There are no Russian military forces either in the Donbas or in other parts of Ukraine, as they are located exclusively on Russian territory.
The current tragedy of modern Ukraine "indeed began in 2014," however, it was not the result of some provocation on the part of Russia but the result of a state coup that was "supported and even to a substantial degree organised" by the US.
Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the Euromaidan and the war in Ukraine.
There was no coup d'état in Ukraine. The spontaneous onset of the Euromaidan protests was an organic reaction by numerous parts of the Ukrainian population to former President Yanukovych’s sudden departure from the promised Association Agreement with the European Union in November 2013. See the full debunk of this disinformation claim here.
The so-called “Ukrainian Tragedy” started mainly with the illegal annexation of the Crimean peninsula through a non-recognised referendum, announced on 27 February 2014, and held on gunpoint on 16 March 2014, which the UN described it a not valid and could not serve as a basis for any change in the status of the peninsula, in its turn the EU continues to strongly condemn this violation of international law and has responded by imposing restrictive measures against the Russian Federation.
Secondly, the Eastern part of Ukraine is still facing a war fueled by Russian armed aggression since 2014.
The EU is among the strongest advocates of Ukraine's sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity. Futhermore, the European Union has stated that it will be standing firmly and decisively with Ukraine in front of any attempt to undermine its territorial integrity and sovereignty, and has warned of severe political consequences and with a high political and economic cost for Russia if it proceeds with further aggressive actions.
At the beginning of 2022, on 4-6 January, the EU High Representative Josep Borrell visited Ukraine, including Kyiv and the Stanytsya Luhanska checkpoint - see his statement/blog here on the consequences of the war. The High Representative said, inter alia:
“I could eyewitness the consequences of the war in the Donbas region and hear and see how the conflict has dramatically affected the lives of thousands of people, with many destinies destroyed. ...
Russia is a party to this conflict and not a mediator as it often claims. Our main interest, concern and purpose is to get Russia to de-escalate tensions.”
For more, read this article on Russian disinformation about the Russian military build-up near Ukraine. See also the statement from the European Council on 24 January 2022.
Read similar stories in our database claiming that a civil war began in Ukraine after the clique seized power in the country, or that the Russian Army is not involved in the war in Ukraine, or that a violent coup d’état took place in Ukraine in 2014; or that the EU supported an unconstitutional coup d'état in Ukraine led by the US; or that Russia has nothing to do with the Ukrainian conflict; or that the people of Crimea legally decided their fate in 2014.