Pro-Russian protesters wave Russian flags and hold a banner reading "Donetsk region is with Russia" during a rally in the industrial Ukrainian city of Donetsk on March 1, 2014. More than 10,000 people carrying Russian flags protested in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, the stronghold of ousted president Viktor Yanukovych. Protesters declared they supported "the aspirations of Crimea to rejoin Russia", referring to Ukraine's pro-Russia peninsula further south where Kiev has accused Moscow of launching an "armed invasion."
Soon after the Russian troops started invading Crimea, an entirely different invasion started in eastern and southern Ukraine. Dozens of Russian civilians traveled to those regions to stir up separatist moods and organize rallies against the new Kyiv government, according to officials and eyewitness accounts.