“”Ukraine's freedom is still alive, and so also is liberty,
And fortune will smile on us, young brothers.
All our enemies will die like dew in sun.
And at last we will be rulers of our homes.
We'll devote our souls and bodies to our free will,
And we will prove that we are all of Cossack origin.
|—"Ukraine is Not Dead", the Ukrainian national anthem.|
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] Once part of the Soviet Union (declaring independence on 24 August 1991), Ukraine is a potential candidate member of the European Union (EU). However, the typical Eastern Bloc levels of corruption and economic underdevelopment would be a large hurdle, even without the internal and external political omnishambles 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 gas flow to Ukraine. 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 redoing its 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.
Since 2014, major portions of the country have been under illegal military occupation by Russia. These areas include the Autonomous Republic of Crimea as the illegally annexed "Republic of Crimea" and parts of Donetsk Oblast and the Luhansk Oblast as Russia's former puppet states of "Donetsk People's Republic" and "Luhansk People's Republic"; now annexed by Russia. This cemented the military occupation.
On 24 February 2022, Russia invaded Ukrainian territory under the guise of "peacekeeping" in the separatist-held parts of Donetsk and Luhansk. Russia subsequently launched a full-scale invasion of the country (which they euphemistically called 'special military operation'), prompting Ukrainian citizens across multiple major cities, including Kyiv, to flee. This drew condemnation by the United States and the European Union. They 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. The act of war also drew condemnation from leaders in South Korea, Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, and even Hungary. This also prompted anti-war protests worldwide, including in at least 47 cities in Russia, including Moscow, which has led to thousands of protestors being arrested for violating laws against spontaneous mass demonstrations. The European Union sent lethal aid to Ukraine In response to the invasion and banned Russian planes within their airspace. Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskyy signed an application for Ukraine to become a member of the EU.
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 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, before the Bolsheviks invaded in October of that same year and defeated the independence movement by 1921. 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 (Kresy) from 1919 to 1945, which Poland itself annexed from the short-lived Ukrainian People's Republic in 1918. Józef Piłsudski's Polish government unsuccessfully tried to suppress Ukrainian nationalists in the region, which resulted in retaliatory massacres of Poles 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, a further 5 million perished, including 1.6 million Jews. Surprisingly, it wasn't widely recognized as a genocide until 2022.
In 1954, Nikita Khrushchev transferred Crimea 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 annexation of Crimea in 2014 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 Ukraine. In 1994, Ukraine would give up its Soviet-era stockpile of nuclear weapons for permanent peace with Russia. So far, that treaty has been respected by everyone, and Ukraine has known nothing but peace... oh.
Euromaidan, Crimean crisis, and War in Donbas
Ukraine was about to sign an Association Agreement with the EU. However, Victor Yanukovych (Yushchenko's former opponent, who was elected President in 2010) canceled preparations for it on 21 November 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. 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 21 February 2014 (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) what Russia's position is.
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. In contrast, the more pro-Russian eastern parts, containing more ethnic Russians,[note 3] saw counter-protests supporting Yanukovych and even open calls to join Russia. One of the peaks of these sentiments was the Autonomous Republic of Crimea: its "special status" city of Sevastopol includes a major seaport 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. A referendum to secede from Ukraine (widely denounced as a sham, 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 16 March 2014. 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 Donbas); 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.
Long story short: on 27 June, the crisis went full circle with the newly-elected President Petro Poroshenko signing the Association Agreement (alongside Georgia and Moldova), a civilian airliner was shot down, and once it was clear the Ukrainian army would succeed in a bloody summer counteroffensive, over 3,000 Russian troops moved into the Donbas on 28 August in an attempt to freeze the conflict. On 26 October, the first parliamentary elections since the revolution decimated Yanukovych's Party of Regions in favor of pro-European reformers.
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), leading some to speculate that Putin may have been losing it. Even China, when Putin desperately needed allies, had been
partying …ahem, notably silent.
Rising pro-Ukrainian nationalism
The prospect of war against separatism increased Ukrainian nationalist sentiment, which came to a head once Petro Poroshenko became president. President Poroshenko allegedly authorized shelling of civilian targets, cutting off their water and state services, 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 wars in general. They inspire 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. 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.
