Last spring, eastern Ukraine was a struggling, rust-belt region of mines and metal works. Now it's a battle zone where armies face off with heavy weapons, and where nearly 5,000 people have died.
In Russia, one man claims to have touched off the conflagration, and he says he's proud of what he did. His name is Igor Girkin, and he has a knack for turning up in tumultuous places.
In this instance, Girkin made his appearance in April of last year, shortly after Ukraine's pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych was ousted after months of street protests.