With a 24-hour news cycle, it is often the case that news from weeks in the past is easily forgotten. When there is an ongoing crisis, it is important to remember the underlying problems and causes that led us to where we are today. Below is a timeline of important events that occurred leading up to the Russian annexation of Crimea on Tuesday of this week.

 

Nov. 21: The government of Ukraine under then-President Viktor Yanukovych suddenly announces that it will no longer be signing the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) intended to strengthen trade and cooperation with the European Union (EU). Instead, it will be strengthening its ties with Russia. By nighttime, about 2,000 protesters had organized in the Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square).

 

Nov. 24: Three days later, nearly 100,000 Ukrainians protest the government’s failure to create closer ties to the EU.

 

Nov. 25: Imprisoned former Prime Minister of Ukraine, Yulia Tymoshenko, begins a hunger strike.

 

Nov. 29: On the day of the planned signing of the DCFTA, Yanukovich fails to sign the document at the EU Summit in Vilnius, Lithuania. Protests surge, and a “human chain” linking Ukraine to Poland is made to symbolize the Ukrainian-EU bond.

 

Nov. 30: Ukrainian police break up the protest in Maidan Nezalezhnosti by force, injuring over 70 civilians in the process. Ukrainian citizens begin forming anti-government units preparing for more force.

 

Dec. 1A protest of greater than 300,000 takes place in multiple locations in Kiev. Journalists were purposely injured, and their equipment broken. By the end of the day, protesters seized City Hall.

 

Dec. 6A meeting occurs between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich in Sochi, Russia. This meeting was previously unannounced.

 

Dec. 8:  The largest protest yet, billed the “March of a Million” by opposition leaders. Lenin statue toppled and dismantled.

 

Dec. 15: The EU and Ukraine suspend talks on the trade agreement. Protests continue.

 

Dec. 17: Putin and Yanukovich meet again, and strike a deal: Russia will buy $15 billion of Ukrainian bonds and lower imported gas prices by a third. In return, Ukraine grants Russia the Kerch Peninsula, a piece of Crimea.

 

Dec. 24: Ukraine receives the first $3 billion from the deal on December 17.

 

Jan. 1 – 15: Protests continue escalating, with higher turnout and more violent clashes between protesters and police.

 

Jan. 15: Courts in Ukraine ban protesting in central Kiev.

 

Jan. 17: Yanukovich signs a bill banning all anti-government protests.

 

Jan. 22: Protests continue despite the ban, and the first three protesters are killed.

 

Jan. 24: President Yanukovich announces that he will be taking steps to remove the anti-protest laws and try to resolve the conflict peacefully.

 

Jan. 28: The Prime Minister of Ukraine resigns, and nine of the 12 anti-protest bills are repealed.

 

Feb. 6A phone call between US diplomats regarding Ukraine is leaked, and Washington blames Russia. Russia in turn calls on Washington for meddling in Ukraine.

 

Feb. 16: In return for releasing all of the jailed protesters, opposition activists end their occupation of City Hall.

 

Feb. 18 – 20: Nearly 50 more protesters are killed, and European Foreign Ministers step in.

 

Feb. 22: President Yanukovich is impeached and flees the country. Opposition leader and former Prime Minister of Ukraine, Yulia Tymoshenko, is released from jail.

 

Feb. 24 – 26: Ousted President Yanukovich is indicted for mass murder, and the opposition fills the recently vacated seats of government. Russia refuses to acknowledge the new government and has troops ordered to stand ready for intervention. The United States government warns Russia not to intervene.

 

Feb. 27 – 28: Yanukovich reappears in Russia, and militant forces take over airports and government buildings in Crimea. These forces are Ukrainian supporters of Russia and allegedly Russian military forces.

 

March 2: United States and Russia involvement increases; unidentified military men in camouflage surround a Ukrainian military base, and Secretary of State John Kerry threatens serious repercussions to Russia; the next day, Kerry travels to Ukraine.

 

March 5: President Putin says he has no intention to fight the Ukrainian people, and UN forces are allegedly turned around by men in military outfit and told to leave the Crimean region.

 

March 6: The pro-Russian government in Crimea votes to rejoin Russia, and will put the vote to secede from Ukraine to a referendum set for March 16. President of the United States, Barack Obama. states that the referendum would be illegal and would not be regarded as legitimate. Sanctions are enacted.

 

(RelatedCrimea’s Secession Vote Escalates US-Russian Disputes)

 

March 16: The referendum in Crimea voted overwhelmingly to join Russian forces. United States and the European Union say they do not regard the referendum as legitimate.

 

March 17: President Obama and the EU place new sanctions on top Russian and Ukrainian officials who played a role in the “land grab” of Crimea. Putin officially recognizes Crimea as a sovereign and independent state.

 

(RelatedCrimea and Russia Push Annexation; US and EU Push Back)

 

March 18: Putin and Crimean leaders sign a bill to incorporate Crimea into Russia, with Sevastapol as its capital city. Shortly afterwards, a Ukrainian military officer is shot, and Ukrainian forces are given permission to shoot in self-defense.

 

March 20: Russia’s lower house of Parliament votes overwhelmingly to incorporate Crimea as a Russian state. Sanctions tighten in both directions. The upper house of Parliament will vote on the issue today, Friday, Mar. 21.

 

What do you think? Leave a message in the comments box below or tweet me @dannystevens91 with your thoughts!