Amnesty International noted that Kyiv's volunteer "territorial defense battalions", such as the Aidar Battalion, Donbas Battalion, and Azov Battalion, were increasingly blocking humanitarian aid into eastern Ukraine. Similar concerns have been raised about Oleh Lyashko and his militia. Human Rights Watch noted that Ukrainian government forces and pro-government paramilitaries used unguided, indiscriminate Grad rockets against civilian areas. Amnesty International also dug up several incidents of summary executions by Kyiv's forces. Poroshenko's siege tactics on insurgent areas also disproportionately affected civilians. 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. Even within Ukrainian domestic politics, Poroshenko consistently showed a distinct lack of will to crack down on oligarchs — since he is himself an oligarch.
Meanwhile, the government issued bans against 41 international journalists considered pro-Russian, which inexplicably includes three BBC journalists and two Spanish journalists missing in Syria. Trolls affiliated with the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) harassed and sent death threats to some Ukrainian journalists accused of treason due to their attempts to cover the war on both sides. Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk wasn't much better. His hard-on for austerity included eradicating education, healthcare, unemployment benefits, and social programs to enrich the oligarchs who helped fund his campaign.
Far-right influence in the military
Although sources like the Russian propaganda site RT exaggerated the role of the far-right groups (including the Right Sector) 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. At one time, their activities included:
- Committing war crimes in the separatist-held territories.
- Assaulting a gay pride march in Kyiv.
- Disrupting an LGBT festival in Lviv.
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 to divert attention from the country's internal problems (such as corruption, which is the government's direct fault). 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". 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 glorifying the Ukrainian Insurgent Army into becoming national heroes, despite their notorious collaboration with Nazis and massacres of ethnic Poles. For instance, a street in Kyiv was renamed after the Ukrainian nationalist Roman Shukhevych, a collaborator with Nazi Germany and one of the organizers of anti-Jewish and anti-Polish ethnic cleansing.
President Zelenskyy's reforms and anti-corruption campaign
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 (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, 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. Zelensky signed a motion for Ukraine's parliament to dismiss Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko, who was known for not prosecuting corruption effectively. Zelensky's party pushed for laws that reduced the dominance of Ukrainian oligarchs in the media. However, journalists felt that some of the changes allowed for loopholes that could lead to media censorship.
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. He wanted all lawmakers, diplomats, and judges to be barred from prosecutorial immunity. Zelensky, before 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. When negotiations stalled, Zelensky changed course, devising a strategy for reintegrating Crimea and Sevastopol within Ukraine. 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
But with the advent of 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, being an assassination target of Russia. Even when the Americans offered to evacuate Zelenskyy out of Kyiv, Zelensky refused, saying, "I need ammunition, not a ride." His refusal to allow war crimes to be committed against Russian POWs also earned him high praise across the world.
Cracking down on oligarchs
Riding the high of his invasion-era popularity, Zelenskyy used his wartime powers to sign a decree purging oligarchs of their influence in Ukrainian politics and society. Under the new law, an oligarch is identified as someone with "significant influence on the media; active participation in political life; must be the ultimate beneficial owner of the entity that holds a monopoly position in the market and maintain or strengthen such position for a year in a row; has a proven asset value (and the entities of which it is a beneficiary) of more than 2 billion Ukrainian hryvnias ($67,251,380)." The new law requires officials to disclose connections, outright bans oligarchs from financing political parties, political ads, or demonstrations and excludes them from the privatization of state assets.
Russian occupied territories
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. Russia sowed unrest in Ukrainian territories among ethnic Russian majority populations, taking advantage of the turmoil following Euromaidan.
Republic of Crimea
The flashpoint of the entire Russo-Ukrainian War began in Crimea. In February of 2014 Russia sowed unrest in the Ukrainian Autonomous Republic of Crimea via funding Russian separatist supporters and sending in its own troops. The Russian military and the separatist forces had spread anti-Ukrainian propaganda. Putin was authorized by the Duma to deploy troops into Crimea in order to "protect ethnic Russians from fascism". Russian soldiers and Crimean Self Defense militias forcefully removed the Ukrainian loyalist government and replaced it with a Russian separatist government. The military occupation administration announced a referendum asking citizens if they wanted to declare independence in order to join Russia or remain in Ukraine. The referendum, called an illegitimate sham by most countries, passed by 97℅ of the votes on March 17, 2014. No outside impartial election observers had access into the occupied peninsula during the vote. On March 18 the Autonomous Republic of Crimea declared independence from Ukraine as the "Republic of Crimea". Putin immediately recognized the Republic of Crimea as an independent nation. The next day a treaty was signed that brought the breakaway state into the Russian Federation. Under Russian occupation Crimea has become dangerously xenophobic with foreigners, especially American citizens, being targets of crime. The United States government has put the region under level 4 travel advisory due to the danger from the Russian government.
Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics
The "Donetsk People's Republic" and "Luhansk People's Republic" are terrorist organizations currently occupying parts of the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine. They were propped up by the government of Russia to force the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts in the east of Ukraine to secede and become Russian puppet states. Both organizations have been used by Russia to wage war against Ukraine. As of September 2022, both the Donetsk People's Republic and the Luhansk People's Republic are de facto subjects of Russia.  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. Russian Colonel General Nikolai Fedorovich Tkachev of the FSB was identified by Bellingcat as directing the operation. The trials and investigations are ongoing as of 2023.
Referendums were held in the oblasts in question, not organized or recognized by Ukraine or most countries. 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. As of September 23, 2022 annexation referendums began in all territories held under military occupation. There are unconfirmed reports of residents being forced to vote at gunpoint.
The economic situation in these puppet states is awful. Due to the lack of an effective government and what 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. Repurposing a Stalin-era term, men serving in the puppet state armies are nicknamed dvadtsatipyatitysyachniki (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 to obtain pension benefits from Ukraine's pension system. Corporate takeover is a severe issue that has caused further damage. Long story short, this is what happens when terrorist groups try to function as a government.
As of 27 March 2022, the occupied territories of Luhansk and Donetsk plan to hold a referendum on formally joining Russia. Obviously, this would be in violation of Ukrainian and international law.
Human rights (or lack thereof)
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.
Donetsk's separatist government is so repressive that it borders on totalitarianism. At the height of the war in Donbas in 2014, the United Nations reported growing lawlessness in the region, documenting "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 and the "beatings and attacks" on pro-Kyiv Ukrainians. 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." Amnesty International said that they often acted like "renegade gangs", and were implicated in torture, abductions, and summary executions. Ivan Šimonović, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, wrote about the illegal detention, abduction, and intimidation of election officials in both pro-Russian separatist republics. Members of the Donbas People's Militia engaged in assaults and robbery on the Romani population of Sloviansk. According to eyewitnesses, the armed separatists beat women and children, looted homes, and carried off the stolen goods in trucks. 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 live in the area, yet they want to murder them. Many people arrested for no reason were coerced into ratting out LGBTQ people or facing torture.
Under Poroshenko, Ukrainian treatment of civilians in the 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.
Annexation of occupied territories
With Putin's ongoing
ethnic Genocide "special military operation" in Ukraine, the Russian military has brought parts of the oblasts of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia under military occupation. With the Donetsk People's Republic, the Luhansk People's Republic, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia under partial Russian occupation, Putin organized a sham referendum to annex these territories. According to the Pro-Russian separatist leaders, 99% of residents voted in favor of annexation. Putin formally signed off on the illegal annexation as of September 30, 2022. His excuse was, of course, liberating Donbass from the "Satanic western powers". Military analysts believe that the annexation is an excuse for Putin to deploy nuclear weapons to "defend Russian territory". Despite Putin claiming the Donbass region as Russian territory, the Armed Forces of Ukraine reclaimed the strategic city of Lyman from military occupation. As of November 11, 2022 the city of Kherson and surrounding villages and towns were liberated from Russian military occupation after the Russian military made a humiliating retreat. The population, which supposedly voted in favor of joining Russia, rejoiced as the Russian military fled.
2022 Russian Invasion of Ukraine
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 24 February 2022, mere days after the eighth 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. Effectively enforcing a gendered ban on who can leave the country.
 Putin even put his nuclear military forces on alert, dramatically raising the prospect of nuclear war.
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 would not join NATO, Putin invaded the country anyway, a clear act of war of aggression, which is a war crime in and of itself. Many point to Putin's own speeches and written articles where he outlined his plans for Ukraine before the invasion: good old Russian imperialism. The US, NATO, and the EU all sanctioned Russian elites and banks for the invasion while providing lethal aid to the Ukrainians against the invading force. In response, Ukrainian president Zelenskyy signed a membership application for the EU, firmly putting Kyiv in the western sphere, against Putin's intentions.
