What is at risk?

What are the divided regions of Ukraine?

Donetsk and Lukansk (Donbass region) seceded from Ukraine in 2014 (the same year Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula and the city of Sevastopol) and declared the independence of their “people’s republics”. During the years of military aid, financial assistance and epidemics, Vladimir Putin’s regime guaranteed the credibility of the two regions through vaccines against Kovit-19, turning them into satellite states of the Russian Federation in practice.

Is there any connection between these regions and Portugal?

The main city of Donbass is Donetsk. For the Portuguese, who are more focused on the football event, Donetsk is a well-known name because the city’s main football club is Shakhtar, already coached by two Portuguese: Palo Fonseca (2016 to 2019) and Luis Castro (2019-2020). The city was also one of the venues for Euro 2012.

What relationship does Donbass have with Moscow, and who lives there?

Although Russia alone guarantees the political credibility of separatist leaders in Lukansk and Donetsk, Moscow has until now understood that both regions are part of Ukraine. Unofficially, they were already a kind of Russian provinces. About three million people still live here, about half the population before the war that began in 2014. About 800,000 of its residents hold Russian passports.

What are the Minsk agreements and why did they fail?

Following the annexation of Crimea and the civil war in the Donbass, two agreements were signed. First, and still in 2014, a ceasefire was established between the Ukrainian military and Russian separatists. The second, signed in 2015, contained a kind of guide to peace. It was never fulfilled. Moscow argues that the agreement establishes a veto on extended autonomy and national affairs for the Donetsk and Luhansk republics (for example, in applications for membership of the European Union or NATO). The Ukrainians acknowledged that repressed autonomy was necessary to disarm Russian fighters and transfer border control to the central state before it could be used. Conflicting positions dictating that the path to peace is a dead end.

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Has Russia recognized the other republics that have split?

Since Ukraine is a huge country with a population of over 40 million, this is nothing new, the difference in size. In 2008, after a brief military confrontation with Georgia, another former Soviet republic that sought to escape Kremlin’s orders, the Russians recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Since then The purpose (then, as it is now in Ukraine) is to prevent territorial control and thereby prevent any provocation by Georgia, for example, NATO.

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