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The War in Ukraine — Ukraine Since Independence (1991-Present)

A guide to better understanding the current crisis


In 1991, the Soviet Union collapsed. The Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, a constituent republic of the Soviet Union, drafted a declaration of independence, which was overwhelming supported through a popular referendum, and became recognized as an independent state in December of 1991. Since independence, Ukraine has struggled to form a stable democracy, economy, and has struggled to deal with government corruption. Additionally, it has been caught between pro-Western and pro-EU visions of the state and movements that support a pro-Russia focus. 

For further information on Ukraine's Declaration of Independence, see:

Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe. “The December 1, 1991 Referendum/Presidential Election in Ukraine.” Accessed March 8, 2022.


For a brief overview of Ukraine since independence, see: 

Minakov, Mykhailo. “Three Decades of Ukraine’s Independence.” Wilson Center, September 13, 2021.