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 severe 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. It would take one angry Russian fighter pilot shooting at the NATO-aligned air enforcers for war to break out.
By March, when calls for a no-fly zone from Ukraine reached their peak, Putin warned that a no-fly zone would be a declaration of war. Instead, Zelenskyy spoke to US lawmakers in a video call on March 5 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.
Thanks to Putin's inferior 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 Kyiv in the north. Despite quick initial gains, Putin's invasion force quickly bogged down due to Ukrainian resistance, poor logistical planning, and lack of supplies. The result was a month-long siege around Ukraine's capital. The lack of supplies was partly due to the sabotage of Belarusian railways by a loose network of Belarusian sympathizers. Unfortunately for Ukraine, the country simply does not have the air force nor armored vehicles necessary to take full advantage of the situation; imagine 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 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 fleet, and the separatists have affected the troops' morale . There was even a confirmed case of Russian soldiers running over their commander with a vehicle and killing him.
The invasion of Ukraine resulted in significant anti-war movements across the world, particularly in the Western world. It became a major fixture of political discourse, especially online. Adding a Ukrainian flag to your Twitter handle or Facebook profile picture became commonplace slacktivism. NAFO (North Atlantic Fellas Organization) is an online movement that has the goal of combatting Russian propaganda, though it often results in harassment. Many tankies staunchly defended Russia, despite the nation not being communist and anti-imperialism supposedly being a core belief, claiming that the existence of the Azov Batallion means the entire nation is made up of Nazis. Many conservatives also started to support Russia's invasion, in great part due to Donald Trump's history with foreign relations.
Unfortunately, the war was associated with a rise in xenophobia. Russians, regardless of their position on the war, and even those who had not lived in the nation for years, faced discrimination because of the conflict. Even Ukrainians have been targeted because they are confused for Russians.
With the conflict entering it's nine month, calls for peace talks have been echoed by some world leaders. Most notably, US President Joe Biden is encouraging peace talks to prevent an indefinite war. India is proposing that it could be a potential mediator in ending the conflict due to having ties with both eastern and western nations.
Ukraine is sometimes called "the Ukraine," which annoys
the Ukrainians, although this practice is dying out. 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"). However, Ukrainians themselves would call the border кордон (kordon) and the borderland околиця (okolytsia). Still, neither Russian nor Ukrainian were the sources of this word, while Church Slavonic and Old Ruthenian were - and indeed it had such word as "Oukraina"; with meaning almost similar to "march", the element which exists nowadays in names such as Denmark. Moreover, there were several "Ukraines" in regions of Central Russia or the Don river basin. The very word "Ukraine", meaning "frontier", in the lands of the Dnieper basin appeared in Polish in the 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, 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 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 the preposition "na".
- Holodomor, the genocide perpetrated by the Soviet Union against the Ukrainian and Moldovan people
- Paul Manafort, an American political consultant working for Trump who was very active in Ukraine
- Fun:Vatnik argument bingo: Ukraine edition
- Vladimir Putin, the Russian President who annexed Crimea in 2014, backed separatists in Donbas, and invaded Ukraine by 2022.
- A dog tries to sing the Ukrainian national anthem
- Everything you wanted to know about Ukraine but were too afraid to ask
- What can history teach us about the unrest in Ukraine? and Ukraine and Russia's History Wars (discussing the frequent bitch-fighting by Ukrainian and Russians about what part of Slavic history is actually theirs)
- Let's slow roll any moves toward Crimean War II
- Eurosceptics, yes, this is partly your fault.
“”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.
- ↑ Note to politicians: if one of your country's most important monuments turns into this under your watch, say a sweet goodbye to your career.
- ↑ Mainly because of ethnic cleansing by Joseph Stalin.
- ↑ Think of it as an Eastern European Guantanamo.
- ↑ How controversial? It caused a fistfight in the parliament. Though fistfights are actually not uncommon in the Ukrainian parliament.
- ↑ "Окраина" (Okraina), "border" or "outskirts" in modern Russian, vs "Украина" (Ukraina), the word for Ukraine in modern Russian.
- ↑ The Origins of the Slavic Nations: Premodern Identities in Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus by Serhii Plokhy (2006) Cambridge University Press, 2006. ISBN 0521155118.
- ↑ Visiting Kiev, the capital of Ukraine and a cradle of Russian culture by John Pancake (December 27, 2009) The Washington Post.
