Ukraine

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Ukraine, with occupied territory in light green.

Ukraine (Ukrainian: Україна) is a nation in Eastern Europe, near the ill-defined border with Asia. It is the second-largest country in Europe (after Russia). Ukraine's capital, Kyiv (or Kiev; Ukrainian: Київ) is considered the key hub of East Slavic culture.[note 1][2] Once part of the Soviet Union (declaring independence on 24 August 1991), Ukraine is a potential candidate member of the European Union (EU), although the common Eastern Bloc levels of corruption and economic underdevelopment would be a large hurdle before that — even without the internal and external political omnishambles that developed in 2014.

Due to a quirk of geography, most of the natural gas that Russia sells to Europe passes through Ukraine. Sometimes Russia tries to punish Ukraine for being in arrears on their gas payments by cutting the flow of gas to Ukraine, but then Ukraine makes up the shortfall from the gas that was supposed to go to Germany, forcing Russia to cut off the gas altogether in the middle of the winter. And France just laughs, because 90% of its energy comes from nuclear power.

Ukraine also had the dubious distinction of having to redo their 2005 presidential election because of widespread fraud; during this campaign the eventual winner, Viktor Yushchenko, suffered one of the most acute cases of dioxin poisoning ever recorded. Russia was the most likely culprit in the assassination attempt.[3]

Since 2014, major portions of the country are under illegal military occupation by Russia.[4] These areas include Autonomous Republic of Crimea as the illegally annexed "Republic of Crimea", parts of Donetsk Oblast and the Luhansk Oblast as Russia's puppet states of "Donetsk People's Republic" and "Luhansk People's Republic".

On February 24, 2022, Russia invaded Ukrainian territory under the guise of "peace keeping" in the separatist-held territories of Doneetsk and Luhansk.[5] Russia subsequently launched a full-scale invasion of the country (which they euphemistically called 'special military operation'),[6] prompting Ukrainian citizens across multiple major cities, including the capital Kyiv, to flee.[7] This drew condemnation by the United States and the European Union, who deemed the act an invasion and imposed severe and unprecedented sanctions, such as removing access to a major natural gas pipeline and halting global financing to two major Russian banks.[8] The act of war also drew condemnation from leaders in South Korea, Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, and even Hungary.[7] This also prompted anti-war protests across the world, including in at least 47 cities in Russia including Moscow, which has led thousands of protestors being arrested for violating laws against spontaneous mass demonstrations.[9] In response to the invasion, the European Union sent lethal aid to Ukraine and banned Russian planes within their airspace. Ukraine president Volodomyr Zelenskyy signed an application for Ukraine to become a member of the EU shortly thereafter.[10][11][12][13]

History[edit]

Outline of Kyivan Rus in 1054

The original form of Ukraine was part of Kievan Rus, the proto-state of what would become Ukrainians, Russians, and Belarussians. After the fragmentation of Kievan Rus, and especially the devastation by the Mongol Invasion, Ukraine spent most of its early history being contested, divided, and ruled by several regional and international powers, until the Cossack Hetmanate took power and prospered through the 17th and 18th centuries, until it was conquered by Poland and Tsarist Russia.

After the Russian Revolution, a Ukrainian nationalist movement for self-determination emerged, and the internationally recognized Ukrainian People's Republic was declared on 23 June 1917. The Ukrainian SSR was a founding member of the Soviet Union in 1922. The country regained its independence in 1991, following the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

It can be argued that much of modern Ukraine's borders were drawn up by the USSR. What is now Western Ukraine was part of Poland (KresyWikipedia) from 1919-1945, which Poland itself annexed from the short-lived Ukrainian People's RepublicWikipedia in 1918. Józef Piłsudski's Polish government unsuccessfully tried to suppress Ukrainian nationalists in the region, which resulted in retaliatory massacres of PolesWikipedia after the Nazi German occupation.

Josef Stalin caused a famine there in 1932 which killed at least 3 million Ukrainians, and after the Germans occupied the region in 1941,Wikipedia a further 5 million perished, including 1.6 million Jews.

In 1954, Nikita KhrushchevWikipedia transferred CrimeaWikipedia from the Russian SFSR to the Ukrainian SSR, not knowing that it would cause further headaches 60 years later. Russian nationalists, especially those who supported Russia's own annexation of Crimea in 2014Wikipedia often make the argument that Khrushchev's transfer was a personal gesture in contravention of the then Soviet Constitution.

