The write-up below is based (here) largely on the insightful analysis provided by Evgeniy Shabaev:
Three years ago the Kremlin delivered a key blow to and one of the first treasonous coups against the anti-Maidan, anti-fascist, national liberation uprising in Ukraine by making sure that the Kharkov congress of the deputies of the whole South East of Ukraine with 90% of the Ukrainian military command and security present was dispersed without adopting any decision.
Moreover, this happened on the anniversary of the Russian holiday, the Day of the Motherland's Defender, February 23 (the schemers have a knack for using and appreciating the symbolism of their actions and the power of the symbols used, misused and subverted). This significantly weakened the legitimacy, organization, power and effectiveness of the resistance to the Maidan coup.
Anyone who knew about the strange, aborted Kharkov congress and how it was squashed by the Kremlin--with Surkov and other Kremlin's high officials being either in Rostov nearby and advising the power brokers directly (Surkov) or at the congress itself, may see that the above said is true.
Before that the Kremlin pushed Yanukovich to sign off the effective surrender to the Banderites together with Germany, France, Poland and the EU.
The leaked or hacked correspondence of the Kremlin (Surkov) moreover also showed that prior to that there had been an intensive consultation and coordination of the steps and agreements between Russia and the US on Ukraine, including the Crimea, in the Fall of 2013.