In order to be able to understand whether the commonly made charge in Western news media that «Putin invaded Ukraine in 2014» is true in even the limited sense that Obama’s coup in Ukraine forced Putin to try to «seize» Donbass from Ukraine (the «civil war» that occurred after Obama’s coup and after Crimea’s rejoining Russia), one must understand the fractious politics of Ukraine, which preceded Obama’s February 2014 coup and which therefore largely determined the breakaway from Ukraine of Crimea and especially of Donbass. Secession movements are always reflections of deep underlying historical causes, and this was certainly true here:
Ukraine was an extremely polarized electorate, and a glance at the electoral map of the election that voted into office the man whom Obama’s forces overthrew shows this very clearly. As you can see there, around 90% of the people in the region in purple at the far eastern end of Ukraine had voted for Viktor Yanukovych, whereas around 90% of the people in the red far western end had voted for Yulia Tymoshenko. Tymoshenko represented the rabid Russian-haters, and Yanukovych represented the «Party of Regions», which favored a sort of «rainbow coalition» of the regions that had favored Hitler over Stalin, and of the areas that had favored Stalin over Hitler. (Back in the 1940s – before the Cold War – there was no democratic option for Ukrainians.) Whereas the northwest had favored Germany, the southeast had favored Russia – and, in between those areas, were the voters who were somewhat balanced between the two parties. On the other hand, also the south of the country was far more drawn toward Russia than it was toward Germany, and this southern strength for Yanukovych was another reason why Yanukovych beat Tymoshenko (i.e., won the 2010 election – the last democratic election throughout the Ukrainian nation).