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A chronology of key events

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1917 - Central Rada (Council) set up in Kiev following collapse of Russian Empire. 1918 - Ukraine declares independence: Ukrainian People’s Republic set up. Numerous rival governments vie for control for some or all of Ukraine during ensuing civil war. 1921 - Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic established as Russian Red Army conquers two-thirds of Ukraine. Western third becomes part of independent Poland. 1932 - Approximately 7 million peasants perish in man-made famine during Stalin’s collectivisation campaign.

Cover Stories | Ali Bahaijoub | 26 February 2015 | Hits: 0

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Winning territory by force

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Diplomats have warned that unless the West stand up to Russia over Ukraine, Europe could descend into a major war for the first time since 1945, writes Franklin Adesegha So far, the death toll from the Ukraine conflict stands at 50,000, according to Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung newspaper. The newspaper said that German intelligence estimated that the figure is nearly 10 times higher than Kiev’s estimate. “The official figures are clearly too low and not credible,” a source said. Former US ambassador to Ukraine John Herbst recently outlined the worst-case scenario facing Europe pointing out that it was time to send military help to Ukraine.

Cover Stories | Franklin Adesegha | 26 February 2015 | Hits: 0

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Rival agenda at Ukraine talks

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Ukraine: Restore government authority over breakaway areas, though Donetsk and Luhansk regions could get greater self-rule; disarm rebel forces; withdrawal of Russian troops; restore Kiev’s control over Ukraine-Russia border; full prisoner exchange. Pro-Russian rebels: Separation from rest of Ukraine and recognition of “people’s republics” of Donetsk and Luhansk; no disarmament of separatist forces; amnesty for separatist leaders.

Cover Stories | NorthSouth | 26 February 2015 | Hits: 0

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Ukraine: Is there solution in sight?

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The emergence of the Ukraine as an independent country and its subsequent absorption in the Russian Empire took place over the 9th to the 13th centuries as part of Kievan Rus and from the 15th to the 18th centuries it was, in part, a Cossack Khanate. As the Russian empire expanded during the 18th century so the Ottoman Empire contracted and the region was subject to the aggressive move southwards of Poland and Lithuania. Early in the 17th century the Cossacks rose against the Poles. Steady Russian pressure brought it to the Black sea and in 1773 Russia annexed the Crimea.

Cover Stories | Guy Arnold | 26 February 2015 | Hits: 0

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Angela Merkel’s prominent role in European politics

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The German Chancellor, Angel Merkel, is the leading and most influential political figure in the European Union (EU). Working in collaboration with President Hollande of France she has made strenuous efforts to persuade President Vladimir Putin of Russia to bring about a ceasefire in the Ukraine. The fact that fighting has continued in Eastern Ukraine after the deadline had passed has not altered the impact she has made. Under her leadership the EU has demonstrated its determination to develop its own foreign policy.

Cover Stories | Guy Arnold | 26 February 2015 | Hits: 0

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Ukraine suspends currency and faces gas supply cuts

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The Ukrainian military said it was still too early for it to begin withdrawing its own heavy guns. But its acknowledgement that most of the front was quiet suggests it too could push ahead with implementing a truce that had appeared stillborn when the rebels ignored it to launch a major advance sooner after it entered into force. The cautious good news from the front has come amid dire economic consequences for a country teetering on bankruptcy.

Cover Stories | Ali Bahaijoub | 26 February 2015 | Hits: 0

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Ukraine ceasefire: New Minsk agreement key points

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Marathon peace negotiations have resulted in a new ceasefire deal for eastern Ukraine in the Belarusian capital Minsk. The 16-hour talks last month went on through the night, between Russian President Vladimir Putin, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Cover Stories | Alan Brown | 26 February 2015 | Hits: 0

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Ukraine truce appears to be holding

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The long sought-after truce appeared to be taking hold at last in east Ukraine as pro-Russian rebels pulled artillery from the front. The rebels initially spurned the Merkel-Hollande-brokered truce, due to come into effect on 15 February, insisting it did not apply to their main target, the town of Debaltseve, which they stormed four days later in one of their biggest victories of the war. The Kiev government has since accused the separatists of reinforcing their positions for a possible further assault to extend their control deeper into territory the Kremlin calls "New Russia".

Cover Stories | Ali Bahaijoub | 26 February 2015 | Hits: 0

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Yemen conflict alert: Time for compromise

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Yemen’s UN -backed transition has unravelled and the country has entered a new, highly unstable phase. On 22 January President Abed-Rabbo Mansour Hadi and the prime minister resigned after Huthi fighters seized the presidential palace and consolidated control of the capital. This has upended the troubled transition and raises the very real prospect of territorial fragmentation, economic meltdown and widespread violence if a compromise is not reached soon.

Features | Crisis Group | 1 February 2015 | Hits: 25

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Global impact of falling oil prices

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Over the past eight months, global oil prices have fallen sharply leading to significant revenue shortfalls in many energy exporting nations, writes Franklin Adesegha From 2010 until mid-2014, world oil prices had been fairly stable, at around $110 a barrel. Today, prices have more than halved with Brent crude dipping below $50 a barrel and US crude down to below $48 a barrel. Weak demand and a surge in US production are said to be partly responsible for the oil price crash. To make matters worse, oil cartel Opec has vowed not to cut production to prop up prices.

Features | Franklin Adesegha | 1 February 2015 | Hits: 29

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