In February 2014, when Russian invaded Crimea in Eastern Ukraine, it looked to take back land it saw as Russian. At the time, Putin said the annexation of the Crimean Peninsula was to "to ensure proper conditions for the people of Crimea to be able to freely express their will." Newsweek subscription offers >What is the conflict between Russia and Ukraine?
The dissolution of Soviet Union in 1991 led to divergence of Russia and Ukraine. Their respective politics and international relations have led to the conflict. The present conflict is due to the fact that Russia has taken some steps that led to Crimea, a part of Ukraine was annexed by Russia.