Ukraine: some important dates

Since the 17th century, the territory of Ukraine was dominated by the Russian Empire (eastern part), Poland and the Austro-Hungarian Empire (western part). After the victory of the October Revolution in Petrograd and thanks to the drive for self-determination in Ukraine, two state projects emerged at once: the Ukrainian People’s Republic (UNR) in 1918 and the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (Ukrainian SSR) in 1919. The UNR project, headed by the reformist wing of the Ukrainian socialists, turned out to be extremely weak and unviable. And the Ukrainian SSR became part of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in 1921.

Subsequently, the counter-revolutionary policy of Stalinism turned the USSR into a “second edition of the Russian Empire” or, in Lenin’s language, into a “prison of peoples”. The historical facts briefly mentioned are sufficient to demonstrate that the struggle of the Ukrainian people in the face of oppression stems from the past. This subject is not intended to be dealt with in detail here. The timeline below only covers some remarkable dates from 1991 to 2023, mainly from the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022.


December 1: A referendum votes for Ukrainian independence from the USSR by 92.3% of the vote.

December 21: The USSR is dissolved.


December 5: Ukraine, Russia, Belarus and the USA sign the Budapest Memorandum, according to which Ukraine gives up its nuclear weapons stockpiles and transfers them to Russia.


January 22: Russia warns that NATO expansion into Ukraine and Georgia would be seen as a military threat.


November 21, 2013 – February 22, 2014: The Euromaidan uprising occurs, reaching its highest of confrontation on February 20-21, 2014.

March 18: Russia annexes Crimea (Ukraine).

April 7: Pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine found the “Donetsk People’s Republic” and the “‘Lugansk People’s Republic”.

May-June: Ukrainian troops, mainly from the Azov Battalion, take Mariupol.

August 15: The Russian Armed Forces intervene directly in the fighting in Ukraine.

September 5: The Minsk Protocol for a ceasefire is signed.


February 12: The Minsk II package of measures is signed. Death toll up to that time is estimated at 5,400.


August: Casualties on both sides in the conflict are estimated at 10,225 dead, 24,500 wounded, nearly 10,000 prisoners and 1.6 million displaced.


November 25: Russian border guard ships shore Ukrainian navy ships.

March 8: Zelensky calls on American Jews to support him. Another attempt to evacuate civilians from Mariupol is thwarted.

March 16: Ukraine attempts to repel Russian forces approaching Kiev, with fighting in Bucha, Hostomel and Irpin. Lavrov and Zelensky state that dialogue is progressing.

March 19: Russian forces bomb an art school in Mariupol where 400 people were sheltering.

March 29: Ukrainian and Russian negotiators meet in Istanbul as fighting continues.

April 3: Ukrainian forces uncover the Bucha massacre, killing at least 20 civilians. 280 bodies are found buried in mass graves.

April 7: Zelensky asks for anti-aircraft systems, artillery, ammunition and armored fighting vehicles. Ukraine asks NATO for “arms, arms and arms”. U.S. Congress passes a bill to facilitate shipment of non-strategic weapons. The UN General Assembly expels Russia from the Human Rights Council. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov admits that Russia has suffered significant casualties.

April 8: A train station in Kramatorsk is hit by a Russian rocket attack, killing at least 52 people and injuring between 87 and 300. The EU agrees to allow Ukraine to begin the process of joining the bloc.

April 9: Putin appoints General Aleksandr Dvornikov, “the butcher of Syria,” commander of the military campaign in Ukraine. New graves with dozens of Ukrainian civilians are found in Buzova, which for weeks had been occupied by Russian forces.

April 11: A Russian ground offensive begins to encircle the bulk of the Ukrainian army in the Donbas.

April 13: Ukraine hits the Russian missile cruiser “Moskva”, flagship of the Black Sea Fleet, with two anti-cruise missiles. The mayor of Mariupol reaffirms that Russia used poison gas against Ukrainian soldiers. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe states that Russian troops committed crimes against humanity.

April 14: Russia acknowledges the sinking of its cruiser “Moskva”‘ in the Black Sea. The Ukrainian parliament calls the Russian Federation a genocidal “neo-Nazi terrorist state”. The CIA considers the possibility of Russia’s use of tactical nuclear weapons.

April 16: Conflicting reports appear on the fighting state in the city of Mariupol. Russia sends protest notes to several Western countries warning of “unimaginable consequences” if arms supply to Ukraine continue.

April 18: Zelensky announces the start of a Russian offensive in the Donbas, especially in the Kharkov, Donetsk and Lugansk oblasts (districts).

April 19: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announces the start of “the next phase of the invasion” with the aim of “the complete liberation of the Donetsk and Lugansk republics”.

April 20: According to European reports, Russia has between 10,000 and 20,000 mercenaries on the front line, consisting of Wagner Group members, Syrians and Libyans. The US increases armaments for the Ukrainian army. The Russian military conducts a first successful test of the RS-28 Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile capable of carrying nuclear warheads.