- ↑ 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.
- ↑ Military occupation of Ukraine by Russia Geneva Academy.
- ↑ More Troops Headed to Eastern Europe as Biden Says Russia Invasion of Ukraine Has Started by Travis Tritten (February 22, 2022) Yahoo News.
- ↑ Markets shaken after Putin announces special military operation – as it happened by Samantha Lock et al. (Updated 23 Feb 2022) The Guardian.
- ↑ 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.
- ↑ 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.
- ↑ Attack on Ukraine brings rare sight in Russia: Protests in cities against Putin and invasion. by Robyn Dixon (February 24, 2022) The Washington Post.
- ↑ 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).
- ↑ EU shuts airspace to Russian airlines, will buy Ukraine arms By Emily Schultheis & Lorne Cook (February 27, 2022) AP.
- ↑ Ukraine war: EU to buy and deliver weapons to Kyiv, says Ursula von der Leyen (05/03/2022) Euronews.
- ↑ EU tightens Russian sanctions and buys weapons for Ukraine (February 27, 20229:29 AM PST) Reuters.
- ↑ Did Ukraine give up nuclear weapons, ICANW
- ↑ This chart is great news for Ukraine, bad news for Putin by Max Fisher (May 8, 2014, 12:30pm EDT) Vox.
- ↑ 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.
- ↑ [Live Video and Social Media Updates From Ukraine by Robert Mackey (February 22, 2014, 12:14 pm) The New York Times.
- ↑ Agreement on the Settlement of Crisis in Ukraine - full text (Feb 2014 10.17 EST) The Guardian
- ↑ Ukrainian Protesters Invade President Yanukovych’s Lavish Estate, Find Private Zoo by Delia Paunescu (2/22/2014 at 10:10 AM) New York Magazine.
- ↑ Restoring press freedom in Ukraine with the Yanukovych Leaks by Katie Collins (06 June 14) Wired UK (archived from June 9, 2014).
- ↑ See the Wikipedia article on Legislation on languages in Ukraine.
- ↑ In Crimea’s sham referendum, all questions lead to ‘yes’ by Stephen Saideman (March 10, 2014) The Globe and Mail.
- ↑ Crimea votes to leave Ukraine in secession referendum and join Russia (Mar 16, 2014 8:36 AM ET) Associated Press via CBC.
- ↑ How did Odessa's fire happen? (6 May 2014) BBC.
- ↑ Ukraine takes one step closer to EU (26.06.2014) Deutsche Welle.
- ↑ Mr. Putin’s War—And Why He Continues to Deny It by Steven Pifer (September 5, 2014) The National Interest.
- ↑ How Putin turned Ukraine to the West by Oxana Shevel (October 29, 2014) The Washington Post.
- ↑ Is Crimean independence or annexation a good outcome for Russia? by Helena Yakovlev-Golani & Nadiya Kravets (March 6, 2014) The Washington Post.
- ↑ The ‘failure’ of the ‘reset:’ Obama’s great mistake? Or Putin’s? by Daniel Nexon (March 4, 2014) The Washington Post.
- ↑ Putin’s grand strategy is failing Joshua Rovner (July 20, 2014) The Washington Post.
- ↑ Russia’s Move Into Ukraine Said to Be Born in Shadows by Steven Lee Myers (March 7, 2014) The New York Times.
- ↑ Putin's Press Conference Proved Merkel Right: He's Lost His Mind by Julia Ioffe (March 4, 2014) The New Republic.
- ↑ Putin Loses His Grip on Central Asia as China Moves In by Carol Matlack (November 06, 2014) Bloomberg Businessweek
- ↑ 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.
- ↑ Beijing's Ukraine dilemma a mix of competing interests by Jennifer Lind (March 17, 2014) The Asahi Shimbun.
- ↑ 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.
- ↑ Ukraine Today: Ukraine insurgent areas lose state services; President Poroshenko orders to cut off insurgent east (video) (Jul 30, 2015) Ukraine Today.
- ↑ Poroshenko’s Promises of Safety and Peace Ring Hollow in Eastern Ukraine by Harriet Salem June 7, 2014, 1:55pm) Vice.
- ↑ "These savages use cluster munitions against civilians" - Poroshenko visited Kramatorsk (11.02.15 14:44) Censor.net.
- ↑ Civilians Killed as Shells Rain Down in Ukraine’s Donetsk Region (4:56 AM CST January 22, 2015) 5 News (CBS).
