The Brief History of Ukraine And Russia Conflict
The conflict’s roots go back to negotiations between [then President Mikhail] Gorbachev and George H.W. Bush around the end of the Soviet Union. A polite fiction was established in which the U.S. downplayed any possible expansion of NATO beyond the countries already in NATO. In particular, the U.S. didn’t make a big deal about bringing unified Germany and other former Warsaw Pact countries into NATO. The Soviets chose to interpret this as a promise not to expand NATO, though there is no evidence that any promises were actually made, verbally or otherwise. It suited both sides to pretend that we were all going to live happily ever after, something that many people genuinely believed, even though it submerged the big issues of European security for a while.
Over the past 30 years, many countries on Russia’s periphery have wanted to become members of NATO and the European Union in order to extricate themselves from Moscow’s sphere of influence. They have wanted integration into the West for a variety of reasons. Some countries have a long or recent history of conflict with Russia and see themselves as culturally and politically part of the West. In other cases, economic or political factors played a bigger role and support for integration with Europe is more transactional.
So, the EU and even more so, NATO, have crept farther and farther east. The Baltic States, which were once part of the former Soviet Union, are in NATO, but also the East European states of Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and Montenegro, with North Macedonia as the most recent member.
History of Ukraine Timeline
Ancient History of Ukraine: Before the arrival of the Slavs, the territory of Ukraine was inhabited by Indo-Iranian peoples who came from the south, first the Scythians, then the Sarmatians. These peoples lived in the region between the 7th and 3rd centuries BC. While the Sarmatians remained north of the Black Sea, where Ukraine is today, the Scythians settled as far east as the Caspian Sea in the Eurasian steppes. Further south were the Parthians, an important Iranian political and cultural power in ancient Persia (now Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan).
The Scythians and Sarmatians ended up being absorbed by Germanic peoples, notably the Alans and the Goths.
It was in the 1st century of our era that the Slavs entered history. At that time, groups of tribes spoke a relatively common language, “Common Slavic”.
As we had no written trace of this language, it was necessary to reconstruct it in a purely hypothetical way, by comparing the current Slavic languages spoken with the oldest texts. From the 6th century , the unity of the Slavic peoples was fragmented as they undertook great migratory movements and dispersed. It was in the following century that three major distinct groups began to form among the Slavic languages.: South Slavic, West Slavic and East Slavic (Russian, Belarusian, Ukrainian and Ruthenian). The Ukrainian language is therefore part of East Slavic along with Russian and Belarusian.
|Germanic invasions in the Roman Empire , the region of present-day Ukraine underwent several waves of Germanic immigration until the Varecs, a Scandinavian people associated with the Vikings, settled there to found in 862 the principality of Kiev, which became the capital of the first organized state of this region, which today includes Ukraine, Belarus and part of Russia.
From 912, the principality of Kiev began to increase its influence over new Slavic tribes. The Grand Duke of Kiev, Sviatoslav I ( 945-972 ), established a powerful state north of the Black Sea steppes; after 972, its area of influence extended south and east to the Caspian Sea. The principality was thus the first Slavic state to impose itself in the region, which aroused the interest of the Byzantine Empire located further south.
The Kievan state became at that time for Byzantium an important trading partner, and also a valuable military ally.
The city of Kiev remained the center of the Kievan state for two centuries. It was under the reign of Vladimir the Great (980-1015) that the Christianization of the principality began, which helped to unify the kingdom around the new identity given to it by Byzantine Christianity. Following the Schism of 1054 , which enshrined the separation of the Western Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Russian Kievan State remained faithful to the Byzantine Rite and to the Eastern Church. History of Ukraine.
Orthodox Christianity in Ukraine
The Church of the East always remained very influenced by Greek philosophy and literature, which facilitated the massive conversion of Slavic peoples to Orthodox Byzantine Christianity. But the language used in the liturgy was not Greek, but Slavic called, as the case may be, “Church Slavonic ” or “Russian Slavonic”, one of the two Slavic liturgical languages of Orthodoxy, born with the Christianization of the Kievan State and still in use in some Russian, Belarusian and Ukrainian churches. History of Ukraine.
Slavonic was originally a written language common to the Orthodox Slavs and adapted to oral use in the 9th century. century for the evangelization of the Slavs by the two “Slavic apostles”, Cyril and Methodius, who were Greek, on the basis of the Slavic language they knew: the Slavic dialect of Macedonia from the region of Salonica, that is i.e. Old Bulgarian-Macedonian. History of Ukraine.