Ukrainian history since then was relatively uneventful, until 1986 when a nuclear power plant in Chernobyl exploded. The region was quickly evacuated and remains a ghost town to this day.

After the breakup of the USSR, no one was quite sure what to do with the Ukraine. In 1994 a deal was struck where Ukraine would give up its Soviet-era stockpile of nuclear weapons, in exchange for permanent peace with Russia.[14] So far that treaty has been respected by everyone and Ukraine has known nothing but peace... oh.

Euromaidan, Crimean crisis, and War in Donbas[edit]

Petro Poroshenko addresses Euromaidan
Map showing prevalence of Ukrainian as a mother tongue, according to the 2001 census. The Crimean peninsula is at the bottom right, the tiny part with 6.8% is Sevastopol. Also note the sharp uptick between oblasts such as Donetsk (24.1%) and Dnipropetrovsk (67%)[15]

Ukraine was about to sign an Association Agreement with the EU, but Victor Yanukovych (Yushchenko's former opponent, who was elected President in 2010) cancelled preparations for it on November 21, 2013, causing a wave of protests known by a Twitter hashtag, Euromaidan (a portmanteau of "Europe" and Maidan Nezalezhnosti, translated as "Independence Square," the main square of Kyiv). The situation escalated — every attempt at forcibly suppressing the protests caused them to intensify, becoming a hotbed for pro-Europeanists and nationalists alike.[16] As demonstrators occupied government buildings, clashes between protesters and riot police backed up by "Berkut" special forces led to snipers killing opposition activists.[note 2] Ultimately, Yanukovych signed a compromise deal to restore the 2004 constitution on February 21[18] (the fact that the larger Ukrainian Army refused to participate in gunning down protesters was a major factor in this decision) and then fled without formally resigning his post, leaving Chicken Kiev fans jubilant. At least until it was revealed that he'd embezzled significant amounts of money from the Ukrainian treasury, and took the cash with him when he fled. He has since reappeared in Russia, maintaining that he is still the legitimate President of Ukraine and that his removal was an illegal coup d'état. You can bet some Ukrainian hryvnias (and a galleon[19][20]) what's the position of Russia.

Ukraine was not undivided in its opposition to Yanukovych's government. As a general rule, the protests received more support in the western parts of Ukraine, while the more pro-Russian eastern parts, which also contain more ethnic Russians,[note 3] saw counter-protests in support of Yanukovych and even open calls to joining Russia. One of the peaks of these sentiments was the Autonomous Republic of Crimea: its "special status" city of Sevastopol includes a major sea port and a Russian naval base.[note 4]

The situation got worse after Yanukovych's re-emergence in Russia. Inter-ethnic tensions were exacerbated by a push by the remaining Ukrainian parliament to repeal a controversial 2012 law on regional languages[note 5] that in effect had made Russian the official language in regions recognized as predominantly Russian. The acting President vetoed the repeal, but the damage was already done.

Vladimir Putin then ordered an invasion, with militia and soldiers seizing Crimean parliamentary buildings and installing a pro-Russian prime minister, and a referendum to secede from Ukraine (widely denounced as a sham,[22] especially considering that members of the "Russian Bloc" party who were installed as the new leaders of Crimea never reached more than 3% before the Russian intervention) passed by 97% on March 16, 2014[23] By April, separatists stirring shit up in the rest of the country were able to establish an insurgency in the easternmost oblasts of Donetsk and Luhansk (collectively known as the Donbass); in the coastal city of Odessa, a confrontation between pro-Russian and the pro-Ukrainian activists resulted in 42 pro-Russians dying in a fire at a trade union house.[24]

Long story short: on June 27, the crisis went full circle with the newly-elected President Petro Poroshenko signing the Association Agreement (alongside Georgia and Moldova),[25] a civilian airliner was shot down, and once it was clear the Ukrainian army would succeed in a bloody summer counter-offensive, over 3,000 Russian troops moved into the Donbass on August 28 in an attempt to freeze the conflict.[26] On October 26, the first parliamentary elections since the revolution decimated Yanukovych's Party of Regions in favour of pro-European reformers.[27]

It appears this entire escapade doesn't really make any sense in the long term for the Kremlin (both at the cost of supplying the annexed territory and global geopolitical risks[28][29][30]), led some to speculate that Putin may have been losing it.[31][32] Even China, at a time when Putin desperately needed allies, had been partying[33] …ahem, notably silent.[34][35]

Rising pro-Ukrainian nationalism[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Nationalism

The prospect of war against separatism led to an increase in Ukrainian nationalist sentiment, which came to a head once Petro Poroshenko became president. President Poroshenko allegedly authorized shelling of civilian targets,[36] cutting off their water and state services,[37] and blocking attempts at reform from parliament.

