Today, Russia's president Vladimir Putin was talking with Germany's Chancellor Olaf Scholz. Putin referred to the situation in Ukraine's breakaway regions as a 'genocide'. What exactly is he referring to? This appears to be a very confused narrative, as the separatists which unilaterally declared the Donetsk and Luhansk republics are pro-Kremlin, and claim to be defending ethnic Russians.
Is this just a theatrical way of saying the separatists are losing to the Ukrainian military? Or are there specific independently verified events in the region which constitute a genocide against ethnic Russians? And if there is such violence, is there also genocidal activity against ethnic Ukrainians by ethnic Russians?