私たちは、何年もの間、日本のエンターテインメント ニュースを生き、呼吸してきた情熱的なエンターテインメント ニュース ジャンキーの小さなチームです。
Video: Rpt: White House Had Broader Secrecy Effort To Shield Trump Phone Calls | The Last Word | MSNBC
私たちは、何年もの間、日本のエンターテインメント ニュースを生き、呼吸してきた情熱的なエンターテインメント ニュース ジャンキーの小さなチームです。
ukraine, 2019-09-26, Rpt: White House Had Broader Secrecy Effort To Shield Trump Phone Calls | The Last Word | MSNBC, The Washington Post is reporting that the Trump White House took “extraordinary steps over the past two years to block details of Trump phone calls with foreign leaders from becoming public.” Carol Leonnig joins Lawrence O’Donnell for details about her breaking report and experts Larry Pfeiffer and Ned Price react. Aired on 09/26/19.
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Rpt: White House Had Broader Secrecy Effort To Shield Trump Phone Calls | The Last Word | MSNBC, MSNBC
Ukrainian cities hit in missile strikes
At least 12 Ukrainian cities have been hit in missile strikes two days after a strategically important bridge linking Russia with Crimea was damaged in a blast.
Kyiv has been targeted for the first time in months, but explosions have also been reported Ternopil and Lviv in the west, which has so far escaped the worst of the war.
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky says Russia has targeted energy infrastructure across the country and that energy facilities in Kyiv, Lviv, Dnipro, Vinnytsia, Zaporizhzhia and Kharkiv are among the places hit.
Ukraine’s military commander says Russia launched 83 missiles in total.
It comes a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Ukraine’s security services of attacking the Kerch bridge – although Ukrainian officials have not indicated whether their forces were behind the attack.
The 19km (12-mile) bridge, the longest in Europe, is an important supply route for Russian forces fighting in Ukraine.
Russia has used the bridge to move military equipment, ammunition, and personnel from Russia to battlefields in southern Ukraine.
Mr Putin described the blast as an “an act of terrorism aimed at destroying Russia’s critical civilian infrastructure”.
Russian authorities partially reopened the roadway part of the bridge hours after the attack but for light traffic only.
The railway part of the bridge – where oil tankers caught fire – has also reopened.
Ukrainian breakthrough in the south
Ukrainian troops have continued to advance after breaking through Russia’s defences on the west bank of the Dnieper River in Kherson.
They have retaken the village of Dudchany and the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) says Ukrainian sources report that Russian occupation authorities are moving their families from the Kherson region to Crimea.
Ukrainian troops have been attacking bridges, ferries and pontoons in recent weeks, attempting to make Russian positions on the west side of the river unsustainable, and thereby force a withdrawal.
Also in the south, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has called for the demilitarisation of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.
Russian and Ukrainian sources have accused each other of shelling close to the plant, which is Europe’s biggest nuclear facility.
Russia’s military took over the power station in early March, but it is still being operated by Ukrainian staff.
Ukraine answers crucial questions
by Jeremy Bowen, BBC International Editor
The Ukrainians believe they’ve answered important questions. Can they break the stalemate and recapture territory? Yes. Can they use Western weapons effectively? Yes. The result is their most important victory since winning the battle for Kyiv back in March.
This matters because without proof they can win, they fear that the economic costs of supporting Ukraine and opposing Russia might be too much for some of their NATO allies, especially over a long, hard winter.
As for the Russians, this was a rout. Not a fighting retreat or a redeployment. Military intelligence failed and soldiers with catastrophically poor morale abandoned large amounts of equipment.
The Ukrainians know what they’re fighting for – it is not clear that the Russians do.
Etymology and orthography
The name of Ukraine probably comes from the old Slavic term for “borderland”, as does the word krajina.
In the English-speaking world during most of the 20th century, Ukraine (whether independent or not) was referred to as “the Ukraine”. This is because the word ukraina means “borderland” so the definite article would be natural in the English language; this is similar to “Nederlanden“, which means “low lands” and is rendered in English as “the Netherlands“. However, since Ukraine’s declaration of independence in 1991, this usage has become politicised and is now rarer, and style guides advise against its use. US ambassador William Taylor said that using “the Ukraine” implies disregard for Ukrainian sovereignty. The official Ukrainian position is that “the Ukraine” is incorrect, both grammatically and politically.