Poroshenko's nationalist presidency was a reaction to Russian aggression and nationalism in Eastern Ukraine, which exemplifies the problems with war in general, as it inspires extremists to take power so they can "defeat" the nation-state's enemy. Poroshenko's refusal to stop corruption and unwillingness to purge far-right Ukrainian nationalists also contributed to a massive humanitarian crisis within Ukraine.[38][39][40] There are multiple instances of beatings, abductions, and possible executions of local residents by right-wing Ukrainian troops aligned with pro-Ukrainian oligarchs like Rinat Akhmetov.[41][42][43]

Amnesty International noted that Kyiv's volunteer "territorial defense battalions", such as the Aidar Battalion,Wikipedia Donbas Battalion,Wikipedia and Azov Battalion, were increasingly blocking humanitarian aid into eastern Ukraine.[44][45] Similar concerns have been raised about Oleh LyashkoWikipedia and his militia.[46] Human Rights Watch noted that Ukrainian government forces and pro-government paramilitaries used unguided, indiscriminate Grad rockets against civilian areas. Amnesty International dug up several incidents of summary executions by Kyiv's forces as well.[47][48][49][50] Poroshenko's siege tactics on insurgent areas also disproportionately affected civilians.[51][52] And, the insurgents have been known to abduct and torture pro-Kyiv Ukrainians, destroy medical equipment, threaten medical staff, and occupy hospitals while taking hostages.[53] Even within Ukrainian domestic politics, Poroshenko consistently showed a distinct lack of will to crack down on oligarchs — since he is himself an oligarch.[54] Meanwhile, the government issued bans against 41 international journalists who are considered pro-Russian, which inexplicably includes three BBC journalists and two Spanish journalists missing in Syria.[55] Trolls affiliated with the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) harassed and sent death threats to a number of Ukrainian journalists who were accused of treason due to their attempts to cover the war on both sides.[56] Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk wasn't much better, what with his hard-on for austerity, which included eradicating education, healthcare, unemployment benefits, and social programs in general in exchange for enriching the oligarchs who helped fund his campaign.[57][58]

Far-right influence in the military[edit]

Although sources like the Russian propaganda site RT exaggerated the role of the far-right groups (including the Right SectorWikipedia) in the armed conflict, they have agitated the conflict unnecessarily. At the time, far-right groups may have been growing in influence with the actual Ukrainian army.[59] At one time their activities included committing war crimes in the separatist-held territories,[60] assaulting a gay pride march in Kyiv,[61] and disrupting an LGBT festival in Lviv.[62] Moreover, the Ukrainian government introduced a blanket ban on Russian social networks, prompting fury among Ukrainian users and reinforcing concerns that Poroshenko was using anti-Russian rhetoric as a way to divert attention from the country's inner problems (such as corruption, which is the government's direct fault).[63][64] In the words of Francis Malige, the Director of the European Bank for reconstruction and development in Eastern Europe and the Caucasus, fighting corruption in Ukraine is like sport fishing: "caught, photographed, released".[65] Further controversy was drawn by hastily introduced decommunization laws that effectively outlawed communist symbols, parties and expressions of support in the country, while at the same time glorified the Ukrainian Insurgent ArmyWikipedia into becoming national heroes, despite their notorious collaboration with Nazis and massacres of ethnic Poles.Wikipedia[66] For instance, a street in Kyiv was renamed after the Ukrainian nationalist Roman ShukhevychWikipedia who had been a collaborator with Nazi Germany and one of the organizers of anti-Jewish and anti-Polish ethnic cleansings.[67]

President Zelenskyy's reforms and anti-corruption campaign[edit]

Zelenskyy voting in 2019

Sick of being dicked around by the major parties backed by corrupt oligarchs, in 2019 the Ukrainian people voted out Poroshenko and voted in Volodymyr Zelenskyy,Wikipedia (Володимир Зеленський) an actor with little political experience who campaigned on the platform of anti-corruption. Before becoming the current President of Ukraine, Zelenskyy was the star of the hit TV series Servant of the People,Wikipedia which funnily enough, is about an inexperienced teacher who unexpectedly becomes the President of Ukraine following a video railing against government corruption going viral.

