Timeline of Ukrainian History

A Brief History of Conflict in Ukraine

1917 Jun 29, The Ukraine proclaimed independence from Russia.

1917 Central Rada (Council) set up in Kiev following collapse of Russian Empire.

1918 Feb 20, The Soviet Red Army seized Kiev, the capital of the Ukraine.

1918 Feb 22, Germany claimed the Baltic states, Finland and Ukraine from Russia.

1918 Mar 3, Germany, Austria-­Hungary, Bulgaria, the Ottoman Empire and Russia signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, which ended Russian participation in World War I. Germany and Austria forced Soviet Russia to sign the Peace of Brest, which called for the establishment of 5 independent countries: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine. The Treaty of Brest­Litovsk, which ended Russian participation in World War I, was annulled by the November 1918 armistice. The treaty deprived the Soviets of White Russia.

1919 Aug 31, The Ukrainian (Petlyura) Army recaptured Kiev. Petlyura’s Ukrainian Army killed 35 members of a Jewish defense group.

1920 Apr 27, Pogrom leader Petljoera (Petlyura) declared Ukraine Independence.

1921 ­ Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic established as Russian Red Army conquers two­-thirds of Ukraine. Western third becomes part of independent Poland.

1921 Oct 18, Russian Soviets granted Crimean independence.

1932-­1933 Stalin imposed terror and famine on the Ukraine, Kuban and Kazakhstan that was carried out be Lazar Kaganovich. Millions died in the famine. Stalin provoked what the Ukrainians called the Great Famine as part of his campaign to force Ukrainian peasants to give up their land and join collective farms. During the height of the famine, which was enforced by methodical confiscation of all food by the Soviet secret police, cannibalism was widespread.

1937 Mass executions and deportations as Stalin launches purge against intellectuals.

1939 Carpatho­-Ukraine declares its independence for Czechoslovakia as German troops occupy Bohemia and Moravia.

1939 Nov 1, USSR officially approves annexation of Western Ukraine

Ukraine in World War 2

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1941 Jan 1, Population of Ukraine: 41, 900, 000

1941 June 22, Operation Barbarossa

1941 Jul 27, The German army entered Ukraine.

1941 Sep 19, The German army conquered Kiev. The prior occupation lasted 778. The population went from 900,000 in 1940 to 186,000 in 1945

1941 Sep 26, In Ukraine some 33,711 Jews of Kiev were killed over 3 days before Yom Kippur in the ravine at Babi Yar by the Nazis. Over the next 2 years some 100­200 thousand more people, mostly Jews, were killed at the site. Most of Ukraine’s 1.5 million Jews wiped out by the Nazis.

1941­-1944 Germany occupied the Crimean peninsula.

1942 May 12, The Soviet Army launched its first major offensive of the war and
took Kharkov in the eastern Ukraine from the German army.

1942 July 16, Hitler moved headquarters from Prussia to Ukraine at the Wehrwolf Lair near Vinntsya and stays until Sept 27th, returns again in 1943.

1942 Oct 14, The Ukrainian Insurgent Army, or UPA, was created and battled both Soviet and Nazi forces during the war. Hostility toward the partisans later ran deep because they initially sought support from the Nazis, believing the Germans would grant Ukraine independence.

1943 Nov 6, Soviet forces reconquered Kiev.

1944 January 24­Feb. 17, Battle of Korsun­Shevchenkivsky where 93,000
German troops killed or captured by Ukrainian Front Armies 1 and 2.

1944 Feb, Start of Soviet army campaign to eliminate German occupation of Ukraine

1944 May 9, Russians recaptured Crimea by taking Sevastopol.

1944 June 22, Stalin’s Secret document No. 078/42, over the signatures of NKVD chief Beria, Marshal Zhukov and Federov proposes exile to Siberia of “all Ukrainians who had lived under the German occupation”. Since all Ukraine was under German occupation this effectively meant every Ukrainian could be exiled except those who had escaped to Russia in 1941. Krushchev in his Secret Speech condemned Stalin for this decree.

Josef Stalin deported some 250,000 Tatars from Crimea to Uzbekistan. They did not begin to return home until the fall of the Soviet Union.

1944 October 14, German occupation of Ukrainian territory ends after 1,871 days.

1945 Allied victory in World War II leads to conclusive Soviet annexation of western Ukrainian lands.

1945 February 4­11, Yalta Conference in Crimea [Ukraine] of “Big Three,” Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin, plan conclusion of war and post­war Europe. One secret provision is forced repatriation of Soviet citizens to USSR.

1945 March 17, Ukrainian National Committee is founded. The Ukrainian National Army under General Pavlo Shandruk is established.

Ukraine: Ominious World War 2 Parallels?