Settlement by modern humans in Ukraine and its vicinity dates back to 32,000 BC, with evidence of the Gravettian culture in the Crimean Mountains. By 4,500 BC, the Neolithic Cucuteni–Trypillia culture was flourishing in wide areas of modern Ukraine, including Trypillia and the entire Dnieper–Dniester region. Ukraine is also considered to be the likely location of the first domestication of the horse. The Kurgan hypothesis places the Volga-Dnieper region of Ukraine and southern Russia as the urheimat of the Proto-Indo-Europeans. Early Indo-European migrations from the Pontic steppes in the 3rd millennium BC spread Yamnaya Steppe pastoralist ancestry and Indo-European languages across large parts of Europe. During the Iron Age, the land was inhabited by Iranian-speaking Cimmerians, Scythians, and Sarmatians. Between 700 BC and 200 BC it was part of the Scythian kingdom.
From the 6th century BC, Greek, Roman, and Byzantine colonies were established on the north-eastern shore of the Black Sea, such as at Tyras, Olbia, and Chersonesus. These thrived into the 6th century AD. The Goths stayed in the area, but came under the sway of the Huns from the 370s. In the 7th century, the territory that is now eastern Ukraine was the centre of Old Great Bulgaria. At the end of the century, the majority of Bulgar tribes migrated in different directions, and the Khazars took over much of the land.
In the 5th and 6th centuries, the Early Slavic, Antes people lived in Ukraine. The Antes were the ancestors of Ukrainians: White Croats, Severians, Eastern Polans, Drevlyans, Dulebes, Ulichians, and Tiverians. Migrations from the territories of present-day Ukraine throughout the Balkans established many South Slavic nations. Northern migrations, reaching almost to Lake Ilmen, led to the emergence of the Ilmen Slavs, Krivichs, and Radimichs, the groups ancestral to the Russians. Following an Avar raid in 602 and the collapse of the Antes Union, most of these peoples survived as separate tribes until the beginning of the second millennium.[need quotation to verify]
Golden Age of Kyiv
The establishment of the Kievan Rus’ remains obscure and uncertain; there are at least three versions depending on interpretations of the chronicles. In general, the state included much of present-day Ukraine, Belarus and the western part of European Russia. According to the Primary Chronicle the Rus’ elite and rulers initially consisted of Varangians from Scandinavia. In 882, the pagan Prince Oleg (Oleh) conquered Kyiv from Askold and Dir and proclaimed it as the capital of the Rus’. However, it is also believed that the East Slavic tribes along the southern parts of the Dnieper River were already in the process of forming a state independently. In any case, the Varangians later assimilated into the Slavic population and became part of the first Rus’ dynasty, the Rurik dynasty. Kievan Rus’ was composed of several principalities ruled by the interrelated Rurikid kniazes (“princes”), who often fought each other for possession of Kyiv.
During the 10th and 11th centuries, Kievan Rus’ became the largest and most powerful state in Europe, a period known as its Golden Age. It began with the reign of Vladimir the Great (980–1015), who turned Rus’ toward Byzantine Christianity. During the reign of his son, Yaroslav the Wise (1019–1054), Kievan Rus’ reached the zenith of its cultural development and military power. The state soon fragmented as the relative importance of regional powers rose again. After a final resurgence under the rule of Vladimir II Monomakh (1113–1125) and his son Mstislav (1125–1132), Kievan Rus’ finally disintegrated into separate principalities following Mstislav’s death, though ownership of Kyiv would still carry great prestige for decades. In the 11th and 12th centuries, the nomadic confederacy of the Turkic-speaking Cumans and Kipchaks was the dominant force in the Pontic steppe north of the Black Sea.
The 13th-century Mongol invasion devastated Kievan Rus’ and Kyiv was completely destroyed in 1240. On today’s Ukrainian territory, the principalities of Halych and Volodymyr-Volynskyi arose, and were merged into the state of Galicia–Volhynia. Daniel of Galicia, son of Roman the Great, re-united much of south-western Rus’, including Volhynia, Galicia and the ancient capital of Kyiv. He was subsequently crowned by the papal archbishop as the first king of the newly created Kingdom of Ruthenia in 1253.
