Crimean Crisis

The Crisis of Europe

Europe 2014.0318

Crimean Crisis

Eurozone crisis (18 March 2014)

Historical Map of Europe & the Mediterranean

The Eurozone crisis had only partially subsided by 2014, when a pro-European revolution toppled the pro-Russian government of Ukraine. Russia responded by massing troops on the Ukrainian border and supporting the accession of the Ukrainian republic of Crimea to the Russian Federation. The US and its allies moved to support Ukraine by imposing sanctions on Russia.

Main Events

Syrian Civil War

The 2003-11 Iraq War had caused 1.5 million refugees to enter Syria. This, in addition to a severe drought in the Syrian countryside, dramatically increased public disapproval of President Bashar al-Assad. Protests against Assad inspired by the Arab Spring were violently suppressed until several military officers defected to form the Free Syrian Army, officially igniting civil war.

Battle of Sirte

The National Liberation Army attacked the last remnants of the Libyan Army still loyal to dictator Muammar Gaddafi in his hometown and designated capital of Sirte. After a month of fighting, the NLA finally broke through and captured the city. Gaddafi, already wounded, was captured and killed as he attempted to flee, bringing the Libyan Civil War to an end.

2013 enlargement of the European Union

Croatia acceded to the European Union on 1 July 2013.

Anbar campaign

The Iraqi government's arrest of Sunni MP Ahmed al-Alwani, part of its crackdown on tribal militias, led to conflict with his relatives from the Dulaim tribe in Anbar province. When the Iraqi Army withdrew to cool the situation on 31 December, tribal militants took over in Fallujah, Karma, and much of Ramadi. They were soon joined by militants from Daesh (the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, or ISIL), who allied with some of the Dulaimi tribal militias.


The Orange Revolution of 2004-05 had failed to stop Russia from interfering in Ukrainian politics. In 2011, pro-Russian Prime Minister Victor Yanukovych took power and imprisoned former pro-Western Prime Minster Yulia Tymoshenko. Growing isolation from Europe sparked protests in Kiev that led to the collapse of the Yanukovych government in February 2014.

Crimean Crisis

Having been forced from office by the Euromaidan, former Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych fled to Russia, seeking assistance from President Vladimir Putin. Putin was convinced to seize control of the historically Russian peninsula of Crimea, sending in unmarked special forces ("Little Green Men") several days later.

Russia admits Republic of Crimea into Russian Federation

Following the Russian invasion, Crimea declared independence from Ukraine, being annexed by Russia seven days later.

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