The Russo-Ukrainian War is an ongoing conflict between Russia (together with pro-Russian rebel groups) and Ukraine. It began in February 2014, following Ukraine’s Dignity Revolution, and was initially focused on international recognition of Crimea and parts of the Donbas as part of Ukraine.
Ukraine and Russia Conflict Explained
- In February and March of 2014, Russia attacked and annexed the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine. This incident took place following the Dignity Revolution and is part of the greater Russo-Ukrainian War.
- From the north, in Belarus (towards Kyiv); from the northeast, in Russia (towards Kharkiv); from the east, in the DPR and the LPR; and from the south, in Crimea, Russian forces entered Ukraine.
- Ukraine’s communist Supreme Soviet (parliament) declared on August 24, 1991 that Ukraine would no longer follow Soviet Union laws and would instead follow Ukrainian SSR legislation, officially declaring Ukraine’s independence from the Soviet Union.
- The country Ukraine that exists now was a part of the Soviet Union in 1954. Crimea, a peninsula on the Black Sea that Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev ceded from Russia to Ukraine, was the final piece. However, pro-Russian political groups remained in Ukraine following the country’s independence in 1991, which Putin exploited.
- Ukraine, after the Russian Soviet Republic, was the most populated and industrialised republic until the Soviet Union fell apart in 1991, when it regained its independence.
- In 1991, Russia and NATO formed the North Atlantic Cooperation Council, and in 1994, Russia joined NATO’s Partnership for Peace initiative.
- Following the 2010 presidential election in Ukraine, in which Viktor Yanukovych, who desired to keep Ukraine non-aligned, was elected President, Ukraine’s plans for NATO membership were abandoned.
- Despite this, Russia has historically at least pretended to cooperate with NATO.
- In 2021 and 2022, a Russian military buildup on Ukraine’s border heightened tensions and harmed bilateral relations, with the US sending a clear warning that an invasion would be greeted with terrible economic consequences for Russia.
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