Luhansk is one of two separatist territories that declared independence from Ukraine in 2014, following the Russian invasion and subsequent annexation of Crimea. The separatist territories of Luhansk and Donetsk, forming the eastern Donbas region of Ukraine, are home to a majority Russian-speaking population. 

Ukrainian military forces have been at war with the Russian-backed separatists in the Donbas region since 2014. Luhansk claims the same boundaries corresponding to its Ukrainian oblast, or province, lines. Less than half of its claimed territory is under the de facto control of the Luhansk People’s Republic. The Ukrainian government published an official delimitation of the line of control on 7 February 2019, and the military conflict in the Donbas region was relatively stable from 2019 through to 2021.

On 21 February 2022, Russia officially recognized the independence of Luhansk and Donetsk. It was the first, and only, State to do so. Three days later, Russia began an official full scale military invasion of Ukraine, with fighting initially focused in Kiev, and along the northern and eastern Russia–Ukraine international boundary. By April 2022, Russia’s military priorities have shifted to the Donbas region of Ukraine, where fighting continues.

Map showing the land boundary between Luhansk and Ukraine

In October 2022, Russia unilaterally annexed Luhansk; more information about this can be found in the Russia–Ukraine Boundary Brief.

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