Ukraine Moves Against Separatists
Ukraine unleashed an offensive to dislodge pro-Russian militants from cities in the eastern Donetsk region as the authorities in the capital Kiev said Russian special forces were identified among the anti-government groups.
Ukraine’s acting President Oleksandr Turchynov has accused Russia of sending special forces to seize buildings in the country’s east. Russia, which NATO says has 40,000 troops amassed on Ukraine’s border, denies involvement.
Crimean Discord Reflects a Broader Divide
The cultural and political divide within Ukraine reflect the country’s shifting borders. Much of western Ukraine, where Ukrainian is the predominant language and culture, once was part of Poland, and voters there support officials who align themselves with the European Union. Eastern provinces have stronger social and economic ties to Moscow, and Russian is the predominant language in much of the area. The region supports politicians such as recently ousted President Viktor Yanukovych, who have closer ties to Russia.
Predominant nationality by province, 2001 national census
2010 Ukrainian presidential election results, by province
Source: Bloomberg reporting, Ukraine Central Election Commission, 2001 Ukraine nation census
GRAPHIC: BLOOMBERG VISUAL DATA