UKRAINE – TIMELINE
1922. Ukraine becomes one of 15 constituent republics of the new Soviet Union.
1954. The Government of the USSR transfers Crimea from the administrative jurisdiction of the Russian republic to the Ukrainian republic—both part of the USSR.
Aug 1991. TheUkrainian parliament declares independence from the USSR.
Dec 1991. In a referendum in Ukraine, 92% approve parliament’s August declaration of independence. In Crimea, only 54% approve independence.
Feb 2005. Parliament unanimously appoints Yulia Tymoshenko as the new Prime Minister.
Nov 21, 2004. Pro-Russian candidate Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych is officially declared the winner of the presidential elections, with Viktor Yushchenko taking second place. Following reports of widespread vote-rigging, the “Orange Revolution” begins—protesters wear orange, Yushchenko’s campaign colour, take part in mass street protests and civil disobedience. The Supreme Court annuls the election.
Dec 2004. In an election re-run, Viktor Yushchenko is declared the winner and Ukraine’s new President. Yanukovych unsuccessfully challenges the election result and resigns his post as Prime Minister.
Feb 2010. Viktor Yanukovych wins the presidential elections. His primary rival, Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, is arrested for abuse of powers.
Aug 2011. Yulia Tymoshenko is arrested on charges related to a 2009 gas contract with Russia’s Gazprom.
Oct 2011. Tymoshenko is found guilty of criminally “abusing her office” and given a 7 year prison term in what has been called a “show trial.” The verdict is condemned by the US, EU and Russia.
Nov 21, 2013. Under pressure from Russia, the Ukraine Government rejects an agreement on closer trade ties with the European Union just one week before its signing in favour of developing closer ties with Russia.
Nov 30, 2013. Fearful of a return of Russian influence and wanting closer political, economic and social ties with the European Union, Ukrainian citizens gather in Kyiv’s Independence Square to protest cancellation of the EU agreement. Riot police storm the square resulting in a number of injuries.
Early Dec 2013. The anti-government demonstrations in Kyiv persist and grow to hundreds of thousands. Protesters’ blockades and tent camps are met with violence by government force troops. Some of the protesters’ anger is “fuelled by perceptions of political corruption, and the alleged close links between the government and mega-rich oligarchs.”
In Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, the Communist Party holds a rally calling for an referendum on ties with Russia and supporting the (re-)union of Ukraine, Russia and Belarus.
Dec 17, 2013. Russian President Vladimir Putin provides embattled Ukrainian President Yanukovych with support by agreeing to buy $15 billion of Ukrainian debt and to reduce the price of Russian gas.
Jan 2014. Parliament passes restrictive anti-protest laws. Two protesters are subsequently killed by gunfire — the first deaths since the protests began in November. The Prime Minister resigns and the law is repealed.
Feb 2014. Mass protests continue. Central Kyiv is set ablaze. Uniformed snipers kill protesters as the protest turns violent. [Photos]
Feb 21-24, 2014. President Yanukovych signs compromise deal with opposition leaders and then disappears. Parliament votes to remove President Yanikovich from power, names speaker Olexander Turchynov as interim President, and sets May 25 for new presidential elections. Former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko is released from prison. Yanukovych appears on TV to denounce the “coup.”
An arrest warrant is issued for Yanukovych.
Pro-Russia rallies continue in Crimea in southeastern Ukraine where the vast majority of citizens are Russian-speakers.
Feb 28, 2014. Armed men in unmarked combat fatigues, but believed to be Russian military personnel, take control of the international airport and a military airfield in Sevestopol, the capital of Crimea province.
March 1-4. The Russian parliament gives President Putin permission to intervene unilaterally with military power in Ukraine to protect Russian “citizens” in eastern Ukraine.
Mar 6, 2014. The parliament of Ukraine’s Crimean region votes to join Russia and schedules a referendum for March 16. It is widely believed that Russian forces have crossed the border into Crimea to support the separatist agenda.
Mar 16, 2014. Crimea reports that in the referendum, 97% of Crimea’s voters support secession from Ukraine and joining Russia.
Mar 18, 2014. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Crimean leaders sign The Treaty on Accession of the Republic of Crimea to Russia, which makes Crimea part of the Russian Federation.
Mar 24, 2014. Ukrainian military forces withdraw from Crimea in de facto concession to Russia.
Early April. Pro-Russia separatists in eastern Ukraine, take control of government building and then are repulsed by Ukrainian security forces.
Late April. G7 countries agree to add new sanctions.
Early May 2014. Acting President Olexander Turchynov reinstates conscription for Ukrainian men age 18-25. Pro-Russian activists clash with Ukrainian forces in multiple cities in eastern Ukraine.
May 11, 2014. Pro-Russian authorities hold referendums on secession in Donetsk and Lugansk in eastern Ukraine. The separatists declare overwhelming victory.
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