|How did a series of riots turn into the current situation?|
The founding of Ukraine- The first seeds of today's problems could be seen with the formation of Ukraine in 1991. After a coup which tried to overthrow Mikhail Gorbachev failed Ukraine declared independence with the wave of nationalism that spread across the USSR. Soon other nations declared their independence and the USSR collapsed. Most of the new nations drew their borders based on ethnic populations as well as their historical boundaries but Ukraine largely drew its borders on historic boundaries. From the days of Stalin trying to make Ukraine ethnically Russian there was a clear Ukrainian-Russian divide geographically in Ukraine, in the East being mostly ethnically Russian, which still lasts today. This is shown on the map below:
|Map from openculture.com|
|The 2004 Orange Revolution|
|Yanukovych on the left and Putin on the right|
|Independence Square descends into violence|
|Pro-Russian troops in Crimea|
Situations worsen- Across Odessa fighting claimed more lives and in May Ukraine elected a new President Petro Poroshenko. The West increased their sanctions on Russia and built closer ties with Ukraine but the greatest tragedy had yet to come.
|298 innocent lives were lost in the violence|
The future?- What will happen next we cannot know. Recently the fighting has been less severe as it had been around May/June time. However the West and Russia must work together in order to solve the problem and I personally believe that earlier working together between the West and Russia after 1991 could have diverted the problem, (as suggested by notable critic of Putin Mikhail Gorbachev who has actually supported Putin). Although an issue over Crimean sovereignty may need to be addressed, especially with the Tatar population not being consulted about the referendum.
Thanks for reading and what is your views. If you live in Russia please tell me your view as living in the UK I've only seen a Western perspective and seeing a Russian perspective over the issue would be extremely beneficial. If you live in Ukraine also give me your opinion on the events that have transpired. Thanks and have a good day.