Everything you need to know about the Ukraine crisis

25 Cards

CURATED BY Max Fisher

2014-07-17 22:30:48 -0400

  1. What is the Ukraine crisis?
  2. Is it “Ukraine” or “the Ukraine”?
  3. What is Crimea?
  4. So should Crimea be part of Russia or Ukraine?
  5. This all started with the Euromaidan protests, right? What’s that?
  6. Who is Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych?
  7. Is there a series of irreverent political cartoons summing up the crisis?
  8. I hear that Ukraine is divided between east and west. Can you explain that?
  9. What does Ukraine’s east-west divide have to do with the current crisis?
  10. How did Ukraine get so divided?
  11. Why is Russia so obsessed with Ukraine?
  12. What is Putin trying to accomplish?
  13. Is Russian state media relentlessly trolling the US over Ukraine?
  14. Is the Ukraine crisis a new Cold War?
  15. Why does Putin keep talking about Yugoslavia?
  16. What is the US-Russia 'reset'?
  17. Did Putin annex Crimea because he thought Obama was weak?
  18. What are the US and Europe doing to try to stop Putin?
  19. Is Russia going to invade eastern Ukraine?
  20. Is Ukraine's crisis going to become a civil war?
  21. Why does Russia want Ukraine to adopt a federal system?
  22. What does the MH17 plane crash have to do with the crisis?
  23. You didn't answer my question!
  24. What else should I read about the Ukraine crisis?
  25. How have these cards changed?
  1. Card 1 of 25

    What is the Ukraine crisis?

  2. Card 2 of 25

    Is it “Ukraine” or “the Ukraine”?

  3. Card 3 of 25

    What is Crimea?

  4. Card 4 of 25

    So should Crimea be part of Russia or Ukraine?

    This is actually a very difficult question. Yes, the way that Russia seized Crimea from Ukraine this March was largely hostile and almost certainly illegal. But the larger question of whether Crimea should be part of Russia is much less clear. There are three ways to think about this question, and they all contradict.

    Legally, is Crimea part of Russia or Ukraine? Probably Ukraine

    Crimea has technically been part of Ukraine since 1954, when Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev transferred it from the Russian Soviet Socialist Republic to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. The reasons for this are esoteric and it didn't actually do much since both "republics" were part of the Soviet Union. In 1991, when the Soviet Union broke up, everyone expected Moscow to demand Crimea back. But it didn't. A slight majority of Crimeans voted for independence from Russia, and when Crimea formally joined the newly independent Ukraine (but with special autonomy privileges), Russia promised to honor and respect this.

    Historically, is Crimea part of Russia or Ukraine? Probably Russia

    Most Crimeans are ethnically Russian, not Ukrainian. While Crimea has been changing hands between regional powers for centuries, for most of the last 200-plus years it has been part of Russia. The fact that everyone expected Russia to take it back when the Soviet Union broke up in 1991 tells you a lot: the world often sees it as historically Russian as well. It was not shocking when, in February, some Crimeans held pro-Russia rallies.

    Do Crimeans want to be part of Russia or Ukraine? It's not clear

    Since the crisis began, some Crimeans have been holding pro-Moscow rallies calling to rejoin Russia. In mid-February, a poll found that 41 percent of Crimeans wanted the region to become part of Russia. That's an awful lot — but it's still not a majority. Crimea's March referendum on leaving Ukraine for Russia ostensibly garnered 97 percent support, it occurred in a rush, without international monitors, and under Russian military occupation. A draft UN investigative report found that critics of secession within Crimea were detained and tortured in the days before the vote; it also found "many reports of vote-rigging." Had the referendum been held in a transparent and legal manner, it's not clear which way the vote would have gone.

  5. Card 5 of 25

    This all started with the Euromaidan protests, right? What’s that?

  6. Card 6 of 25

    Who is Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych?

  7. Card 7 of 25

    Is there a series of irreverent political cartoons summing up the crisis?

  8. Card 8 of 25

    I hear that Ukraine is divided between east and west. Can you explain that?

  9. Card 9 of 25

    What does Ukraine’s east-west divide have to do with the current crisis?

  10. Card 10 of 25

    How did Ukraine get so divided?

  11. Card 11 of 25

    Why is Russia so obsessed with Ukraine?

  12. Card 12 of 25

    What is Putin trying to accomplish?

  13. Card 13 of 25

    Is Russian state media relentlessly trolling the US over Ukraine?

  14. Card 14 of 25

    Is the Ukraine crisis a new Cold War?

  15. Card 15 of 25

    Why does Putin keep talking about Yugoslavia?

  16. Card 16 of 25

    What is the US-Russia 'reset'?

  17. Card 17 of 25

    Did Putin annex Crimea because he thought Obama was weak?

  18. Card 18 of 25

    What are the US and Europe doing to try to stop Putin?

  19. Card 19 of 25

    Is Russia going to invade eastern Ukraine?

  20. Card 20 of 25

    Is Ukraine's crisis going to become a civil war?

  21. Card 21 of 25

    Why does Russia want Ukraine to adopt a federal system?

  22. Card 22 of 25

    What does the MH17 plane crash have to do with the crisis?

  23. Card 23 of 25

    You didn't answer my question!

  24. Card 24 of 25

    What else should I read about the Ukraine crisis?

  25. Card 25 of 25

    How have these cards changed?

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