Ukraine. March 2014
Euromaidan, the wave of demonstrations in support of stronger ties to the West that swept through Kiev in 2014, were met with counter protests in Moscow. As violence wracked the capital Kiev, the predominantly Russian speaking Crimea agitated to leave Ukraine and join Russia. Russian forces, without identifying insignia, made sure the referendum went their way.
Crimea’s vote for independence and quick entry into the Russian Federation was the blueprint for the eastern Donetsk region’s attempted secession.
Ukraine became a proxy playground where the West and Russia vied for political sway in the former USSR. That attempt has seen Russian and Ukrainian forces in combat and a truce appears shaky.