Unlike Poroshenko, Zelensky has been far more hardline against the far-right and neo-Nazi elements of the military, and many oligarchs and their puppet politicians grew to hate him for his anti-corruption campaign, which while piecemeal and struggling, had been successful in several areas, including anti-graft measures.[68][69] Zelensky signed a motion for Ukraine's parliament to dismiss Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko, who was known for not prosecuting corruption effectively.[70] Zelensky's party pushed for laws that reduced dominance of Ukrainian oligarchs in the media, but journalists felt that some of the changes allowed for loopholes that could lead to media censorship.[71][72]

In a win for his anti-corruption campaign, Zelensky succeeded in removing legal immunity for Ukrainian members of parliament, allowing them to be investigated and indicted for corruption.[73] He wanted all lawmakers, diplomats, and judges to be barred from prosecutorial immunity. Zelensky, prior to 2022, was pushing for a peaceful resolution to the War in Donbas, but negotiations upset many Ukrainians who wanted a harder line against the separatists.[74] When negotiations stalled, Zelensky changed course, devising a strategy for reintegrating Crimea and Sevastopol within Ukraine.[75] Americans may also know Zelensky from Donald Trump's attempts to blackmail him for dirt on Joe Biden and his son.

From comedian to war hero[edit]

But with the advent of the Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Zelensky became a national hero for leading his country and rallying his people against the invaders, while also pushing for empathy towards the Russian people, fair treatment of Russian POWs, and defiance in the face of potential death,[76] being an assassination target of Russia.[77] Even when the Americans offered to evacuate Zelenskyy out of Kyiv, Zelensky refused, saying, "I need ammunition, not a ride."[78][79] His refusal to allow war crimes to be committed against Russian POWs also earned him high praise across the world.[80]

Russian occupied territories[edit]

In the aftermath of the 2014 Annexation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, two Ukrainian territorial units known as Luhansk Oblast (or Lugansk Oblast) and Donetsk Oblast came under siege from pro-Russian separatists. Taking advantage of the unrest following Euromaidan, Russia sowed unrest in Ukrainian territories among ethnic Russian majority populations.[81]

Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics[edit]

The "Donetsk People's Republic" and "Luhansk People's Republic" are terrorist organizations currently occupying parts of the Donbass region in eastern Ukraine. They were propped up by the government of Russia, with the intention of forcing the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts in the east of Ukraine to secede and become Russian puppet states. [82] Both organizations have been used by Russia to wage war against Ukraine.

Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down by separatists using a sophisticated surface-to-air missile system provided by Russia to the separatists. Three Russians (Igor Girkin, Sergey Dubinsky, and Oleg Pulatov) and a Ukrainian (Leonid Kharchenko) have been charged with murder in the downing of the airplane.[83] Russian Colonel General Nikolai Fedorovich Tkachev of the FSB was identified by Bellingcat as directing the operation.[84] The trials and investigations are ongoing as of 2022.

Referendums were held in the oblasts in question, which were not organized or recognized by Ukraine or by most countries.[85] On 21 February 2022, during increased tensions with Ukraine and the West, Vladimir Putin issued a statement recognizing the independence of the DPR and LPR.

The economic situation in these puppet states is very bad. Due to the lack of an effective government and what pretty much amounts to a police state, there are no real job opportunities, no real system for international trade and government offices suffer from major in-fighting.[86] Repurposing a Stalin-era term, men serving in the puppet state armies are nicknamed двадцатипятитысячники ("twenty-five thousanders") implying that they serve purely because the salary of 25,000 roubles a month is one of the few ways of earning a living.

Pensioners frequently have to cross tedious blockades just to obtain pension benefits from Ukraine's pension system. Corporate takeover is a serious issue that has caused further damage. Long story short, this is what happens when terrorist groups try to function as a government.[87]

As of March 27, 2022 the occupied territories of Luhansk and Donetsk plan on holding a referendum on formally joining Russia. Obviously this would be in violation of Ukrainian and international law [88].

