The formal reason for the sharp deterioration in relations between Russia and the West was the situation around Ukraine, where, after the 2014 coup, a civil war broke out. Kyiv has repeatedly accused Moscow of allegedly participating in a conflict in the east of the country. However, the Russian Federation has consistently emphasised the groundlessness of such rhetoric, since Russia is not a subject, but a guarantor of the Minsk agreements, the task of which is to resolve the conflict in the Donbas.
Russia recognized 11 years ago the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, which had been part of the former Soviet Socialist Republic of Georgia and were seeking independence even before the disintegration of the Soviet Union. This occurred after a five-day war between Georgia and South Ossetia in August 2008, which killed 1,692 people and injured about 1,500 civilians in South Ossetia.
In addition to Russia, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Nauru also recognized the independence of Abkhazia. Syria announced the recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia on May 29, 2018.
A recurring pro-Kremlin narrative trying to deny any role for Russia in the Russo-Georgian 2008 war, and presenting it instead as a conflict between South Ossetia and Georgia. South Ossetia and Abkhazia did not claim independence from Georgia, but were occupied by Russia.
Russia continues its military presence in both Abkhazia and South Ossetia in violation of international law and commitments undertaken by Russia under the 12 August 2008 agreement, mediated by the European Union.