Russia planned to seize Crimea and East Ukraine during Yanukovich's rule
Russian Novaya Gazeta has published the document describing the plan of Russian annexation of Crimea and East Ukraine. The document was sent to the Kremlin administration between February 4 and 12, 2014 – Victor Yanukovich was the President of Ukraine back then.
The authors of the document suggested admitting the bankruptcy of the Yanukovich regime and switching to a pragmatic policy. It was suggested ‘to launch the integration of the eastern Ukrainian territories and Crimea into the state and legal framework of the Russian Federation”.
The Republic of Crimea, Kharkiv, Lugansk, Zaporozhye, Nikolayev, Dnipropetrovsk, Herson and Odessa Oblasts of Ukraine were mentioned in the first place. Conditionally, Sumy and Donetsk Oblasts were not on the list. It was noted that the party Batkivshchina was influential in the first oblast and the Donetsk Oblast business elite headed by Rinat Ahmetov had close contacts with a number of representatives of the opposition alliance of oligarchs.
The authors suggested launching a major PR campaign of the idea both in Russia and Ukraine.
See here for more details.