1954 In a surprise move, Soviet leader Nikita Krushchev transfers the Crimean peninsula to Ukraine as a “gift”.

1954 Armed resistance to Soviet rule ends with capture of last commander of Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA).

1967 Viacheslav Chornovil was arrested by Soviet authorities for dissident activities. His 3 year sentence was later cut in half.

1972 Viacheslav Chornovil was again arrested for publishing an underground newsletter and sentenced to 6 years in prison and e years in exile.

1980 Apr, Viacheslav Chornovil was again arrested and sentenced to 5 years in prison, but was released in 1983.

1986 Apr 26, The world’s worst nuclear accident occurred in Pripyat, Ukraine, north of Kiev, at 1:23 a.m. as the Chernobyl atomic power plant exploded. A 300­hundred­ square­mile area was evacuated and 31 people died as unknown thousands were exposed to radioactive material that spread in the atmosphere throughout the world. An exploded at Chernobyl, Ukraine, and burned for 10 days. About 70% of the fallout fell in Belarus. Damage was estimated to be up to $130 billion. By 1998 10,000 Russian “liquidators” involved in the cleanup had died and thousands more became invalids. It was later estimated that the released radioactivity was 200 times the combined bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It was later found that Soviet scientists were authorized to carry out experiments that required the reactor to be pushed to or beyond its limits, with safety features disabled.

1988 Prominent writers and intellectuals set up Ukrainian People’s Movement for Restructuring (Rukh).

1989 Viacheslav Chornovil was instrumental in the formation of the pro­independence Popular Rukh.

1990 Jul 16, The Ukraine Parliament approved a declaration of State Sovereignty. The people’s deputies vote 339­5 to proclaim July 16 a national holiday.

1990 The fiercely anti­Russian Ukrainian National Assembly was created, and its paramilitary wing UNA­UNSO in 1991 after the abortive putsch in Moscow.

1990 ­ Student protests and hunger strikes bring down government of Vitaliy Masol.


1991 Aug 24, Ukraine declared independence from USSR; Ukraine declares independence following attempted coup in Moscow: 90% vote for independence in nationwide referendum in December.

Early to mid 1990s About 250,000 Crimean Tatars and their descendants return to Crimea following collapse of Soviet Union.

1991 Dec 1, Ukrainians voted overwhelmingly for independence from the Soviet Union. Viacheslav Chornovil finished 2nd to Leonid Kravchuk.

1992 The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kiev Patriarchate separated from the Russian Orthodox Church following Ukraine’s independence.

1994 Mar 27, Ukraine held its first parliamentary elections since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

1994 Jul 19, Leonid Kuchma (b.1938) took office as the 2nd president of Ukraine.

1996 Apr 16, Anatoly Onoprienko was arrested in western Ukraine. He later admitted to the murder of some 52 people in a serial killing spree from 1989 to 1996 that first came to attention in 1995. He went on trial in 1998. In 1999 the former sailor was sentenced to death.

1996 May 28, Ukraine’s president, Leonid Kuchma, fired his prime minister, Yevhen Marchuk, in a dispute over economic reforms, and named ally Pavlo Lazarenko as prime minister.

1996 Jun 28, Pres. Leonid Kuchma pushed through parliament, called the Rada, a new constitution. It established a clear right to own private property, and Ukrainian as the only state language.

1996 Sep 2, The government planned to introduce its new currency, the hyrvna. The old karbovanets would be swappable for only 2 weeks.

1996 Ukrainian men had one of the highest infertility rates in the world, ever since the Chernobyl disaster 10 years ago. Nearly one of five Ukrainian babies dies shortly after birth, and there have been more deaths than births since 1990.

1997 May 31, Russia and the Ukraine signed a friendship treaty. Boris Yeltsin traveled to Kiev to sign the treaty.

1997 Jun 19, Pres. Kuchma removed prime minister Pavlo Lazarenko under pressure from Western donors who saw him as an opponent to free­market policies. Lazarenko was accused of corruption. In 1998 Lazarenko was indicted by Swiss authorities on money­laundering charges.

1997 Former Soviet republics (Georgia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and Moldova) formed Guuam to seek cooperation outside Russian influence.

1998 Mar 29, Parliamentary elections gave the Communists about 121 of 450 seats.

1999 Jul 31, The Ukraine and the US agreed to extend the nuclear weapon and ballistic missile dismantling program for 6 years.

1999 Oct 31, Elections were held and Pres. Kuchma was favored. Kuchma came in 1st with 36.5% of the vote vs. Communist leader Petro Symonenko with 22.2%. A runoff was scheduled in 2 weeks.

