 18 July 2014. Retrieved 12 June 2015.
- MacAskill, Ewen (17 July 2014). "Malaysia Airlines crash: analysts point towards Soviet-era Buk missile system". Guardian. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
- Ostanin, Iggy (8 September 2014). "Images Show the Buk that Downed Flight MH17, Inside Russia, Controlled by Russian Troops". Bellingcat. Archived from the original on 8 September 2014. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
- "Journalists find 'solid' Russian ties to missile that hit MH17". KyivPost. 9 November 2014. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- Bellingcat MH17 Investigation Team (8 November 2014). "MH17: Source of the Separatists' Buk" (PDF). Bellingcat. Archived (PDF) from the original on 9 November 2014. Retrieved 16 May 2015.
- Tucker, Maxim (22 June 2015). "Meet Eliot Higgins, Putin's MH17 Nemesis". Newsweek. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
- "Bellingcat: New evidence against Russian soldiers on MH17". DW.COM. Retrieved 4 May 2016.
- Shaun Walker (15 August 2014). "Russian military vehicles enter Ukraine as aid convoy stops short of border". the Guardian. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- "Ukraine crisis: BBC finds Russian aid trucks 'almost empty'". BBC News.
- "Ukraine fighter jet shot down as Kiev accuses Moscow of arming rebels". The Sydney Morning Herald. 17 August 2014. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- Shaun Walker (19 August 2014). "Moscow and Kiev may both need a deal over Ukraine soon". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 June 2015.
- Militants have Russian weapons that have never been in service with Ukrainian army – Heletei, Interfax-Ukraine (22 August 2014)
- "Ukraine's injured rebels vow to fight on", Financial Times (18 August 2014)
- "Tankspotting: How to Identify the T-72B3", Bellingcat (28 May 2015)
- "Tankspotting: T-90As in the Donbass", Bellingcat (2 April 2017)
- Babiak, Mat (17 July 2014). "Provallia in flames, details on Russian rocket strike". Euromaidan Press. Retrieved 28 August 2014.
- "Videos Reportedly Show GRAD Rockets Fired From Inside Russia". Pressimus. 17 August 2014. Retrieved 28 August 2014.
- "Bellingcat Report - Origin of Artillery Attacks on Ukrainian Military Positions in Eastern Ukraine Between 14 July 2014 and 8 August 2014 - bellingcat". bellingcat. 17 February 2015. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
- "Солдати в Зеленопіллі загинули від новітнього російського "Торнадо-Г" - ЗМІ". Retrieved 24 January 2017.
- "Obama administration: Russia firing artillery at Ukraine military targets | Fox News". foxnews.com. 24 July 2014. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
- Frizell, Sam (27 July 2014). "U.S.: Satellite Imagery Shows Russians Shelling Eastern Ukraine". TIME.
Satellite imagery shows evidence of Russian artillery attacks against the Ukrainian military, U.S. officials say
- Barnes, Julian E.; Mauldin, William (25 July 2014). "U.S. Says Russia Firing Across Border into Ukraine — WSJ". online.wsj.com. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
- Demirjian, Karoun; Birnbaum, Michael (22 August 2014). "Russia escalates tensions with aid convoy, reported firing of artillery inside Ukraine". Washington Post. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
- Michael R. Gordon (22 August 2014). "Russia Moves Artillery Units Into Ukraine, NATO Says". nytimes.com. Retrieved 15 February 2015.
- Denver Nicks (22 August 2014). "NATO: Russia Artillery Fires on Ukraine Forces". TIME. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
- Dolgov, Anna (21 November 2014). "Russia's Igor Strelkov: I Am Responsible for War in Eastern Ukraine". The Moscow Times. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- "Report: Russia Invades Ukraine, Prompts Emergency U.N. Meeting". US News and World Report. 28 August 2014. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
- "Russian military vehicles enter Ukraine as aid convoy stops short of border". The Guardian. 14 August 2014. Retrieved 15 August 2014.
- Oliphant, Roland (14 August 2014). "Russian armoured vehicles and military trucks cross border into Ukraine". The Telegraph. London. Retrieved 14 August 2014.
- "Ukraine's Forces Attack Russian Armoured Convoy". Sky News. 15 August 2014. Retrieved 15 August 2014.
- "Putin talks of peace in annexed Crimea". ABC AU. 14 August 2014. Retrieved 15 August 2014.
- "Poroshenko: ATO Is Ukraine's Patriotic War". Archived from the original on 27 August 2014. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
President Petro Poroshenko considers the government's anti-terrorist operation (ATO) against separatists as Ukraine's patriotic war.
- Gearin, Mary (24 August 2014). "Ukrainian POWs marched at bayonet-point through city". ABC (Australia). Retrieved 17 November 2020.
- "#UkraineUnderAttack #RussiaInvadedUkraine RT PLZ". MFA of Ukraine on Twitter. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
- Marcus, Jonathan (27 August 2014). "Ukraine crisis: T-72 tank shoots hole in Russian denial". BBC. Retrieved 28 August 2014.
- "Exclusive: Charred tanks in Ukraine point to Russian involvement". Reuters. 23 October 2014. Retrieved 25 October 2014.
- "The British Embassy In Kiev Is Trolling The Kremlin". Business Insider. 19 November 2014. Retrieved 19 November 2014.
- "French eyes for a Russian tiger". EU Observer. 25 August 2015. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
- "Border guards retreat as 2 columns of Russian tanks enter Ukraine". FoxNews.com. FOX News Network. 28 August 2014. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
- "NATO Military Officer: More Than 1,000 Russian Troops Operating Inside Ukraine". The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, Inc. Reuters. 28 August 2014. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
- ДНРівець: За нас воюють російські військові "у відпустці" [DNR official: Russian troops fighting for us "on vacation"]. Ukrayinska Pravda (in Ukrainian). 28 August 2014. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
- "Członkini Rady Praw Człowieka przy Putinie: Działania Rosji na Ukrainie to inwazja" [Member of the Human Rights Council to Putin: Russia's actions in Ukraine are invasion]. gazeta.pl (in Polish). 28 August 2014. Archived from the original on 31 August 2014. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
- MacFarquhar, Neil; Gordon, Michael R. (28 August 2014). "Ukraine Leader Says 'Huge Loads of Arms' Pour in From Russia". The New York Times. Retrieved 28 August 2014.
Mr. Poroshenko scrapped a trip to Turkey to deal with the crisis and called an emergency meeting of the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council. He dismissed Kremlin claims that any Russian soldiers in Ukraine were volunteers who had sacrificed their vacations to help the heavily pro-Russian east suffering oppression from the Kiev central government.
