Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he is nearing a decision on whether to recognize the independence of two breakaway regions in Ukraine, a move that could raise concerns among analysts that it would trigger an intervention. Russian military intervention in Ukraine.
This act of recognition is significant because the borders claimed by the Russian-backed leaders of two breakaway regions, Donetsk and Luhansk, extend beyond the territory they currently control, and into space controlled by the Ukrainian military.
Ukrainian officials said that if Russia recognized two regions, the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic, it could allow separatist leaders to request military assistance from Russia, could pave the way for a military strike. Ukraine will probably explain it when Russian troops enter Ukrainian territory.
The conflict in the breakaway regions began in 2014, when rebels loyal to Russia seized government buildings in Donetsk and Luhansk, initiating a protracted war with Ukrainian forces. More than 13,000 people have died in skirmishes in the area since then.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/21/world/europe/donetsk-luhansk-donbas-ukraine.html Why Donetsk and Luhansk, in the Donbas Region, Problems in Ukraine