1999 Dec, Pres. Kuchma abolished over 10,000 Soviet­era collective farms. He decreed that the land be divided among the farm workers. The plots averaged 6 to 7.5 acres and the owners had the right to rent the land but not to sell it.

1999 Victor Yuschenko became Ukraine’s prime minister and served to 2001. He managed to reverse the country’s economic decline.

2000 Apr 6, Prime Minister Viktor Yushchenko won parliamentary approval for a 5­year plan to cut state bureaucracy, deregulate business, open up privatization efforts, create a private land market, lower taxes and improve tax collection.

2000 Jul 5, The Chernobyl nuclear plant drew pledges of $715 million from Western nations for a 5­year project to replace the protective tomb built to close off the 1986 nuclear accident.

2001 February, The European Union calls for an inquiry into the murder of investigative journalist Georgiy Gongadze. Opposition demonstrations allege that President Kuchma was involved and call for his impeachment. President Kuchma denies the allegations.

2001 Feb 11, Some 5­10 thousand protesters called for the resignation of Pres. Kuchma. Kuchma fired 2 top security officials amid the growing scandal of a journalist killed while investigating graft.

2001 Mar 9, In Ukraine tens of thousands of demonstrators rioted in Kiev to force Pres. Kuchma from office.

2001 Apr 26, In Ukraine the parliament voted 263­59 to dismiss Prime Minister Viktor Yuschenko. A large crowd of his supporters called for the impeachment of Pres. Kuchma.

2002 Mar 31, In Ukraine elections the pro­Western Our Ukraine led by former PM Viktor Yuschenko led with 23%. The Communist Party had 20%. Pres. Kuchma’s United Ukraine had 13% and expected 119 seats in parliament. The parties provide half the 450 sets of the parliament, known as the Verkhovna Rada. Direct elections decide the other half.

2002 May, Leadership announces decision to launch formal bid to join Nato.

2002 Sep 16, In Ukraine, some 15,000 demonstrators marched in Kiev and tens of thousands of others gathered in public squares around the country, demanding that President Leonid Kuchma resign or call new elections.

2002 November, President Kuchma sacks Prime Minister Kinakh. Viktor Yanukovych, governor of Donetsk region, appointed to replace him. He promises to fight poverty and work for integration into Europe.

2003 March, Tens of thousands of people join Kiev demonstrations demanding that Kuchma resign.

2003 Oct 22, Tensions spiraled between Ukraine and Russia over a small island controlling access to disputed waters. Pres. Leonid Kuchma cut short a Latin American trip to return home to deal with the issue. The dispute centers on construction of a dike from the Russian mainland out into the Kerch Strait that connects the Black and Azov Seas.

2004 Oct 23, In Ukraine tens of thousands of people supporting opposition presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko rallied in Kiev demanding that next week’s presidential election be free and fair.


Orange-clad opposition supporters took to Kiev's streets and forced a change of government

Orange-clad opposition supporters took to Kiev’s streets and forced a change of government

2004 November, Official count indicates presidential election victory for Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych. Western and other independent observers report widespread vote rigging. Opposition candidate Viktor Yushchenko launches campaign of mass street protest and civil disobedience. Supreme Court later annuls result of poll

2004 Nov 28, Ukraine’s outgoing President Leonid Kuchma called on opposition supporters to end their four­day blockade of government buildings, saying compromise is needed to solve the political crisis.

2004 December, Opposition candidate Viktor Yushchenko tops poll in election re­run. Rival candidate Viktor Yanukovych challenges result but resigns as prime minister.

2004 Dec 8, Ukraine’s parliament adopted electoral and constitutional changes in a compromise intended to defuse the nation’s political crisis.

2005 Jan 10, Ukraine’s Election Commission declared Viktor Yushchenko the winner of the presidential vote.

2005 February, President’s nominee Yulia Tymoshenko overwhelmingly approved as prime minister by parliament.

2005 Apr 6, A joint session of US Congress listened to Ukrainian Pres. Yushchenko as he called for an end to trade barriers and a new era in US­Ukraine relations.

2005 May 26, The US and Ukraine signed an agreement to safeguard nuclear waste and upgrade storage facilities in Ukraine.

2005 Sep 5, In the Ukraine Oleksandr Zinchenko, a close aide to President Viktor Yushchenko who was a chief organizer of the “Orange Revolution” protests, said he had resigned from the government because of systemic corruption.


2005 September, President Yushchenko dismisses the government of Yulia Tymoshenko. Parliament approves Yuri Yekhanurov as her successor.

2005 Oct 24, NATO pledged to help Ukraine push through military reforms seen as essential to prepare the country for membership in the Western alliance, a prospect viewed with concern in Russia.