- "Nato images - 'proof' Russian soldiers inside Ukraine". Channel 4 News. 28 August 2014. Retrieved 15 February 2015.
- Tim Judah (9 October 2014). "Ukraine: What Putin Has Won". nybooks.com. Retrieved 12 June 2015.
- Lucian Kim (4 November 2014). "The Battle of Ilovaisk: Details of a Massacre Inside Rebel-Held Eastern Ukraine". Newsweek. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
- Главная военная прокуратура подтвердила факты гибели десантников. Vedomosti.ru (in Russian). 10 November 2014. Retrieved 11 November 2014.
- "Сили АТО активно наступають. Терористи-найманці несуть чималі втрати".
- Sanderson, Bill (21 September 2014). "Leaked transcripts reveal Putin's secret Ukraine attack - New York Post". New York Post.
- Balmforth, Richard; Croft, Adrian (30 August 2014). "Ukraine says Russian tanks flatten town; EU to threaten more sanctions". Thomson Reuters. Archived from the original on 30 August 2014. Retrieved 31 August 2014.
- В Пскове прошли закрытые похороны местных десантников [In Pskov closed burial ceremonies of local paratroopers were held] (in Russian). Slon.ru. 25 August 2014. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
- СМИ: под Псковом тайно похоронили десантников, возможно, погибших на Донбассе [Secret paratrooper burials in Pskov, possible losses from Donbas]. Novaya Gazeta (in Russian). 25 August 2014. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
- "Rosyjskie media: Pod Pskowem pochowano w tajemnicy żołnierzy poległych na Ukrainie". wiadomosci.gazeta.pl (in Polish). Archived from the original on 19 September 2014. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
- Сенсация, которой лучше бы не было. Pskovskaya Guberniya (in Russian). Retrieved 28 August 2014.
- "Russian reporters 'attacked at secret soldier burials'". BBC. 27 August 2014. Retrieved 28 August 2014.
- ""Псковская губерния" сообщила о гибели роты десантников на Украине". www.forbes.ru. 3 September 2014. Retrieved 25 January 2017.
- ""Псковская губерния" №(706)". 2 September 2014. Archived from the original on 2 September 2014. Retrieved 25 January 2017.
- "Russia's 200th Motorized Infantry Brigade in the Donbass - bellingcat". bellingcat. 16 January 2016. Retrieved 25 January 2017.
- Aksai707 (4 July 2016). "Russia's 200th Motorized Infantry Brigade in the Donbass: The Tell-Tale Tanks - bellingcat". Retrieved 3 September 2016.
- "Russia's 200th Motorized Infantry Brigade in the Donbass: The Hero of Russia - bellingcat". bellingcat. 21 June 2016. Retrieved 25 January 2017.
- "Russia's 61st Separate Naval Infantry Brigade in the Donbass - bellingcat". bellingcat. 15 November 2016. Retrieved 25 January 2017.
- Геращенко каже, що Росія напала на Україну ще 24 серпня — Новини Укрінформ. ukrinform.ua (in Ukrainian). Archived from the original on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 20 October 2015.
- В Амвросиевку вошли российские войска без знаков отличия. Liga Novosti (in Russian). 24 August 2014. Retrieved 20 October 2015.
- "Captured Russian troops 'in Ukraine by accident'". BBC News. 26 August 2014. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
- На Донеччині затримано десять громадян Росії, які незаконно перетнули кордон України зі зброєю у складі диверсійної групи [Group of Russian citizens held in Donetsk region crossed the border with weapons as part of sabotage group] (in Ukrainian). Security Service of Ukraine. 25 August 2014. Archived from the original on 28 August 2014. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
- Оприлюднено фото затриманих російських військових [Released photos of Russian soldiers] (in Ukrainian). Unian.ua. 25 August 2014. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
- Москва: задержанные на Украине военные пересекли границу случайно [Moscow: soldiers arrested in Ukraine crossed the border by accident] (in Russian). Gazeta.ru. 26 August 2014. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
- "BBC News - Ukraine and Russia exchange captured troops". BBC News. 31 August 2014.
- "Captured Russian paratroopers return home in swap with Ukraine". Channel NewsAsia. AFP/nd. 31 August 2014. Archived from the original on 5 September 2014. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
- Andrew Higgins & Michael R. Gordon (26 August 2014). "Putin Talks to Ukrainian Leader as Videos Show Captured Russian Soldiers". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
- "Survivors recall Ilovaisk massacre". kyivpost.com. 3 September 2014. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
- "Russia Massacres Ukrainian Volunteer Battalions—Surviving Members Alleged — International Business Times". au.ibtimes.com. Archived from the original on 5 September 2014. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
- "Russian troops kill 'hundreds' of Ukrainian soldiers in massacre: report — NY Daily News". New York: nydailynews.com. 31 August 2014. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
- Oliphant, Roland (31 August 2014). "Fears of massacre after accusations Russians reneged on safe passage for Ukrainian forces — Telegraph". London: telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
- "Hundreds of Ukrainian troops 'massacred by pro-Russian forces as they waved white flags' - Mirror Online". mirror.co.uk. 31 August 2014. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
- "Брат у ворот: следы перехода украинской границы и приграничных артиллерийских позиций на новом снимке Google Earth - bellingcat". bellingcat. 15 June 2016. Archived from the original on 15 June 2016. Retrieved 15 June 2016.
- Jim Heintz (25 August 2014). "Ukraine: Russian Tank Column Enters Southeast". Abcnews. Archived from the original on 25 August 2014. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
- "Ukraine crisis: 'Column from Russia' crosses border". BBC. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
- Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson (26 August 2014). "Russian Separatists Open New Front in Southern Ukraine". National Public Radio (NPR). Archived from the original on 27 August 2014. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
- Kramer, Andrew. "Ukraine Says Russian Forces Lead Major New Offensive in East". CNBC. Archived from the original on 28 August 2014.
Tanks, artillery and infantry have crossed from Russia into an unbreached part of eastern Ukraine in recent days, attacking Ukrainian forces and causing panic and wholesale retreat not only in this small border town but a wide swath of territory, in what Ukrainian and Western military officials are calling a stealth invasion.
- Tsevtkova, Maria (26 August 2014). "'Men in green' raise suspicions of east Ukrainian villagers". Reuters.
Unidentified, heavily-armed strangers with Russian accents have appeared in an eastern Ukrainian village, arousing residents' suspicions despite Moscow's denials that its troops have deliberately infiltrated the frontier.
