Everything you need to know about the East Ukrainian Problem

At present, the Donbass war is among the worst humanitarian crises in the world. It has been more than 4 years of fighting in eastern Ukraine’s Donbass region. More than 10,000 people have been killed and around 25,000 are wounded. In this article, we will find out as to what is actually happening in that region and why.

Geography of the Donbass region

  • 2 provinces (oblasts) of Ukraine namely Donetsk and Luhansk collectively make the Donbass region
  • It is located on the border of Ukraine and Russia.
  • It has people from both Russian speaking community and Ukrainian speaking community.

What is the problem exactly?

  • Ukraine gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.
  • Since then Ukraine can be divided into 2 regions - Eastern Ukraine(mostly pro-Russian people) and Western Ukraine(people who want to join EU and NATO).
  • Ukraine also applied to the NATO Membership Action Plan in 2008.
  • In 2010, Viktor Yanukovych was elected as the President. He was a pro-Russian so he preferred to keep Ukraine away from NATO in order to improve relations with Russia.
  • In 2013, Viktor Yanukovych rejected a deal with EU to further improve his relations with Russia.
  • This outraged the people of Ukraine and in 2014, the pro-EU fraction overthrew the the Viktor led  government in Kiev(the capital of Ukraine) and got control of many government buildings. This is called the Ukrainian Revolution or the Maidan Revolution.
  • This was followed by the annexation of Crimea by Russia.
  • This led to frequent attacks occurring from both sides across the provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk.
  • Separatist forces began fighting the Ukrainian army and the separatists soon started getting help from Russian Army Units who backed them up with armory and artillery.
  • In July 2014, Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 was shot down while flying over Eastern Ukraine killing 298 innocent people.
  • The militants do not hesitate to target even hospitals.
  • Since then the situation has just got worse and nothing is improving. 
  • There have been many attempts made to impose a ceasefire but ceasefire was never entirely held. Till now more than 10 ceasefire attempts have failed.

Aftermath 

  • Before the war started, 15% of the total population of Ukraine used to live in this region and contributed to 16% of the total GDP of Ukraine but now it is just a warzone with Syria like conditions.
  • More than a million people have flew out of Ukraine and around 2 million people have been internally displaced.
  • The basic infrastructure of the Donbass region has been damaged and the government can not even provide basic facilities like health care.
  • As of 2017, about 1/3rd of the total hospitals in the Donbass region have been damaged.

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thRadical: Everything you need to know about the East Ukrainian Problem
Everything you need to know about the East Ukrainian Problem
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