History Happens Every Day
What’s happening in Ukraine has a large number of global implications, which is why the world is watching this conflict so closely, more so than some others that are equally devastating around the world.
For me, it is personal, I have family there. My Mum is first generation Australian with my grandfather migrating from Ukraine to Australia when he was 11 years old in 1950.
Every day we hear stories and news of the war but it is hard to keep up with everything and know what is truth compared to opinion. For this reason I've tried to simplify some of the major incidents and events and track the course of the conflict as well as tried to understand how we've ended up here.
This page is regularly updated with new content.
Understanding the History of Ukraine
As a student of history, I know that nothing happens sporadically, it is caused by a series of events and in this case the history of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union is a complicated when it comes to the Ukraine. As a nation Ukraine has only existed for 30 years. This raises so many questions!
Understanding the Regions at the Centre of the Conflict
The three main areas of Ukraine in question prior to the start of the 2022 war were Crimea, Donetsk and Luhansk (the later two better known as the Donbas). The later two being whose sovereignty Russian President Putin recognised back in February 2022. The 2022 war has now grown beyond these regions.
The Origins of the Ukrainian Nation: The Cossack State
While Kiev itself dates to around the tenth century, the Kievan Rus (a large federation of North-Eastern Europe) incorporating Kiev, Chernihiv and Pereiaslav dates to slightly afterwards. These settlers were of Scandinavian and other Viking origin. What is interesting about the Kiev Rus is that Russia also draws much of its origins from this historical movement.