- Lowe, Christian; Tsvetkova, Maria; Zverev, Anton; Zinets, Natalia; Balmforth, Richard; Prentice, Alessandra; Ustinova, Tatiana; Devitt, Polina; Apps, Peter (26 August 2014). Elgood, Giles (ed.). "Exclusive - In Ukraine, an armoured column appears out of nowhere". Reuters. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
- Sean Case; Klement Anders; Aric Toler; Eliot Higgins. "The Burning Road to Mariupol" (PDF). Bellingcat. Retrieved 4 December 2015.
- Gowen, Annie; Gearan, Anne (28 August 2014). "Russian armored columns said to capture key Ukrainian towns". Washington Post. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
- "NATO: 1000 rosyjskich żołnierzy działa na Ukrainie. A Rosja znów: Nie przekraczaliśmy granicy [NA ŻYWO]". gazeta.pl (in Polish). 28 August 2014. Archived from the original on 3 September 2014. Retrieved 14 October 2014.
- "BBC:Ukraine crisis: 'Thousands of Russians' fighting in east, August 28". BBC News. Retrieved 14 October 2014.
- "U.S. says Russia has 'outright lied' about Ukraine". USA Today. 28 August 2014. Retrieved 1 September 2014.
- "Sky Films Troops 'In Russian Gear' In Ukraine". Sky News. 3 September 2014. Retrieved 4 September 2014.
- В Кремле и Киеве разъяснили заявление о прекращении огня в Донбассе (in Russian). Interfax. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
- "Ukraine crisis: Putin hopes for peace deal by Friday". BBC News. 3 September 2014. Retrieved 26 November 2020.
- "Kremlin denies that Poroshenko and Putin agreed on ceasefire (UPDATES)". kyivpost.com. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
- MacFarquhar, Neil (3 September 2014). "Putin Lays Out Proposal to End Ukraine Conflict". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 February 2015.
- Walker, Shaun; Luhn, Alec; Willsher, Kim (3 September 2014). "Vladimir Putin drafts peace plan for eastern Ukraine". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 November 2020.
- "Weekly update from the OSCE Observer Mission at the Russian Checkpoints Gukovo and Donetsk, 28 August until 08:00, 3 September 2014". OSCE. 3 September 2014. Retrieved 4 September 2014.
- Hilsum, Lindsay. "'Tell them please don't think that Putin will stop at Ukraine'". Newsblog. Channel 4 News. Retrieved 26 September 2014.
- Lindsey Hilsum (4 September 2014). "Pride and despair along the country roads of Ukraine". Channel 4. Retrieved 26 September 2014.
- "Ukraine: A Catastrophic Defeat by Tim Judah". nybooks.com. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- "Russian ambassador anticipates 'liberation' of Mariupol in Ukraine". cnn.com. 5 September 2014. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- Croft, Adrian (4 September 2014). Faulconbridge, Guy (ed.). "Russia has 'several thousand' combat troops in Ukraine: NATO officer". Reuters. Retrieved 17 November 2020.
- "Lindsey Hilsum, Channel 4 report, 6 September 2014". Retrieved 14 October 2014.
- Walker, Shaun (12 September 2014). "Armoured Russian vehicle seen inside Ukraine". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- "Ukraine government repels rebel attack on airport". The Big Story. Archived from the original on 13 September 2014.
- Martin Williams. "Ukraine fights off attack on Donetsk airport by pro-Russia forces". the Guardian.
- Morgan, Martin (5 September 2014). "Russia 'will react' to EU sanctions". BBC News. Retrieved 6 September 2014.
- Alfred, Charlotte (6 September 2014). "Russian Journalist: 'Convincing Evidence' Moscow Sent Fighters To Ukraine". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 6 September 2014.
- Warketin, Alexander (29 August 2014). "Disowned and forgotten: Russian soldiers in Ukraine". Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 6 September 2014.
- Aric Toler (13 December 2014). "Ukrainian Hackers Leak Russian Interior Ministry Docs with 'Evidence' of Russian Invasion". Global Voices Online. Retrieved 13 December 2014.
- "Russian TV shows funeral of soldier killed 'on leave' in Ukraine". The Guardian. Agence France-Presse. 5 September 2014. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 17 November 2020.
- "Here's Why Putin Calling Eastern Ukraine 'Novorossiya' Is Important". The Huffington Post. 18 April 2014. Retrieved 28 August 2014.
- Herszenhorn, David M. (17 April 2014). "Away From Show of Diplomacy in Geneva, Putin Puts on a Show of His Own". The New York Times. Retrieved 28 August 2014.
- Luhn, Alec; Roberts, Dan (23 August 2014). "Ukraine condemns 'direct invasion' as Russian aid convoy crosses border". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 August 2014.
- "The real convoys behind white trucks". National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine. December 2014. Archived from the original on 27 December 2014. Retrieved 27 December 2014.
- "Ukraine Rebels Boast About Troops and Tanks Coming from Russia". The Daily Beast. 16 August 2014. Retrieved 28 August 2014.
- "In Ukraine, an armoured column appears out of nowhere". Reuters. 26 August 2014. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
- Trevelyan, Mark (28 August 2014). "Russia denies reports of military presence in Ukraine". Reuters. Retrieved 10 September 2014.
- "Russian TV shows funeral of soldier killed 'on leave' in Ukraine". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 September 2014.
- Saul, Heather (26 August 2014). "Ukraine crisis: Russian soldiers captured in conflict area crossed border 'by accident'". The Independent. London. Retrieved 10 September 2014.
- Adrian Croft (28 August 2014). "More than 1,000 Russian troops operating in Ukraine: NATO". Reuters. Retrieved 10 September 2014.
- "Член Совета по правам человека при Президенте России Сергей Кривенко" [(Interview with) Member of Council for Civil Society and Human Rights Sergey Krivenko]. 7x7. 5 September 2014. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
- Grove, Thomas (28 August 2014). Trevelyan, Mark (ed.). "Exclusive - Over 100 Russian soldiers killed in single Ukraine battle - Russian rights activists". Reuters. Will Waterman (ed.).
- "Russia Sends Dozens Of Tanks Into Ukraine". Sky News. 7 November 2014. Retrieved 8 November 2014.
- "Lithuania's statement at the UN Security Council briefing on Ukraine". Permanent Mission of the Republic of Lithuania to UN in New York. 13 November 2014. Archived from the original on 13 November 2014. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
- "Putin Sends His 'Leopard' to the Battlefield of Eastern Ukraine". Foreign Policy. Archived from the original on 14 November 2014.
- "Journalists Find Mounting Evidence of Russian Involvement in Ukraine". The Moscow Times. 23 October 2014. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- Oliphant, Roland (23 January 2015). "Ukraine: Separatist forces in Donetsk cannot maintain offensive without Russian support". Telegraph. London. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- "NATO sees increase of Russian tanks and artillery in Ukraine". Ukraine Today. 22 January 2015. Retrieved 11 August 2016.
