Ukraine History – The Independent Ukrainian Republic

By | December 24, 2021

Already towards the end of the 1980s, in the general context of the fall of the communist regimes, a nationalist trend re-emerged in the Ukraine, the scene of the very serious nuclear accident in Chernobyl´ in 1986, which was also adopted by a part of the communist leadership. The Ukraine proclaimed independence from the Soviet Union in August 1991, joining the CIS. Leonid M. Kravčuk (b.1934) was elected President of the Republic.

The country it had to face complex negotiations with Russia and the United States for the dismantling of the Soviet-era nuclear arsenal, as well as the initiation of a difficult transition to democracy and a market economy; the problems linked to the acquired independence were amplified, compared to the other Eastern European countries, by the size of the new state, the variety of both ethnic and linguistic groups that made it up, as well as the importance of historical and cultural ties with Russia. A climate of political instability, caused by the unresolved conflict between President L. Kučma (b.1938) – in office since 1994 and re-elected in 1999 and whose administration had taken on increasingly authoritarian and oligarchic characteristics – and Parliament, which had having seen their powers reduced in 2000, organized crime and corruption, which has become a real system of power. During 2001, alongside the street demonstrations against the president, already at the center of two very serious scandals, there was a reorganization of the forces in the field, with the resignations and the passage to the opposition of leading exponents of the government, in particular JV Tymošenko (b. 1960) and VA Juščenko (b. 1954), the latter prime minister since 1999, the main promoters of a vast mobilization against Kučma. The pro-Russian VF Janukovič (b. 1950), elected president in 2004, faced with allegations of fraud and the street demonstrations of the ‘orange revolution’, had to agree to new votes, which assigned the presidency to the pro-Western Juščenko. For Ukraine government and politics, please check a2zgov.com.

The Western side has encountered numerous difficulties, including the break between Yushchenko and his prime minister Tymoshenko (2005), who was forced to resign and went to the opposition, and the question of energy dependence on Moscow. Increasingly isolated, brief J. Jechanurov government (n. 1948) suffered a crushing defeat in 2006 elections and has established the adverse Janukovi training is, whose government is also, however, lasted just over a year and was marked by the bitter tug-of-war with the presidency. Tymošenko was prime minister from 2007 to 2010, when, after being defeated in the presidential elections by Janukovič, she left the leadership of the government to former finance minister MJ Azarov.The parliamentary elections held in October 2012, on whose regularity OECD observers raised serious objections, recorded the success of the Janukovič Party of Regions, which obtained 191 seats out of 450, while the second force in the field is the coalition Homeland of Tymošenko (103 seats), followed by the opposition Udar party of ex-boxer V. Klitschko (40 seats), and by the nationalist right (35 seats).

In December 2013, after President Yanukovič refused to sign the association treaty with the European Union the previous month, yielding to pressure from Moscow, violent street demonstrations severely repressed by the police shook the country. The protests continued in January despite the issuance of severe measures aimed at limiting freedom of expression and the right to demonstrate, also involving the institutional offices of the capital and forcing Prime Minister Azarov to resign to facilitate a peaceful solution to the conflict. On 22 February 2014, after an escalation of the clashes and thanks to EU mediation, the opposition agreed to sign an agreement with Janukovič that set early presidential elections to be held by the following December, the return to the 2004 Constitution in order to limiting the powers of the president and forming a government of national unity and an amnesty which also decriminalized the crime of abuse of power ascribed to Tymošenko; on the same day the Ukrainian Parliament passed a resolution setting early presidential elections on 25 May of the same year, ad interim, while the office of premier was assumed by A. Jatsenjuk.

Following these events, pro-Russian forces took control of Ukrainian military bases in Crimea in March 2014, and the Supreme Council of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea voted to secede from the Ukraine and the request for annexation to the Russian Federation, a decision confirmed with 97% of the votes in favor by a popular referendum. Despite the lack of recognition by the international community and the issuing of sanctions by the United States and the European Union, on March 18 VV Putin signed the treaty for the accession of Crimea to the Russian Federation.

In the presidential elections he triumphed, obtaining over 55% of the votes in the first round and clearly defeating Tymošenko, the pro-Western industrialist P. Porosenko, in favor of integration with the European Union and the cessation of conflicts, who in in August it dissolved Parliament and called new elections. The consultations, held in October, were deserted by the electorate of the eastern regions of Donetsk and Lugansk, which by rebelling against the central power proclaimed themselves independent republics, benefiting from the support of Russian troops deployed at the border who provided logistical and military support to the rebels, this entailing the issue by the US and the EU of further, heavy economic sanctions. The election results saw the affirmation of the pro-Western orientation, sanctioning the narrow victory of Prime Minister Jatsenjuk’s Popular Front, which obtained about 22.2% of the votes (equal to 65 seats) against the 21.8% (equal to 63 seats) won by the block of President Poroshenko, while the electoral round held the following month in the separatist regions of Lugansk and Donetsk to elect local leaders and legislative bodies, deemed illegitimate by the EU and the US but valid by Moscow, predictably sanctioned the victory of the pro-Russian leadership, with the party of the separatist leader A. Zakharcenko who obtained 65% of the votes in Donetsk and, in the Lugansk region, the clear success of I. Plotniski, with 63% of the votes. In the following months, the trespassing of Russian military vehicles and troops into Ukrainian territory continued;

On the domestic front, the executive led by Jatsenjuk continued to suffer from great instability: accused by the other members of the ruling coalition of holding back reforms and hindering investigations into corruption, in April 2016 the premier resigned, having already passed a no-confidence motion in the previous February which had however deprived him of the majority; in the same month he assumed the office of Prime Minister V. Groysman, president of the Parliament and a man very close to Poroshenko. The presidential consultations held in March 2019, in a country suffering from a progressively worsening economic and political situation and unable to curb corruption, recorded the affirmation of the television comedian VA Zelenskij, who obtained 30.2% of the votes against the 15.9% won by the outgoing president, defeating him in the ballot with 73.7% of the votes and taking over from him. In the following May, immediately after he officially took office, the politician announced the dissolution of Parliament, in which his party had no representation, and the calling of new elections; Held in July, the consultations confirmed the widespread popular support for the president’s political formation, which obtained about 43% of the votes, the best result since the country’s independence. 7% of the votes and taking over from him. In the following May, immediately after he officially took office, the politician announced the dissolution of Parliament, in which his party had no representation, and the calling of new elections; Held in July, the consultations confirmed the widespread popular support for the president’s political formation, which obtained about 43% of the votes, the best result since the country’s independence. 7% of the votes and taking over from him. In the following May, immediately after he officially took office, the politician announced the dissolution of Parliament, in which his party had no representation, and the calling of new elections; Held in July, the consultations confirmed the widespread popular support for the president’s political formation, which obtained about 43% of the votes, the best result since the country’s independence.

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