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Adopted from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ukrainian_crisis
 
A prolonged crisis in Ukraine began on 21 November 2013, when then president Viktor Yanukovych suspended preparations for the implementation of an association agreement with the European Union. This decision resulted in mass protests by its opponents, known as the "Euromaidan". After months of such protests, Yanukovych was ousted by the protesters on 22 February 2014, when he fled the Ukrainian capital city of Kiev. Following his ousting, unrest enveloped the largely Russophone eastern and southern regions of Ukraine, from where he had drawn most of his supprt.


 
An ensuing political crisis in Ukrainian autonomous region of Crimea resulted in the annexation of Crimea by Russia on 18 March. Subsequently, unrest in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts of Ukraine evolved into a war between the post-revolutionary Ukrainian government and pro-Russian insurgents.
 
The crisis has had many effects, both domestic and international. According to an October 2014 estimate by the World Bank, the economy of Ukraine contracted by 8% during the year 2014 as a result of the crisis. Economic sanctions imposed on Russia by western nations contributed to the collapse in value of the Russian rouble, and the resulting Russian financial crisis.
 
 
From the beginning of March 2014, demonstrations by pro-Russian and anti-government groups took place in the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts of Ukraine, together commonly called the "Donbass", in the aftermath of the 2014 Ukrainian revolution and the Euromaidan movement. These demonstrations, which followed the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, and which were part of a wider group of concurrent pro-Russian protests across southern and eastern Ukraine, escalated into an armed conflict between the separatist forces of the self-declared Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics (DPR and LPR respectively), and the Ukrainian government. Prior to a change of the top leadership in August, the separatists were largely led by Russian citizens. Russian paramilitaries are reported to make up from 15% to 80% of the combatants. 

 
 
Between 22 and 25 August, Russian artillery, personnel, and what Russia called a "humanitarian convoy" were reported to have crossed the border into Ukrainian territory without the permission of the Ukrainian government. Crossings were reported to have occurred both in areas under the control of pro-Russian forces and areas that were not under their control, such as the south-eastern part of Donetsk Oblast, near Novoazovsk. These events followed the reported shelling of Ukrainian positions from the Russian side of the border over the course of the preceding month.
 
Head of the Security Service of Ukraine Valentyn Nalyvaichenko said that the events of 22 August were a "direct invasion by Russia of Ukraine". Western and Ukrainian officials described these events as a "stealth invasion" of Ukraine by Russia. As a result of this, DPR and LPR insurgents regained much of the territory they had lost during the preceding government military offensive. A deal to establish a ceasefire, called the Minsk Protocol, was signed on 5 September 2014. Violations of the ceasefire on both sides are common, but it has held nonetheless. Amidst the solidification of the line between insurgent and Ukrainian territory during the ceasefire, warlords took control of swathes of land on the insurgent side, leading to further destabilisation.
The crisis has had many effects, both domestic and international. According to an October 2014 estimate by the World Bank, the economy of Ukraine contracted by 8% during the year 2014 as a result of the crisis. Economic sanctions imposed on Russia by western nations contributed to the collapse in value of the Russian rouble, and the resulting Russian financial crisis.
 
The war in Donbass caused a coal shortage in Ukraine, as the Donbass region had been the chief source of coal for power stations across the country. Furthermore, Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Station was forced to shut down one of its reactors after an accident. The combination of these two problems led to rolling blackouts across Ukraine during December 2014.