Ukrainian Revolution and War in Donbass (2014 - )

In November 2013, protestors in Ukraine took to Maidan Nezalezhnosti in Kiev to protest to protest against the government of Viktor Yanukovych in favour of European integration. Protests eventually led to the 2014 Ukrainian Revolution or the 'Revolution of Dignity', where Yanukovych was ousted. Pro-Russian protests were also held across several regions of the Ukraine, and following the removal of Yanukovych, Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula in February 2014. International outcry led to Russia's suspension from the G8 and other international sanctions including condemnation from the United Nations. Spurred on by Russia's annexation of the Crimea and the subsequent referendum, pro-Russian militants began agitating for a similar outcome in March. However, by April, militants launched a separatist insurgency in the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts spurring a Ukrainian counter-attack and the resulting War in Donbass. Since then, Russian troops have remained active in the warzone, although their presence is denied by the Russian government. In September 2014 “Minsk Protocol” was signed under the auspices of OSCE and “Minsk II” in February 2015, both failing to halt fighting completely in the region. Recently, in October 2019 Ukraine, Russia, the DPR and LPR, and the OSCE signed an agreement based on “the Steinmeier formula” originally proposed in 2016 by Germany’s then foreign minister – simplified version of the Minsk agreements to help parties agree on the sequence of events outlined in the agreements i.e. free fair elections in the east and grant of special status to the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. This deal was Russia’s key pre-condition for a summit of the leaders of Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany – the Normandy format. At the end of the month Ukrainian troops and Russian backed separatists have begun withdrawing from key front-line areas in eastern Ukraine under OSCE supervision.

The University of Edinburgh