Russia without Ukraine is a country;
|Leonid M. Kravchuk||01 Dec 1991||19 Jul 1994||Social Democratic Party|
|Leonid Kuchma||19 Jul 1994||23 Jan 2005||People's Democratic Party|
|Viktor Yushchenko||23 Jan 2005||25 Feb 2010||Our Ukraine|
|Viktor Yanukovich||25 Feb 2010||22 Feb 2014||Party of Regions|
|Oleksandr Turchynov||23 Feb 2014||07 Jun 2014||Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc|
|Petro Poroshenko||07 Jun 2014||Jun 2019||UDAR|
|Vitold Fokin||23 Oct 1990||02 Oct 1992||KPU/Non-party|
|Leonid Kuchma||13 Oct 1992||22 Sep 1993||Non-party|
|Yukhim Zvyahilsky||22 Sep 1993||16 Jun 1994||Non-party|
|Vitalii Masol||16 Jun 1994||01 Mar 1995||Non-party|
|Yevhen Marchuk||01 Mar 1995||28 May 1996||Non-party|
|Pavlo Lazarenko||28 May 1996||02 Jul 1997||Hormada|
|Valerii Pustovoitenko||16 Jul 1997||22 Dec 1999||NDP|
|Viktor Yushchenko||22 Dec 1999||29 May 2001||Non-party|
|Anatolii Kinakh||29 May 2001||21 Nov 2002||PPPU|
|Viktor Yanukovich||21 Nov 2002||05 Jan 2005||Party of Regions|
|Mykola Azarov||07 Dec 2004||24 Jan 2005||Party of Regions|
|Yuliya Tymoshenko||24 Jan 2005||08 Sep 2005||Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc + VOB|
|Yurii Yekhanurov||08 Sep 2005||04 Aug 2006||NU|
|Viktor Yanukovich||04 Aug 2006||18 Dec 2007||Party of Regions|
|Yuliya Tymoshenko||18 Dec 2007||11 Mar 2010||Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc + VOB|
|Mykola Azarov||11 Mar 2010||28 Jan 2014||Party of Regions|
|Sergei Arbuzov||05 Feb 2014||Mar 2014||Party of Regions|
|Arseniy Yatsenyuk||Mar 2014||30 Mar 2016||VOB|
|Volodymyr Groysman||30 Mar 2016||2019 ??|
|excludes brief acting PMs|
Ukraine is two nations in one country. Eastern Ukraine looks to Russia, and Western Ukraine looks to Europe. The population of Ukraine is over 45 million. Ethnic Ukrainians make up approximately 78% of the total; ethnic Russians number about 17%, ethnic Belarusians number about 0.6%. The industrial regions in the east and southeast are the most heavily populated, and the population is about 69% urban. Ukrainian and Russian are the principal languages. Although Russian is very widely spoken, in the 2001 census (the latest official figures) 85.2% of the ethnic Ukrainian population identified Ukrainian as their native language. While members of the three Orthodox churches comprise a majority of believers in the western part of the country overall, the Greek Catholic communities constitute a majority in three of the eight western oblasts: Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, and Ternopil.
The entrepreneurial dynamism and pro-European sentiment is palpable in western Ukraine, with construction visible in the cities and countryside, coffee houses full of students, and European Union flags proudly displayed and dreams of NATO accession unabashedly uttered. But overt Russian-affiliated intervention into internal Ukrainian politics includes both advocacy of a Ukrainian political force and via participation of a handful of Kremlin sponsored or tolerated fringe groups and NGOs.
Conventional wisdom divides Ukraine into the Orange provinces in the West, the center of support for politicians leaning towards Europe, and the Blue provinces in the South and East, the center of support for pro-Russian politicians. At times it seems that Ukraine's emerging two-party system could be dangerous for Ukrainian unity, leading to a possible East/West split of the country. Some speculate that Ukraine could be divided into three parts, with the east/south annexed by Russia, a Russian-controlled central region, and a European-oriented rump Ukraine in the west. But nothing in Ukraine is so simple. While Prime Minister, Orange leader Yuliya Tymoshenko made deals favorable to Moscow, and the Blue Party of Regions includes pro-European factions.
A controversial 2016documentary produced by US director Oliver Stone and broadcast on Russian television presented the Ukrainian revolutions of 2004 and 2014 as organized uprisings instigated from outside and planned with US participation. Posted on YouTube and screened by nationwide Russian TV channel REN TV on 21 November 2016, the film, titled Ukraine on Fire, features Ukraine's ousted former president Viktor Yanukovych, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Vitaly Zakharchenko, who served as Ukrainian interior minister under Yanukovych, discussing the events leading up to and following the "Maidan" revolution of 2014.
The film reports that the CIA closely collaborated with Ukrainian nationalistic organizations against the USSR as far back as 1946, using them as counterintelligence sources. In 2004 Ukraine became a battlefield between Russia and the West. The pro-Russian candidate Viktor Yanukovych won the presidential election, though the process was tainted by widespread allegations of intimidation and massive vote-rigging, as well as the poisoning of the pro-Western candidate, Viktor Yushchenko.
In the end, Yushchenko, whose wife had been an employee of the US State Department during the Reagan administration) gained the presidency thanks to a peaceful protest that the film claims was inspired from outside the country, resulting in a re-vote.
Shortly before Yanukovych was due to sign the agreement at an EU Eastern Partnership summit (in Lithuania in late November 2013) public organizations financed by NED, journalists receiving US grants and the TV channels created on the eve of the Maidan uprising played an important role in the protests.
In the Minsk Agreement, the framework to settle the conflict in Donbass was laid out in February 2015, with German and French mediation. Political, legal and military statements of intent broken into 13 points. As "Minsk" doesn't contain a timetable, it doesn't say what should happen first, or second.
Kyiv and Moscow have entrenched themselves behind their own priorities. The Ukrainians want to deal with questions of security first, and then get into the politics. The Russians see it exactly the other way around: they want Kyiv to firstly fulfill its political obligations - and any military talk can come after that. In Kyiv, any political concessions are seen as betrayal and surrender. The Russian leadership, on the other hand, with its shrill rhetoric, has positioned itself on the side of the separatists.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|