- "Russian units participating in combat actions in Ukraine". Center for Eurasian Strategic Intelligence. 22 October 2014. Archived from the original on 16 October 2014. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
- Giles, Keir (6 February 2015). "Ukraine crisis: Russia tests new weapons". BBC. Retrieved 7 February 2015.
- Umland, Andreas. "Russia — The Uses of Extremism: The Emergence of Three Far-Right Discussion Clubs and Their Links to the Kremlin Spell More Bad News for East-West Relations". Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- Prokhanov, Alexander; Strelkov, Igor (20 November 2014). "Кто ты, "Стрелок"?" [Who are you, Strelok?]. Zavtra (in Russian). Retrieved 20 November 2014.
- "'We started Ukraine war', confesses insurgent leader Girkin". Ukraine Today. 20 November 2014. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
- Fitzpatrick, Catherine A. (24 October 2014). "Russia This Week: Kremlin Announces Compensation for Missing and Killed Servicemen". The Interpreter Magazine. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
- Внесены изменения в закон о денежном довольствии военнослужащих. kremlin.ru (in Russian). Executive Office of the President of the Russian Federation. 23 October 2014. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
- Leonov, Sergei (3 October 2014). "Из-за неграмотного командования нас расстреливают в упор!" [Because of poor command, they shoot us point-blank!]. URA.ru (in Russian). Archived from the original on 3 October 2014. Retrieved 3 October 2014.
- Гостайна о гибели псковских десантников [Classified response on death of Pskov paratroopers] (in Russian). Gazeta.ru. 11 November 2014. Retrieved 11 November 2014.
- "Ukraine — Security Council, 7311th meeting". United Nations. 12 November 2014. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
- "Raising Red Flags: An Examination of Arms & Munitions in the Ongoing Conflict in Ukraine" (PDF). Armaments Research Services. 2012. Retrieved 20 November 2014.
- Nemtsova, Anna (10 November 2014). "Ukraine Could Explode in the Next 48 Hours". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 5 February 2015.
- "Bellingcat Vehicles". Bellingcat. Retrieved 13 February 2015.
- "Putin Is Winning the Ukraine War on Three Fronts". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- Higgins, Eliot (3 January 2015). "Did Russia Send a New Batch of Military Vehicles to Separatists Controlled Ukraine?". Bellingcat. Archived from the original on 13 April 2015. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
- "Russian Army units in Krasnodon blocked the base of local terrorists. At least 4 Russian BPM-97 "Vystrel" in the video". Lugansk News Today. 10 January 2015. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
- Francine Lacqua (21 January 2015). "Ukraine Talks Start as Poroshenko Warns of an Escalation". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- "Ukraine has evidence of Russian military presence in Donbas". Ukrinform. Archived from the original on 25 July 2015.
- "Latest from OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine based on information received as of 18:00 (Kyiv time), 28 January 2015". osce.org. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- Malgin, Andrei (28 January 2015). "Russia Is Denying the Obvious in Ukraine". The Moscow Times. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- Anna Smolchenko (29 January 2015). "Russian mother of seven accused of treason over Ukraine". Yahoo News. Retrieved 15 February 2015.
- Nataliya Vasilyev; Vladimir Isachenkov (3 February 2015). "Russian mother of 7 suspected of treason released". charlotteobserver.com. Associated Press. Archived from the original on 16 February 2015. Retrieved 15 February 2015.
- "Murmansk contract soldiers do not want to fight in Ukraine but will do if ordered". Censor.net.ua. 14 February 2015. Retrieved 16 February 2015.
- СПЧ: мурманские контрактники пожаловались на принуждение ехать в Украину (in Russian). TV Rain. 13 February 2015. Retrieved 13 February 2015.
- "Прокуратура начала проверку по факту смерти контрактника, рассказавшего о командировке в Ростов" [The prosecutor's office began an investigation into the death of a contract soldier who told about a mission to Rostov]. Novaya Gazeta (in Russian). 16 February 2015. Retrieved 18 February 2015.
- AFP, globalpost.com Ukrainian forces face drones electronic jamming
- "Latest from OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine based on information received as of 19:30 (Kyiv time), 19 June 2015 - OSCE". www.osce.org. Retrieved 21 June 2015.
- "Первая совместная операция ВСУ и ДНР по уничтожению российских окупантов" [First joint action of UAF and DNR destroying Russian occupiers]. Divannaya Sotnya. 7 February 2015. Archived from the original on 8 February 2015. Retrieved 8 February 2015.
- "Російська ДРГ у Донецьку" [Russian sabotage group in Donetsk]. Security Service of Ukraine. 7 February 2015. Retrieved 8 February 2015.
- "В ДНР назвали "диверсантами" воюющих в Донбассе людей в российской форме" [DNR identifies fighters in Russian uniform in Donbas as "saboteurs"]. Novaya Gazeta (in Russian). 8 February 2015. Retrieved 8 February 2015.
- "US Army commander for Europe: Russian troops are currently fighting on Ukraine's front lines". Business Insider. 11 February 2015. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
- "Preserving Ukraine's Independence, Resisting Russian Aggression: What the United States and NATO Must Do" (PDF). Chicago Council on Global Affairs. 2015. Retrieved 7 February 2015.
- Laurence Peter (6 February 2015). "Ukraine 'can't stop Russian armour'". BBC. Retrieved 7 February 2015.
- Lipsky, Andrey (25 February 2015). Представляется правильным инициировать присоединение восточных областей Украины к России. Novaya Gazeta (in Russian) (19). Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- Schofield, Matthew (22 February 2014). "BERLIN: Russian news report: Putin approved Ukraine invasion before Kiev government collapsed | Europe". McClatchy DC. Retrieved 24 February 2015.
- "Report to Allege Direct Kremlin Link to Ukraine Invasion". Voice of America. 15 February 2014. Retrieved 24 February 2015.
- "World War 3: Vladimir Putin Plotted Ukraine Invasion Early As February 2014, New Report Says". Inquisitr.com. Retrieved 24 February 2015.
- "Severely Injured Russian Soldier Describes Deployment To Ukraine". The Interpreter Magazine. 2 March 2015. Retrieved 3 March 2015.
- "A bag and a gun, and it was into the tank". Meduza. 2 March 2015. Retrieved 2 March 2015.
- Elena Kostyuchenko (2 March 2015). Мы все знали, на что идем и что может быть [We all knew where we are going]. Novaya Gazeta (in Russian). Retrieved 2 March 2015.
- Мать раненого забайкальца, которого навещал Кобзон, отправится в Донецк (in Russian). ZabMedia. 27 February 2015. Retrieved 3 March 2015.