2005 Dec 31, President Vladimir Putin ordered Russia’s state­owned natural gas monopoly to supply Ukraine with natural gas at the current price for three months, if the government in Kiev immediately agreed to a big price hike to take effect later.

2006 Jan 1, Russia’s natural gas monopoly halted sales to Ukraine in a price dispute and began reducing pressure in transmission lines that also carry substantial supplies to western Europe. Supplies of natural gas to Poland have been hit by cuts imposed by Russia on the amount of gas entering the pipeline system in neighbouring Ukraine.

2006 Mar 26, Ukrainians cast ballots in a parliamentary election that could tip this divided ex­Soviet republic back toward Russia just 16 months after the Orange Revolution helped put it on a westward course.

2006 March ­ Viktor Yanukovych’s party tops polls in parliamentary elections. Yulia Tymoshenko’s takes second place, leaving President Yushchenko’s trailing in third.


2006 Jun 11, US troops sent to the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea to prepare for joint war games left Ukraine after two weeks of protests organized by pro­Russian parties prevented them from carrying out their mission.

2006 June­-July ­ After months of bargaining, the backers of the Orange Revolution ­ the Yushchenko and Tymoshenko blocs and the Socialists ­ agree on a coalition, but the deal collapses. The Socialists opt instead for a coalition with Viktor Yanukovych’s Party of Regions and the Communists.

2006 Jun 21, The parties behind Ukraine’s Orange Revolution agreed to form a coalition government, ending three months of tense talks to preserve a pro­Western government that has sought to shed Russia’s influence.

2006 Aug 4, The Ukraine Parliament named Viktor Yanukovych prime minister. His fraud­tainted 2004 presidential victory was turned back by the Orange Revolution.

2006 Sep 14, Ukraine’s pro­Russia premier suspended a bid to join NATO.

2007 February ­ Boris Tarasyuk, a close ally of the president and a strong
advocate of strong ties with Europe and Nato, resigns as foreign minister after a protracted row with parliament.

2007 Apr 2, Ukraine’s president called early elections for May 27 amid a standoff with the pro­Russian premier, who vowed to fight what he called a coup.

2007 May 27, Ukraine’s feuding president and prime minister agreed to hold an early parliamentary election on Sept. 30, defusing a crisis that threatened to escalate into violence when the president sent troops streaming toward the capital.

2007 Sep 30, Ukrainians began voting in an early parliamentary election meant to bring an end to a months­long political standoff between the nation’s two feuding leaders. Victor Yushchenko’s party earned only about 16% of the parliamentary vote. PM Viktor Yanukovych, had about 30% of the vote. Yulia Tymoshenko’s bloc was leading with 33%.

2007 Oct 10, Ministers from Azerbaijan, Georgia, Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine signed a deal to build an oil pipeline linking the Black and Baltic seas.

2007 Nov 23, Ukrainian PM Viktor Yanukovych submitted his resignation as a new parliament was sworn in and rival parties jostled to form a government after September elections.


2007 Dec 11, Ukraine’s parliament narrowly rejected the candidacy of Orange Revolution leader Yulia Tymoshenko for prime minister, but was expected to hold a further vote.

2007 Dec 18, Ukraine’s pro­Western coalition appointed Orange Revolution leader Yulia Tymoshenko prime minister and named a government that favors the ex­Soviet republic winning NATO and EU membership.

2008 Jan 25, A World Trade Organization (WTO) accession committee approved Ukraine’s membership bid, clearing the way for the former Soviet republic to join the body.

2008 Mar 4, Ukraine’s natural gas company warned that if Russia further cuts its gas supplies, it could begin diverting shipments intended for western Europe.

2008 March, Russia’s state­owned company, Gazprom, agrees new contract to supply Ukraine’s industrial consumers directly, ending row over gas supply.

2008 Apr 1, In Ukraine President Bush said he is putting his full weight behind the desire by Ukraine and Georgia to join NATO even though Russia is opposed and the alliance is split.

2008 May 21, Ukraine moved to strengthen its currency, the hryvnia, by revising its peg to the dollar form 5.05 hryvnia per dollar to 4.85.

2008 Jun 6, Russia’s new Pres. Medvedev met with leaders of a fractious alliance of ex­Soviet republics, warning Ukraine and Georgia not to lead their countries into NATO.

2008 Sep 3, Ukraine’s Pres. Yushchenko ordered the creation of a new governing coalition and threatened fresh elections, accusing his rival prime minister and opposition parties of attempting a “constitutional coup.”

2008 Sep 5, In Kiev US Vice President Dick Cheney pledged US support for Ukraine following last month’s war between neighboring Russia and Georgia.

