Ukraine’s Donbas region: how borderlands became battlefields and boundaries became frontiers
Publication date: 
Accord issue: 
Insight 4


Natalia Mirimanova describes developments in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, bordering Russia. This contested region broke away from Ukrainian control in 2014 and with Russian military and financial assistance established two self-governing ‘republics’. The article explores  the complex identities of the Donbas region and how the border became increasingly significant as tensions rose in Ukraine. It reflects on how cross-border interests have played out and national narratives have hardened to further isolate the region. Mirimanova asks why progress in the official peace process has been so slow and looks at what international actors and local NGOs have done to build peace at the grassroots level.