- "Putin gives military award to Russian soldier for Donbas battle - Human Rights in Ukraine". khpg.org. Retrieved 12 March 2017.
- Путин сделал гвардейскими две десантные бригады за героизм в боевых действиях [Putin awarded guardian status to two paratrooper brigades for heroism in combat operations] (in Russian). meduza.io. 26 March 2015. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
- "Scale of Russian military intervention in Ukraine revealed, says report". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
- "Russian Forces in Ukraine" (PDF). Royal United Services Institute. March 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 May 2015.
- Боец "спецназа ДНР" об участии России в войне на Украине - BBC Русская служба. BBC Русская служба (in Russian). Retrieved 27 October 2015.
- Luhn, Alec (31 March 2015). "Russian Soldiers Have Given Up Pretending They Are Not Fighting in Ukraine". Vice News. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
- Kazakov, Ilya (15 April 2015). "Местные называли нас оккупантами": больше сотни уральских добровольцев вернулись с Украины в Екатеринбург ["Locals call us occupiers": over a hundred of volunteers from Ural returned from Ukraine to Ekaterinburg] (in Russian). Ekaterinburg On-line. Retrieved 15 April 2015.
- "Латгалец рассказал об увиденном в ДНР" [Latgalian described what he saw in DPR]. Grani.lv. 22 April 2015. Retrieved 24 April 2015.
- Kamkov, Oleg (21 April 2015). Спецназовец из Тамбова: как россиян переодевают в "шахтеров" перед отправкой на Донбасс (фото) [Spetsnaz soldier from Tambov: how Russian soldiers turn into "miners" before being sent to Donbas] (in Russian). Podrobnosti.ua. Retrieved 24 April 2015.
- Volchek, Dmitry (19 April 2015). "Among the thugs". Ukraine Today. Retrieved 24 April 2015.
- "Statement by Marie Harf, Acting Spokesperson". US Department of State. 22 April 2015. Archived from the original on 1 February 2016. Retrieved 24 April 2015.
- Tsvetkova, Maria (10 May 2015). "Special Report: Russian soldiers quit over Ukraine". Reuters. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
- Nemtsov, Boris; Yashin, Ilya; Shorina, Olga (May 2015). Putin. War – Based on materials from Boris Nemtsov (PDF) (Report). Free Russia Foundation. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 May 2015. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
- Boris Nemtsov. "Putin. The War", about the Involvement of Russia in the Eastern Ukraine conflict and the Crimea (PDF) (Report). European Union Foreign Affairs Journal.
- Antonova, Maria (20 May 2015). "Russian activists say find fresh graves of soldiers killed in Ukraine". Agence France-Presse. Yahoo News.
- Tsvetkova, Maria (29 May 2015). "Special Report: Russian fighters, caught in Ukraine, cast adrift by Moscow". Reuters.
- Schreck, Carl (19 May 2015). "Russian POW Video Raises War Crime Questions For Ukraine". Radio Free Europe.
- "Никогда такого не было, чтобы я маме звонил, а она трубку не брала". Novaya Gazeta. 29 May 2015.
- Чижова, Любовь (15 June 2015). Судьба сержанта. Радио Свобода (in Russian). Retrieved 18 June 2015.
- Borys, Christian (13 June 2015). "Exclusive Access to the Russian Forpost Drone Shot Down in Ukraine". Bellingcat. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
- Borys, Christian (21 May 2015). "Ukrainian forces says two drones shot down over war zone are Russian". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
- Maksymilian Czuperski; John Herbst; Eliot Higgins; Alina Polyakova; Damon Wilson (27 May 2015). Hiding in Plain Sight: Putin's War in Ukraine (Report). Atlantic Council. ISBN 978-1-61977-996-9.
- "Я военнослужащий Российской Федерации": Допрос пленного сержанта 3-й бригады спецназа РФ Александрова. ВИДЕО. censor.net.ua (in Russian). 17 May 2015. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
- Russian troops captured in Ukraine treated in Kiev hospital, The Washington Post.
- Dolgov, Anna (19 May 2015). "Moscow Admits Two Fighters Captured in Ukraine Are Ex-Russian Soldiers". The Moscow Times. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
- Latest from OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine based on information received as of 19:30 (Kyiv time), 20 May 2015. OSCE. 20 May 2015
- Ostrovsky, Simon (16 June 2015). "Selfie Soldiers: Russia Checks in to Ukraine". VICE News.
- Theise, Eugen (24 June 2015). "OSCE caught in the crossfire of the Ukraine propaganda war". Deutsche Welle.
- Hackwill, Robert (12 August 2015). "Caught red-handed: the Russian Major fighting in Ukraine". euronews.com.
- ""Заблудившийся" майор из России". Radio Svoboda. 30 July 2015. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
- "Приговор от 26 ноября 2015 г. по делу № 1-56/2015". sudact.ru.
- "Russia inadvertently reveals how it poured ammunition into Ukraine in 2015". Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group. Retrieved 26 April 2021.
- "Latest from OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine, based on information received as of 19:30, 4 September 2016". OSCE. Retrieved 5 September 2016.
- "Грани.Ру: Российский военный разведчик Сидоров сдался Украине в Донбассе". mirror704.graniru.info. Retrieved 13 September 2016.
- "Latest from OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine, based on information received as of 19:30, 17 October 2016". OSCE. Retrieved 2 November 2016.
- Gibbons-Neff, Thomas (27 October 2015). "The unusual difficulty of tracking Russia's dead in Ukraine and Syria". The Washington Post. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
- "Monitor Posts Video Of Truck Convoys Between Russia, Eastern Ukraine". RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty. Retrieved 14 August 2018.
- "More Russian military trucks caught entering Ukraine by night - Human Rights in Ukraine". Human Rights in Ukraine. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
- "Latest from the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM), based on information received as of 19:30, 10 August 2018". OSCE. Retrieved 14 August 2018.
- "Captured Russian troops 'in Ukraine by accident'". BBC News. 26 August 2014. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
- "Москва: задержанные на Украине военные пересекли границу случайно" [Moscow: soldiers arrested in Ukraine crossed the border by accident]. Gazeta.ru. 26 August 2014. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
- "Moscow Admits Two Fighters Captured in Ukraine Are Ex-Russian Soldiers". Moscow Times.
- "Captured 'Russian Major' Pardoned by Kiev". Moscow Times.
- "Ukraine names detained Russian soldier, charges him with terrorism". Reuters.
- "Ukraine's border guards detain deputy commander of Russian platoon". UA Today.
- "Two tramp Russian military detained by border guards in Luhansk region". Censor.