2008 Sep 9, The 27­member EU stopped short of offering Ukraine membership during an EU­Ukraine summit hosted by French President Nicolas Sarkozy. But the two sides began work on an “association accord,” a step that offers closer political and economic ties and in the past has been designed to prepare nations for eventual membership.

2008 Sep 16, Ukraine’s pro­Western coalition collapsed, paving the way for complicated coalition talks or yet another early parliamentary election.


2008 Oct 9, Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko called early general elections after dissolving parliament when parties failed to resurrect a ruling pro­Western coalition in the former Soviet state.

2008 Oct 10, Ukraine’s PM Yulia Tymoshenko said there will be no early parliamentary elections, defying a presidential decree and raising the stakes in her fierce political battle with the president. She said Ukraine has no money for an early election and predicted that parliament will not pass the necessary legislation.

2008 Oct 15, The IMF said Ukrainian authorities have asked the International Monetary Fund for help in stemming a financial crisis in the country. The government took emergency measures to rescue banks and stabilize the national currency, the hryvna, after worried depositors withdrew more than US$1 billion from their accounts this month.

2008 Oct 26, The IMF said it has reached a tentative agreement to provide Ukraine with $16.5 billion in loans over the next 2 years to help the country out of financial turmoil.

Viktor Yushchenko spearheaded the Orange Revolution but disappointed in office

Viktor Yushchenko spearheaded the Orange Revolution but disappointed in office

2009 January 1, Russia stops all gas supplies to Ukraine after collapse of talks to end row over unpaid bills and prices, leading to shortages in southeast Europe. Supplies are restored a week later when Ukraine and Russia sign a 10­ year deal on gas transit.

2009 Jan 7, The EU said Russia and Ukraine will accept using international monitors to verify the transit of natural gas from Russia through Ukraine’s pipelines. Russia’s gas giant Gazprom completely stopped sending gas to European consumers at 7:44 a.m. (0544 GMT). 80% of Russian gas shipped via Ukraine.

2009 Jan 12, Russia’s state­run monopoly Gazprom announced it will resume shipping natural gas to Europe, where tens of thousands of homes and buildings have been left without heat in freezing weather.

2009 Jan 19, Russia and Ukraine signed a deal that restores natural gas shipments to Ukraine and paves the way for an end to the nearly two­week cutoff of most Russian gas to a freezing Europe.

2009 May 22, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev challenged EU leaders meeting at a summit in Khabarovsk to help Ukraine pay its gas bills in order to prevent disruption of Russian supplies to Europe.

2009 Sep 1, Ukrainian PM Yulia Tymoshenko said Russia and Ukraine have resolved a long standing dispute over natural gas supplies, after meeting her Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin at a resort on the Baltic coast in northern Poland.

2009 December, Ukraine and Russia sign deal on oil transit for 2010, allaying fears of supply cuts to Europe.


2010 February 14, Viktor Yanukovych is declared winner of second round of presidential election. His main rival, Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, refuses to accept the result, alleging fraud.

2010 March, Yulia Tymoshenko steps down from the premiership after a number of her supporters in parliament switch sides and she loses a vote. President Yanukovych appoints his long­standing ally Mykola Azarov to succeed her.

2010 Mar 1, Ukraine’s Pres. Viktor Yanukovych visited Brussels saying “Our priorities will include integration into the European Union, bringing up constructive relations with the Russian Federation, and developing friendly relations with strategic partners such as the United States.”

2010 April, Ukraine agrees to eliminate its stockpile of weapons­grade nuclear material ahead of the Washington nuclear security summit.

Parliament ratifies an agreement to extend Russia’s lease on the Black Sea fleet base at Sevastopol in Crimea for 25 years, in return for cheaper gas imports.

2010 May 17, Russian Pres. Medvedev visited Kiev, Ukraine, and oversaw the signing of several cooperation deals with the new Moscow­friendly leadership of Pres. Viktor Yanukovych.

2010 June, Parliament votes to abandon Nato membership aspirations.

2010 July, International media freedom watchdogs criticise a Kiev court’s decision to cancel the allocation of broadcasting frequencies to two privately­run TV channels.

2010 August, IMF approves fresh $15bn (£9bn) loan for Ukraine, subject to the government curbing the subsidising of utilities bills.

2010 October, Constitutional court overturns limits on presidential power introduced in 2004.

2010 November, President Yanukovych vetoes a tax reform that had prompted thousands of business owners and opposition activists to protest in city centres nationwide. The reform was part of austerity measures demanded by the IMF as a condition of the bailout approved in August.

2010 December, Former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko are charged with abuse of state funds. Both deny the charges and say they are politically motivated.

Topless protesters Feminist activists started campaigning for women's rights at home but have gone global

Topless protesters Feminist activists started campaigning for women’s rights at home but have gone global

2011 March, Ex­President Leonid Kuchma is charged over the 2000 murder of journalist Georgiy Gongadze. He denies any part in the killing.