- ↑ Eastern Ukraine conflict: Summary killings, misrecorded and misreported (October 20, 2014) Amnesty International.
- ↑ Ukrainian Nationalist Volunteers Committing 'ISIS-Style' War Crimes by Damien Sharkov (9/10/14 at 12:36 PM EDT) Newsweek.
- ↑ Ukraine: Anti-Kiev Forces Running Amok: Eastern Insurgents Commit Abductions, Beatings (May 23, 2014 1:05PM EDT) Human Rights Watch.
- ↑ Eastern Ukraine: Humanitarian disaster looms as food aid blocked (December 24, 2014) Amnesty International.
- ↑ More than one million flee, Ukraine close to 'humanitarian catastrophe' by Kieran Guilbert (Jan 8, 2015 1:26pm EST) Reuters (archived rom January 9, 2015).
- ↑ Impunity reigns for abductions and ill-treatment by pro-Kyiv vigilantes in eastern Ukraine (August 6, 2014) Amnesty International.
- ↑ Ukraine: Unguided Rockets Killing Civilians (July 24, 2014 2:19PM EDT) Human Rights Watch.
- ↑ Human Rights Watch: Ukrainian forces are rocketing civilians by Thomas Gibbons-Neff (July 25, 2014) The Washington Post.
- ↑ Ukraine must stop ongoing abuses and war crimes by pro-Ukrainian volunteer forces (September 8, 2014) Amnesty International.
- ↑ New evidence of summary killings of Ukrainian soldiers must spark urgent investigations (April 9, 2015) Amnesty International.
- ↑ Latest from OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine based on information received by 18:00 (Kyiv time), 7 August 2014 (8 August 2014) Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.
- ↑ A Ukraine City Under Siege, ‘Just Terrified of the Bombing’ by Andrew E. Gramer (Aug. 14, 2014) The New York Times.
- ↑ Russia Must Recognize Ukraine Rebels' Human Rights Abuses (August 6, 2014 9:15AM EDT) The Moscow Times via Human Rights Watch.
- ↑ Money Still Rules Ukraine: President Poroshenko talks big about reform — but he’s missing what may be his only chance to break the power of the oligarchs. by Taras Kuzio (August 25, 2015, 5:36 PM) Foreign Policy.
- ↑ Ukraine: BBC boss slams 'shameful' ban on international journalists by Umberto Bacchi (September 17, 2015 10:35 BST) International Business Times.
- ↑ 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.
- ↑ 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].
- ↑ Will stark economic pragmatism backfire on Ukraine? IMF-imposed austerity measures could play into Russia’s ploy for a federalized Ukraine by Michael Pizzi (April 7, 2014 3:00PM ET) Al Jazeera America.
- ↑ Fears grow as Ukraine rightwing militia puts Kiev in its sights by Roman Olearchyk (August 2, 2015 12:00 pm) Financial Times.
- ↑ Amnesty International Says Both Sides of Ukraine Conflict Guilty of War Crimes (May. 24 2015 16:41) AP via The Moscow Times (archived from April 21, 2016).
- ↑ Right Sector threatens Kyiv gay pride march (video) by Johannes Wamberg Andersen (June 6, 2015 at 9:23 am) Kyiv Post.
- ↑ 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.
- ↑ Ukraine: Revoke Ban on Dozens of Russian Web Companies (May 16, 2017 11:00PM EDT) Human Rights Watch.
- ↑ 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.
- ↑ EBRD in combating corruption in Ukraine compared with sport fishing (June 15, 2017) International Massmedia Agency.
- ↑ Ukraine's plans to discard Soviet symbols are seen as divisive, ill-timed by Sabra Ayres (May 13, 2015) Los Angeles Times.
- ↑ Ukraine honors nationalists whose troops butchered Jews (May 31, 2016 8:52 am) Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
- ↑ Ukraine’s anti-corruption effort struggles, but soldiers on by Dan Peleschuk (Apr 15, 2021) EurasiaNet.
- ↑ Faltering fightback: Zelensky’s piecemeal campaign against Ukraine’s oligarchs by Andrew Wilson (6 July 2021) European Council on Foreign Relations.
- ↑ President Zelensky signs motion for parliament to dismiss Ukraine's chief prosecutor (16:25, 11.06.19) UNIAN.
