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Ukraine: A Timeline

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photo credit: dobrych
photo credit: dobrych

21 November- Protests erupt when President Viktor Yanukovych turns down an association and trade deal with the European Union in favour of stronger ties with Russia. Yanukovych argues that the cost of trade with Russia will be unbearable for Ukraine. His rejection ruins the long-standing aspirations for integration in Europe. The country seems divided between those in favour of joining the EU and on the other hand those who seek to remain under Russia's sphere of influence.

28 November- EU leaders warn they would not tolerate Russian interference in the bloc's relations with former Soviet republic.

30 November- The police launches a brutal raid which results in protests developing in December. Protests break out in Kiev and then spread to other regions where tension exists between pro-EU and pro-Russian protests.

8 December- 800000 people demonstrate in Kiev making it the largest demonstration so far

December 17- Russian President Vladimir Putin announces plans to buy $15bn in Ukrainian government bonds and a cut in cost of Russia's natural gas for Ukraine.

16 January- Parliament passes anti-demonstration laws that are later repealed.

18 January- Violence escalates when Yanukovych rejects calls for a debate on changing the constitution. Policemen are shot and people protest at Independence Square.

photo credit: snamess
photo credit: snamess

January 28- Mykola Azarov resigns as Ukraine's prime minister and the parliament repeals anti-protest laws that caused the demonstrations to escalate in the first place.

January 29- A bill is passed, promising amnesty for arrested protesters if seized government buildings are relinquished.

20 February- 77 people are killed within 48 hours and nearly 600 are wounded. As a response the European Union imposes sanctions on Ukrainian officials 'responsible for violence and excessive force' after the bloodiest day of clashes in Kiev.

February 21- After talks with French, German and Polish leaders, protest leaders, the political opposition and Yanukovich agree to form a new government and hold early elections. The parliament votes to free Yulia Tymoshenko, the former prime minister, from prison.

February 22- Ukraine politicians vote to remove Yanukovich who disappears. He later appears on television denouncing the coup. Tymoshenko is freed from prison and speaks to those gathered in Kiev. May 25 is set for fresh presidential elections.

photo credit: mac_ivan
photo credit: mac_ivan

February 26- Arseniy Yatsenyuk is nominated as the new Prime Minister.

February 27- Arseniy Yatsenyuk has announced that a coalition agreement has been signed in the parliament.

28 February- Pro-Russian gunmen seize buildings and airport in Simferopol and a military airfield in Sevastopol. Ukraine accuses Russia of affression and the UN Security Council meets to discuss the situation. The US warns Russia of military intervention in Ukraine. Russia says military movements in Crimea are in line with previous agreements to protect its fleet position in the Black Sea.Mr. Yanukovych persists on remaining the president.

photo credit: mwmbwls
photo credit: mwmbwls

March 1- With situation worsening in Crimea, local leaders ask for Russian President's help. Russian upper house of the parliament approves a request by Vladimir Putin to use military power in Ukraine. Pro-Russian rallies spark around Ukraine, outside Crimea. US President, Barack Obama calls President Putin to pull his forces back to the bases.

March 2- Arseny Yatsenyuk, Ukraine's Prime Minister, says that his country is on the "brink of disaster" aaccusing Moscow of declaring war on Ukraine.

March 3- NATO says Moscow is threatening peace and security in Europe. Russia 'demands surrender' on Ukraine's Crimea forces.

March 4- In his first public reaction to the crisis in Ukraine, Putin says that Russia reserves the right to use all means to protect its citizens in eastern Ukraine. The majority in Crimea is of Russian origin.

March 5- US Secretary of State John Kerry calls for a meeting between Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers. Sergey Lavrov, Russian the Foreign Minister refuses to talk to his Ukrainian counterpart, Andriy Deshchytsia. Meanwhile, NATO announces a full review of its cooperation with Russia.

March 6- US announces visa restrictions on Russians and Ukraine's Crimeans who it says are "threatening the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine". Meanwhile, Crimea's parliament votes unanimously in favour of joining Russia. Hours later, the city council of Sevastopol in Crimea announces joining Russia immediately. Crimea's parliament votes to join Russia and calls for a referendum.

credit credit: Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com
credit credit: Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

March 7- Ukraine offers talks with Russia over Crimea, as lond as the Kremlin withdraws its troops from Crimea. Meanwhile, Russian politicians meet Crimea's delegates and express their support for the region's aspirations of joining Russia.

March 8- France and the US warn Russia against 'new measures' if it does not pull back its forces from Crimea.

March 9- Ukrainian Prime Minister Yatsenyuk says Ukraine would not give 'an inch' of its territory to Russia as rival rallies in Sevastopol lead to violence.

March 10- NATO announces it will fly AWACKS over Poland and Romania to monitor the situation in Crimea.

March 11- The EU proposes a package of trade incentives worth nearly 500m euros (417m pounds). Crimean regional parliament adopts a "declaration of independence" while Yatsenyuk's urges the US and UK to use all measures, including military, to deter Russian aggression.

March 12- Obama meets with Yatsenyuk at the White House demonstrating support for the new Ukrainian government. He declares US intension to "completely reject" the Crimea referendum.

March 13- Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor warns Russia of potentially "massive" long-term economic and political damage. Crimean Tatar leader, Mustafa Czhemilev, calls for a referendum boycott and NATO intervention to avert a "massacre". Ukrainian parliament votes for a 60,000-strong National Guard.

March 14- Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, met with US counterpart, John Kerry, amid threats of sanctions against Russia if it annexes Crimea.

March 15- UN Security Council members vote in favour of a draft resolution condemning the referendum in Crimea as illegal. Russia vetoes the action and China abstaines.

photo credit: IoSonoUnaFotoCamera
photo credit: IoSonoUnaFotoCamera

16 March- The results of the referendum in Crimea came out, with officials saying that 97% of voters backed breaking away from Ukraine. The EU and the US condemned the referendum arguing that it is illegal and imposed sanctions on 21 officials from Russia as well as to Ukraine.

17 March- Russia recognises Crimea as an independent state- the Russian President Vladimir Putin has signs a decree recognizing Crimea as a sovereign independent state, paving the way for it to be absorbed into Russia.

18 March- Vladimir Putin, recognized Crimea as a sovereign state, signing the first step toward integrating Crimea as part of the Russian Federation based on the 'will of the people of the Crimea'.

19 March- Pro-Russian forces seize Ukrainian navy base. Ukraine's acting President warned Crimea's Kremlin-backed leaders that they have three hours to release the captured head of the splintered ex-Soviet country's navy or face 'an adequate response'.

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