Human rights (or lack thereof)[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Human rights

The human rights situation, as one might expect, is quite dismal. LGBT+ rights groups, political dissidents and journalists frequently "disappear". Many people have faced arbitrary detention. Non-Russian ethnic groups have faced severe persecution at the hands of both the Donetsk People's Republic and the Luhansk People's Republic.[89]

Donetsk's separatist government is so repressive, it borders on totalitarianism. At the height of the War in Donbas in 2014, the United Nations reported growing lawlessness in the region, documenting cases of "targeted killings, torture, and abduction," primarily carried out by paramilitary forces. The UN also reported "threats against, attacks on, and abductions" of journalists and international observers, as well as the "beatings and attacks" on pro-Kyiv Ukrainians.[90] A report by Human Rights Watch said, "Anti-Kiev forces in eastern Ukraine are abducting, attacking, and harassing people they suspect of supporting the Ukrainian government or consider undesirable… anti-Kiev insurgents are using beatings and kidnappings to send the message that anyone who doesn't support them had better shut up or leave."[91] Amnesty International said that they often acted like "renegade gangs", and were implicated in torture, abductions, and summary executions.[92] Ivan Šimonović, UN Assistant Secretary General for Human Rights, wrote about illegal detention, abduction and intimidation of election officials in both pro-Russian separatist republics.[93] Members of the Donbas People's Militia engaged in assaults and robbery on the Romani population of Sloviansk. The armed separatists beat women and children, looted homes, and carried off the stolen goods in trucks, according to eyewitnesses.[94] The People's Militias are so rabidly homophobic that they will brutally murder gay and trans people for the crime of existing. Some officials in the occupied territories have denied that LGBTQ people exist in the area yet they want to murder them. Many people who were arrested for no reason were coerced into ratting out LGBTQ people or face torture. [95]

Under Poroshenko, Ukrainian treatment towards civilians in separatist held territory was not much better. Due to Poroshenko's reliance on the brutality of far-right militias, several volunteer battalions aligned with the far-right committed terrible crimes against civilian populations. These crimes include beatings of civilians, rape, murder and theft of property.[96]

2022 Russian Invasion of Ukraine[edit]

Information icon.svg This section documents an ongoing military event. Information may change rapidly as the event progresses, and initial news reports may be unreliable. The latest updates to this article may not reflect the most current information.
Current Russian invasion map. Legend in map.

While the Russo-Ukrainian war actually began when Crimea was annexed and Donbas separatists declared independence, everything came to a head by 2021-2022, when Russia began a massive military buildup along the border of Ukraine. On February 24, 2022, mere days after the eight-year anniversary of the military occupation and annexation of Crimea, Vladimir Putin ordered a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, forcing Zelenskyy to order general mobilization for all able-bodied Ukrainian men.[97][98]

[99][100][101] Putin even put his nuclear military forces on alert, dramatically raising the prospect of nuclear war. [102]

This is the first major European war in decades, the prior being the breakup of Yugoslavia in the 1990s, which occurred just before Putin took power. It is also the largest conventional war in Europe since WW2. While Putin argued Ukraine should never join NATO, and Zelenskyy had outright declared Ukraine will not join NATO, Putin invaded the country anyway, a clear act of war of aggression, which is a war crime in and of itself.[103][104][105] Many point to Putin's own speeches and written articles where he outlined his plans for Ukraine prior to the invasion: good old Russian imperialism. The US, NATO, and the EU all sanctioned Russian elites and banks for the invasion, while also providing lethal aid to the Ukrainians against the invading force.[106] In response, Ukrainian president Zelenskyy signed membership application for the EU, firmly putting Kyiv in the western sphere, completely against Putin's intentions.[107]

While there were repeated calls by Ukrainians for a NATO no-fly zone, there was no appetite in NATO or the US for a no-fly zone due to the serious risk of escalation and therefore nuclear war between Russia and America, who combined have 90% of the world's nukes. A no-fly zone would bar all unauthorized aircraft from flying over Ukraine, which would have to be enforced through military means, and all it takes is one angry Russian fighter pilot shooting at the NATO-aligned air enforcers for war to break out.[108][109]

Ukrainian civilians learning how to make Molotov cocktails to throw at Russian tanks.

