The crisis in Ukraine began on November 21, 2013, when then president Viktor Yanukovych abandoned a trade agreement with the European Union, saying “the decision had been taken to protect Ukraine’s national security.”
The decision triggered mass protests with a few hundred people taking over the central square in Kiev, known as the “Euromaidan.” The mass protests lasted for months, and resulted in Yanukovych’s ousting by the protesters on February 22, 2014. After condemning what he called a coup, Yanukovych left Kiev. The Parliament stripped him of the presidency and Arseniy Yatsenyuk became interim Prime Minister. The Parliament also removed Russian as one of the two official languages, which was seen as a sign of the country divided along eastern pro-Russian and western pro-European lines. In several cities of Russian-speaking eastern and southern regions, pro-Russian demonstrators broke into official buildings. Buildings and airports of Crimea were taken control of by Pro-Russian gunmen. A referendum on the status of Crimea in March decided overwhelmingly to secede from Ukraine and join Russia. In east Ukraine, Donetsk and Luhansk evolved into an ongoing battle between the post-revolutionary Ukrainian government and pro-Russian insurgents.
Alexander Nekrassov, former advisor to the Kremlin and Doctor Taras Kuzio – an international expert on contemporary Ukrainian and post-communist politics joined CCTV’s THE HEAT to discuss the situation of Ukraine on May 7th.