- Grove, Thomas. "Russia Said to Redeploy Special-Ops Forces From Ukraine to Syria". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 25 October 2015.
- "Putin admits Russian military presence in Ukraine for first time". The Guardian.
- Weaver, Courtney (23 October 2014). "Café encounter exposes reality of Russian soldiers in Ukraine". Financial Times. Retrieved 23 October 2014.
- "Photo evidence of Russian soldiers in Ukraine". Ukraine Today. 23 January 2015. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
- "Hard evidence, the regular Russian army invades Ukraine". Conflict Report. 23 January 2015. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
- Mills, Laura (21 February 2014). "Russian conscripts tell of fears of being sent to Ukraine". Associated Press. Archived from the original on 25 February 2015.
- Haring, Melinda (28 May 2015). "Killed in Action in Ukraine: Putin's Secret Funerals". Newsweek. Retrieved 13 May 2016.
- "Russia This Week: TV Rain Interviews Volunteer Fighter Returned from Donbass". The Interpreter. 12 September 2015. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
- "Russian Aggression Against Ukraine" (PDF). Security Service of Ukraine. June 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 July 2015. Retrieved 2 July 2015.
- "Russia's 6th Tank Brigade: The Dead, the Captured, and the Destroyed Tanks (Pt. 2)". bellingcat. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
- "Latest from OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine based on information received as of 19:30 (Kyiv time), 2 August 2015 - OSCE". www.osce.org. Retrieved 4 August 2015.
- Роберт Пшель: "У НАТО уже много месяцев есть доказательства военной поддержки сепаратистов из России" [Robert Pshel: "NATO has had evidence of Russian military support to separatists for many months"] (in Russian). TV Rain. 5 February 2015. Retrieved 5 February 2015.
- Rostov-on-Don, Elena Kostyuchenko in; Gazeta, for Novaya (27 June 2014). "Battle for Donetsk airport: the story of one Russian fighter". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
- "Battle for Donetsk airport: the story of one Russian fighter". the Guardian. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- "Separatist leader boasts of fresh tanks and trained troops from Russia". Financial Times. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- "Insight - Ukraine rebel movement faces uncertain future". Reuters. 20 August 2014. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- Alec Luhn (19 January 2015). "They were never there: Russia's silence for families of troops killed in Ukraine". Guardian. Retrieved 20 January 2015.
- Quinn, Allison (25 June 2015). "Russia trolls world by saying it can not stop its citizens from fighting in Ukraine". Kyiv Post. Retrieved 26 November 2020.
- "Head of Sverdlovsk special forces veterans union: 'I help to send volunteers to war in Ukraine'". Kyiv Post. 26 December 2014. Retrieved 27 December 2014.
- Ilya Kozakov (24 December 2014). "Глава фонда свердловских ветеранов спецназа: "Я помогаю добровольцам отправиться воевать на Украину"" [Head of spetsnaz veteran fund in Sverdlovsk: "I'm helping volunteers go to the war in Ukraine"]. E1.ru. Retrieved 26 December 2014.
- "Russians Used Humanitarian Convoys to Send Militants into Ukraine, Russian Organizer Says". The Interpreter Magazine. 26 December 2014. Retrieved 27 December 2014.
- "Red Cross Official Says Moscow Used 'Humanitarian' Convoys to Ship Arms to Militants in Ukraine". The Interpreter Magazine. 28 December 2014. Retrieved 28 December 2014.
- Sergey Erzhenkov (26 February 2015). Кто вербует российских добровольцев, и что им обещают. История одного наемника. Эксклюзив Дождя (in Russian). TV Rain. Retrieved 2 March 2015.
- Darya Korsunskaya; Gabriela Baczyńska (5 March 2015). "Exclusive - Scribbled note shows Nemtsov on trail of Russian deaths in Ukraine". Reuters. Retrieved 6 March 2015.
- Masters, Sam (31 August 2014). "Ukraine crisis: Russian mothers of killed and captured soldiers ask 'why are our sons fighting in Ukraine?' — Europe — World — The Independent". London: independent.co.uk. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
- McCoy, Terrence (29 August 2014). "What does Russia tell the mothers of soldiers killed in Ukraine? Not much. - The Washington Post". washingtonpost.com. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
- "Mothers of captured Russian soldiers vent anger at Putin, beg for his help | National Post". news.nationalpost.com. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
- "Russian soldier dies in Ukraine because 'there was no other job'". kyivpost.com. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
- "The Russian Mothers Waiting for News of Their Missing Soldier Sons". newsweek.com. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
- Corey Flintoff (8 September 2014). "Russia Reports Troop Deaths in Ukraine, But Calls Them 'Volunteers'". npr.org. Retrieved 11 January 2015.
- "Russian journalist hospitalized violent street attack". Buzzfeed. 14 September 2014. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- "BBC team under attack in southern Russia". BBC News. 18 September 2014.
- Tara Conlan. "BBC journalists attacked and equipment smashed in Russia". the Guardian.
- Parfitt, Tom (27 December 2014). "Secret dead of Russia's undeclared war". The Telegraph. London.
- Chernov, Sergei (29 January 2015). "Conscripts' Relatives Fear They'll Be Sent to Ukraine Amid Alleged Coercion". The Moscow Times.
- "Непризнанные солдаты России" [Russia's unrecognized soldiers]. Krym. Reali. 4 September 2014. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
- "Исчезнувший десант" [Disappeared paratroopers]. '100 TV. 5 September 2014. Archived from the original on 4 September 2014. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
- Максим Солопов (2 October 2014). Расследование РБК: откуда на Украине российские солдаты (in Russian). RBC. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- "Russia's Ghost Army in Ukraine (Part 2)". Vice News. 4 March 2015. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
- Ukraine has released to their relatives 16 Russian military servicemen. Ukrayinska Pravda. 16 October 2014
- Alec Luhn (19 January 2015). "They were never there: Russia's silence for families of troops killed in Ukraine". the Guardian. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- Nechepurenko, Ivan (28 May 2015). "Putin Classifying Troop Losses Proves They're in Ukraine – Analysts". The Moscow Times.
- "Putin declares Russian troop deaths in peacetime a secret". BBC News. 28 May 2015.
- Kramer, Andrew E. (19 July 2015). "Russian Town Near Ukraine, Once Quiet, Now Buzzes With Military Activity". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
- "Russian soldiers face prison for refusing to fight in Ukraine :: khpg.org". khpg.org. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
- Koshik, Andrey; Dergachyov, Vladimir; Maetnaya, Yelizaveta (11 July 2015). Я не хотел участвовать в боевых действиях на территории Украины (in Russian). Retrieved 12 July 2015.
