decision points

december 9–10 (maastricht summit 1991)

the european council welcomed the fact that ukraine, russia and belarus had declared they would mutually recognize and respect each other’s territorial integrity and the inviolability of the borders existing in the context of any commonwealth that was formed.

november 25, 2013 (vatican)

vladimir putin meets with pope francis for the first time. the russian president is a self-proclaimed orthodox christian and has said repeatedly that he is a man of faith. putin is no stranger to popes, having chatted up benedict xvi and john paul ii in previous years.

november 30–31, (moscow)

speaking in moscow on the occasion of the 17th international russian gathering “russia as nation-civilization,” russian orthodox church head patriarch kirill says:

“let me start by saying that when we say russia we should have in our minds a multinational cultural formation. in absolute concrete historical and geographical dimensions we are talking about ancient rus. russia is almost a synonym of rus. many newly independent states exist on lands which constituted this historic russia. many [of these independent states] are also the progeny of this historic rus. when i speak about russia, i always mean the territory of this great civilization.”

november 30 (kyiv)

riot police brutally break up peaceful student demonstrators on independence square in kyiv. they deliberately injure dozens people during the ferocious early-morning raid. the attack — and the manner it is carried out — provokes violent clashes on december 1 between “ukrainian ultra-nationalists and extremists” at the presidential administration.

december 1, 2013 (kyiv)

provocateurs [read: ukrainian ultra-nationalists and extremists] instigate violence on bankova street at the presidential administration. staged violent clashes provide local and international media with footage of jew-hating ultra-nationalist elements using violence to overthrow a legitimately elected head of state. ukrainian riot policemen were not caught napping.

well-known ukrainian showman dmytro korchinsky along with masked provocateurs use a hijacked backhoe, stun grenades, heavy chains and rocks to intimidate police guarding the presidential compound. riot police thirty minutes later go on the offensive clubbing senseless anyone who stands in their way.

december 4–5 (china)

yanukovych attends a business conference in china’s shenzhen province. incumbent prime minister mykola azarov says yanukovych and putin will meet “in the near future” to agree on a “cooperation road map” and discuss ways to boost bilateral trade.

december 6 (sochi)

yanukovych and putin meet in the black sea resort city to discuss “trade and economic cooperation in different economic spheres.” the leaders reportedly define parameters of a strategic partnership agreement to be signed later in the month.

“wow! hearing yanukovich in sochi today signed strategic agrt w russia includes $5bn+ up front, gas price $200 + agrt to join customs union,” economist editor edward lucas tweets, citing his own sources.”

december 11 (kyiv)

hundreds of unarmed riot police dismantle barriers on institutska street leading to independence square. an epic battle for control of the protest camp on independence square ensues.

the assault coincides with the visit to kyiv of us deputy secretary of state victoria nuland and eu foreign policy chief catherine ashton.

riot police and other law enforcement units are ordered to withdraw following an hours-long pushing match. there is little doubt security forces could have reached independence square and dismantled the protest encampments if such an order had been given.

december 17 (moscow)

putin and yanukovych fail to agree on divvying up ownership of ukraine’s natural gas transportation system. the leaders agree to build a bridge over the strait of kerch connecting the mainland with the crimea peninsula.

the construction of a bridge over the strait of kerch.

december 19–20 (russia)

putin releases jailed russian businessman mikhail khodorkovsky, who is immediately placed on a chartered flight to berlin, germany.

more than two dozen agents from russia’s federal security service (fsb) arrive at a training camp outside of kyiv belonging to ukraine’s state security service (sbu).

december 23 (ukraine)

yanukovych says it is necessary for parliament deputies to pass the 2014 budget as quickly as possible.

december 25 (ukraine)

parliament speaker volodymyr rybak says parliament will not hold plenary sessions before new year’s day 2014. rybak says lawmakers are scheduled to vote on ukraine’s 2014 budget on january 16 and can submit their proposals to amend the draft budget before january 8.

………………………………………………………………………….. 2014

january 8

putin and yanukovych meet secretly in valdai, novogorod region, russia.

january 16

ukrainian parliament passes ukraine’s 2014 budget and adopts draconian anti-protest laws.

january 19

hundreds of thousands protest new anti-protest laws in kyiv. hardcore demonstrators try to march up hrusehvskoho street to parliament but are blocked by riot police and a blockade of mini-vans and buses. violence erupts. police vehicles are set on fire. protesters throw molotov cocktails at police and set hundreds of car tires on fire. police shoot rubber bullets at protesters and cameramen filming the shenanigans. several protesters are beaten to death and shot dead during the next several days.

january 25

rumors circulate about the imminent imposition of martial law, which is not imposed.

january 28

russia-eu summit (brussels)

meetings between putin and eu leaders are tense, but diplomatic. russia and the eu sign an agreement to cooperate in the war on terrorism and to stop narco traffic they say funds terrorism.