In 1349, Ruthenia ceased to exist as an independent entity in the aftermath of the Galicia–Volhynia Wars, with its lands partitioned between the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. From the mid-13th century to the late 1400s the Republic of Genoa founded numerous colonies in the Black Sea region of modern Ukraine and transformed these into large commercial centers headed by the consul, a representative of the Republic. In 1430, the region of Podolia was incorporated into Poland and Ukraine became increasingly settled by Polish colonisers. In 1441, Genghisid prince Haci I Giray founded the Crimean Khanate on the Crimean Peninsula and the surrounding steppes; the Khanate orchestrated Tatar slave raids and took an estimated two million Ruthenian slaves.
In 1569 the Union of Lublin established the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, and most of the former Ruthenian lands were transferred from Lithuania to the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland, becoming de jure Polish territory. Under the pressures of Polonisation, many landed gentry of Ruthenia converted to Catholicism and joined the circles of the Polish nobility; others still joined the newly created Ruthenian Uniate Church.
Deprived of native protectors among Rus nobility, the peasants and townspeople began turning for protection to the emerging Zaporozhian Cossacks. In the mid-17th century, a Cossack military quasi-state, the Zaporozhian Host, was formed by Dnieper Cossacks and Ruthenian peasants. Poland exercised little real control over this population, but found the Cossacks to be useful against the Turks and Tatars, and at times the two were allies in military campaigns. However, the continued harsh enserfment of Ruthenian peasantry by Polish overlords and the suppression of the Orthodox Church alienated the Cossacks. The latter did not shy from taking up arms against those they perceived as enemies and occupiers, including the Polish Catholic state with its local representatives.
In 1648, Bohdan Khmelnytsky led the largest of the Cossack uprisings against the Commonwealth and the Polish king, which enjoyed wide support from the local population. Khmelnytsky founded the Cossack Hetmanate, which existed until 1764 (some sources claim until 1782). After Khmelnytsky suffered a crushing defeat at the Battle of Berestechko in 1651, he turned to the Russian tsar for help. In 1654, Khmelnytsky was subject to the Pereiaslav Agreement, forming a military and political alliance with Russia that acknowledged loyalty to the Russian monarch.
After his death, the Hetmanate went through a devastating 30-year war amongst Russia, Poland, the Crimean Khanate, the Ottoman Empire, and Cossacks, known as “The Ruin” (1657-1686), for control of the Cossack Hetmanate. The “Treaty of Perpetual Peace” between Russia and Poland in 1686 divided the lands of the Cossack Hetmanate between them, reducing the portion over which Poland had claimed sovereignty to Ukraine west of the Dnieper river. In 1686, the Metropolitanate of Kyiv was annexed by the Moscow Patriarchate through a synodal letter of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Dionysius IV, thus placing the Metropolitanate of Kyiv under the authority of Moscow. An attempt to reverse the decline was undertaken by Cossack Hetman Ivan Mazepa (1639–1709), who ultimately defected to the Swedes in the Great Northern War (1700-1721) in a bid to get rid of Russian dependence, but they were crushed in the Battle of Poltava (1709).
The Hetmanate’s autonomy was severely restricted since Poltava. In the years 1764–1781, Catherine the Great incorporated much of Central Ukraine into the Russian Empire, abolishing the Cossack Hetmanate and the Zaporozhian Sich, and was one of the people responsible for the suppression of the last major Cossack uprising, the Koliivshchyna. After the annexation of Crimea by Russia in 1783, the newly acquired lands, now called Novorossiya, were opened up to settlement by Russians. The tsarist autocracy established a policy of Russification, suppressing the use of the Ukrainian language and curtailing the Ukrainian national identity. The western part of present-day Ukraine was subsequently split between Russia and Habsburg-ruled Austria after the fall of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1795.
19th and early 20th century
The 19th century saw the rise of Ukrainian nationalism. With growing urbanization and modernization and a cultural trend toward romantic nationalism, the Ukrainian intelligentsia committed to national rebirth and social justice emerged. The serf-turned-national-poet Taras Shevchenko (1814–1861) and political theorist Mykhailo Drahomanov (1841–1895) led the growing nationalist movement. While conditions for its development in Austrian Galicia under the Habsburgs were relatively lenient, the Russian part (known as Little Russia) faced severe restrictions, going as far as banning virtually all books from being published in Ukrainian in 1876.