This written language of the earliest texts is called Old Slavic or Proto-Slavic . The Cyril and Methodius brothers used Slavonic as their vehicular language, rather than Greek or Latin, because Slavonic had the advantage of being sufficiently understood by most Slavs. They immediately adapted the Greek alphabet to Slavonic, which later gave rise to the alphabet known as “Cyrillic”.
In reality, the alphabet invented by Cyril and Methodius is not the Cyrillic alphabet , but rather the Glagolitic alphabet (from the Slavonic glagoljati : “to speak” or “to verbalize”), which was used for the evangelization of the Balkans. Then this alphabet was banned by the pope and disappeared almost entirely from the tenth century. History of Ukraine.
Old Slavic was thus the original language of the Slavic peoples, but this language was to fragment from the tenth century to give birth, around the fourteenth century, to Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusian . These three languages, as well as Ruthenian, therefore initially constituted one and the same language. Today, they are part of a language group called East Slavic of the branch of Slavic languages . Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusian are descended from Old East Slavic, the language spoken by the ancestors of modern Russians, Ukrainians and Belarusians.
In the 13th century, the Mongols invaded the region ( see map ), thus causing the dismemberment of the Kievan State. With the decline of the latter and its fragmentation into new states, the East Slavic language began to evolve into distinct languages, comparable to what happened with Latin and the Romance languages (Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan, French, etc). History of Ukraine.
The Union of Poland and Lithuania
The Kingdom of Galicia-Volyn (Ruthenian: Галицко-Волинскоє Королѣвство ; Ukrainian: Галицько-Волинське князівство or Halyts’ko-Volyns’ke knyazivstvo ; in Polish: Księstwo halicko-wołyńskie ; Russian: Галицко-Волынское княжество ), now located in western Ukraine, was once an Eastern European state formed by the union of the Ruthenian principalities of Galicia and Volhynia at the end of the 12th century. You can also consult the map of the historical regions : Volhynia, Galicia, Ruthenia, Podolia, Zaporoguie, Meotid, Tauride, Yedisan, Boujak, Bukovina and Crimea.
Ukraine Before the year 1000
History of Ukraine: Numerous cultures from the Middle and Old Stone Age and the Bronze Age left their mark on the region. The area of present-day Ukraine was already inhabited before the 7th century BC by Indo-European steppe peoples such as the Kurgan people, the Scythians, the Alans, the Sarmatians and the Cimmerians. In the course of the 6th and 7th centuries BC the Greeks founded their colonies on the coasts of the Black Sea, to the Sea of Azov and on the Crimean Peninsula.
These colonies later developed into the Bosphoran Empire. During the 3rd and 4th centuries B.C. The region was ruled by the Goths, parts of whom stayed in the area for many centuries. A little later, numerous nomadic peoples of Asian origin, such as the Huns and the Avars, traveled through the steppes in southern Ukraine. History of Ukraine.
The Ukraine (“borderland”) initially referred to those areas on the border with the steppe. The steppe separated the sedentary Christian Slavs from the nomadic Islamic peoples. History of Ukraine.
From the year 1000 to the 17th century
History of Ukraine: Timeline: In the 9th century, the “Kievan Rus” was established by Slavs and Scandinavians: a large empire that had its center in Kiev and that is still a forerunner state today. The name “Ukraina” was first mentioned in a chronicle in 1187; initially it was only used for the south-western areas of the empire, but eventually for the entire Galician-Volhynian area. History of Ukraine.
879-912 Prince Oleg managed to unite 14 East Slavic tribes under his rule. His new empire stretched from Karelia in the north to the steppe borders in the south and from the Dniester to the Volga. The city of Kiev became the center of the empire of the same name. In 911, Prince Oleg concluded a trade treaty between his Kievan Rus’ and Byzantium. Extremely intensive trade relations were the result.
The word “Rus” originally comes from the Greek Rhos (= sources) and was the name of the Varangian upper class of the emerging empire. Over time, the term spread to the East Slavic population, eventually becoming “Russia” to designate the homeland of Russians.
In 988 Rus was Christianized under Vladimir (978-1015). Slavic was introduced and recognized as a church language since the Russian Orthodox Church came under the Patriarchate of Constantinople. History of Ukraine.
Vladimir’s death led to fraternal feuds: Sviatopolk had his brothers Boris and Gleb killed, who were later venerated as the first saints of the Russian Orthodox Church. History of Ukraine.
