The Donbas area of Ukraine refers back to the previous coal and steel-producing areas within the east.
The areas, Luhansk and Donetsk, run from outdoors Mariupol within the south all the best way to the northern border.
Russia formally recognises these breakaway areas as unbiased from Ukraine.
Russian forces seized greater than a 3rd of the world after Russia annexed Crimea in 2014. Donbas is predominantly Russian-speaking and Putin has repeatedly spoken about “liberating” it fully.
Regardless of sharing a language, these areas are not pro-Russian.
Defence specialist Konrad Muzyka, head of Rochan Consulting, stated: “Mariupol was one of the pro-Russian cities in Ukraine and to degree it’s past my comprehension.”