Ukraine joined the Industrial Revolution later than most of Western Europe due to the maintenance of serfdom until 1861. Other than near the newly discovered coal fields of the Donbas, and in some larger cities such as Odesa and Kyiv, Ukraine largely remained an agricultural and resource extraction economy. The Austrian part of Ukraine was particularly destitute, which forced hundreds of thousands of peasants into emigration, who created the backbone of an extensive Ukrainian diaspora in countries such as Canada, the United States and Brazil. Some of the Ukrainians settled in the Far East, too. According to the 1897 census, there were 223,000 ethnic Ukrainians in Siberia and 102,000 in Central Asia. An additional 1.6 million emigrated to the east in the ten years after the opening of the Trans-Siberian Railway in 1906. Far Eastern areas with an ethnic Ukrainian population became known as Green Ukraine.
Ukraine plunged into turmoil with the beginning of World War I, and fighting on Ukrainian soil persisted until late 1921. Initially, the Ukrainians were split between Austria-Hungary, fighting for the Central Powers, though the vast majority served in the Imperial Russian Army, which was part of the Triple Entente, under Russia. As the Russian Empire collapsed, the conflict evolved into the Ukrainian War of Independence, with Ukrainians fighting alongside, or against, the Red, White, Black and Green armies, with the Poles, Hungarians (in Transcarpathia), and Germans also intervening at various times.
An attempt to create an independent state, the left-leaning Ukrainian People’s Republic (UNR), was first announced by Mykhailo Hrushevsky, but the period was plagued by an extremely unstable political and military environment. It was first deposed in a coup d’état led by Pavlo Skoropadskyi, which yielded the Ukrainian State under the German protectorate, and the attempt to restore the UNR under the Directorate ultimately failed as the Ukrainian army was regularly overrun by other forces. The short-lived West Ukrainian People’s Republic and Hutsul Republic also failed to join the rest of Ukraine.
The result of the conflict was a partial victory for the Second Polish Republic, which annexed the Western Ukrainian provinces, as well as a larger-scale victory for the pro-Soviet forces, which succeeded in dislodging the remaining factions and eventually established the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (Soviet Ukraine). Meanwhile, modern-day Bukovina was occupied by Romania and Carpathian Ruthenia was admitted to Czechoslovakia as an autonomous region.
The conflict over Ukraine, a part of the broader Russian Civil War, devastated the whole of the former Russian Empire, including eastern and central Ukraine. The fighting left over 1.5 million people dead and hundreds of thousands homeless in the former Russian Empire’s territory. The eastern provinces were additionally impacted by a famine in 1921.
Starved peasants on a street in Kharkiv, 1933. Collectivization of crops and their confiscation by Soviet authorities led to a major famine in Soviet Ukraine known as the Holodomor.
In Poland, the government openly propagated anti-Ukrainian sentiment and restricted rights of people who declared Ukrainian nationality and belonged to the Eastern Orthodox Church. In consequence, an underground Ukrainian nationalist and militant movement arose in the 1920s and 1930s, which gradually transformed into the Ukrainian Military Organization and later the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN).
Meanwhile, the recently constituted Soviet Ukraine became one of the founding republics of the Soviet Union. During the 1920s, under the Ukrainisation policy pursued by the national Communist leadership of Mykola Skrypnyk, Soviet leadership at first encouraged a national renaissance in Ukrainian culture and language. Ukrainisation was part of the Soviet-wide policy of Korenisation (literally indigenisation), which was intended to promote the advancement of native peoples, their language and culture into the governance of their respective republics.
Around the same time, Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin instituted the New Economic Policy (NEP), which introduced a form of market socialism, allowing some private ownership of small and medium-sized productive enterprises, hoping to reconstruct the post-war Soviet Union that had been devastated by both WWI and later the civil war. The NEP was successful at restoring the formerly war-torn nation to pre-WWI levels of production and agricultural output by the mid-1920s, much of the latter based in Ukraine. These policies attracted many prominent former UNR figures, including former UNR leader Hrushevsky, to return to Soviet Ukraine, where they were accepted, and participated in the advancement of Ukrainian science and culture.