- ↑ Journalists See Specter of Censorship in Ukraine's Proposed Media Laws by Nataliya Leonova et al. )February 05, 2020 2:50 PM) VOA News.
- ↑ Voice of America: Journalists see censorship in Ukraine’s proposed media laws (Feb. 6, 2020) Voice of America via Kyiv Post.
- ↑ Ukraine Lifts Prosecutorial Immunity For Members Of Parliament (December 19, 2019 00:02 GMT) Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
- ↑ Ukraine conflict: Anger as Zelensky agrees vote deal in east (2 October 2019) BBC News.
- ↑ Zelensky enacts strategy for de-occupation and reintegration of Crimea (24.03.2021 16:50) Ukrinform.
- ↑ 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.
- ↑ Volodymyr Zelenskyy has survived 'more than a dozen' assassination attempts by Russian agents, says presidential aide by Cheryl Teh (Mar 9, 2022, 9:31 PM) Business Insider.
- ↑ Zelenskyy’s unlikely journey, from comedy to wartime leader by John Daniszewski (February 26, 2022) AP.
- ↑ Actor-turned-president Zelensky grows on stage as Ukraine’s war-time leader (27 February 2022, 7:47 pm) AFP via The Times of Israel.
- ↑ Ukraine president suddenly thrust into hero role, mirrors one of the darkest chapters of the Cold War by Christiaan Hetzner & Nick Lichtenberg (February 25, 2022 12:49 PM PST) Fortune.
- ↑ "Zelensky signs decree to introduce register of oligarchs," Kyiv Independent
- ↑ [https://www.ukrinform.net/rubric-polytics/3346130-zelensky-signs-law-on-oligarchs.html "Zelensky signs law on oligarchs Zelensky signs law on oligarchs," Ukrinform]
- ↑ Luhansk People’s Republic De Facto.
- ↑ Britannica, Retrieved on February 12, 2023.
- ↑ The Week, Retrieved on February 12, 2023.
- ↑ BBC, Retrieved on February 12, 2023.
- ↑ Department of State, Retrieved on February 12, 2023.
- ↑ Subject: VP/HR — Status of the self-declared DPR and LPR (7 October 2015) European Parliament.
- ↑ DPR Website, Retrieved on February 12, 2023.
- ↑ MH17: Four charged with shooting down plane over Ukraine (19 June 2019) BBC.
- ↑ Key MH17 Figure Identified As Senior FSB Official: Colonel General Andrey Burlaka (April 28, 202) Bellingcat.
- ↑ Luhansk People's Republic (LNR) GlobalSecurity.org.
- ↑ Reuters, Retrieved on Sept. 24, 2022.
- ↑ Чи є сенс у блокаді Донбасу? by Енріке Менендес (Enrique Menendez) (05.06.2015 13:14) Українська правда. In Ukrainian.
- ↑ The War republics in the Donbas one year after the outbreak of the conflict by Tomasz Piechal (2015-06-17) Center for Eastern Studies.
- ↑ Newsweek, Retrieved on March 27, 2022.
- ↑ Ukraine: Activists ‘Disappeared’ in Separatist Territory (Updated February 14, 2017) Human Rights Watch.
- ↑ Report on the human rights situation in Ukraine (15 May 2014) Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
- ↑ Ukraine: Anti-Kiev Forces Running Amok. Eastern Insurgents Commit Abductions, Beatings (May 23, 2014 1:05PM EDT) Human Rights Watch.
- ↑ Eastern Ukraine conflict: Summary killings, mis-recorded and misreported (October 20, 2014) Amnesty International.
- ↑ UN's Ivan Simonovic Fears Ukraine Heading for Bloody Balkans-Style War by Mark Piggott (May 18, 2014 11:07 BST) International Business Times.
- ↑ Statement of Concern Regarding Attacks on Roma in Ukraine (May 8, 2014) United States Mission to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (archived from May 12, 2014).
- ↑ Anti-Discrimination Centre, Retrieved on April 19, 2022.
- ↑ Ukraine War Crimes Arrest a Step Toward Justice: Legislative Changes Necessary to Account for Grave Crimes by Yulia Gorbunova (November 12, 2021 9:47AM EST) Human Rights Watch.
- ↑ Greenwich Times, Retrieved on September 29,2022.
- ↑ Anadolu Agency, Retrieved on September 29, 2022.
- ↑ BBC, Retrieved on September 30, 2022.
