After Donald Trump said Sunday that Russian president Vladimir Putin wasn't "going to go into Ukraine", most media outlets seized on the fact that Putin illegally annexed Crimea, formerly a part of Ukraine, in 2014.

But the Russian leader has also been propping up a bloody conflict in eastern Ukraine for over two years—another fact that Trump seems unaware of.

The war between Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed rebels has resulted in the death of at least 9,000 people, according to United Nations figures from late April. Ceasefire agreements between the two sides have not held up, though fighting has become less intense in recent months.

The Kremlin has denied any involvement in the conflict, despite the presence of Russian soldiers there.

The government has quashed attempts to reveal Russian participation in the war. Soldiers' Mothers of St. Petersburg, a non-governmental organization that spoke out against the covert draft in 2014, was labeled a "foreign agent" and silenced. Many other parents, left in the dark about their children's whereabouts, have protested the Kremlin's secrecy.

In addition to providing rebels with manpower, Russia has sent separatists advanced weapons and has launched Grad rockets at Ukraine from its own territory.

The U.S. has provided Ukrainian forces with nonlethal assistance, ranging from decades-old Humvees to new night vision gear. Members of Congress have lobbied to provide Ukraine with lethal aid, though the president has refused to do so.

The Trump campaign also reportedly worked last month to soften the Republican party platform on U.S. arms assistance to Ukraine. The businessman, along with his campaign manager Paul Manafort, denied playing any role in scaling back supportSunday. Manafort has close ties to former Ukrainian president and Putin ally Viktor Yanukovych, who was once Manafort's political client.

Trump did not mention the ongoing conflict in a tweet Monday that explained his comment about Putin "not going into Ukraine."

"When I said in an interview that Putin is 'not going into Ukraine, you can mark it down,' I am saying if I am President," Trump wrote. "Already in Crimea!"