This period was cut short when Joseph Stalin became the leader of the USSR following Lenin’s death. Stalin did away with the NEP in what became known as the Great Break. Starting from the late 1920s and now with a centrally planned economy, Soviet Ukraine took part in an industrialisation scheme which quadrupled its industrial output during the 1930s.
However, as a consequence of Stalin’s new policy, the Ukrainian peasantry suffered from the programme of collectivization of agricultural crops. Collectivization was part of the first five-year plan and was enforced by regular troops and the secret police known as Cheka. Those who resisted were arrested and deported to gulags and work camps. As members of the collective farms were sometimes not allowed to receive any grain until unrealistic quotas were met, millions starved to death in a famine known as the Holodomor or the “Great Famine”, which was recognized by some countries as an act of genocide perpetrated by Joseph Stalin and other Soviet notables.
Following on the Russian Civil War, and collectivisation, the Great Purge, while killing Stalin’s perceived political enemies, resulted in a profound loss of a new generation of Ukrainian intelligentsia, known today as the Executed Renaissance.
World War II
Following the Invasion of Poland in September 1939, German and Soviet troops divided the territory of Poland. Thus, Eastern Galicia and Volhynia with their Ukrainian population became part of Ukraine. For the first time in history, the nation was united. Further territorial gains were secured in 1940, when the Ukrainian SSR incorporated the northern and southern districts of Bessarabia, Northern Bukovina, and the Hertsa region from the territories the USSR forced Romania to cede, though it handed over the western part of the Moldavian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic to the newly created Moldavian SSR. These territorial gains of the USSR were internationally recognized by the Paris peace treaties of 1947.
German armies invaded the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941, initiating nearly four years of total war. The Axis initially advanced against desperate but unsuccessful efforts of the Red Army. In the battle of Kyiv, the city was acclaimed as a “Hero City“, because of its fierce resistance. More than 600,000 Soviet soldiers (or one-quarter of the Soviet Western Front) were killed or taken captive there, with many suffering severe mistreatment. After its conquest, most of the Ukrainian SSR was organised within the Reichskommissariat Ukraine, with the intention of exploiting its resources and eventual German settlement. Some western Ukrainians, who had only joined the Soviet Union in 1939, hailed the Germans as liberators, but that did not last long as the Nazis made little attempt to exploit dissatisfaction with Stalinist policies. Instead, the Nazis preserved the collective-farm system, carried out genocidal policies against Jews, deported millions of people to work in Germany, and began a depopulation program to prepare for German colonisation. They blockaded the transport of food on the Dnieper River.
Although the majority of Ukrainians fought in or alongside the Red Army and Soviet resistance, in Western Ukraine an independent Ukrainian Insurgent Army movement arose (UPA, 1942). It was created as the armed forces of the underground Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN). Both organizations, the OUN and the UPA, supported the goal of an independent Ukrainian state on the territory with a Ukrainian ethnic majority. Although this brought conflict with Nazi Germany, at times the Melnyk wing of the OUN allied with the Nazi forces. From mid-1943 until the end of the war, the UPA carried out massacres of ethnic Poles in the Volhynia and Eastern Galicia regions, killing around 100,000 Polish civilians, which brought reprisals. These organized massacres were an attempt by the OUN to create a homogeneous Ukrainian state without a Polish minority living within its borders, and to prevent the post-war Polish state from asserting its sovereignty over areas that had been part of pre-war Poland. After the war, the UPA continued to fight the USSR until the 1950s. At the same time, the Ukrainian Liberation Army, another nationalist movement, fought alongside the Nazis.
Kyiv suffered significant damage during World War II, and was occupied by the Germans from 19 September 1941 until 6 November 1943.
In total, the number of ethnic Ukrainians who fought in the ranks of the Soviet Army is estimated from 4.5 million to 7 million;[c] half of the Pro-Soviet partisan guerrilla resistance units, which counted up to 500,000 troops in 1944, were also Ukrainian. Generally, the Ukrainian Insurgent Army’s figures are unreliable, with figures ranging anywhere from 15,000 to as many as 100,000 fighters.