By March, when calls for a no-fly zone from Ukraine reached its peak, Putin warned that a no-fly zone would be a declaration of war.[110] Instead, Zelenskyy spoke to US lawmakers in a video call on March 5th 2022, and Zelenskyy instead asked for NATO to supply warplanes to Ukraine for use against Russian forces. Poland, in particular, has a fleet of Soviet-made fighter planes, which Ukrainian Air Force pilots were trained to use already and which would require American-made jets to resupply. This would be in addition to anti-armor and anti-air defensive weapons, including surface-to-air missile batteries and anti-tank weaponry, already being sent to Ukraine by NATO.[111][112]

Thanks to Putin's really poor planning, the invasion of Ukraine has gone horribly wrong. Putin's initial plans involved a simultaneous push on all fronts while a mechanized column made its way to blitzkrieg to Kiev in the north. Despite quick initial gains, Putin's invasion force quickly bogged down due to a combination of Ukrainian resistance, poor logistical planning, and lack of supplies.[113] The result was a month long siege around Ukraine's capitalWikipedia. The lack of supplies was partly due to sabotage of Belarusian railways by a loose network of Belarusian sympathizers.[114] Unfortunately for Ukraine, the country simply does not have the air force nor armored vehicles necessary to take full advantage of the situation; imagine for a moment what would happen to a 40 mile long column of invading tanks and support vehicles that had run out of gas in NATO territory. When it became clear that the plan for swift victory by blitzing to Ukraine's Capital had failed, Russian troops started pulling out of northern Ukraine, followed by a Ukrainian counteroffensive. Casualties among the Russian military, including the loss of the flagship of the Black Sea fleetWikipedia, and the separatists has affected the morale of the troops. There was even a confirmed case of Russian soldiers running over their commander with a vehicle and killing him [115].

"The" Ukraine[edit]

Ukraine is sometimes called "the Ukraine," which annoys the Ukrainians, although this practice is dying out.[116] The reasoning for this is based on etymological debates over the origins of the word Ukraine: a popular version is that it comes from a Slavic word corresponding to "frontier" or "borderland"[note 6] — hence the ukraine ("the borderland"), although Ukrainians themselves would call the border кордон (kordon), and the borderland околиця (okolytsia). Still, neither Russian or Ukrainian were the sources of this word, while Church Slavonic and Old Ruthenian were - and indeed it had such word as "Oukraina" [117]; with meaning almost similar to "march", the element which exists nowadays in nation-state's names such as Denmark or Oesterreich. Moreover, there were several "Ukraine's" in regions of Central Russia or Don river basin. The very word "Ukraine" as a meaning of "frontier" in the lands of Dnieper basin appeared in Polish in Early Modern period, from which modern Ukrainian, Russian etc. uses are stemmed. A similar division manifests as Russians prefer using "на Украине" (на Украине; on the Ukraine) instead of "в Украине" (v Ukraine; in Ukraine). It's a manufactroversy, really, but you can think of "Ukraine" as referring to the country, and "the Ukraine" as referring to the region. Though both Russians and Ukrainians historically were using both of such forms despite the meaning they implied in it, be it region or nation-state. As well as other Slavic nations - no Ukrainian would mind if some Western Slavs were using preposition "na".

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. Soviet historians often portrayed Kyivan Rus' as the common cradle of the three East Slavic nations. According to that logic, not unlike the builders of the Tower of Babel, the Eastern Slavs originally constituted one Old Rus' nationality or ethnicity that spoke a common language. It was only the Mongol invasion that divided the people of Rus' and set them on separate paths of development, which eventually led to the formation of three modern nations. The competing view, advanced by imperial Russian historians and shared by some authors in present-day Russia, claims Kyivan Rus' history for one indivisible Russian nation, of which Ukrainians and Belarusians are considered mere subgroups, distinguished not by separate cultures and languages but by variants of Russian culture and dialects of the Russian language.
    [1]:1-2
  2. Note to politicians: if one of your country's most important monuments turns into this[17] under your watch, say sweet goodbye to your career.
  3. Largely because of ethnic cleansing by Joseph Stalin.
  4. Think of it as a Eastern European Guantanamo.
  5. How controversial? It caused a fistfight in the parliament.[21] Though fistfights are actually not uncommon in the Ukrainian parliament.
  6. "Окраина" (Okraina), "border" or "outskirts" in modern Russian, vs "Украина" (Ukraina), the word for Ukraine in modern Russian.

