Anti-Russian troops and militias have been determined to wipe out the two pro-Russian provincial holdouts approved by the 2015 Minsk agreement.
An old war strategy says that when preparing to attack say that you only seek to defend.
People seem to have forgotten that in 2014 there was a civil war in Ukraine which saw a coup-installed
anti-Russian government using extremist, far-right militias from western Ukraine to dominate the large Russian speaking majority in central and eastern Ukraine.
With 14,000 killed, the pro-Russian groupings only managed to survive by establishing holdouts in the far eastern provinces of Donetsk and Lugansk bordering Russia. From there they negotiated a truce with the new anti-Russian government in Kiev which promised them a degree of autonomy. It was called the Minsk Two agreement of 2015.
But the Kiev government reneged on that promise of autonomy, saying it was unconstitutional, even though they had signed onto the agreement.
The years since have seen sporadic fighting and failed attempts revive that Minsk agreement. Much of the fighting has been carried out by bitterly anti-Russian troops and militias determined to wipe out the two pro-Russian provincial holdouts approved by that 2015 Minsk agreement. There have been hints recently that with more Western aid Kiev will be able to attack and possibly rid itself of these two blots on its horizon.
It is the recent increase in numbers of Russian soldiers stationed on the border of Ukraine in response to those hints of possible attack that Kiev and many Western governments have denounced as Russia’s ‘planned invasion.’
It is the very existence of Donetsk and Lugansk and the Russian aid they receive which is denounced as Russian aggression, even though the Minsk agreement allowing the existence of the provinces has UN Security Council approval.
That said there could be a large temptation for Moscow to invade. The fighting of 2014-15 left large areas of Russian-speaking Ukraine under Kiev control. Kiev has been ruthless in trying to stop use of Russian and expand use of Ukrainian dialect.
Moscow regained from Ukraine control of Russian-speaking Crimea in 2014 simply by moving some of its troops across the border.
True, with much Western aid Kiev has since improved its military. Even so they would probably be no match for the 120,000 troops Moscow now has stationed along the border.