Ukraine vs. Russia happens to be one of the most complicated situations to arise since the Cold War, but how did we get to this point? Which, if we are honest, is potentially military intervention in Ukraine, and — for all those who have not figured it out — we’re already back in the Cold War! But back to the point of how we got here.
In this article we will look at a timeline of events in Ukraine which have shaped the current situation of today. I will only stick to points from the Maidan Revolution of 2014 and beyond. This is due to the fact that we could go on and on for quite some time about Russia’s involvement prior to 2014… but we will discuss that over a podcast on SOFREP Radio.
2013 November — Tens of thousands of protesters take to the streets to protest at the government’s sudden decision to abandon plans to sign an association agreement with the EU, blaming Russian pressure.
2014 February — Security forces kill at least 77 protesters in Kiev. President Yanukovych flees to Russia, opposition takes over.
2014 March — Russian forces annex Crimea, prompting biggest East-West showdown since Cold War. US and European Union impose ever-harsher sanctions on Russia.
2014 April — Pro-Russian armed groups seize parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, on Russian border. Government launches military operation in response.
2014 May — Leading businessman Petro Poroshenko wins presidential election on pro-Western platform.
2014 July — Pro-Russian forces shoot down Malaysian airliner over eastern Ukraine conflict zone, killing all 298 people on board.
2014 September — NATO confirms Russian troops and heavy military equipment entering eastern Ukraine.
2014 October — Parliamentary elections produce convincing majority for pro-Western parties.
2014 — Minsk Protocol, an agreement to halt the war in the Donbass region of Ukraine.
European Union association
2015 February — Germany and France broker a new Donbass deal at talks in Belarus, resulting in a tenuous ceasefire with the Minsk 2 agreement.
2016 — Economy returns to fragile growth after two years of turmoil.
2017 July — Ukraine’s association agreement with the European Union is ratified by all signatories, and comes into force on 1 September.
2018 May — Russian President Putin officially opens a bridge linking southern Russia to Crimea, an action Ukraine calls illegal.
2018 October — The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople agrees to allow Ukraine to set up its own Orthodox Church independent of Russian Orthodox supervision.
2018 November — President Poroshenko declares martial law in ten regions and bans the entry of most Russian adult males, fearing invasion after Moscow seizes the crew of three Ukrainian boats off Crimea.
Like I have said above, there is evidence of Russian interference prior to 2014. But let’s stick the facts of what brought us to the situation now in Ukraine. There are a number of failures by the UN and the West in identifying the aggression of Russia in Ukraine back in 2014. Had we sought an intervention back then, we may have avoided this current situation that we face today. There is a huge political risk to anyone weighing in on the Ukraine conflict, largely because Russia is indeed a powerful foe.
But let us also look at two major failures during the conflict:
The Minsk Agreement (both I and II) — I could talk forever on this Minsk Protocol! This was a failed agreement from the moment ‘go’ — a monumental waste of time and lives. All this really did was hinder Ukraine’s ability to stop this long before it escalated to where we are now. The agreement is one-sided, and it stops Ukraine’s ability to defend itself and reclaim the Donbass. It allowed Russia to seize Crimea, divert the world’s attention to the war in Donbass, and also destabilize the region for years to come.
The West were too interested in The Islamic State and their gains in Iraq and Syria.
I have many photos from reconnaissance operations in the east, and video, that proves the Russian-backed separatists have kept heavy weapons within striking range of the Ukrainian positions. But! Ukraine cannot counter this threat, due to the Minsk. And that of the OSCE.
Even if Ukraine was able to take back the Donbass, the damage Russia will have left behind will take decades to fix. Ukrainian forces could face an insurgency war, small groups, attacking them, etc. Beyond that, the people have lost faith in the government’s ability to protect them. In one sense of the word, Ukraine as lost the east. And for years to come, Russia has destabilized the area.
Who are the OSCE? I did an article for NEWSREP on this mob — please take a look! To keep it short, they are a waste of time. The organization does little to deter the conflict, and pretty much all the information they provided is false or inaccurate — to the point that it may as well be fake. The question is, who are they meant to be informing? And if they are making political decisions based on inaccurate/false information, what really can be done? The fact is they monitor the Ukrainians. That’s all they can do — they have no ability to monitor the Russian side. So really, what’s the point?
I will be talking on SOFREP Radio about this more in-depth, so standby people! I will also be covering a few pieces on how the war looks, and the possible outcome of this situation.