The vast majority of the fighting in World War II took place on the Eastern Front. By some estimates, 93% of all German casualties took place there. The total losses inflicted upon the Ukrainian population during the war are estimated at 6 million, including an estimated one and a half million Jews killed by the Einsatzgruppen, sometimes with the help of local collaborators. Of the estimated 8.6 million Soviet troop losses, 1.4 million were ethnic Ukrainians,[c][d] and general losses of the Ukrainian people in the war amounted to 40–44% of the total losses of the USSR.[better source needed] The Victory Day is celebrated as one of eleven Ukrainian national holidays.
Post–war Soviet Ukraine
The republic was heavily damaged by the war, and it required significant efforts to recover. More than 700 cities and towns and 28,000 villages were destroyed. The situation was worsened by a famine in 1946–1947, which was caused by a drought and the wartime destruction of infrastructure, killing at least tens of thousands of people. In 1945, the Ukrainian SSR became one of the founding members of the United Nations (UN), part of a special agreement at the Yalta Conference, and, alongside Belarus, had voting rights in the UN even though they were not independent. Moreover, Ukraine once more expanded its borders as it annexed Zakarpattia, and the population became much more homogenized due to post-war population transfers, most of which, as in the case of Germans and Crimean Tatars, were forced. As of 1 January 1953, Ukrainians were second only to Russians among adult “special deportees“, comprising 20% of the total.
Following the death of Stalin in 1953, Nikita Khrushchev became the new leader of the USSR, who began the policies of De-Stalinization and the Khrushchev Thaw. During his term as head of the Soviet Union, Crimea was transferred from the Russian SFSR to the Ukrainian SSR, formally as a friendship gift to Ukraine and for economic reasons. This represented the final extension of Ukrainian territory and formed the basis for the internationally recognized borders of Ukraine to this day. Ukraine was one of the most important republics of the Soviet Union, which resulted in many top positions in the Soviet Union occupied by Ukrainians, including notably Leonid Brezhnev, General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1964 to 1982. However, it was him and his appointee in Ukraine, Volodymyr Shcherbytsky, who presided over extensive Russification of Ukraine and who were instrumental in repressing a new generation of Ukrainian intellectuals known as the Sixtiers.
By 1950, the republic had fully surpassed pre-war levels of industry and production. Soviet Ukraine soon became a European leader in industrial production and an important centre of the Soviet arms industry and high-tech research, though heavy industry still had an outsided influence. The Soviet government invested in hydroelectric and nuclear power projects to cater to the energy demand that the development carried. On 26 April 1986, however, a reactor in the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant exploded, resulting in the Chernobyl disaster, the worst nuclear reactor accident in history.
Mikhail Gorbachev pursued a policy of limited liberalization of public life, known as perestroika, and attempted to reform a stagnating economy. The latter failed, but the democratization of the Soviet Union fuelled nationalist and separatist tendencies among the ethnic minorities, including Ukrainians. As part of the so-called parade of sovereignties, on 16 July 1990, the newly elected Supreme Soviet of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic adopted the Declaration of State Sovereignty of Ukraine; after a putsch of some Communist leaders in Moscow failed to depose Gorbachov, outright independence was proclaimed on 24 August 1991 and approved by 92% of the Ukrainian electorate in a referendum on 1 December. Ukraine’s new President, Leonid Kravchuk, went on to sign the Belavezha Accords and made Ukraine a founding member of the much looser Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), though Ukraine never became a full member of the latter as it did not ratify the agreement founding CIS. These documents sealed the fate of the Soviet Union, which formally voted itself out of existence on 26 December.
Ukraine was initially viewed as having favourable economic conditions in comparison to the other regions of the Soviet Union, though it was one of the poorer Soviet republics by the end of the Soviet Union. However, during its transition to the market economy, the country experienced deeper economic slowdown than almost all of the other former Soviet Republics. During the recession, between 1991 and 1999, Ukraine lost 60% of its GDP and suffered from hyperinflation that peaked at 10,000% in 1993. The situation only stabilized well after the new currency, the hryvnia, fell sharply in late 1998 partially as a fallout from the Russian debt default earlier that year. The legacy of the economic policies of the nineties was the mass privatization of state property that created a class of extremely powerful and rich individuals known as the oligarchs. The country would then fall into sharp recessions as a result of the 2008 global financial crisis, then the start of the Russo-Ukrainian War in 2014, and finally, the full-scale invasion of Russia in starting from 24 February 2022. Ukraine’s economy in general underperformed since the time independence came due to pervasive corruption and mismanagement, which, particularly in the 1990s, led to protests and organized strikes. The war with Russia impeded meaningful economic recovery in the 2010s, while efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, which arrived in 2020, were made much harder by low vaccination rates and, later in the pandemic, by the ongoing invasion.
