The ongoing conflict involving Russia and Ukraine – with Russian President Vladimir Putin launching a full-scale invasion on 24 February – stems back to the 1950s with the transfer of Crimea.
The invasion of Ukraine – said to be the largest military attack in Europe since World War II – is an escalation of the 2014 Russo-Ukrainian war, when the Ukrainian Revolution of Dignity (Maidan Revolution) ousted then-President Viktor Yanukovych.
Now in 2022, President Vladimir Putin questioned Ukraine’s right to statehood and accused the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) of threatening Russia’s security.
Russia-Ukraine war: 10 April 2022
Thousands flee Kyiv in anticipation of Russian offensive
Ukraine is preparing for “big battles” against Moscow’s forces in the east of the country, officials in Kyiv said, as thousands of civilians flee in fear of an imminent Russian offensive.
Evacuations resumed on Saturday from Kramatorsk, in eastern Ukraine, where a missile strike killed 52 people at a railway station a day earlier, as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson became the latest Western leader to visit Kyiv.
Hailing the country’s response to the Russian invasion, Johnson offered Ukraine armoured vehicles and anti-ship missiles to help ensure, he said, that the country will “never be invaded again”.
His offer came after President Volodymyr Zelensky said Kyiv was readying for a Russian onslaught.
“Sadly, in parallel we see the preparations for important battles, some people say decisive ones, in the east,” he said Saturday at a press conference with visiting Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer.
“We are ready to fight and to look in parallel to end this war through diplomacy.”
Russia-Ukraine conflict: Latest updates
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The transfer from the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (SFSR) to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR), at the time described as a symbolic gesture, led to the re-establishment of Crimean autonomy in the early 1990s.
Then in 2014, the focus was once again on Crimea and parts of Donbas during the Ukrainian Revolution of Dignity, resulting in the regions being internationally recognised as part of Ukraine.
At the time, the Euromaidan protests resulted in the removal of President Viktor Yanukovych on 22 February 2014.
In response, Russian soldiers surrounded and seized control of Crimea, defying the referendum of 1991.
Uprisings in Donbas turned into a full-blown war to control Donetsk and Luhansk.
A stalemate eventually ensued after repeated failed attempts at a seize fire.
After marathon talks between US and Chinese officials, Washington also expressed concern about “alignment” between Russia and China.
The discussions come after reports Moscow is seeking military and economic support from Beijing. While declining to address the reports directly, China accused Washington of spreading “disinformation” about its role in the conflict.