Ukraine since 1994
In 1994, the non-proliferation treaty was also ratified and Ukraine renounced its status of nuclear power, transferring its nuclear weapons to Russia. According to usprivateschoolsfinder, the internal difficulties were greater, with continuous clashes over economic policy: a tug-of-war in Parliament over tax reform and cuts in social spending led to repeated changes of government, while the privatization of thousands of state-owned companies often took place in an obscure way., rewarding ambiguous characters and fueling the corruption of state officials and leaders. In the presidential elections of November 1999, Kučma was re-elected, but the subsequent legislative elections of March 2002 showed a strong advance of the opposition, with the liberal coalition led by Viktor Juščenko. Kučma, with the support of numerous independent deputies, maintained control of the government, but his regime became more and more contested and the protagonist of scandals, financial and political, including the mysterious killing of an opposition journalist, V. Gongadze, of which Kučma was accused of being the instigator. Ukraine joined the US-led coalition in the war against Iraq, sending a contingent of soldiers. The presidential elections of November 2004 were won in the ballot by the pro-Russian candidate, Viktor Yanukovič. This result, however, was suspended by the so-called “Orange Revolution”: immediately after the election results the opposition took to the streets denouncing fraud and was supported by observers of the OSCE and US and EU governments, who made it known that they did not recognize the outcome of the vote. After days of tension with the country divided into two opposing blocs, with threats of secession by the pro-Russians, the decision of the Supreme Court was reached to repeat the ballot on December 26th. Opposition leader V. Juščenko then asserted himself, announcing a pro-Western policy marked by liberalism and appointing Julija Tymoshenko as premier. After a few months, while the economy suffered a strong slowdown and relations with Moscow became increasingly tense, the new political structure was also in crisis: the political conflicts between president and prime minister led to the fall of the government of J. Tymoshenko, replaced by I. Yekhanurov.
In the legislative elections of March 2006, the Party of Regions led by Viktor Yanukovič’s pro-Russian obtained a majority, but not enough to form a stable government. The alliance of the “Orange Revolution” of 2004 was regrouped and the president instructed Tymoshenko to form a new coalition government. In July, a turnaround in the ruling coalition led Aleksandr Moroz, leader of the Socialist Party to ally himself with Yanukovič and the Communists, nominating Yanukovič himself for the premier. who received the post from President Juščenko. The situation worsened in April 2007 when, after the defection of some parliamentarians who had passed from the opposition to the ranks of the majority, Yushchenko dissolved the Parliament. Early elections were held in October, won by Yanukovič’s party with 34% of the votes, followed by Tymošenko with 31%, who, in December, was named prime minister. In 2008, President Juščenko signed the country’s accession agreement to the WTO, after 14 years of negotiations, while in February 2010 the presidential elections were held between V. Yanukovič and Prime Minister Tymošenko, won in the ballot by the pro-Russian candidate with 48.9% of the votes. In March, a new government was launched led by Mykola Azarov, leader of the Party of Regions (PR). In April, the government reached an agreement with Russia to extend the lease of the naval base in Sevastopol to the Russian navy by 25 years until 2017. In October 2012, political elections were held in a climate of tension; the two political formations that obtained the most votes were the party linked to President Yanukovič and the opposition coalition Patria. In 2013 the president abandoned the association agreement with the European Union and pro-European opposition was beginning to demonstrate in the streets of the capital; in January 2014 despite a series of anti-protest measures launched by the government, street protests continued, with several deaths and injuries among the demonstrators. At the end of February, the president left Kiev and the opposition appointed a government ad interim, but the situation worsened in the east and south of the country with a pro-Russian majority. The most serious situation was recorded in Crimea, due to the presence of the Russian navy bases and the choice of Russian President Putin to send soldiers to defend the Russian-speaking population. In March, after a referendum, not authorized by the government, Crimea and Sevastopol unilaterally proclaimed their annexation to the Russian Federation. In the following weeks, the situation continued to become more complicated in the eastern and southern part of the country as well. Groups of separatists went into action in Donetsk, Sloviansk and other cities, clashing with the Ukrainian army, while in Odessa There were very high tensions among the population, especially after a fire, which caused the death of dozens of pro-Russian demonstrators. In July, a Malaysia Airline plane bound for Kuala Lumpur was shot down by a missile in an area of eastern Ukraine, killing 298 passengers. The government accused the pro-Russian separatists and a direct involvement of Russia, which in turn denied any responsibility.