Supports Russia's separatist groups in Ukraine
War in Eastern Ukraine
What's going on in Ukraine?
Ukraine is a very large country with around 45 million inhabitants. Large parts of Ukraine border on Russia. Many residents of eastern Ukraine speak Russian, while Ukrainian is spoken in the other part. It is very important to many Eastern Ukrainians that Ukraine works well with Russia. But the majority of Ukrainians would like Ukrainian politics to be more oriented towards Western countries and to move closer to the European Union (EU). That is why Petro Poroshenko was elected President in June 2014. He is against the split. The previous president, Viktor Yanukovych, on the other hand, only wanted to work with Russia.
This conflict has existed ever since. There is a large group in Eastern Ukraine that wants to see Eastern Ukraine become an independent country or bond with Russia. This group is called “separatists” (the word “separate” is in it - that means separated). The group intends to force the split. Serious fighting between the separatists and the Ukrainian army has been going on for months. Almost a million people have fled the region as a result. There have already been many victims and great damage in the cities.
Review: Crimean Crisis
Before the current conflict in eastern Ukraine, there was the so-called Crimean crisis. The former Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea became independent in February 2014 and is now called the "Republic of Crimea". Here, too, it was about the dispute over belonging to Ukraine or Russia. You can read more about the Crimean crisis here.
What are the politicians doing?
Ukrainian President Poroshenko does not want the east to secede, so he is sending his army to the area to fight the separatists. At the same time, he wants peace in his country. That is why he asks the EU for help. Russian President Vladimir Putin also says he wants peace. But many politicians accuse him of supporting the separatists with weapons and Russian fighters. Because he actually wants to prevent Ukraine from joining NATO, a military union of 28 European and North American states. Putin also wants to prevent Ukraine from turning to the EU.
The first ceasefire agreement was signed on September 5, 2014 by politicians in Minsk (Belarus). But nobody adhered to the agreement. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President François Holland have again campaigned for a new ceasefire agreement to be signed. On February 12, 2015, the “2. Minsk Agreement ”signed by the presidents. But just a week later, the armistice was not observed again. The Ukrainian President is therefore calling for international monitoring of compliance with the agreement.
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