A poster portraying the commander of the Donetsk seperatists, the Russian colonel Igor 'Strelkov' (Shooter) Girkin. Strelkov apparently claimed responsibility for the downing by a Surface to Air-missile of what he thought was a Ukrainian military plane, but what in fact was Malaysia Airlines flight MH17. All 298 passengers were killed.
Since April 2014, pro-Russian separatists who oppose the government that followed the toppling of President Viktor Yanukovych have been occupying government buildings in the city and have declared the 'Donetsk People's Republic' (DNR or DPR). In July and August 2014, the Ukrainian army started making a concerted effort to retake the city from the separatists.