By Zafir Kamdar, Staff Reporter, The Pawprint
On February 24 Russian forces Invaded the Sovereign nation of Ukraine. It is no secret that Ukraine and Russia have been fighting for a couple of years now. The current president of Russia Vladimir Putin has had the goal to reunite the soviet union once again, However, many ex-Soviet Nations have different Ideas. Since 2014, which is considered to be one of the most pivotal years in the conflict, led to the annexation of Crimea from the use of military force and violence from the Russian military. However, the root of the conflict stems from earlier times, up to centuries ago.
First, the Mongols came but left shortly after. This left Tartars in their wake where later Poland-Lithuania moved in and left their own impression. The vast domain of the Ukrainian Cossacks was outside the territories under foreign authority. The Cossacks kept a balance between the powers of Poland-Lithuania to the west and Russia to the east until they could no longer do so. This caused the desperate need for an ally for the Ukrainians. Historyextra states that In 1654, a Cossack warlord known as Bohdan Khmelnytsky who wanted independence against the Polish signed a treaty with Russia. The signing of this deal gave him the Tsar’s protection and offered complete autonomy for the Ukrainian people. But in 1667 Russia and Poland agreed on the separation of the contested land of Ukraine along a river known as the Dnieper River. But the two parties could not come up with an agreement which led to the breakdown of talks. The end of Poland Lithuania’s rule in 1795 meant that the majority of the Ukrainians would be a part of the Russian Empire, although the province of Galicia fell under Austrian rule. Between the World Wars, the people of Ukraine found themselves divided by sovereign borders. They were living between the Soviet Union, Poland, Romania, and Czechoslovakia. The majority of them lived under Soviet rule, which caused Stalin to crack down on the Cultural leaders of Ukraine as well as this he brought mass death because of the terror famine and Holodomor of the 1930s. With the Second World War approaching they looked to the Germans to help them from Stalin who had made life for them extremely difficult. However, the hopes for Ukraine’s independence was frustrated and relations between the two of them were lost.
Towards the end of the war borders and populations were changed. Examples of this include the deportation of all Crimean Tartars from their homes which happened overnight under the rule of Stalin. Poland shifts westward and ethnic Poles were evicted from their ancestral homes where the city of Lwow turned into Lviv in western Ukraine. By the end of this process, the majority of Ukrainians lived within their sovereign borders. Partisan warfare continued into the 1950s when a guerrilla leader Bandera fled to Germany where he was assassinated in Munich in 1959 by the KGB. Nikita Khrushchev, who was Stalin’s successor, brought a final change of borders to celebrate the Soviet Union and its successes.
In 1954 Khrushchev officially gave Crimea to Ukraine.
Corruption at all levels of government eroded ordinary people’s faith in the system, and economic output suffered as a result. According to Historyextra Ukraine’s energy sources were heavily reliant on Russia, with 75 percent of its gas and 80 percent of its oil coming from Russia. Ukraine wanted international financial assistance to address its problems, and handing up its Soviet-era nuclear stockpile in 1994 enabled them to get some relief.
That is all the major key events that have led up to the 2000s. The conflict has escalated since then and has gotten more violent