29, 30, 31, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 = 20
plans are drawn up and approved on day x to clear protesters from independence square in kyiv starting from february 18–20.

february 18 (kyiv) wikipedia timeline

february 19 (moscow — berlin)

german chancellor angela merkel and putin discuss “in detail” the dramatic events unfolding in ukraine and express “serious concern” over the increased tension that has led to many casualties. merkel and putin agree it is necessary to take urgent measures “in order to stabilise the situation in ukraine.” putin says western countries should give up their accusatory attitude towards ukraine’s incumbent leadership and underlines the importance of strongly condemning the opposition forces liable for organising unlawful extremist and terrorist activities.

february 20

dozens of unarmed protesters in kyiv are shot dead after riot police end siege of independence square. many of the victims are shot dead making their way instituska street toward the presidential administration.

… как и у других 11-ти, лежащих теперь рядом с ним в холле гостиницы украина, оборудованном под временный морг, говорит главный врач мобильной клиники самообороны майдана ольга богомолец. “снайпер или снайперы работали профессионально,” говорит она. “у всех ранения в сердце или в голову. все убиты пулей калибра 7.62 мм [снайперская винтовка драгунова]. стреляли на поражение.

february 21

foreign ministers radosław sikorski of poland, laurent fabius of france and frank-walter steinmeier of germany) on february 21 broker the agreement on settlement of political crisis in ukraine. the deal agreed to: a restoration of the constitution as it was between 2004 and 2010; constitutional reform to be completed by september; early presidential elections no later than december 2014; an investigation into the violence conducted under joint monitoring of the authorities, opposition, and the council of europe; a veto on imposing a state of emergency; amnesty for protesters arrested since 17 february; surrendering of public buildings occupied by protesters; the forfeiture of illegal weapons; “new electoral laws” to be passed and the formation of a new central election commission. the three eu foreign ministers signed the document as witnesses;russian mediator vladimir lukin did not sign the deal, as he had no mandate to sign an agreement on the crisis.

independence day square protesters rejected the deal along with members of volunteer defense battalions, who gave yanukovych and his ilk until 10 a.m. on january 22 to vacate government buildings in central kyiv.

february 22

yanukovych backs out of pro-putin conference in kharkiv. over the next several days he travels to donetsk then to russia via crimea. ukrainian billionaire rinat akhmetov in donetsk reportedly urges him to formally resign.

white house february 21 statement on ukraine

kremlin readout of obama-putin february 21 chat

white house readout of obama-putin february 21 chat

february 22 video statement by yanukovch from kharkiv

february 23–24

sochi winter olympics end. putin authorizes the start of a pre-planned russian military operation to annex the crimea peninsula.

february 25–27

yanukovych appears in moscow’s ukraina hotel.

february 27

the supreme council of crimea votes to hold a referendum on the status of crimea on may 25. the date of the plebiscite is subsequently changed twice, to march 30 and finally to march 16.

march 1

the ultra-nationalist right sector’s page on russian online social networking service vkontakte shows an entry with dmytro yarosh’s alleged appeal to dokka umarov, a chechen militant guerrilla leader associated with al-qaeda, to support ukraine. the message (which yarosh said he did not author) calls on umarov ‘to act against russia.’

supreme council of crimea delays holding referendum on status of crimea until march 30.

march 2

according to the kremlin president vladimir putin told german chancellor angela merkel in a telephone conversation that russian citizens and russian-speakers in ukraine face an “unflagging” threat from ultra-nationalists, and that the measures moscow has taken were completely fitting given the “extraordinary situation.”

the new york times writes on march 2 in the sunday edition:

“chancellor angela merkel of germany told mr. obama by telephone on sunday that after speaking with mr. putin she was not sure he was in touch with reality, people briefed on the call said. “in another world,” she said.”

acting ukrainian president oleksandr turchynov appoints billionaire ihor kolomoisky as dnipropetrovsk regional governor

march 3

ukrainian billionaire igor kolomoisky describes russia’s president vladimir putin as a “schizophrenic of short stature” for putting russia and ukraine on the verge of war. “i don’t understand how ukrainians and russians can fight,” he says in a video uploaded to the internet. ((

march 4

russian president vladimir putin describes kolomoisky as a “unique crook,” and says that the citizens of dnipropetrovsk are not happy with his appointment as governor of dnipropetrovsk region.

“he [kolomoisky] even managed to cheat our roman abramovich two or three years ago. scammed him, as our intellectuals like to say. they signed some deal, abramovich transferred several billion dollars, while this guy never delivered and pocketed the money. when i asked him [abramovich]: “why did you do it?” he said: “i never thought this was possible.”

march 5

russia puts ukraine right sector leader dmytro yarosh on the international wanted list for promoting terrorism.

march 6

the supreme council of crimea changes the date of the referendum from march 30 to march 16, and changes the choice for the referendum from “greater autonomy” to “accession to the russian federation.”

march 16

russia today files a report quoting right sector dmytro yarosh saying:

“we cannot allow the enemy to carry out a blitzkrieg attack on ukrainian territory. we mustn’t forget that russia makes money sending its oil through our pipelines to the west. we will destroy these pipelines and deprive our enemy of its source of income.”

march 18

kremlin formalizes illegal crimea annexation.