Why did Putin invade eastern Ukraine?
Answer – having invaded and captured Crimea in Feb 2014, Putin needed to create a large and secure land border to it. Picture above shows the Ukrainian border crossing at Dolzhanskyi, in the Luhansk Oblast (Province). Captured after mass Russian shelling.
Currently, we don’t now whether Russia’s aim was to invade all of Ukraine, but my assessment is Putin only wanted part of it. A glance at the map below, shows the River Dnipro. Running through the country, this large and wide river, would make for an ideal new border, one which is easily defended. Importantly, it would allow for the creation of that wide, land border to Crimea.
Shown in light beige, the following 3 Situation report maps detail the territory controlled by Russian led forces in Ukraine. The 409km of Ukraine’s border which Russia now fully controls, is shown as a red line.
July 7th 2014: Shows Russian led forces being pushed back by the Ukrainian military. This set back, prompted the Russian army to invade in far greater numbers, resulting in Russia by end of Sept 2014, gaining full control over 409km of Ukraine’s eastern border.
Sept 4th 2015: Shows the dramatic increase in size of territory occupied by Russian led forces.
Jan 22nd 2018: Reveals the utter futility of this continued Russian conflict, with the map showing Russian led forces have not gained any significant territory since late 2015. On the plus side, Russia’s made the Ukrainian army one of the most experienced and battle hardened armies in the world.