Everything you need to know about the Ukraine crisis

24 Cards

CURATED BY Max Fisher

2014-09-03 11:01:59 -0400

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

    What is the Ukraine crisis?

  2. Card 2 of 24

    Is it “Ukraine” or “the Ukraine”?

  3. Card 3 of 24

    What is Crimea?

  4. Card 4 of 24

    What is eastern Ukraine conflict? What does Russia have to do with it?

  5. Card 5 of 24

    Why is Russia invading eastern Ukraine?

  6. Card 6 of 24

    So should Crimea be part of Russia or Ukraine?

  7. Card 7 of 24

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

  8. Card 8 of 24

    Who is Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych?

  9. Card 9 of 24

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

  10. Card 10 of 24

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

    Ukrainians never really resolved the national identity crisis between its Russia-facing east and pro-European west that was sparked by its 1991 independence from the Soviet Union. The current crisis is, in many ways, an extension and perhaps culmination of that internal — and external — dispute about their country's identity. It is also the culmination of some Russians' belief that eastern Ukraine — or even all of Ukraine — is not actually a separate country, but rightfully part of Russia.

    The east and west of Ukraine disagree so fundamentally about what sort of country they want to have, about what it means to be Ukrainian, that a big, internal political battle may have been quite likely. For example, the EU trade deal that sparked all this only had about 43 percent popular support, mostly in the west; another 31 percent of Ukrainians said they wanted a trade deal with the Russia-led Customs Union instead. When Yanukovych rejected the EU deal, many western Ukrainians saw it as a betrayal, but eastern Ukrainians may have regarded a different decision the same way.

    Ukraine, according to political scientist Leonid Peisakhin, "has never been and is not yet a coherent national unit with a common narrative or a set of more or less commonly shared political aspirations."

    Some Russian-speaking Ukrainians in the country's east and south, particularly in Crimea, have not quite reconciled themselves to being citizens of Ukraine over Russia. Ideas that their region should be absorbed into Russia are very much alive.

    Even though Yanukovych was removed from power by protesters, mostly in the west, this has not resolved the nation's deeper identity crisis. All it did was shift power from a pro-Russian, eastern-based political party to a pro-European, western-based political party. That's upset pro-Russian Ukrainians in the country's east and south, including in Crimea, where pro-Russian demonstrators marched against the new government. The Kremlin quietly backed those protests, including by sending in unmarked Russian troops, which took over government buildings in Crimea and in eastern Ukraine. In Crimea, that ended with a Russian military occupation and annexation. In eastern Ukraine, it's led to ongoing fighting between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian security forces, and in August with the Russian military overtly invading.

  11. Card 11 of 24

    How did Ukraine get so divided?

  12. Card 12 of 24

    Why is Russia so obsessed with Ukraine?

  13. Card 13 of 24

    What is Putin trying to accomplish?

  14. Card 14 of 24

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

  15. Card 15 of 24

    Is the Ukraine crisis a new Cold War?

  16. Card 16 of 24

    What is the US-Russia 'reset'?

  17. Card 17 of 24

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

  18. Card 18 of 24

    Did Putin annex Crimea because he thought Obama was weak?

  19. Card 19 of 24

    Why does Putin keep talking about Yugoslavia?

  20. Card 20 of 24

    Why does Russia want Ukraine to adopt a federal system?

  21. Card 21 of 24

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

  22. Card 22 of 24

    You didn't answer my question!

  23. Card 23 of 24

    What else should I read about the Ukraine crisis?

  24. Card 24 of 24

    How have these cards changed?

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