Euromaidan, Ukrainian Revolution, and Crimea

The rally on European Square in Kiev, November 24, 2013
By Ivan BanduraFlickr: The rally on European Square in Kiev on Sunday, CC BY 2.0, Link

In February 2014, after months of civil unrest and public protests associated with the Euromaidan, Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych’s Party of Regions’ control of the Ukrainian government collapsed. Pro-Russian gunmen in Crimea responded with violence, taking over government buildings and holding a controversial referendum with the support of Russian forces. On March 16, 2014, following the referendum, Russia annexed Crimea. In response to Crimea and additional violence in eastern Ukraine, the US and other countries protested and imposed punitive sanctions on Russia. In July 2014, US sanctions targeted Russia’s energy, financial, and defense companies. Six more rounds of US sanctions followed from 2014-2016. In addition, the US passed the Ukraine Freedom Support Act of 2014, restricting Russian state firms from receiving western financing and technology, and providing arms and military equipment to Ukraine. Source; Wiki

As part of these US sanctions, on April 28, 2014, the US Treasury Dept. announced sanctions against seven Russian government officials and 17 entities, including against Igor Sechin, leader of Russian state-owned petroleum company Rosneft. “Sechin has shown utter loyalty to Vladimir Putin – a key component to his current standing.” Source