Ukraine Crisis

Alexandria Elizabeth Eason

Quick Overview

The Crimean Crisus is an ongoing international crisis principally involving Russia and Ukraine. Most developments apply to the Crimean Peninsula, a multi-ethnic region which until February 2014 was administered by Ukraine as the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the administratively separate municipality of Sevasastopol, both are populated by an ethnic Russian majority and a minority of both ethnic Ukrainians and Crimeans Tatars. Currently, the Crimean Peninsula is administered by the Russian Federation as the Crimean Federal District.

How did unrest in Ukraine begin?

There are three reasons that has led to this unrest:

1. Viktor F. Yanukovych, current president of Ukraine, had long promised to bring Ukraine with the European Union integrated by signing political and trade agreements. However, in November he refused an offer. Thus breaking the promise. Leaving the question of whether or not the president is trust worthy.

2. Thousands of protesters marched to the parliament building to support a vote to reduce the president's powers.

3. Yanukovych is still seen as inching closer to Russia. This has been a major issue for demonstrators since November. They see Yanukovych as bringing their country closer to Russia, symbolically moving it away from Europe. About one-third of Ukraine speaks Russian as their native language, including Yanukovych. The other two-third, who speak Ukrainian, tend to prefer positioning their country as economically and politically closer to Europe than to Moscow. So for the west side of Ukraine it's a problem.


Why did the unrest escalate in the past two weeks?

Dozens of people are now dead since the protests have become violent. The Capitol is now a burning war zone and the president, Viktor F. Yanukovych, has fled the city.

What role do the West and Russia play in the Ukrainian crisis?

The whole Ukrainian crisis is basically just West Ukraine wanting to move toward a more democratic system and East Ukraine wanting to stay more like Russia. The West has been helping Soviet countries become more democratic and the Kremlin also want to expand Western military and power. Russia has perceived this as a threat to their big military and economic interests in Ukraine, and therefore has exerted enormous pressure to keep Ukraine on the Russian side.

How do you think this conflict will end?

The conflict doesn't seem like it will come to a peaceful resolution anytime soon. Anytime one entity feels like it's being oppressed or silenced there is a tendency towards war. In this case it would become a civil war between the Democratic West and Soviet Union Russia.
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Who are the protesters?

The citizens of Ukraine. Pro-Russia and pro-Europe also anti-government protesters.

Who is President Yanukovych, and why has he fled?

Yanukovych, is the president of Ukraine. Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has flown out of Kiev to visit Ukraine's second largest city Kharkiv, considered his eastern political base. A US official said the embattled president made the trip to attend a meeting. Two key allies, parliamentary speaker Volodomyr Rybak and presidential administration chief Andrei Kluyev, were also reported to be on board the aircraft.


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