Ukraine, a former Soviet republic, has been an independent country since 1991. Nevertheless, Russia still considers Ukraine as part of its sphere of influence.
On November 21, 2013, Euromaidan started in Kyiv, Ukraine. It was a wave of protests in Ukraine sparked by the country’s decision to choose closer ties to Russia and the Eurasian Economic Union instead of signing the European Union-Ukraine Association Agreement.
In February 2014, armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine started. It was centered on the status of Crimea and parts of the Donbas, which are both internationally recognized as parts of Ukraine.
Russia vs Ukraine
As ordered by Vladimir Putin, 69, Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022. Via the border in Belarus, Russian tanks entered Ukraine.
Because of the attack, Putin’s Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskyy, 44, declared martial law throughout Ukraine. Amid the ongoing conflict, the Czech Republic, Moldova, Poland and the United Kingdom closed their airspace to Russian airlines.
Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Romania later followed suit. On February 26, 2022, Lithuanian transport minister Marius Skuodis announced, “Lithuania is joining Latvia and Estonia in banning Russian aircraft from its airspace.”
Aeroflot, the flag carrier and the largest airline of Russia, is headquartered in Moscow, Russia. Excluding codeshared services, the airline was allowed to fly to 146 destinations in 52 countries prior to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict.
Founded on February 3, 1923, Aeroflot is one of the oldest active airlines in the world. As of March 2020, the Russian government owns 51 percent of the airline.
NATO and the UN
The Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and the UK are among the 30 member states of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) while Belarus, Moldova, Ukraine and Russia are not. All of these 11 countries are among the 193 sovereign state members of the United Nations.
Headquartered in Manhattan, New York City, New York, United States, the U.N. was established after the World War II. Currently, the intergovernmental organization has two observer states, which are the Holy See and the State of Palestine.
Formed on April 9, 1949, NATO is headquartered in Brussels, Belgium. All members of the intergovernmental alliance are in Europe except Canada and the U.S.