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The current conflict in Ukraine began on 24 February 2022 when Russian military forces entered the country from Belarus, Russia and Crimea.

Prior to the invasion, there had already been eight years of conflict in eastern Ukraine between Ukrainian Government forces and Russia-backed separatists.

This paper provides a timeline of the major events that happened in the conflict in Ukraine from the 2014 annexation of Crimea to the eve of the 2022 Russian invasion.

A timeline covering the events since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022 is available in Commons Library research briefing CBP-9847, Conflict in Ukraine: A timeline (current conflict, 2022-present).

The 2014 Euromaidan protests

In November 2013, the Ukrainian Government of pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych decided not to sign a planned Association Agreement with the European Union and demonstrations ensued in the capital Kyiv. These ‘Euromaidan’ demonstrations turned violent in early 2014 and, in February that year, some European foreign ministers mediated a compromise, involving a unity government and early elections.

After the collapse of a power-sharing agreement on 22 February 2014, President Yanukovych disappeared from Ukraine and a new government was installed by the Ukrainian parliament.

Russia’s annexation of Crimea, 2014

Toward the end of February 2014, unidentified military figures, later confirmed to be Russian personnel, surrounded the airports in Crimea, a majority-Russian peninsula in Ukraine. The Crimean autonomous assembly was then seized by pro-Russian forces.

In March 2014 the assembly issued a declaration of independence and a subsequent referendum on union with Russia was held. According to Russian election officials, 95.5% of voters supported union with Russia. The results of that referendum are not internationally recognised.

Since then, Russia has maintained its control over Crimea and supported pro-Russian separatist forces who also took control of parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of eastern Ukraine (the Donbas) in 2014.

Fighting between Russian-supported separatists and Ukrainian government forces has continued in the Donbas for the last eight years despite the negotiation of the Minsk Agreements in 2014/2015 which called for a ceasefire, the withdrawal of all foreign armed groups and constitutional reform recognising the special status of Donetsk and Luhansk.

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