Ukraine 's Independence From The Union Of Soviet Socialist Republics

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Background. Ukraine gained independence from the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (U.S.S.R.) August 24, 1991 (Mark, 2016). Slightly smaller in size than Texas, Ukraine is bordered by Poland, Romania, Moldova, the Russian Federation, and the Black Sea. With a population of 44.4 million people it is not a very diverse country with 77% identified as ethnic Ukrainians, 18% ethnic Russian, and 5% other (CIA, 2015). In the last 12 years a relatively young Ukrainian government has suffered from political turmoil and most recently violent instability.
Most notably beginning with the Orange Revolution of 2004, a corrupt election, and the installment of President Viktor Yushchenko and Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych. Seen as a reformist of
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Since then, Ukraine was briefly lead by interim President Oleksandr Turchynov until the current president, Petro Proshenko, was elected in May 2014 (Foxall, 2015). The Ukrainian government is still struggling to assert itself locally and globally while reeling from an exhausted economy being drained by armed conflict and internally displaced persons.
Current Events. On March 18, 2014 the Russian Federation annexed Ukrainian territory Crimea (Paul, 2015). The battle for Crimea was both political and physical. Beginning with protest in Kiev, Ukraine November 21, 2013 after President Yanukovych rejected the Ukraine EU Association Agreement. Small protest and scattered violence continued until February 20, 2014 when protesters in Kiev were shot by government snipers in Maidan Square. On February 22, 2014 President Yanukovych fled to Russia and on March 01, 2014 Russian Federation military forces began direct action in Crimea. Ethnic Russians in Crimea, Donetsk, and Luhansk began forming separatist groups fighting against Ukraine (Thompson, 2016). The Ukrainian military was ordered not to fight when interim President Oleksandr declared “[Ukraine] cannot launch a military operation in Crimea, as we would expose the eastern border and Ukraine would not be protected (Paul, 2015).” On April 15, 2014 Ukraine began military operations to recover areas that had been seized by separatist groups. Conflict has ebbed and flowed with neither
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