This latest footage was captured in the war-torn Donbass region of Eastern Ukraine. Filmed from a dashcam, it shows a routine search of a car taking place at a checkpoint in the Luhansk region that is home to the de facto rebel territory of the Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR). The driver of the car is suspected militant separatist of the LNR and whilst it’s unclear what triggers the situation, a scuffle breaks out leading to the militant to detonate a hand grenade rather than be captured. Killing two Ukrainian police officers in the process.
The Story Behind the War in Ukraine
In 2014 as the pro-Western Euromaidan revolution swept across Kyiv and wider Ukraine, the government led by Viktor Yanukovych collapsed. In contrast to the Euromaidan protests, pro-Russian protests in the south-eastern regions of Ukraine, particularly Donetsk and Lugansk regions. These soon escalated into full-blown separatist movements
Around the same time, the largely ethnically Russian Crimea began to make it clear they wanted to separate from Ukraine. Russian soldiers with no insignia appeared on the strategic peninsula. Known as ‘the little green men’, these soldiers rapidly captured key positions and surrounded Ukrainian military bases. Crimea subsequently held a referendum that was largely unrecognized and achieved independence from Ukraine. Shortly after, Russian annexed Crimea with minimal violence.
The nearby Donbass region, however, was not lucky enough to avoid widespread violence. What began as protests between the separatist movements and the new Ukrainian government soon deteriorated into full-blown warfare and the formation of two self-declared states: the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic.
By September of 2014, the separatist rebels and the Ukrainian government signed the Minsk Protocol. This agreement, co-signed by Russia and the OSCE, was established in order to create a lasting ceasefire. However, it hardly halted the conflict which continued to rage sporadically.
During the early ceasefire period as agreements were being made about the lines between the separatists and the Ukrainian government forces, various warlords began to capture and control territory which meant further rapid deterioration of the security situation in Eastern Ukraine. By January 2015, the ceasefire was in ruins and full-scale warfare was underway between the two sides.
Some of the most infamous battles took place at the recently built Donetsk Airport and the city of Debaltseve. In a vain effort to stop the carnage a new agreement was drawn up in February 2015 called Minsk II. After it was signed, separatist forces launched a mass assault on the strategic city of Debaltseve and pushed Ukrainian forces out. Since then, the war has ground to a stalemate with people still being killed every month. Various international fighters have become involved on both sides.