The Situation in Ukraine (As Told By GIFs)

You may have heard that there's some serious sh*t going down in Ukraine. Something about Russia invading, and that we should be concerned? It's a complex, deeply rooted conflict that exists in Ukraine, that most definitely cannot be articulated in one article. But, it's important, and we should probably know what's going on over there. So, we'll break it down for you:

Ukraine had been working toward closer ties with the European Union. The majority of Ukrainian citizens liked this.

And way back in November 2013, Ukranian President Yanukovych decides to put off signing an agreement with the EU – he instead turns to increase relations with Moscow.

Ukrainians protest, because they don't want closer relations with Moscow.

The protests expand. By December 1, they’ve seized the City Hall in Kiev, the capital, and by late February up to 70 people are killed, and over 500 injured:

On January 28, the Prime Minister Mykola Azarov resigns.

And on February 22, after a political coup takes over, President Yanukovych flees the country. To go to Russia.

On February 26, Russian President Vladimir Putin casually orders military exercises in western Russia…next to the Ukrainian border. You know, that land that was once part of the Soviet Union. Not far from those now-NATO Baltic states…

On March 1, unmarked Russian troops take position in two Crimean airports. And the next day, they surround a Crimean military base.

Soon 11,000 Russian troops control the Crimean peninsula, a region in southern Ukraine.

Obama warns Putin there will be costs, like freezing assets, banning visas, and halting business practices with Russia.

To which Putin essentially says, “pshhh.

Putin argues that the 60% ethnically Russian citizens of Crimea "cannot be ignored" by Russia. In fact, 58% of citizens in Crimea call themselves Russian, though only 35% endorse independence and 29% would support joining another "state" (according to The Washington Post).

But what about the other 36%?

On March 6, the pro-Russia Parliament in Crimea *secretly* voted to join Russia.

So Russia’s scheduled a public referendum to be held on March 16, so citizens of Crimea can vote whether or not they want to join Russia…because referendums are most effective when there’s a strong military presence all around you and the political leaders have ultimately made the decision already.

What will happen? The world will try to play its best hand at foreign politics, but likely, and ultimately, we will sit idly by and let Russia claim back what it says belongs to it.

Stay informed and see how Ukraine will unfold next, Collegiettes.