April 22: Ukrainian officials acknowledge that Russia has taken control of 42 small towns and villages in eastern Ukraine.

April 23: The port city of Odessa is shelled several times by the Russians.

April 24: Ukraine accuses Russia of forcing civilians and medical personnel in the occupied territories to serve on the front line under threat of execution.

April 26: UN Secretary-General António Guterres meets with Putin and seeks a peaceful solution. Turkish President Erdoğan offers to mediate. Putin states that negotiations will continue in online format.

April 27: Russia’s Gazprom suspends gas deliveries to Poland and Bulgaria (NATO and EU members) for refusing to pay for deliveries in rubles. The Russian army continues to attack stations, bridges and rails, killing more than 100 railway workers. Shelling of Kiev intensifies.

May 1: Russia announces that the status of Kherson is irreversible and declares the ruble as the legal tender. Russian general Andrei Simonov is killed by a Ukrainian attack. NATO begins its annual Defender Europe and Swift Response exercises in Poland and eight other Eastern European countries. About 4.5 million tons of grain are stranded in Ukrainian ports because of the Russian naval blockade.

May 9: A shopping mall and two hotels are attacked by Russian missiles in Odessa, causing multiple civilian casualties.

May 10: U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency Director Scott Berrier states both sides are “a little bit deadlocked”.

May 11: Kirill Stremousov, the deputy head of the pro-Russian administration in Kherson, states that an application will be put forward to make the region a full member of the Russian Federation.

May 12: Sauli Niinistö, President of Finland, confirms his willingness to join NATO. The Kremlin warns that this would pose a serious threat to its 1,200 km border with Russia. Sweden insists on joining NATO.

May 13: Russian attempt to cross the Donets River, begun in the early hours of May 5, fails.

May 14: Putin announces that he will cancel all gas and oil exports to Finland.

May 17: The battle for the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol ends with the surrender of the remaining Ukrainian soldiers.

May 30: The EU agrees to a new round of economic sanctions against Russia.

July 9: Pro-Russian occupation authorities in Kharkov present a new flag containing the Russian imperial double-headed eagle.

July 16: Russian defense minister orders intensified attacks on Ukrainian cities.

July 17: The UK claims that the Russian army would have lost 50,000 soldiers killed or wounded, almost 1,700 tanks and almost 4,000 combat vehicles (more than 30% of ground forces), and low morale would also be a problem for Russian soldiers.

July 18: Erdoğan threatens to freeze Finland and Sweden’s NATO membership because, according to him, both countries are in breach of the agreement established at the NATO Summit in Madrid on counter-terrorism and cessation of support for Turkish Kurdistan fighters.

July 22: Russia, Ukraine and Turkey sign an agreement in Istanbul to unblock the export of Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea.

August 1: US announces its 17th aid package to Ukraine, valued at $550 million, including about 75,000 munitions (155 mm and HIMARS missile launchers).

August 2: Russian troops continue their ground attacks in battles for the town of Bajmut.

August 5: According to the British Ministry of Defense the war enters a “new phase”, with the movement of Russian troops from Crimea to the Zaporiyia-Kherson line along the Dnieper River. Ukraine and Russia accuse each other of the shelling of the Zaporiyia nuclear power plant which forced the shutdown of a reactor.

August 6: Rafael Grossi, secretary general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, warns of the risk of a “nuclear disaster” in Zaporiyia.

August 8: Biden announces a new $1 billion military aid package to Ukraine. The World Bank grants $4.5 billion in U.S.-funded financial assistance to Ukraine.

August 20: A bomb planted in her car kills Daria Duguin, daughter of Russian nationalist philosopher Aleksandr Duguin, “Putin’s Rasputin”, one of his main ideologues.

August 29: Ukraine announces the start of an offensive to recapture Kherson.

September 8: Ukraine announces that its troops have advanced eastward from Kharkov, taking around 700 km2.

September 11: Russian attacks on power plants leave part of eastern Ukraine without electricity.

September 12: The Ukrainian government announces that the offensive on the Kharkov front has already recaptured some 3,000 km² of territory.

September 17: Ukrainian forces continue the offensive in the northeast of the country.

September 21: Putin orders the mobilization of reservists and threatens to use nuclear weapons if Russian territory is attacked.

September 23: Prisoner exchange mediated by Turkey.

September 24: Three explosions damage the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines near the Danish island of Bornholm, which pipelines carry Russian natural gas to Germany under the Baltic Sea.

September 30: Russia annexes the self-proclaimed republics of Lugansk and Donetsk, Zaporiyia and Kherson by illegitimate referendums.

October 1 to 6: The Ukrainian army seizes some 400 km² of territory in Kherson. Anonymous US government sources tell The Wall Street Journal that the US does not deliver long-range missiles to Ukraine because it does not want them to be used against Crimea.

