This Article is From Nov 20, 2014

A Year of Crisis in Ukraine

A Year of Crisis in Ukraine

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Kiev: Ukraine's worst political crisis since its independence in 1991 has witnessed a full year of bloody turmoil.

Here are key dates of a conflict that has already seen Russia seize a chunk of its western neighbour's territory and sparked the worst standoff in East-West relations since the Cold War:


November 21: Ukraine's Kremlin-backed government suspends talks on an association agreement with the European Union in favour of closer ties with Moscow.

The decision triggers three months of demonstrations in Kiev's central Independence Square, known as the Maidan, and western Ukranian cities where pro-European sentiment runs strong.


January 21-22: Fierce clashes between security forces and demonstrators leave several protestors dead.

February 18-20: Bloodshed erupts, with a failed crackdown by authorities on the protests killing over 100 people.

February 22: President Viktor Yanukovych, accused of ordering the police to open fire on civilians, flees to Russia and is ousted by parliament.


March 1: Russian troops and pro-Moscow forces seize ports and cities in the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea in the subsequent few weeks.

March 16: Crimean residents, mostly Russian speakers, vote to join Russia in a referendum that Kiev and the West do not recognise.

March 20:
Russia's parliament ratifies a treaty incorporating Crimea into Russia. President Vladimir Putin then seals the deal.

April 6: Pro-Moscow demonstrators seize government buildings in towns and cities in Ukraine's Russian-speaking east, including Donetsk and Lugansk.

April 13: Kiev announces the launch of an "anti-terrorist" operation in the east.

May 11: Voters call for independence in referendums in Lugansk and Donetsk, rejected as illegitimate by Kiev and the West.

May 25: Ukraine's presidential election is won by Petro Poroshenko.

June 27: The EU and Ukraine sign the association agreement whose rejection had sparked the initial unrest.

July 17: Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 is shot down over rebel-held territory, killing 298 people.

July 29: The EU and the United States broaden sanctions on Russia.

August 7: Russia bans most US and EU food imports in reprisal.

August 25: Rebels mount a counter-offensive in the southeast, reportedly backed by Russian troops and heavy weapons.

September 5: Ceasefire signed in Minsk but violence continues.

October 26: Pro-West parties win big in a general election that was boycotted in the east.

October 30:
In Brussels, Russia and Ukraine forge a gas supply agreement after fraught negotiations.

November 2: Separatists in eastern Ukraine vote in Russian-backed leadership elections that Kiev and the West refuse to recognise.

November 12:
NATO accuses Russia of sending fresh columns of tanks, troops and military hardware into Ukraine.

November 15:
Putin receives an icy reception at the G20 summit in the Australian city of Brisbane and leaves early.