From the political perspective, one of the defining features of the politics of Ukraine is that for most of the time, it has been divided along two issues: the relation between Ukraine, the West and Russia, and the classical left-right divide. The first two presidents, Kravchuk and Leonid Kuchma, tended to balance the competing visions of Ukraine, though Yushchenko and Yanukovych were generally pro-Western and pro-Russian, respectively. There were two major protests against Yanukovych: the Orange Revolution in 2004, when tens of thousands of people went in protest of election rigging in his favour (Yushchenko was eventually elected president), and another one in the winter of 2013/2014, when more gathered on the Euromaidan to oppose the Yanukovych’s refusal to sign the European Union–Ukraine Association Agreement. By the end of the 2014 protests, he fled from Ukraine and was removed by the parliament in what is termed the Revolution of Dignity, but Russia refused to recognize the interim pro-Western government, calling it a junta and denouncing the events as a coup d’état sponsored by the United States.
Even though Russia had signed the so-called Budapest memorandum in 1994 that said that Ukraine was to hand over nuclear weapons in exchange of security guarantees and those of territorial integrity, it reacted violently to these developments and started a war against its western neighbour. In late February and early March 2014, it annexed Crimea using its Navy in Sevastopol as well as the so-called little green men; after this succeeded, it then launched a proxy war in the Donbas via the breakaway Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic. The first months of the conflict with the Russian-backed separatists were fluid, but Russian forces then started an open invasion in Donbas on 24 August 2014. Together they pushed back Ukrainian troops to the frontline established in February 2015, i.e. after Ukrainian troops withdrew from Debaltseve. The conflict remained in a sort of a frozen state until the early hours of 24 February 2022, when Russia proceeded with an ongoing invasion of Ukraine (euphemized in Russia as a “special military operation”). Russian troops now control about 20% of Ukraine’s internationally recognized territory, though Russia was not able to realize its stated objective of taking full control of the country.
Current control of Ukraine by Russian troops
The military conflict with Russia shifted the government’s policy towards the West. Shortly after Yanukovych fled Ukraine, the country signed the EU association agreement in June 2014, and its citizens were granted visa-free travel to the European Union three years later. In January 2019, the Orthodox Church of Ukraine was recognized as independent of Moscow, which reversed the 1686 decision of the patriarch of Constantinople and dealt a further blow to Moscow’s influence in Ukraine. Finally, amid a full-scale war with Russia, Ukraine was granted candidate status to the European Union on 23 June 2022.
Latest news, feature and analysis on Ukraine
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In New York, three-quarters of the 193-member General Assembly voted in favor of a resolution that called Moscow’s recent moves illegal.
14 October 2022
Russia’s so-called referendums in Ukraine ‘null and void’, says PACE
13 October 2022
Volodymyr Zelenskyy tells PACE: ‘Never yet in history was united Europe as strong as it is today’
10 October 2022
Council of Europe leaders condemn Russian air strikes against towns and cities in Ukraine
30 September 2022
Council of Europe leaders condemn the illegal annexation of occupied territories of Ukraine
28 September 2022
Special Representative of the Secretary General on Migration and Refugees
Migration and Refugees : Republic of Moldova fact-finding mission
Migration and Refugees : Poland fact-finding mission
27 September 2022
Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (FCNM)
War in Ukraine, Covid-19 and climate change key challenges for national minorities
21 September 2022
Council of Europe Secretary General rejects so-called ‘referenda’ in occupied Ukrainian territories
16 September 2022
Russia ceases to be party to the European Convention on Human Rights
15 September 2022
Secretary General: Millions of Russians no longer protected by the European Convention on Human Rights
Secretary General deplores Russian plans for a referendum to annex Ukrainian territories
Committee of Ministers
No impunity for Russia’s crimes against Ukraine
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