We give below a brief outline of the history behind Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
In addition, you can hear a panel of guests talking about the deep history of the origins of the Slavic nations and the myth-making around it by listening to BBC Radio 4 at 09:00 or 21:30 on 1 March or thereafter on BBC Sounds. They will follow through to the present day, charting the emergence of a distinctive Ukrainian identity – amidst fierce opposition from those Russians who believe the spiritual and religious heart of their nation still lies across the Ukrainian border. Find out more at https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0015bgf
You can make donations to help the people of Ukraine on the following pages. Take care to use an authorised page as there are many scam pages that will keep your donations.
DISASTERS EMERGENCY COMMITTEE: https://donation.dec.org.uk/ukraine-humanitarian-appeal
RED CROSS: https://donate.redcross.org.uk/appeal/ukraine-cash-programme
SAVE THE CHILDREN: https://www.savethechildren.org.uk/where-we-work/europe/ukraine
Both Ukraine and Crimea belonged to the Russian Empire until the Russian Revolution of 1917.
After a period of turmoil, Crimea and Ukraine emerged as separate autonomous Soviet Socialist Republics within the Soviet Union.
In 1944 Stalin abolished Crimea’s autonomy and it became part of Soviet Russia and in 1954 Khrushchev transferred Crimea to Ukraine.
After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, there were referrenda in both Ukraine and Crimea to determine their futures. At the same time the Supreme Soviet of Russia voted to void the cession of Crimea to Ukraine.
Meanwhile the Ukrainian government in Kyiv voted to make Crimea an autonomous republic within Ukraine.
In 1994 the status of Crimea as part of Ukraine was recognised by Russia, which pledged to uphold the territorial integrity of Ukraine in the Budapest Memorandum. This treaty was also signed by the United States, United Kingdom, and France.
In 2014, Russia invaded and subsequently annexed the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine. Demonstrations by pro-Russian groups in the Donbas area of Ukraine escalated into a war between the Ukrainian government and the Russian-backed separatist forces of the self-declared Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics. There was intensive movement of troops and equipment from Russia into the separatist-controlled parts of the eastern Ukraine.
In 2021, Russian president Vladimir Putin ordered the Russian military to begin massing thousands of personnel and equipment near the border with Ukraine and in Crimea.
In February 2022 he ordered an invasion of Ukraine and recognised the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic as independent states, and deployed troops into Donbas.