The IMF puts its $15bn bailout on hold in response to the government’s failure to pass a pension reform bill and its watering down of gas price increases.

2011 April, The main suspect in the Gongadze killing, former interior minister official Olexiy Pukach, goes on trial. He is said to have confessed to strangling and beheading Gongadze.

2011 May­June, Ukraine postpones summit of Central and East European leaders in Yalta after several leaders boycott it over the mistreatment of opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko in prison. Others boycott the Euro 2012 football championship.

2011 Jun 20, Chinese President Hu Jintao made a rare visit to Ukraine to sign a strategic partnership declaration as Beijing seeks to revive ties with the ex­Soviet state after years of neglect. Hu Jintao oversaw the signing of business deals worth $3.5 billion.

2011 Sept, In Tajikistan leaders from eight former Soviet states (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan) gathered to celebrate enduring cooperation over the two decades since their nations collectively gained independence, but mutual acrimony and recriminations cast a shadow over the event.

2011 October, A court jails former PM Tymoshenko after finding her guilty of abuse of power over a gas deal with Russia in 2009. EU warns Ukraine of “profound implications”.

2012 Feb 3, The death toll from a severe cold spell in Eastern Europe rose to 222, including 101 in the Ukraine, 37 in Poland, 24 in Romania and 16 in Bulgaria.

2012 Apr 23, Ukraine’s two biggest pro­Western opposition parties announced they will be joining forces in the fall parliamentary election in order to challenge Pres. Viktor Yanukovych’s grip on power.

2012 Apr 27, In Ukraine four blasts within minutes rocked the center of Dnipropetrovsk in what prosecutors believed was a terrorist attack. Nine children were among the 31 injured. The crime was investigated as a terrorist attack and 4 men were soon arrested.

2012 May 24, In Ukraine a melee in the parliament was sparked by a proposed bill to make Russian an official language in eastern regions of the country with large native Russian­speaking populations. Lawmakers grappled and threw punches. One was hospitalized with a head injury.

2012 Jul 5, In Ukraine some 1,000 opposition activists rallied in Kiev to protest legislation upgrading the status of the Russian language.

2012 July, The European Court of Human Rights condemns the detention of former interior minister Yuriy Lutsenko and demands his release and compensation.

Police in Kiev fire tear gas to disperse hundreds of protesters angry at a law pushed through parliament with little debate that gives Russian regional language status.

2012 October, First parliamentary elections since President Yanukovych came to power see a decisive win for his governing Party of Regions and a surprise boost for the far­right Freedom party. OSCE observers, the United States and the European Union express concern at the conduct of the poll.

2012 December, Government resigns to allow a number of ministers, including Prime Minister Mykola Azarov, to take up seats in parliament. Government remains in office on an acting basis.

2012 Dec 13, In Ukraine a violent brawl between supporters of the president and opposition lawmaker broke out in parliament, nearly overshadowing the naming of a new pro­government speaker to lead the fractious body. Opposition lawmakers were angry over the fact that some of their opponents continued the controversial practice of voting in place of their absent colleagues, despite a recent ban

2013 April, European Court of Human Rights rules unanimously that the arrest and detention of Yulia Tymoshenko in 2011 was unlawful.


2013 July, Russia halts imports of chocolate from one of Ukraine’s main confectionary makers, Roshen, saying its products fall below safety standards, in what is seen as retaliation for Ukraine’s efforts to integrate further with the EU.

2013 Aug 15, Ukrainian politicians accused Russia of starting a trade war to pressure the country against signing a cooperation pact with the EU, bringing relations between the two former Soviet states to a new low.

2013 Sep 11, The European Union rejected Russian pressure to deter Ukraine and other former Soviet republics from deepening trade ties with Europe, saying any kind of retaliation was unacceptable.

2013 Sep 18, Ukraine formally gave the go­ahead for landmark trade deals to be signed with the European Union, disregarding pressure from Moscow for Kiev to halt its westward course.

Months of at times violent protests culminated in the collapse of the Yanukovych government in 2014

Months of at times violent protests culminated in the collapse of the Yanukovych government in 2014

2013 Oct 21, The party of Ukraine’s jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko (52) rejected President Viktor Yanukovich’s terms for her release and European envoys said time was running out to solve a row threatening agreements with the EU.

2013 Oct 29, Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev says Russia will ask Ukraine to start pre­paying for gas supplies in case Ukraine doesn’t settle outstanding debts. He was reacting to a complaint of Alexei Miller, chief executive of Russian gas giant Gazprom, who said Ukraine owes Russia $882 million for the August deliveries and was due to pay for it by Oct 1.