References[edit]

  1. The Origins of the Slavic Nations: Premodern Identities in Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus by Serhii Plokhy (2006) Cambridge University Press, 2006. ISBN 0521155118.
  2. Visiting Kiev, the capital of Ukraine and a cradle of Russian culture by John Pancake (December 27, 2009) The Washington Post.
  3. Poisoned ex-Ukrainian president: 'I know what Putin fears': Viktor Yushchenko, himself poisoned in 2004, says expelling diplomats is a start but military action against Russia may be needed. by Stuart Ramsay (28 March 2018 14:38, UK) Sky News.
  4. Military occupation of Ukraine by Russia Geneva Academy.
  5. More Troops Headed to Eastern Europe as Biden Says Russia Invasion of Ukraine Has Started by Travis Tritten (February 22, 2022) Yahoo News.
  6. Markets shaken after Putin announces special military operation – as it happened by Samantha Lock et al. (Updated 23 Feb 2022) The Guardian.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Russia invades Ukraine on many fronts in ‘brutal act of war’ by Yuras Karmanau et al. (February 24, 2022) AP News.
  8. U.S. and Allies Impose Sanctions on Russia as Biden Condemns ‘Invasion’ of Ukraine: President Biden warned President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia that more sanctions would follow if he did not withdraw his forces and engage in diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis. by Michael D. Shear et al. (February 22, 2022) The New York Times.
  9. Attack on Ukraine brings rare sight in Russia: Protests in cities against Putin and invasion. by Robyn Dixon (February 24, 2022) The Washington Post.
  10. President of #Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky signed an application of Ukraine to become a member of the European Union. by Kyiv Post (9:02 AM - 28 Feb 2022) Twitter (archived from February 28, 2022).
  11. EU shuts airspace to Russian airlines, will buy Ukraine arms By Emily Schultheis & Lorne Cook (February 27, 2022) AP.
  12. Ukraine war: EU to buy and deliver weapons to Kyiv, says Ursula von der Leyen (05/03/2022) Euronews.
  13. EU tightens Russian sanctions and buys weapons for Ukraine (February 27, 20229:29 AM PST) Reuters.
  14. Did Ukraine give up nuclear weapons, ICANW
  15. This chart is great news for Ukraine, bad news for Putin by Max Fisher (May 8, 2014, 12:30pm EDT) Vox.
  16. Media’s symbolic power: RT and The Guardian' discursive construction of the Euromaidan protests and Crimean annexation by Tomé Filipe Gaspar Jorge (2014) Aalborg University. Master's thesis.
  17. [Live Video and Social Media Updates From Ukraine by Robert Mackey (February 22, 2014, 12:14 pm) The New York Times.
  18. Agreement on the Settlement of Crisis in Ukraine - full text (Feb 2014 10.17 EST) The Guardian
  19. Ukrainian Protesters Invade President Yanukovych’s Lavish Estate, Find Private Zoo by Delia Paunescu (2/22/2014 at 10:10 AM) New York Magazine.
  20. Restoring press freedom in Ukraine with the Yanukovych Leaks by Katie Collins (06 June 14) Wired UK (archived from June 9, 2014).
  21. See the Wikipedia article on Legislation on languages in Ukraine.
  22. In Crimea’s sham referendum, all questions lead to ‘yes’ by Stephen Saideman (March 10, 2014) The Globe and Mail.
  23. Crimea votes to leave Ukraine in secession referendum and join Russia (Mar 16, 2014 8:36 AM ET) Associated Press via CBC.
  24. How did Odessa's fire happen? (6 May 2014) BBC.
  25. Ukraine takes one step closer to EU (26.06.2014) Deutsche Welle.
  26. Mr. Putin’s War—And Why He Continues to Deny It by Steven Pifer (September 5, 2014) The National Interest.
  27. How Putin turned Ukraine to the West by Oxana Shevel (October 29, 2014) The Washington Post.
  28. Is Crimean independence or annexation a good outcome for Russia? by Helena Yakovlev-Golani & Nadiya Kravets (March 6, 2014) The Washington Post.
  29. The ‘failure’ of the ‘reset:’ Obama’s great mistake? Or Putin’s? by Daniel Nexon (March 4, 2014) The Washington Post.
  30. Putin’s grand strategy is failing Joshua Rovner (July 20, 2014) The Washington Post.
  31. Russia’s Move Into Ukraine Said to Be Born in Shadows by Steven Lee Myers (March 7, 2014) The New York Times.
  32. Putin's Press Conference Proved Merkel Right: He's Lost His Mind by Julia Ioffe (March 4, 2014) The New Republic.
  33. Putin Loses His Grip on Central Asia as China Moves In by Carol Matlack (November 06, 2014) Bloomberg Businessweek