The political and cultural heyday of Kievan Rus began with Yaroslavl the Wise. He strengthened internal security through the generally applicable legal system, the “Russkaya pravda”, and he had the imperial capital of Kiev converted into a magnificent residence, the center of which was the Saint Sophia Cathedral, begun in 1037. History of Ukraine.
Yarovslavl’s church policy was characterized by efforts to gain independence from Byzantium, so that in 1051 he had his court chaplain Ilarion elected the new metropolitan of Kievan Rus’ without the consent of the Patriarch of Constantinople. Numerous monasteries were founded during this period. Since the middle of the 11th century, a number of cities in addition to Kiev have developed into up-and-coming trading cities. The merchant class in particular reflected the new self-image of the cities.
The five sons of Yaroslavl divided Kievan Rus’ among themselves. Succession wars and military attacks by the steppe nomads led to the formation of new political centers in north-eastern Rus. Among other things, the principalities of Vladimir-Suzdal and Rostov Velikiy emerged. History of Ukraine.
The supremacy of the Kiev dynasty was greatly weakened within Rus. Grand Duke Vladimir II (Monomakh) and his son Grand Duke Mstislav I successfully defended their princely house for the last time. History of Ukraine.
the city of Novgorod broke away from the Kiev principality. History of Ukraine.
Moscow was founded by Yuri Dolgoruky, Prince of Suzdal. Bitter struggles began for supremacy in Kievan Rus’. History of Ukraine.
In that year Kiev, the capital of Russia, was destroyed by Andrei Bogolyubsky (1157-1174). Vladimir became the capital of residence of his Grand Duchy. In 1175 Bogolyubsky fell victim to a boyar conspiracy because of his strong claim to sole rulership.
The Russian principalities became more and more important, the Vladimir-Sudal principality under Vsevolod III. the peak of his rise to power. As a result of the increasing power of the principalities, there were always new armed conflicts, the only peacemaker was the unifying influence of the church. History of Ukraine.
The disintegration of Rus into largely isolated individual principalities. From the 13th century onwards, Asian nomadic tribes ruled over the Ukrainian region, which from now on must be viewed historically separately from Russia, since its centers were further north in Moscow and Novgorod. Daniel Romanovich of Galicia (King Daniel of Halych-Volodymyr) was, along with Alexander Nevsky, the most important prince during the epoch of Mongol rule. History of Ukraine.
With the fall of the Golden Horde in the middle of the 14th century, Lithuania and Casimir the Great of Poland conquered Galicia, the western part became part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in the 14th century, from which the powerful state of “Poland-Lithuania” emerged in 1569.
The southern part of the region became independent as the “Crimea Khanate” and was ruled by the Turks.
Social tensions arose between the Cossack-led resistance and Polish rule; In 1648, Bohdan Khmelnyzkyj established his own Ukrainian Cossack state (Hetmanat) through a contract with the Polish king, Jan Kazimierz, which had its seat of government in Tschyhyryn. Just a few years later, in 1654, he placed himself under the protection of the Russian tsar and thus fell into a relationship of dependency again, also through alliances with the Ottoman Empire.
A short time later, the area was divided against the will of the Cossacks: the area east of the Dnieper went to Russia, the Zaporozhian Cossack area came under Polish-Russian administration.
In the 18th and 19th centuries
The History of Ukraine: Between 1772 and 1795 there were three Polish partitions: most of the Ukrainian territory went to Russia; Galicia, Volhynia and Podolia became part of Austria. Russian rule ensured that the previously deserted steppe regions were settled. In 1796, the southern and eastern territories were conquered by the Ottomans and combined into “Novorussia”, a Russian governorate within which the cities of Sevastopol, Simferopol and Odessa were founded.
Ukrainian national consciousness was already gaining strength in the first half of the 19th century: the historian Mykhailo Hrushevskyi managed to prove that the Russian and Ukrainian nations developed separately, which created the scientific basis for a Ukrainian national movement, but it was initially suppressed under Nicholas I.
In the 20th century to today
The February Revolution of 1917 overthrew the tsarist government and a new Ukrainian parliament was founded, which proclaimed the Ukrainian People’s Republic on November 19 of that year. Hrushevsky himself chaired the Supreme Council.
What is the relationship between Russia and Ukraine?
Since December 1917, the People’s Republic had been opposed by a Bolshevik Soviet government in Kharkov, which after the October Revolution in January of the following year initially proclaimed Ukraine’s independence. However, in February and March 1918, after the Brest-Litovsk Peace Treaty, German and Austro-Hungarian troops occupied the area. When the German troops withdrew after the war, civil war reigned supreme. In 1919 the Red Army was able to recapture Kiev, and in 1921 Ukraine was divided between Poland and Russia in the Peace of Riga.