2013 Nov 21, The Ukrainian government announced it was suspending its preparations for the signing of a landmark agreement with the EU. President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman said that Russia welcomed Kiev’s desire to improve trade ties with Moscow, signaling satisfaction with the Ukrainian government decision.

2013 November, Tens of thousands of protesters take to the streets of central Kiev and other cities to protest at the government’s sudden decision to abandon plans to sign an association agreement with the EU. They accuse the government of bowing to Russian pressure, as well as being corrupt and unaccountable.

2013 Dec 13, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich made few concessions in crisis talks with the opposition, his first direct attempt to defuse weeks of unrest over a policy swerve to Russia away from Europe. A Ukrainian court released all those arrested during a violent police dispersal of demonstrators near the presidential administration building, one of the demands of the opposition that has conducted three weeks of large protests.

2013 December, Russia agrees to slash price of gas supplied to Ukraine and lend $15bn to mollify protesters.

2014 Jan 16, Supporters of Ukrainian Pres. Viktor Yanukovich rammed a sweeping law through parliament in an attempt to curb anti­government protests, sparking an outcry from the opposition and raising tensions on the streets.

2014 Jan 17, Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych signed legislation curbing anti­government protests, civic activism and free speech.

2014 Feb 9, Ukraine’s security agency warned of a heightened risk of terrorism, including from nearly three months of anti­government protests. An estimated 70,000 pro­Western Ukrainians thronged the heart of Kiev vowing never to give up their drive to oust President Viktor Yanukovych for his alliance with old master Russia.

2014 Feb 19, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich accused pro­European opposition leaders of trying to seize power by force after at least 26 people died in the worst violence since the former Soviet republic gained independence. Defiant protesters seized control of Kiev’s central post office, hurling fire bombs and rocks and standing their ground against officers in riot gear. Opponents of the president declared political autonomy in the major western city of Lviv. Protest leaders and Pres. Yanukovych called for a truce.

2014 February, Security forces kill at least 77 protesters in Kiev. President Yanukovych flees to Russia, opposition takes control under interim president Olexander Turchynov and acting prime minister Arseny Yatseniuk. Russia refuses to recognise takeover.

How America is Replaying the Cold War, and Russia is Replaying World War 2


2014 March, Russian forces help separatists seize power in Crimea, which Russia then annexes, prompting the biggest East­West showdown since the Cold War. US and its European allies impose sanctions on Russia.

2014 Mar 4, Vladimir Putin said that Moscow reserves the right to use its military to protect Russians in Ukraine but voiced hope it won’t need to do so as he accusing the West of encouraging an “unconstitutional coup.” Russia’s state­controlled natural gas giant Gazprom said it will cancel a price discount for natural gas supplies to Ukraine as of April 1.

2014 Mar 11, The parliament of Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula voted for full independence from Ukraine in preparation for a referendum to join Russia. France threatened sanctions against Moscow as early as this week. Gunmen took over air traffic control of the airport in the regional capital Simferopol and refused landing rights to a flight from the Ukrainian capital.

2014 Mar 12, Ukraine’s acting president said the country would not use its army to stop Crimea from seceding, the latest sign that a Russian annexation of the strategic peninsula may be imminent.

2014 Mar 16, Residents in Ukraine’s strategic Crimean Peninsula voted to leave Ukraine and join Russia, overwhelmingly approving a referendum that sought to unite the Black Sea region with the country it was part of for some 250 years. In eastern Ukraine thousands of pro­Russian protesters in the city of Donetsk rallied in support of Crimea’s right to join Russia and to press for their own referendum. Ukraine’s defense minister said his forces in Crimea have reached a temporary truce with Russia aimed at easing tensions surrounding the Black Sea peninsula’s high­stakes secession referendum.

2014 Mar 21, Russia’s Pres. Vladimir Putin completed his annexation of Crimea, signing a law making the Black Sea peninsula part of Russia just as Ukraine itself sealed a deal pulling it closer into Europe’s orbit.

2014 April, Pro­Russian separatists in eastern city of Donestsk declare an ”independent republic”.

2014 Apr 11, Crimean lawmakers adopted a new constitution, taking another step to cement the region’s absorption into Russia despite strong objections from the Muslim Tatar minority. Government launches ”anti­terrorist” operation in the east.

2014 May, Voters call for independence in Donetsk and Luhansk in a poll rejected as illegitimate by Kiev.

2014 May 11, Residents in eastern Ukraine formed long queues at polling stations to cast their votes in hastily organized independence referendums, defying the central government which called the ballots illegal and funded by neighboring Russia.

