Ukraine’s anti-Russian sentiment is likely to remain strong for the foreseeable future. But the country will also look to NATO and the EU as its primary security partners. A change in Russian policy could help alleviate this antipathy, but the Kremlin has not indicated any intention of settling the conflict in the Donbass region. And the disputed issue of Crimea would still be a major hurdle to normalization.
Ukraine is rich in natural resources. It has high concentrations of iron ore, manganese, natural gas, oil, petroleum, salt, sulfur, graphite, magnesium, and bauxite. Several of the large rivers are navigable. Several are used for hydroelectric projects. The Dnieper and Dniester are major rivers in the country.
Ukraine has a varied landscape, with numerous mountains. These range in elevation from about 2,000 feet to as high as 6,500 feet. Mount Hoverla, a massif in eastern Ukraine, is the highest point in Ukraine. Other regions of the country have low uplands, and most areas of the country are flat.
Before the Soviet Union was formed, Ukraine was part of the Kievan Rus’ state. This empire was a federation of principalities, and Kiev was its capital. However, as it developed into a more divided state, it was conquered by Poland in the early 14th century. The Russians were hoping to make Ukraine a member of their Eurasian Economic Union, but China has surpassed Russia in trade with the country.
After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Ukraine faced many difficult issues with Russia. Issues included the division of the Black Sea Fleet and the resolution of energy debts. During the Cold War, Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union, but the country remained close to its archrival. A number of tributaries and major rivers flow through the country.
Gender discrimination in Ukraine is widespread and pervasive. The traditional patriarchal views are reinforced by the media and school curriculum. The armed conflict in eastern Ukraine has deepened these stereotypes and limited the role of women in conflict resolution. The Government and its development partners persistently underinvest in gender equality and programs that aim to strengthen women’s role in peace and governance.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine marked a dramatic escalation of violence and a turning point in European security. Many analysts called Russia’s invasion a major strategic blunder that threatened the Russian government’s long-term rule in the region. And despite the international community’s support for Ukraine, the Russians have used their veto to defend their assault.
The Ukrainian-Russian conflict is deeply rooted in competing interpretations of history. Russian officials have used historical arguments to justify their annexation of Crimea. They have distorted the historical significance of Crimea and overstated its historic links with Russia. This has also shaped Russia’s policies towards Ukraine.