Russian-Ukrainian Crisis: A Timeline of How We Got Here
As Russia continues to mobilize its troops and military equipment near the Ukrainian border, tensions between Moscow and the West continue to mount.
The Kremlin’s actions have raised concerns about the possibility of a Russian invasion, while Canada, the United States and other NATO allies have vowed to retaliate if Russia continues its aggression.
Here is a timeline of some of the key moments in the ongoing crisis:
November 2013: “Euromaiden” protests erupt in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv after then-President Viktor Yanukovych suspended a free trade deal with the EU in favor of closer ties with Russia.
February 2014: Demonstrations continue to spread across Ukraine, with police firing live ammunition at protesters. The Ukrainian parliament votes for the dismissal of Yanukovych and the interim government draws up an arrest warrant against the ousted president. However, Yanukovych fled to Russia, calling his dismissal a “coup”.
February-March 2014: Russian troops take control of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula and seize the regional parliament and government buildings.
March 2014: The regional parliament is holding a referendum on the status of Crimea just two weeks after the start of the Russian military occupation. More than 95% vote in favor of joining the Russian Federation. Russia then signs a treaty with the leaders of Crimea to formally annex the peninsula.
In response, G8 leaders pull Russia out of the bloc, now known as the G7. The annexation is also declared illegal in a non-binding resolution passed by the UN General Assembly.
April 2014: Pro-Russian separatist militants take control of the Donbass region in eastern Ukraine. These activists are believed to be backed by the Russian government, although Moscow has denied being directly involved in the conflict.
March-December 2014: Throughout the year, then Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced numerous sanctions affecting Russian and Ukrainian companies and individuals involved in the annexation of Crimea and the armed separatist movement in the Donbass. .
In retaliation, Russia imposed entry bans on 13 Canadian lawmakers and officials, including Liberal MP Chrystia Freeland, who would later become Canada’s Deputy Prime Minister.
Ukrainian soldiers stand at a checkpoint near the separation line with pro-Russian rebels, Mariupol, Donetsk region, Ukraine, Friday, Jan. 21, 2022. (AP Photo/Andriy Dubchak)
September 2015: Canada launches Operation UNIFIER, sending approximately 200 Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) personnel every six months to assist Ukraine’s security forces with military training. CAF members are expected to remain in the country until March 2022.
June 2016 – March 2021: Canada is adding more Russian and Ukrainian individuals and companies to its sanctions list. So far, these measures have affected more than 440 individuals and entities.
July 2016: The Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement is signed and comes into force in August of the following year.
July 2019: Actor and comedian Volodymyr Zelensky is elected President of Ukraine in a landslide vote, ushering in a new era of Ukrainian-Russian relations.
September 2019: Whistleblowers allege then-US President Donald Trump froze $400 million in security aid for Ukraine in an effort to coerce Zelensky into investigating his political rival Joe Biden and his family for charges. harmful information.
November 2021: Satellite imagery shows a buildup of Russian troops on the border with Ukraine, stoking fears of a possible invasion. Zelensky also says that Russia had mobilized 100,000 troops in the border area, as well as tanks and other heavy equipment.
December 7, 2021: US President Joe Biden speaks with his Russian counterpart in a video call. Putin called on NATO to guarantee an end to eastward expansion while Biden threatened to impose tough economic sanctions if Russia invaded Ukraine.
January 2, 2022. On a call with Zelensky, Biden promises the United States and its allies will act “decisively” if Russia further invades Ukraine.
January 22, 2022: Canada is offering a $120 million loan to Ukraine to support the country’s economy. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the federal government is also considering expanding its UNIFER mission, providing “defensive weapons and equipment” and imposing more sanctions on Russia.