In 1922 Ukraine became a member state of the Soviet Union and was given the name Ukrainian SSR (Soviet Socialist Republic), the Red Army under Trotsky had defeated the Makhno movement. History of Ukraine.
Today’s megacities of Dnepropetrovsk, Donetsk and Charkov arose in the east of Ukraine as a result of Soviet industrialization. Stalin also introduced forced collectivization of agriculture, which caused well over a million people to die of starvation between 1932 and 1933.
The Ukrainian rural population refused to pay their taxes, so the situation turned into chaos with the deployment of communist shock brigades, confiscations, threats and reprisals. The so-called “Ahrengesetz” stipulated that in future the death penalty should be imposed for the “squandering of socialist property”. 125,000 people were sentenced in the following years, 5,400 of them to death.
The situation continued to deteriorate until the death rate peaked in 1933. while the Soviet Union exported nearly two million tons of grain. Since reporting was already censored in Ukraine, the genocide was largely shielded from world public opinion. In 1937 and ’38 there was a final increase in the Stalinist “purges” and a large part of the Ukrainian political elite was wiped out.
Censuses were carried out between 1937 and 1939, which indicate a number of four million dead, some researchers even assume 6-7 million dead. and much of the Ukrainian political elite were wiped out. Censuses were carried out between 1937 and 1939, which indicate a number of four million dead, some researchers even assume 6-7 million dead. and much of the Ukrainian political elite were wiped out. Censuses were carried out between 1937 and 1939, which indicate a number of four million dead, some researchers even assume 6-7 million dead.
Ukraine and World War II
At the beginning of World War II, western Ukraine was reunited with Ukraine using the Secret Additional Protocol to the Hitler-Stalin Pact. Between 1941 and 1942, after the German attack on the USSR, Ukraine was one of the main battlefields, with the Ukrainian population initially partially cooperating with the German occupiers under the horror of Stalinist terror. History of Ukraine.
However, the German policy of occupation was so brutal that resistance from the Ukrainians soon grew stronger. The SS and German Wehrmacht murdered 5-7 million Ukrainian citizens and planned to settle 20 million Germans in a kind of “colony” and exploit them. More than a million Ukrainians were deported to Germany for forced labor, numerous other deportations and executions followed.
All Ukrainian organizations were forcibly dissolved, eventually the schools were even closed and all newspapers were censored, and books were no longer allowed to be printed. Along with eastern Poland, Ukraine is the area most affected by the Holocaust against Jews, Sinti and Roma; in September 1941 alone, 33,000 Jewish residents of Kiev were shot in Babi Yar near Kiev, and further mass shootings claimed more than 70,000 lives. Around 1.4 million prisoners were murdered in the camps in Germany to which other Ukrainian Jews were deported.
Around the time of the partisan war (1943 – 1947) against the German occupiers, a strong nationalist independence movement developed against Soviet rule, which was crushed; Ukraine became part of the Soviet Union again as the “Ukrainian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic” (USFSR). The western shift of Poland resulted in the expulsion of Ukrainians from Poland and Poles from Ukraine.
From February 4 to 11, 1945, the conference of the “Big Three” (Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill) on further political and military action was held in Yalta in the Crimea.
After the Second World War Until Today
After the Second World War, the Carpathian Mountains were assigned to the Ukrainian Soviet Republic. In 1954, a Soviet administrative act under Nikita Khrushchev made Crimea part of the Ukraine. A Ukrainian opposition movement formed in the 1960s; this was reinforced by religious opposition in western Ukraine. History of Ukraine.
In 1986 there was a disaster at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant: an explosion released radioactive substances that are still polluting parts of Ukraine, Belarus and Russia today. In Ukraine, 125 thousand people died as a result of the accident, 3.5 million are victims of the consequences of the accident. It is the worst reactor accident of all time. The Soviet authorities downplayed the catastrophe and delayed the necessary countermeasures, which led to massive criticism.
The History of Ukraine and Russia
In 1990, Ukrainian became the state language, and a few months later the country declared itself sovereign within the USSR. In 1991 there was a coup by the orthodox communist forces, after which the Ukraine finally left the USSR state union and declared its independence on August 24, 1991. History of Ukraine.
Since the 1990s, Ukraine has been struggling with serious economic problems as well as building a foreign policy position that is neutral towards both the West and Russia . The country is striving for independence from Russia, but has leased a military port in Sevastopol on the Crimean peninsula to the Russian Black Sea Fleet. History of Ukraine.