- ↑ Kostan Nechyporenko and Duarte Mendonca,Russian forces retreat from strategic Donetsk city a day after Moscow’s annexation of the region. CNN, 2 October 2022.
- ↑ Luke Harding, ‘They ran away like goats’: villagers celebrate liberation in Kherson region. The Guardian, 12 November 2022.
- ↑ Zelenskyy signs decree declaring general mobilization (09:00 25.02.2022) Ukraine News Agency, Interfax.
- ↑ Ukraine president orders general mobilization: Men between the ages of 18-60 are prohibited from leaving the country. Ukraine has been "left alone" tom defend itself, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said. (24.02.2022) Deutsche Welle.
- ↑ Russia presses invasion to outskirts of Ukrainian capital by Yuras Karmanau et al. (24, 2022, 8:47 PM) ABC News.
- ↑ 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.
- ↑ Why Luhansk and Donetsk are key to understanding the latest escalation in Ukraine by Joe Hernandez (February 22, 20226:06 PM ET) NPR.
- ↑ Putin puts nuclear 'deterrence' forces on alert by Maria Tsvetkova & Aleksandar Vasovic (February 27, 20225:24 AM PST) Reuters.
- ↑ As Russian Federation’s Invasion of Ukraine Creates New Global Era, Member States Must Take Sides, Choose between Peace, Aggression, General Assembly Hears (1 March 2022) United Nations.
- ↑ What the UN General Assembly vote on Ukraine tells us by Dov S. Zakheim (03/04/22 10:00 AM EST) The Hill.
- ↑ Principles of International Law Recognized in the Charter of the Nüremberg Tribunal and in the Judgment of the Tribunal, 1950. Principle VI International Committee of the Red Cross.
- ↑ Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, explained: Putin’s invasion in February began Europe’s first major war in decades. by By Jen Kirby & Jonathan Guyer (Updated Mar 6, 2022, 10:20am EST) Vox.
- ↑ @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).
- ↑ Zelenskyy's emotional, direct Zoom plea to Congress: No-fly zone, Russian oil ban, more military aid by Andrew Desiderio (03/05/2022 12:19 PM EST) Politico.
- ↑ Why a no-fly zone in Ukraine would be a catastrophically bad idea: From Moscow any no-fly zone would likely look like step one in a NATO campaign towards regime change. by Hayes Brown (March 4, 2022, 5:44 PM PST) MSNBC.
- ↑ Putin warns against creating no-fly zone over Ukraine (March 5, 2022 / 10:40 AM) CBS News.
- ↑ Ukraine war: US, Poland working on supplying Russian-made jets to Kyiv (10:00am, 6 Mar, 2022) Bloomberg, via South China Morning Post.
- ↑ White House weighs three-way deal to get fighter jets to Ukraine by Alexander Ward and Paul McLeary (03/05/2022 07:01 PM EST; Updated: 03/06/2022 11:30 AM EST) Politico.
- ↑ CNN, Retrieved on April 25, 2022.
- ↑ Belarusian railway workers who helped thwart Russia’s attack on Kyiv: A clandestine network of railway workers, hackers and dissident security forces wreaked havoc on supply lines by Liz Sly (April 23, 2022 at 5:28 p.m. EDT) The Washington Post.
- ↑ Yahoo, Retrieved on March 26, 2022.
- ↑ https://www.economist.com/europe/2022/08/31/a-virtual-army-of-impish-cartoon-pooches-is-waging-war-on-russia
- ↑ https://abovethelaw.com/2022/03/tankies-sinking-in-ukraines-muddy-fields/
- ↑ https://www.forbes.com/sites/nicholasreimann/2022/02/23/these-conservatives-are-defending-russia-in-ukraine-crisis-and-trump-leads-the-way/?sh=5ceb771f78cf
- ↑ https://www.bostonglobe.com/2022/03/08/opinion/this-is-putins-war-anti-russian-xenophobia-wont-save-ukraine/
- ↑ https://www.seattletimes.com/business/russian-businesses-in-us-face-backlash-from-war-in-ukraine/
- ↑ Washington Post, Retrieved on November 7, 2022.
- ↑ DeccanHearld, Retrieved on November 7, 2022.
- ↑ Why Did "The Ukraine" Become Just "Ukraine"? by Matt Soniak (Jan 2, 2013) Mental Floss.
- ↑