Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula after Moscow-friendly president Viktor Yanukovych was driven from power by mass protests.
Weeks later, Russia threw its weight behind two separatist insurgency movements in Ukraine’s east which eventually saw the pro-Russian rebels in Donetsk and Luhansk declare the DPR and LPR independent states, and more than 14,000 people have died in the fighting.
The Minsk II agreement was brokered by France and Germany to help end the battles. It obliged Ukraine to offer autonomy to separatist regions, while regaining control of its border with Russia, and the withdrawal of all foreign armed formations and military equipment from DPR and LPR.
But Moscow insists it’s not bound by the terms because it’s not been a party in the conflict.
US intelligence officials determined Russia planned to deploy 175,000 troops near Ukraine’s border, while Kiyv complained about Moscow’s deployment of 90,000 troops near its border.
Russia denied the allegations.
Putin refuses a meeting with Ukraine, France and Germany, blaming Ukraine for not abiding by the 2015 pact.
Putin’s announces his “special military operation”.