During February and March 2014, Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula, hitherto an integral part of Ukraine's territory. In parallel, Russia's authorities initiated the so-called ‘Russian Spring’, i.e. attempts to incite uprisings against the Ukrainian government in eastern and southern Ukraine. The tacit aim was to ‘federalise’ Ukraine, in effect, to split the country in two—thus definitively dashing the Ukrainian leadership's aspirations to integrate Ukraine into Euro-Atlantic structures—and to bind the country with Russia. Aided by Russian ‘volunteers’, led by Igor Girkin, in April 2014 an uprising broke out in the Donetsk and Lugansk oblasts of Donbass. In summer 2014, when Ukraine's military started to get the upper hand and there was a serious risk of them suppressing the rebellion, Russia's leadership opted for a direct intervention, sending units and heavy military equipment into Donbass in August 2014 (Olszański 2017; for specific activities of Russia's armed forces during the annexation of the Crimea and the Donbass invasion, see e.g. Berezovets 2015; Tymchuk, Karin, Mashovec and Gusarov 2016). As of December 2017, the threat of Ukraine's break-up has not materialised, but the conflict has turned latent.