Ever since the Ukrainian revolution in February this year, the Eastern European country has witnessed spiraling political instability and bloodshed.
Former President Viktor Yanukovich, a Kremlin ally, was driven out by demonstrators in the city’s Independence Square after he refused to sign a political and trade accord with the European Union, which would have brought Ukraine closer to the West.
So far, the conflict has led to the annexation of Crimea by Russia, 2,593 civilian deaths — not including the 298 victims onboard when Malaysia Airlines flight 17 was shot down by an antiaircraft missile — and more than 730,000 kicked out of their homes, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Many cities eastern cities, such as Donetsk and Luhansk, where the majority of fighting is taking place, are heavily damaged.
The conflict has also led to the most wide-sweeping Western economic sanctions against Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union.
Below are five must-read Reuters opinion pieces to help you understand this conflict’s origins and its consequences: