"After a failed effort to violently disperse pro-European Union protests, the government of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych collapsed on February 21, 2014. The Ukrainian parliament approved a new pro-reform, pro-Western government on February 27. Russia has condemned the new government in Kyiv as illegitimate and responded by sending troops to seize Ukraine's Crimea region. Ignoring international condemnation, Russia annexed Crimea on March 18. In April and May 2014, armed men seized government buildings in several cities in eastern Ukraine, mainly in the Donbas region. On May 11, the separatists held 'referendums' on self-rule, after which they proclaimed their independence from Ukraine. U.S. and Ukrainian officials charge that Russian intelligence officers in Ukraine are coordinating the unrest and note that the separatists have received men and equipment from Russia. On May 25, Petro Poroshenko, a pr-Western billionaire businessman, was elected as President of Ukraine."
CRS Report for Congress, RL33460
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