- Где война, там и Россия. tvrain.ru (in Russian). TV Rain. 27 October 2015. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
- "Latest from OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine based on information received as of 27 September 2015 - OSCE". www.osce.org. Retrieved 1 October 2015.
- "OSCE spots Russian electronic warfare stations in Donbas". uatoday.tv. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
- STACK, LIAM; ZRAICK, KAREN (14 October 2015). "Frozen Zones: How Russia Maintains Influence in the Post-Cold War Era". The New York Times. Retrieved 21 October 2015.
- Burridge, Tom (23 October 2015). "Ukraine conflict: Guns fall silent but crisis remains". BBC News. Ukraine. Retrieved 22 October 2015.
- Rusif Huseynov. Ukraine: Towards a frozen future?: The Politicon, 11 November 2015
- "Russian contract soldier captured while fighting in Donbas. Russia denies everything - Human Rights in Ukraine". khpg.org. Retrieved 28 June 2017.
- Российский военный попал в плен на востоке Украины [Russian serviceman captured in East Ukraine]. BBC Russian Service (in Russian). 27 June 2017. Retrieved 28 June 2017.
- "Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's remarks and answers to media questions at the Primakov Readings International Forum, Moscow, June 30, 2017". www.mid.ru. Retrieved 2 July 2017.
- "Russia's War in Ukraine: The medals and Treacherous Numbers". Bellingcat. 31 August 2016.[non-primary source needed]
- Kozachok, Oleh (2016). "Political Mobilization of Russian Speakers as a Challenge for Ukraine's Ethnic Policy?" (PDF). Ante Portas – Studia nad Bezpieczeństwem. 2 (7): 361–380.
- "Terrorists for Ukraine trained in Rostov-on-Don, Parubiy says- Ukrinform". Archived from the original on 5 July 2014. Retrieved 14 October 2014.
- В Харькове задержали снайпера двух чеченских кампаний [Two Chechen campaign snipers were arrested in Kharkiv]. unian.net (in Russian). 21 May 2014. Retrieved 20 March 2015.
- Kramer, Andrew E. (19 July 2015). "Russian Town Near Ukraine, Once Quiet, Now Buzzes With Military Activity". New York Times. Retrieved 20 July 2015.
- "Daily Press Briefing: June 20, 2014". US Department of State. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
- Weiss, Michael. "Putin Is Just Getting Started in Ukraine". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
- Norman, Lawrence (15 June 2014). "NATO Says Images Show Russian Tanks in Ukraine". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
- Thomas Grove; Warren Stroble (29 July 2014). "Special Report: Where Ukraine's separatists get their weapons". Reuters. Retrieved 29 July 2014.
- "Weekly update from the OSCE Observer Mission at the Russian Checkpoints Gukovo and Donetsk, for the period 6–12 August 2014". OSCE. 14 August 2014. Retrieved 17 August 2014.
- Patricia Ortega Dolz (27 February 2015). "We fought together, communists and Nazis alike, for the liberation of Russia". El País. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
- "Secret document exposes Putin's shadow government for Donbass". Bild. 29 March 2016.
- "Two Ukrainian Soldiers Killed Over Bloody Weekend In Donbas". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 3 February 2020.
- "EU and UK pledge backing to Ukraine after Russian military buildup". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 April 2021.
- "Russian Ground Troop Units and Iskander ballistic missiles identified at Ukrainian border by Janes". Janes.com. Retrieved 10 April 2021.
- "Khomchak: Twenty-eight Russian battalion tactical groups stationed on border with Ukraine". ukrinform.net. Retrieved 10 April 2021.
- "Over 50 battalion tactical groups to fight enemy drones in southern Russia drills". TASS. Retrieved 10 April 2021.
- Morris, Loveday (9 April 2021). "On Ukraine's doorstep, Russia boosts military and sends message of regional clout to Biden". The Washington Post. Retrieved 11 April 2021.
- Shylenko, Olga (8 April 2021). "Ukraine's Zelensky on frontline as Merkel urges Putin to pull back troops". CTVNews. Retrieved 10 April 2021.
- Washington, Alan Cullison in Kyiv, Ukraine and Andrew Restuccia in (2 April 2021). "President Biden Holds Call With Ukrainian President Zelensky, Part of Effort to Reassure Kyiv". The Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 10 April 2021.
- "Kremlin says military movements near Ukraine are defensive, pose no threat". Reuters. 1 April 2021. Retrieved 12 April 2021.
- Mackinnon, Amy. "Is Russia Preparing to Go to War in Ukraine?". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 10 April 2021.
- "Ukraine conflict: Moscow could 'defend' Russia-backed rebels". BBC News. 9 April 2021. Retrieved 12 April 2021.
- Why Russia may not be planning the invasion that Ukraine fears, BBC News (15 April 2021)
- "Western countries knock Russia for not attending talks on Ukraine". MSN. Retrieved 10 April 2021.
- Amt, Auswärtiges. "Statement by Germany and France on the occasion of a meeting of OSCE participating States on unusual military activities on the Ukrainian-Russian border". wien-osze.diplo.de. Retrieved 11 April 2021.
- "Merkel demanded Putin reduce Russian troops around Ukraine: German statement". Reuters. 8 April 2021. Retrieved 10 April 2021.
- "Ukraine conflict: Moscow could 'defend' Russia-backed rebels". BBC News. 9 April 2021. Retrieved 10 April 2021.
- Teslova, Elena (17 April 2021). "Russia detains Ukrainian consul general". Anadolu Agency. Retrieved 17 April 2021.
- "Russia detains Ukrainian consul over classified information". Associated Press. 17 April 2021. Retrieved 17 April 2021.
- "Russia, Ukraine to expel diplomats amid rising tensions". Al Jazeera. 17 April 2021. Retrieved 18 April 2021.
- "Russia: FSB detains Ukrainian diplomat over classified information". Deutsche Welle. 17 April 2021. Retrieved 17 April 2021.
- "Russia, Ukraine expel diplomats as tensions soar". France 24. 17 April 2021. Retrieved 18 April 2021.
- "Turchynov: Russia starts aggression in Crimea". Kyiv Post. 28 February 2014. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
- Henderson, Barney (1 March 2014). "Ukraine live: Prime Minister of Ukraine says Russian military invasion would lead to war". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 2 March 2014. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
- Coker, Margaret; Kolyandr, Alexander (1 March 2014). "Ukraine Puts Military on Full Alert After Russian invasion Threat". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- "Law of Ukraine No 1207-VII of 15 April 2014 On Securing the Rights and Freedoms of Citizens and the Legal Regime on the Temporarily Occupied Territory of Ukraine (with changes set forth by the Law No 1237-VII of 6 May 2014) - News from Ukraine's diplomatic missions - MFA of Ukraine". mfa.gov.ua. Retrieved 25 February 2017.
