The ongoing situation in Ukraine has rapidly become one of Europe's deadliest conflicts in decades, leaving over 6000 people dead, according to numbers released in March by the United Nations. It's been one year since members of the so-called Donetsk People's Republic (DNR), a pro-Russia self-proclaimed state, seized the regional administration building and other prominent institutions across the Donetsk region, removed Ukrainian officials, and flew their own flag — which notably consists of the colors of Russia's flag.
On April 7, 2014, residents of the Donetsk region declared themselves an independent state, and called for a Crimea-style referendum to decide its future. While some wanted to join Russia, others sought to form a federal republic within Ukraine. Both sides have participated in an ongoing propaganda war.The conflict heightened in July, when Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, headed from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was shot down in eastern Ukraine, alleged by pro-Russia separatists. Then in September, Donetsk saw several fatal shelling from Ukrainian forces, which killed hundreds of civilians. The conflict in Donetsk quickly became a flashpoint for what has escalated into Ukraine's civil war, which has left thousands dead and an estimated 1.5 million displaced. Here's a look at some of the major moments from last year that followed the forming of the DNR.Related: Watch all of the dispatches from the VICE News series Russian Roulette here