2014 May 20, The UN refugee agency said at least 10,000 people have been driven from their homes since the start of the Ukraine crisis, with Crimean Tatars the hardest­hit.

2014 May 26, Ukraine’s new president­elect Petro Poroshenko promised to negotiate an end to a pro­Russia insurgency in the east, saying he was willing to begin talks with Moscow.

2014 Jun 7, In Ukraine newly elected Petro Poroshenko was sworn in as president and called for dialogue with the country’s east. He also took a firm line on Russia’s annexation of Crimea this spring, insisting that the Black Sea peninsula “was, is and will be Ukrainian.”

2014 June, Poroshenko signs a delayed association accord with the EU ­ pulling the country decisively out of Moscow’s sphere.

2014 July, US and EU tighten sanctions on Moscow over its alleged involvement in the uprising in Ukraine.

2014 Jul 14, Russia’s foreign ministry said it has invited monitors from the OSCE European security and rights body to two of its border crossings with Ukraine as a sign of goodwill. A NATO military officer said Russia has been building up its forces again along the Ukrainian border and now has an estimated 10,000­12,000 troops in the area.

A Malaysian airliner comes down in rebel­held territory, killing all 298 people on board. It is believed to have been shot down. The UN Security Council calls for a full inquiry.

The wreck of the Malaysian airliner which came down over rebel­held territory Red Cross says it considers Ukraine to be in civil war.

The wreck of the Malaysian airliner which came down over rebel­held territory

Red Cross says it considers Ukraine to be in civil war.

2014 Jul 18, The European Union took the next step towards imposing tougher sanctions on Russia for its role in the Ukraine crisis by agreeing the legal basis for widening its list of targets.

2014 August, Russia sends unauthorised aid convoy to besieged rebel­held cities, prompting Ukraine to say it has been invaded.

2014 Aug 14, The Ukrainian parliament approved a law to impose sanctions on Russian companies and individuals supporting and financing separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine.

NATO says Russian forces are engaged in direct military operations inside Ukraine.

2014 September, Nato Secretary­General Anders Fogh Rasmussen says Nato will form a rapid reaction force in case of a crisis similar to the one in Ukraine on Nato territory.

2014 Sep 16, Ukraine’s parliament ratified an agreement to deepen economic and political ties with the EU, and passed legislation to grant autonomy to the rebellious east as part of a peace deal.

2014 Sep 18, The United States pledged $53 million in fresh aid to Ukraine for its struggle against Russia’s incursion, including counter­mortar radar equipment, in a gesture of support for visiting Ukraine Pres. Poroshenko.

2014 Sep 20, The Ukrainian city of Donetsk was rocked by blasts, even as government forces and pro­Russian separatists prepared to create a buffer zone to separate the warring sides. One Ukrainian soldier was killed and seven others were wounded in overnight violence. A nine­point memorandum was signed earlier in the day in the Belarussian capital of Minsk by the separatists and envoys from Moscow and Kiev.

2014 Sep 23, In eastern Ukraine pro­Russian rebels said they were withdrawing guns and tanks from the frontline under a peace plan forged with Kiev that aims to end five months of conflict.

2014 Sep 24, Ukrainian peace efforts stalled after pro­Russian insurgents called their own elections in defiance of a deal under which they and the Ukrainian army began withdrawing heavy weapons after 5 months of war.

2014 Sep 25, Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko ordered a temporary closure of its porous border with Russia and voiced plans to apply for EU membership in 2020 as part of his ex­Soviet country’s Westward shift.

2014 Sep 29, A shaky truce between pro­Russian rebels and the Ukrainian military was challenged when 9 soldiers and 3 civilians were reported killed in a surge of fighting across the separatist east.

2014 Sep 29, Russia launched a criminal case against “unidentified representatives of Ukraine’s senior political and military leadership”, National Guard and nationalist organizations, in which it accused them of committing “genocide.”

2014 Oct 2, In eastern Ukraine pro­Russian insurgents launched a fresh assault on the Donetsk Airport held by isolated Ukrainian forces as a month­old truce came under renewed strain and calls grew for the Kremlin to help halt the bloody revolt.

2014 Oct 7, The German government said a convoy of 112 trucks carrying aid from Germany has crossed into Ukraine and the goods will be distributed in the country’s east by local officials.

2014 Oct 8, The UN said the conflict in eastern Ukraine is still claiming about 10 lives a day among government troops, pro­Russian separatists and civilians despite a ceasefire agreed in early September.

2014 Oct 9, Ukraine’s president approved legislation to purge government bodies of officials linked to the rule of the country’s previous leader, Viktor Yanukovych.

Ukraine’s Neo­Nazi’s Demand Respect

The War Against the Nazis






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5 thoughts on “Timeline of Ukrainian History

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