For those not familiar with eastern Ukraine (and that was me 4 years ago), you maybe wondering why it’s often referred to as the Donbas?
Under both Russia & now independent Ukraine, eastern Ukraine and parts of bordering Russia was & still is today called the Donbas. The name derives from the whole region having become known as the Donets Basin, a reference to the mighty River Donets which flows through it. Donbas is simply a merger of Donets Basin into the shorter Donbas.
In Ukraine, the eastern Oblasts (provinces) of Donetsk and Luhansk make up much of the what is known as the Donbas. Currently Russian forces occupy parts of the two regions.
As the below Soviet poster shows, the Donbas is also written as Donbass. In English, Russian propaganda, its trolls and propagandists mostly write it as Donbass, with Ukrainians preferring Donbas. On social media, to frustrate Russia’s efforts to dominate the #Donbass hashtag, is use both spellings. The Kremlin’s propaganda likes to falsely claim the Donbas is an entirely separate region, under the full control of its fake “separatist” republics. This makes it easier for them to inaccurately claim that’s why the region wants its independence from Ukraine.
Again, as the poster illustrates, the area was once the industrial heartland of Russia, with Donbas coal mines providing the power for the whole of Russia. Today many of the mines have closed, with few now able to operate in Russian occupied territory.