  34. The World's Post-Crimea Power Blocs, Mapped: What does this week's UN vote say about Russia's new place in the world? by Matt Ford (March 29, 2014) The Atlantic.
  35. Beijing's Ukraine dilemma a mix of competing interests by Jennifer Lind (March 17, 2014) The Asahi Shimbun.
  36. Latest report by the Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM) on Alleged Shelling of Donetsk Hospital and Civilian Buildings (7 August 2014) Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.
  37. Ukraine Today: Ukraine insurgent areas lose state services; President Poroshenko orders to cut off insurgent east (video) (Jul 30, 2015) Ukraine Today.
  38. Poroshenko’s Promises of Safety and Peace Ring Hollow in Eastern Ukraine by Harriet Salem June 7, 2014, 1:55pm) Vice.
  39. "These savages use cluster munitions against civilians" - Poroshenko visited Kramatorsk (11.02.15 14:44) Censor.net.
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  43. Ukraine: Anti-Kiev Forces Running Amok: Eastern Insurgents Commit Abductions, Beatings (May 23, 2014 1:05PM EDT) Human Rights Watch.
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  47. Ukraine: Unguided Rockets Killing Civilians (July 24, 2014 2:19PM EDT) Human Rights Watch.
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  55. Ukraine: BBC boss slams 'shameful' ban on international journalists by Umberto Bacchi (September 17, 2015 10:35 BST) International Business Times.
  56. Ukraine Tries to Terrify Journalists Who Cover the War: Government-backed hackers publish information about reporters supposedly aiding the enemy by talking to people on both sides of the war. by Anna Nemtsova (Published May. 12, 2016 3:15PM ET; Updated Apr. 13, 2017 3:53PM ET) The Daily Beast.
  57. Washington's Man Yatsenyuk Setting Ukraine Up For Ruin: Ukraine’s interim prime minister, Arseniy “Yats” Yatsenyuk, may prove to be arsenic to the beleaguered nation. by Kenneth Rapoza (2/27/2014 @ 4:58PM) Forbes. Even Forbes found him questionable].
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  61. Right Sector threatens Kyiv gay pride march (video) by Johannes Wamberg Andersen (June 6, 2015 at 9:23 am) Kyiv Post.
  62. LGBT festival in Ukraine abandoned after far-right protest: Rightwing groups surrounded hotel in Lviv where about 70 participants in the equality festival had gathered by Shaun Walker (20 Mar 2016 12.42 EDT) The Guardian.
  63. Ukraine: Revoke Ban on Dozens of Russian Web Companies (May 16, 2017 11:00PM EDT) Human Rights Watch.
  64. Ukraine bans its top social networks because they are Russian: Blocking websites may be pointless, but it could help President Poroshenko’s popularity (May 19th 2017) The Economist.
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  67. Ukraine honors nationalists whose troops butchered Jews (May 31, 2016 8:52 am) Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
  68. Ukraine’s anti-corruption effort struggles, but soldiers on by Dan Peleschuk (Apr 15, 2021) EurasiaNet.
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  75. Zelensky enacts strategy for de-occupation and reintegration of Crimea (24.03.2021 16:50) Ukrinform.
  76. Ukraine's Volodymyr Zelenskyy: From comedian to national hero: Volodymyr Zelenskyy was seen by many as a comic actor who stumbled into the presidency. During the Russian war on Ukraine, however, the 44-year-old has matured into a respected statesman. by Oliver Pieper (26.02.2022) Deutsche Welle.
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  98. Ukraine president orders general mobilization: Men between the ages of 18-60 are prohibited from leaving the country. Ukraine has been "left alone" to defend itself, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said. (24.02.2022) Deutsche Welle.
  99. Russia presses invasion to outskirts of Ukrainian capital by Yuras Karmanau et al. (24, 2022, 8:47 PM) ABC News.
  100. Ukraine says it was attacked through Russian, Belarus and Crimea borders by Tim Lister & Julia Kesa (12:41 a.m. ET, February 24, 2022) CNN.
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  102. Putin puts nuclear 'deterrence' forces on alert by Maria Tsvetkova & Aleksandar Vasovic (February 27, 20225:24 AM PST) Reuters.
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  107. @ZelenskyyUA signed #EU membership application for #Ukraine. This is the choice of 🇺🇦 and Ukrainian people. We more than deserve it. by Denys Shmyhal (8:55 AM - 28 Feb 2022) Twitter (archived from February 28, 2022).
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  117. [1]