The path to democracy was generally not easy. The first president of independent Ukraine was Leonid Kravchuk , whose initiatives failed because of the anti-reform majority in the Supreme Council. The population became increasingly dissatisfied, which manifested itself in a miners’ strike in 1993. Leonid Kuchma , the country’s president since 1994, advocated greater cooperation with Russia.
In 1998 there was a parliamentary crisis lasting several months, after which Kuchma decided to govern by decree. Against
At the end of 2000 there were violent protests against the Ukrainian state power, in which the opposition accused the authorities of obstructing the media, suppressing and intimidating critical politicians, interfering with the judiciary and corruption. International human rights organizations called for fundamental improvements in the human rights situation in Ukraine. The Russian Black Sea Fleet has its home port in Sevastopol, the large Black Sea port in Crimea.
Viktor Yushchenko was Prime Minister of Ukraine between 1999 and 2001 , but was forced to resign following a vote of no confidence in his efforts to stop the country’s growing corruption, which had become a threat to the oligarchs. Anatoly Kinakh became his successor, and from 2002 Viktor Yanukovych held the post of prime minister. After the turbulent events surrounding the 2004 presidential elections, he announced his resignation on December 31 of that year.
Viktor Yanukovych and Viktor Yushchenko ran against each other in the presidential elections. Yanukovych was initially able to win the run-off elections, but there were too many indications of electoral fraud. For weeks there were peaceful mass protests by the population, which went down in history as the “Orange Revolution”. The elections were finally repeated, this time Yushchenko narrowly won. During the election campaign, he fell ill with dioxin poisoning, which left severe marks on the skin of his face. Yushchenko was President of Ukraine from 2005 to 2010.
In the run-off election on February 7, 2010, former President Viktor Yanukovych won the election as President of Ukraine with 48.7% against his competitor Yulia Tymoshenko with 45.5%. History of Ukraine.
From November 2013, peaceful protests against the government’s policies began on Maidan Square in Kiev – among other things, a rapprochement with the EU was demanded. The protests spread over time, leading to calls for new elections and the resignation of the government and the president. History of Ukraine.
On February 18, 2014, there were civil war-like clashes between the demonstrators and the security forces, in which around 100 people lost their lives and thousands were injured. History of Ukraine.
On February 21, 2014, the foreign ministers of Germany , France and Poland managed to reach a peaceful solution. Accordingly, an interim government was formed, the 2004 constitution was reinstated and the president and parliament were to be re-elected by the end of the year at the latest. History of Ukraine.
This agreement had already lapsed on February 22, because parliament had declared President Viktor Yanukovych deposed and Kiev had also fallen into the hands of the opposition. Yulia Tymoshenko was released the same day after almost three years in prison. On June 7, 2014, Petro Proschenko (b. 1965) took office as the country’s president after a democratic election.
Fighting in Eastern Ukraine
After the seizure of Crimea, independence struggles began in eastern Ukraine, which were increasingly dominated by infiltrated Russians and Chechens. History of Ukraine.
But only the democratically elected new President of Ukraine – Petro Poroshenko – who took office on June 7, 2014, began to massively fight the separatists with the help of the army.
The fighting has so far resulted in heavy casualties for both sides, with 44 Ukrainian soldiers alone being killed when a military aircraft was shot down. At least 30 Ukrainian soldiers were killed when a troop transport was shelled with so-called “Stalin organs”.
Why is the Ukraine so important to Russia?
The Ukrainian army had to accept a terrible defeat when the separatists were still able to capture the strategically important city of Debaltseve after the Minsk agreement. History of Ukraine.
The Minsk Agreement was signed on February 12, 2015 (Minsk II) between Putin, Poroshenko, Merkel and Hollande.
A first agreement (Minsk I) was signed in Minsk on September 5, 2014, but it was unsuccessful. History of Ukraine.
Boeing 777 shot down over Ukraine
The Boeing 777 passenger plane, registration MH 17, was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur ( Malaysia ) on July 17, 2014 when it was shot down in eastern Ukraine.
298 people were on board and all died. Among the passengers were 193 Dutch, 44 Malaysian, 27 Australian, nine British and four German.
The machine was probably shot down with the help of a BUK-M1 rocket (NATO code: SA-11 Gadfly), which is loaded with 55 kg of explosives and can shoot down targets at a height of over 20 km.
Not long ago, the separatists publicly boasted that they had captured such a missile. There were also (allegedly) radio messages confirming the mistake that a civilian plane had been shot down. History of Ukraine.
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