- Rada names February 20, 2014 as official date of Crimea, Sevastopol occupation by Russia. Interfax Ukraine. 16 September 2015
- Rada names Feb. 20, 2014 as official date of Crimea, Sevastopol occupation by Russia. Kyiv Post. 15 September 2015
- President recognized 20 February as the official date of Crimean occupation. Ukrinform. 7 October 2015
- (in Ukrainian) The Cabinet decided to create the Ministry of temporarily occupied territories and internally displaced persons, Ukrayinska Pravda (20 April 2016)
- "U.S. pledges $1 billion in aid to Ukraine". Los Angeles Times. Associated Press. 4 March 2014. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
- Scislowska; Pablo Gorondi; Karel Janicek; Jovana Gec; Corneliu Rusnac (12 March 2014). "Russian aggression unnerves other neighbours". The Chronicle Herald. Associated Press. Retrieved 14 March 2014.
- "Russia's Neighbors Want Stronger Defenses After Ukraine Incursion". Global Security Newswire. 7 March 2014. Retrieved 14 March 2014.
- Gearan, Anne (1 April 2014). "NATO chief recommits to defending Eastern European, Baltic nations". The Washington Post. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
- Matishak, Martin (1 May 2014). "NATO diplomat: Russia now more an 'adversary' than an ally". The Hill. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
- Adrian Croft (8 April 2014). "NATO to triple Baltic air patrol from next month". Reuters. Brussels. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
- Naftali Bendavid (16 April 2014). "NATO Boosts Its Operations in Response to Russia's Moves on Ukraine". The Wall Street Journal. Brussels. Reuters. Archived from the original on 16 April 2014. Retrieved 16 April 2014.
- de Nesnera, Andre (16 April 2014). "Are US and Russia in New Cold War?". Voice of America. Archived from the original on 17 April 2014. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
- Kettle, Martin (24 April 2014). "Russia is a hostile power, but this is not a new cold war". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
- Webb, Isaac (1 May 2014). "Isaac Webb: Containment starts at home". Kyiv Post. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
- "The New Yorker, August 2014". The New Yorker. 11 August 2014. Retrieved 14 October 2014.
- Agencies (22 April 2014). "Ukraine to restart anti-terrorist operation as military plane 'hit by gunfire'". The Telegraph. London. Retrieved 22 April 2014.
- Shinkman, Paul (1 May 2014). "NATO Countries Planning Comms Mission in Ukraine". US News. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
- "How U.S. Military Aid Has Helped Ukraine Since 2014". NPR.org. December 2019.
- Kheel, Rebecca (27 March 2018). "Congress bans arms to Ukraine militia linked to neo-Nazis". TheHill.
- "Congress Has Removed a Ban on Funding Neo-Nazis From Its Year-End Spending Bill". The Nation. 14 January 2016.
- Sokol, Sam (18 January 2016). "US lifts ban on funding 'neo-Nazi' Ukrainian militia". Jerusalem Post.
- Law, Tara (25 September 2019). "'Nobody Pushed Me.' Ukrainian President Denies Trump Pressured Him to Investigate Biden's Son". TIME.
- Helena Bedwell; Henry Meyer (30 April 2014). "Georgia Pushes for Fast-Track NATO Entry to Ward Off Russia (3)". Bloomberg Businessweek. Archived from the original on 15 September 2014. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
- Kirtzkhalia, Nana (1 May 2014). "NATO to review deployment of U.S. missile defense system in Georgia". Trend.az. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
- Stewart, Phil (5 March 2014). "More U.S. jets on NATO patrol in Baltic amid Ukraine crisis: source". Reuters. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- Jim Miklaszewski; Courtney Kube (5 March 2014). "U.S. Moves Six Fighter Jets to Baltic, More Airmen to Poland". NBC News. Retrieved 7 March 2014.
- "Allies enhance NATO air-policing duties in Baltic States, Poland, Romania". NATO. 29 April 2014. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
- Kashi, David (17 March 2014). "UK Sends Typhoon Fighters to Baltic States To Guard Against Russia". International Business Times. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
- "France offers 4 warplanes for Baltic air patrols". The Times of India. Associated Press. 21 March 2014. Archived from the original on 21 March 2014. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
- Jennings, Gareth (23 March 2014). "France and Czech Republic offer fighter support as Ukraine crisis continues". IHS Jane's Defence Weekly. London. Archived from the original on 26 March 2014. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
- "Denmark to send six fighter jets to the Baltic: Media". Business Standard. Agence France-Presse. 27 March 2014. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
- "Germany ready to give military aid to Baltic states over Ukraine crisis". Global Post. Agence France-Presse. 29 March 2014. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
- Jennings, Gareth (23 April 2014). "France sends Rafale fighters to Poland". IHS Jane's Defence Weekly. London. Archived from the original on 2 May 2014. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
- "NATO minesweepers set off on Baltic deployment". FOX News. Kiel, Germany. Associated Press. 22 April 2014. Retrieved 30 September 2014.
- "NATO preps for military exercises in Baltic airspace". Lithuania Tribune. 31 March 2014. Archived from the original on 3 April 2014. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
- Siminski, Jacek (2 April 2014). "These days, the Baltic region is a buzzing hive of NATO planes". The Aviationist. Retrieved 7 April 2014.
- Hõbemägi, Toomas (28 March 2014). "US may deploy rotating units in Baltic states". Baltic Business News. Archived from the original on 7 April 2014. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
- "NATO to open air base in Estonia in response to Ukraine conflict". London South East. Deutsche Presse-Agentur. 3 April 2014. Retrieved 7 April 2014.
- "Lithuania says rising number of Russian jets flying too close for comfort". The Sydney Morning Herald. Reuters. 4 April 2014. Retrieved 7 April 2014.
- Baldor, Lolita (6 March 2014). "US fighter jets, warship arrive in Ukraine region". Associated Press. Archived from the original on 10 March 2014. Retrieved 10 March 2014.
- "U.S. Navy destroyer heads to Black Sea for pre-planned exercises", Reuters (6 March 2014)
- Destroyer USS Truxtun heads for Black Sea amid heightened tensions over Crimea Stars and Stripes. 6 March 2014
- Curry, Tim (30 March 2014). "House Intelligence Chairman Calls for Sending Arms to Ukraine". NBC News. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
- "U.S. sending additional Marines to Romania". CBS News. Associated Press. 2 April 2014. Retrieved 7 April 2014.
- Alissa de Carbonnel (8 April 2014).