The operative term used to describe the protesters, occupiers of government buildings, and opposition to the Ukraine government is “pro-Russian separatists”. Now, what do you call the Russian government supplied military specialists, advisors, or insurgents who are supporting the separatists with military know-how and weapons? In a civil war such as being waged inside the Ukraine, ethnic Russians, who are a minority of the nation’s population, are fighting the central government because it overthrew a Russian backed puppet president. The Ukraine is fighting for freedom from Russia and for a new style of government more influenced by the EU than by Russia.
Where the population of some border regions of the Ukraine have a high percentage of ethnic Russians, the separatists have formed to secede from the Ukraine. Russia is leveraging these dynamics to grab territory and the Russian population. These actions are happening outside international law, and the Russian interference as exemplified by the Crimean takeover, is illegal. For that, Russia is being sanctioned. Further actions by Russia will lead to more sanctions and Russia being blockaded from the global market.
“Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told CNN the military operation was "the last nail in the coffin" for the deal agreed to last month in Geneva, Switzerland, which called for illegal militia groups in eastern Ukraine to disarm and vacate seized buildings.”
“Pro-Russian separatists downed two helicopters in the volatile region while clashes in the southern port city of Odessa sparked a fire that killed dozens, raising the question of whether the country can stave off a possible civil war.
The violence pit pro-Russian separatists against Ukrainian forces and those who support the government in Kiev. It prompted a meeting of the U.N. Security Council, with Russia demanding an end to what it called Ukrainian aggression and Western powers accusing Moscow of funding the violence.
Security forces launched their most intensive effort yet on Friday to try to dislodge the separatists who have reportedly seized government buildings in nearly a dozen cities and towns.”