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Yearbook 2017

Ukraine. The fighting between Ukrainian military and Prorussian separatists in eastern Ukraine escalated in January. According to, many people were killed and the electricity supply was knocked out in the industrial city of Avdiivka in severe winter cold. President Petro Poroshenko canceled a visit to Berlin and returned home for a crisis meeting. According to the UN, the ceasefire was broken almost every day, and the number of casualties rose in the spring. In three years, over 10,000 people had been killed. A quarter of the victims were civilians. About 24,000 people had been injured.

2017 Ukraine

Poroshenko planned a referendum on Ukrainian membership in NATO, after investigations showed a majority for NATO membership. Parliament voted during the year for Ukraine to apply for membership, and Poroshenko hoped that the country would meet the requirements for 2020. NATO Secretary General visited Kiev, and it was decided to work together on a so-called roadmap for Ukraine's path to NATO membership.

In February, Ukraine's security service accused the Russian Federation of cyberattacks against, among other things, the Ukrainian electricity grid.

In fighting in February, some thirty people were killed. The parties agreed on a new ceasefire in the presence of the contact group with the Foreign Ministers of Ukraine, Germany, France and the Russian Federation.

A former Russian MP criticizing the Russian annexation of Crimea was murdered in Kiev in March. The Ukrainian government accused Moscow of being behind the act against Denis Voronenkov, who was granted asylum in Ukraine.

Ukraine sued the Russian Federation before the International Court of The Hague (ICJ) at the beginning of the year on charges of supporting terrorism through financial aid to the Prorian militias that killed civilians and shot down a Malaysian passenger plane in 2014. In April, the court declared that it could not prove Russian financing. But Ukraine got right in its demand for an end to Russian discrimination against minorities in Crimea. The Court would continue to investigate the Russian Federation's debt to the war in Ukraine.

The central bank's reputable head Valeria Gontareva resigned in May. Gontareva, which was cleared up in one of Europe's most corrupt banking systems, had been subjected to threats and pressures from powerful oligarchs and feared for its security. In a disintegrating economy, Gontareva had pushed through economic reforms that opened for an IMF-led $ 17.5 billion aid package to Ukraine.

In May, former President Viktor Yanukovych was indicted in his absence for, among other things, treason by supporting the Russian Federation's attack on Ukraine.

In May, the EU decided on visa waivers for Ukrainian citizens to the EU Member States - Britain and Ireland excluded. The decision came into force in June and was celebrated with festivities in Kiev.

When the Eurovision Slag Finals were held in Kiev in May, the mood of fighting with civilian casualties in eastern Ukraine was disturbed. President Poroshenko canceled his presence at the festival.

In May, Ukraine decided to block access to the most widely used Russian social media on the Internet. The ban is valid for three years. The closure mainly affected the people of eastern Ukraine and received criticism from human rights organizations for violating freedom of expression.

In July, the EU approved its previously so contentious cooperation agreement with Ukraine. It happened before a summit in Kiev between EU leaders and President Poroshenko. The agreement includes political and economic cooperation, and the Kiev government hopes it will lead to future EU membership for Ukraine. The agreement entered into force on September 1.

Georgia's former President Micheil Saakashvili was deprived of his Ukrainian citizenship in July. He was charged with false information in connection with being granted citizenship in 2015. But in September, Saakashvili moved into Ukraine across the border from Poland during a riot, when hundreds of his followers crowded police and border guards.

Ukraine extradited two Russian journalists in August, one of them a TV reporter who was accused of anti-Ukrainian propaganda when reporting from eastern Ukraine. The decision was condemned by the OSCE cooperation organization. Two journalists from Spain were also declared unwanted.

In September, the president approved a new law that all school education from grade 5 should be in Ukrainian from 2020. Minority languages may only be studied as an option. Neighboring countries such as the Russian Federation and Romania protested.

Thousands of people demonstrated in Kiev against President Poroshenko in October, demanding tougher measures against corruption. One of the speakers was Micheil Saakashvili, who demanded Poroshenko's departure. Following the protests, Poroshenko promised a special court against corruption.

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