Crisis in Ukraine

The Ukrainian crisis began in November 2013, when Pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych abandoned a deal with the European Union in favor of joining Russia.

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, there has been many disputes in Ukraine among it's two ethnic groups. Ukrainian is the main language in western Ukraine, while Russian is the predominant language in the southern and eastern part of the country. The people in southern and eastern Ukraine define themselves as "ethnic-Russians". When President Viktor announced that he wanted Ukraine to join it's mothering country, many anti-government protestors angrily stormed the streets in rebellion. However, rebels in the Eastern part of the country agreed on joining Russia. By December, almost a million anti-Russian protestors occupied city halls other major parts in the capital, Kiev. In January, Parliament passed restrictive anti-protest laws, as the protests started to become more deadly. Parliament also voted to have elections to remove President Viktor from power. It also voted to remove Russian as the second language, however that was later overturned. In February, pro-Russian rebels seized government buildings and Crimea, in southern Ukraine. Since the majority of the population there were Russian, Russia helped send weapons and supplies to Crimea to help fight against the anti-Russian protestors. Ukraine asked for help from America and other allies, however, since Ukraine is not part of NATO, the U.S. cannot send military troops over to help fight the rebels. Instead, in March, the EU (European Union) and U.S. started applying economic sanctions on Russia, which gravely hurt their economy, however, that did not stop them from continuing to supply the rebels with supplies. In April, Russian troops gathered in the eastern boarder areas next to Donetsk and Luhansk, where many industrial factors are located. Fighting continued in the eastern region, and on May 11, pro-Russian rebels declared themselves independent; although this was not recognized by western Ukraine. On May 25, Petro Poroshenko became the new president, and in June, announced a peace plan and declared a week-long truce. However this truce did not last, and fighting erupted within just a few days. As the Ukraine government launched more attacks on the rebels, they withdrew into smaller areas. During the battle, a Malaysian airplane is shot down by Russian forces, however, Russia denied it armed the rebels and that the plane had entered rebel territory. As the fighting goes on, Ukrainian forces were able to get ahold of more belle territory, causing them to withdraw. Another ceasefire was made in September, but like the first one, it only lasted a few days. Then on November 2, two pro-Russian leaders were declared the winners after the rebels held their own election; however President Petro threatened to stop giving Donetsk and Luhansk special status. The rebels and Ukrainian forces also battled for an airport in Donetsk, however it is so badly damaged that it remains useless. On February 12, 2014 leaders in Russia, Ukraine, Germany, and France met in Minsk, Belarus to find an agreement to end the fighting. Another ceasefire will begin later in February, with deals including prisoner exchange and weapon withdrawals, but key issues still remains unsettled. However, like the previous two ceasefires, fighting still remains to this day.

Who are the main opponents? Ukraine (pro-western) & Russia

Any other countries involved or concerned? America, France, Germany

How is this conflict being conducted (i.e., what tactics: terrorist attacks, suicide bombers, drones… etc.)? There were two ceasefires in Ukraine, however one of them was disrupted by violence, while the other ceasefire remained in one city, but everything around it still included violence.

What was the cause of the conflict (as far as you can tell)? Pro-Russian president of Ukraine (Viktor Yanukovych) wanted to reunite with Russia. Those who spoke Russian in Ukraine consider themselves Russian supported him and his action. Russia supplied the rebels with military aid. Ukrainian forces are pro-western and wish to not be part of Russia Rebels broke off and annexed a part of Ukraine, while Ukrainian forces continue fighting them.

What efforts are being taken to solve the problem non-violently? Include your evaluation of the effectiveness of these peacemaking efforts or suggestion for what would be more effective.

Economic sanctions placed by the U.S. on Russia (which hurt their economy) Ceasefire in a city called Debaltseve (but violence still surrounds the city)
Effectiveness: economic sanctions on Russia prevented Russia from invading (as their economy is very poor) Ceasefire-ineffective (each groups blames it on the other for breaking it)

MLA: "Ukraine Crisis in Maps - BBC News." BBC News. 18 Feb. 2015. Web. 12 May 2015.

URL: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-27308526

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