Timeline of Key Moments in the Russia-Ukraine War (RUW) Case Study

Timeline of Key Moments in the Russia-Ukraine Case

1991    Post-Soviet Ukraine gained independence and became a regular member of the UN, the Council of Europe, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty[1]

2013    Public protests against the Ukraine government began 21 November in Kyiv’s Independence Square (Maidan Nezalezhnosti) after Ukraine’s President Victor Yanukovych sides with Russia, choosing not to agree to closer political & economic ties with the EU

2014    Ukraine’s Maidan Revolution (Revolution of Dignity) ended in late February: President Yanukovych fled to Russia from Kyiv

  • Annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, following an invasion and rapid referendum lacking option to remain in Ukraine[2]
  • Pro-Russian separatist movements emerged in eastern regions of Ukraine, leading to armed conflicts with Ukraine’s security forces
  • Petro Poroshenko elected President of Ukraine in May, begins process for greater EU integration (EU-Ukraine Association Agreement)
  • Malaysia Flight 17, a domestic airliner, shot down in July over Ukraine territory by pro-Russian separatists with a missile supplied by Russian special forces, killing all 298 people onboard

2015  Minsk Agreement signed in February (in Minsk) by leaders of Ukraine, Russia, France, and Germany, albeit Russia not named, to call a ceasefire and move toward political resolution of the conflict[3]

2019  In March, 39 candidates run for President, with Volodymyr Zelenskyy, a television personality, defeating the incumbent President Poroshenko, with 73 percent of votes in April runoff

2021  Russian troops began massing near Ukraine’s borders as part of a “special military operation” (SMO) announced to support Russian-backed separatist republics of Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine[4]

  • On December 17, President Putin proposed a prohibition on Ukraine joining NATO, which Ukraine rejected

2022  In January, Russian troops began a buildup in Belarus, Russia’s ally

  • On February 21, Vladimir Putin ordered Russian forces to enter the separatist republic in eastern Ukraine, and officially recognized the Donestsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic
  • On February 24th, Russia invaded Ukraine as part of its ‘special military operation’ (SMO)

2023  Volodymyr Zelensky delivers a speech in the UK Parliament, in an historical occasion, followed by speeches in many other nations[5]

  • In line with the UN’s Charter, the UN General Assembly voted for ending the war in Ukraine, demanding Russia immediately withdraw from the country: 141 of its 193 Member States in the Assembly in favour, 7 against, 32 abstained (other votes followed similar divisions)
  • The Wagner Group, a private paramilitary organization fighting in Ukraine and funded by the Russian government staged a failed rebellion, followed by death of its head, Yevgeny Prigozhin and nine others, when his private plane crashed in route from Moscow to St Petersburg
  • Mid-August, US government estimated total number of Ukrainian and Russian troops killed or wounded since the war in Ukraine began 18 months ago approximated 500,000 – a half-million casualities
  • September, Russia and China refuse to allow Ukraine to be discussed at G20 meeting held in Delhi, India


[1] Ukraine was a ‘non-sovereign’ member of the UN between 1945 and its independence in 1991.

[2] https://www.brookings.edu/articles/crimea-six-years-after-illegal-annexation/

[3] https://www.chathamhouse.org/2020/05/minsk-conundrum-western-policy-and-russias-war-eastern-ukraine-0/minsk-2-agreement

[4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_invasion_of_Ukraine

[5] https://www.president.gov.ua/en/news/speeches

Comments are most welcome