The two founding members of the Soviet Union – Russia and Ukraine – were once again at a flash point. Here are some of the key moments that led to Russia’s military buildup on its western border with Ukraine:
February 2014 – Protesters in Ukraine toppled President Viktor Yanukovych, who was friendly with Russian interests. During the revolution, more than 100 people were killed in protests that centered on the main square in the capital, Kyiv, commonly known as the Maidan.
The interim government that followed the pro-Western revolution has finally signed a trade deal with the European Union, seen as the first step towards membership in the bloc.
April 2014 – Russia invaded and later annexed Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula. Two breakaway regions, the Donetsk People’s Republic and the neighboring Luhansk People’s Republic, separate from Ukraine.
War continues in the region of eastern Ukraine known as the Donbas. It then spread to the west. About 13,000 Ukrainian soldiers and civilians eventually died in the conflict. The front lines remained largely unchanged for many years.
2014 and 2015 – Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany sign a series of ceasefire agreements known as Minsk Accords. Many people view these agreements as vague.
April 2019 – A former comedian, Volodymyr Zelenskyelected by a majority as the president of Ukraine with the promise of restoring the Donbas to the country.
2021-2022 – Chairperson Vladimir V. Putin Russia seeks to prevent Ukraine’s drift toward the United States and its allies. Putin demanded “security guarantees”, including assurances from NATO that Ukraine would never join the bloc and that the alliance would withdraw its troops stationed in the countries that joined after 1997.
Many Russians consider Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, the birthplace of their nation and see many cultural ties between the two countries.
Here is a brief summary of their relationship in the 20th century:
1922 – Russia and Ukraine became two of the founding members of the Soviet Union.
1932 and 1933 – The famine caused by Stalin’s collectivization policy killed millions of people, mainly ethnic Ukrainians in the country known as the breadbasket of the Soviet Union. The disaster is called Holodomor.
1941-1944 – Nazi Germany and the Axis occupied the country during World War II.
1991 – The Soviet Union ceased to function through a treaty. Ukraine became independent and began its transition to a market economy. It also possesses a substantial stockpile of nuclear weapons that once belonged to the Soviet Union.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/18/world/europe/russia-ukraine-timeline.html Schedule of Tensions Between Russia and Ukraine