Russia influence on Crimea

This is eastern Ukraine. Conflict broke out here in 2014 and it hasn't ended. There are about 100,000 fighters stationed, which makes it one of the most heavily militaries areas on Earth. There are Ukrainian forces to the west and Russia-backed separatist militias to the east.

In 2015 after nearly year of deadly fighting, a peace agreement called for a ceasefire creating the security zone. The agreement was suppose to stop the fight and resolve the conflict between Ukraine and the separatists. But three years later, the security zone remains the most violent place in Ukraine.

The ceasefire is violated almost every single day in East Ukraine, Which reportedly puts about 100,000 civilians in the constant danger. Over 10,000 people have died since the conflict in Ukraine began and about 1.5 million have been displaced. Wheel both sides continue to build up their forces. The conflict began at the end of 2013, when the Ukrainian government rejected an association with the European Union in other to build stronger ties with Russia. The pro-Moscow move led to massive protests in the capital Klev, which turned deadly by 2014.

Russia took advantage of the chaos and sent its military in to annex Crimea in March. A month later, pro-Russian separatists in the Donbass seized the cities of Luhansk and Donetsk and declare them independent from Ukraine. The Ukrainian army moved to take the region back, but Russia covertly joined the separatist rebels, which led to fierce fighting for several month. In February 2015, both sides settled on a peace agreement called Minsk II. The deal laid down conditions for a ceasefire in the security zone, where heavy artillery tanks and mortars were. Foreign militaries, meaning Russia had to leave Ukraine. It also recognized the two seperatists and the Donetsk People's Republic and the Luhansk People's Republic. And outlined how they could be reincorporated back into Ukraine, but despite the agreement none of that has happened. In other to understand why, you have to know what Ukraine means to Russian's President Vladimir Putin.

Ukraine was part of the Russian Empire in the 19th century and the Soviet Union in the 20th, when the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991, it's western territory broke into independent states including Ukraine. They formed a buffer between Russia and Western Europe, but in the 90s and 2000's these countries started drifting westward and many joined the EU. By invading Ukraine, Putin was able to destabilize and stop it from developing a strong relationship with Western Europe. Russia continues to fuel the fighting by supporting the separatists and keeps it's own military at the ready. Meanwhile Ukraine's government is forced to devote resources to it's defense. Both sides have ignored the ceasefire so far and a closer look at the frontlines reveals just how unstable the region is.

The separatist rebels in the LPR and DPR have funding, weapons, and the assurance the massive Russian military behind them. They are responsible for the majority of the ceasefire violations. On the Ukrainian side, the forces are a mix of Ukrainian soldiers and volunteers militias. This militias are funded by Ukrainian oligarchs and members of the parliament. Some have far-right views and even have attacked the Kiev government, but Kiev continues to fund and arms these groups anyway. It's there only defense against the Russia-backed rebels in the east.

So despite a ceasefire that could have ended the conflict, there's an active war on the ground. Both sides continue to fire a heavy artillery on daily basis as a show of strength. Power, water, and supplies are supplies are common targets and the heaviest price is paid by the hundreds of thousands of civilians trapped in the crossfire.