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Best rated Ukraine hoodies online unity shop? The European Commission on Friday issued an opinion recommending that Ukraine should be granted candidate status for European Union membership – a first step that will add significant momentum to the country’s campaign to join the bloc. “Ukrainians are ready to die for the European perspective,” European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said. “We want them to live with us the European dream.” While the recommendation boosts Ukraine’s campaign to join the bloc, it does not confer membership or candidate status. To move forward, all 27 member states must agree. Even if they do, full membership could be many years away. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky welcomed the “historic decision” and said the “positive” first step on his country’s “E.U. membership path,” would bring “victory closer” to Ukraine. See extra Ukraine aid information on Ukraine T-Shirts.

February 2015: The Minsk group meets again in Belarus to find a more successful agreement to end the fighting in eastern Ukraine, resulting in the Minsk II agreement. It too has been unsuccessful at ending the violence. From 2014 through today, more than 14,000 people have been killed, tens of thousands wounded and more than a million displaced. Together, the annexation of Crimea and the Russian-backed violence in the east have pushed Ukrainian public sentiment toward the West, strengthening interest in joining NATO and the EU. 2016 and 2017: As fighting in the Donbas continues, Russia repeatedly strikes at Ukraine in a series of cyberattacks, including a 2016 attack on Kyiv’s power grid that causes a major blackout. In 2017, a large-scale assault affects key Ukrainian infrastructure, including the National Bank of Ukraine and the country’s electrical grid. (Cyberattacks from Russia have continued through the present; the latest major attack targeted government websites in January 2022.)

May 25: Eduard Basurin, deputy head of the militia of the Russia-backed Donetsk People’s Republic, says Russia is for now abandoning the larger strategy of surrounding all of Ukraine’s forces in the east with a grand pincer movement, instead focusing on piecemeal isolations. Zelenskyy blasts former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger for suggesting that Ukraine surrender land to Russia. He likens it to the policy of appeasement in the 1930s. May 26: Russian forces continue a slow encirclement of Severdonetsk, and are reportedly in possession of the northeastern portion of the city. Ukrainian Deputy Defence Minister Anna Malyar says “fighting has reached its maximum intensity. The enemy is storming the positions of our troops in several directions simultaneously”.

In 10 years as president, Leonid Kuchma helps transition Ukraine from a Soviet republic to a capitalist society, privatizing businesses and working to improve international economic opportunities. But in 2000, his presidency is rocked by scandal over audio recordings that reveal he ordered the death of a journalist. He remains in power about four more years. The presidential election pits Kuchma’s incumbent party — led by his hand-picked successor, Viktor Yanukovych, and supported by Russian President Vladimir Putin — against a popular pro-democracy opposition leader, Viktor Yushchenko. In the final months of the campaign, Yushchenko falls mysteriously ill, is disfigured and is confirmed by doctors to have been poisoned. Yanukovych wins the election amid accusations of rigging. Massive protests follow, and the public outcry becomes known as the Orange Revolution. After a third vote, Yushchenko prevails.

Here is a timeline of the developments: February 21: Russian President Vladimir Putin orders troops into the regions of Luhansk and Donetsk, and recognises them as independent states. February 22: The Russian parliament authorises Putin to use military force. The United States places full blocking sanctions on the Kremlin-controlled VEB bank and PSB bank. Germany immediately halts the process of certifying the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. February 23: The European Union freezes the assets of 351 Duma members. Discover additional Ukraine aid details on Ukraine Caps.