Nearly 13,000 people have been killed in five years of fighting in the border region between Russia and Ukraine.
The conflict pitches government forces against Russian-backed separatists. Later today European Union Foreign Ministers will meet in Brussels to discuss increasing sanctions against Moscow.
NBC’s Bill Neely visited the battleground of Europe’s often-forgotten war. Those on the Ukrainian side clearly see Russia as being behind the separatist movement.
Ukrainian Army Officer Dmitri Kebtz said: “It’s my country. It’s my earth. It’s mine. I was born in this place.”
And Ukrainian MP Mustafa Nayyem claimed: “Russia is not ready to accept Ukraine as an independent country.”
Watch the report in the video player above.