October 8: An explosion destroys part of the only bridge connecting Crimea to Russia across the Kerch Strait.

October 10: Russia responds to the sabotage of the Kerch bridge with a massive bombardment of Ukraine. Lukashenko announces that he will deploy the Belarusian army near the Ukrainian border, alongside Russian units.

October 11: Russian attacks concentrate on energy infrastructure. Representatives of nearly 50 Western governments meet in Brussels to coordinate the delivery of air defense systems to Ukraine. Faced with the Ukrainian advance, the Russian governor of Kherson, Vladimir Saldo, asks Moscow for help in preparing the evacuation of civilians.

October 19: Putin imposes martial law in the annexed Ukrainian provinces. In Kherson, Russian authorities begin evacuating civilians to the left bank of the Dnieper River.

October 31: Russian air strikes on energy infrastructure continue. In Kiev, up to 80% of the population suffers water cuts at some time during the day.

November 4: The US announces a new $400 million arms shipment to Ukraine and the Netherlands another for 125 million euros.

November 9: The Russian Defense Ministry announces that it has ordered its troops to withdraw from Kherson.

November 10: The US claims that the armed forces of Russia and Ukraine have so far suffered some 100,000 casualties each, both killed and wounded.

November 11: The Russian high command terminates the withdrawal from Kherson. Ukrainian soldiers occupy the city.

November 12: Satellite photos of damage to the New Khakhovka dam on the Dnieper are released.

November 14: EU Chancellor Josep Borrell estimates the value of EU military aid to Ukraine at 8 billion euros. The directors of the CIA and the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service meet in Ankara to discuss the use of nuclear weapons.

November 15: Further Russian attacks on electrical installations. A missile hits Polish territory in Przewodów, near the Ukrainian border, killing two people. Ukraine and Russia accuse each other. Concern spreads about an escalation of war as Poland is a member of NATO.

November 16: Poland calls the event an “accident” and waives activation of Article 4 of the NATO treaty.

November 17: Ukraine and Russia agree to extend the agreement on the export of Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea for four months.

November 18: The Swedish government reports finding explosive remnants proving that the Nord Stream pipelines were intentionally blown up.

December 2: The Ukrainian government estimates 10,000 to 13,000 Ukrainian soldiers were killed since February 24.

December 13: A senior British Marine commander says they have conducted “sensitive” covert operations in Ukraine.

December 21: Zelensky meets with Biden in Washington and speaks to Congress. Biden authorizes the dispatch of a Patriot anti-missile battery.

December 29: Russian shelling of Ukrainian electrical installations continues. 90% of Lviv and 40% of Kiev are without electricity.

December 30: Putin cancels the requirement for “unfriendly countries” to pay in rubles for natural gas supplies.


January 1: Massive Ukrainian shelling kills 290 Russian servicemen.

January 4: French President Macron confirms to Zelensky that he will send armored vehicles to Ukraine.

January 5: Russia declares unilateral 36-hour Orthodox Easter ceasefire, Ukraine calls it “hypocritical” and rejects it. The German Chancellor announces the dispatch of infantry fighting vehicles and an anti-missile battery to Ukraine.

January 6: The U.S. Department of Defense awards a $40 million contract to L3Harris to supply Ukraine with vehicle-mountable light guided missile systems.

January 9: Russia and Ukraine conduct their 36th prisoner exchange.

January 10: Ukrainian steel production is cut by 70% in 2022. U.S. and Ukrainian officials state that Russian artillery firing capacity is reduced by 75% from the peak reached months earlier.

January 11: The Russian Defense Minister replaces Sergey Surovikin with Valery Gerasimov as overall commander of operations against Ukraine. Poland and the United Kingdom announce the dispatch of tanks to Ukraine.

January 13: According to the Ukrainian defense minister, his country is a de facto NATO member in terms of armaments and training.

January 17: German Chancellor Scholz and Biden discuss the supply of tanks to Ukraine.

January 22: The Norwegian Armed Forces chief estimates Ukrainian casualties to date at 100,000 and Russian casualties at 180,000.

January 25: Scholz announces the dispatch to Ukraine of 14 tanks and Biden that of 31.

February 5: Zelensky dismisses his defense minister following a corruption scandal.

February 27: Zelensky dismisses the Donbas military chief.

March 2: Russian and U.S. foreign ministers meet for the first time since January 2022.

March 9: Massive Russian shelling of Ukrainian electrical and military installations.

March 14: Wagner mercenary troops in the service of Russia seize the AZOM factory in Bajmut.

March 17: The International Criminal Court issues an arrest warrant for Putin for alleged illegal transfer of minors from Ukraine to Russia.

March 20: EU governments agree to send Ukraine one million artillery shells in the next year and other measures to facilitate joint procurement and production of ammunition.

March 23: The Finnish president signs the law making his country a member of NATO. Jens Stoltenberg specifies that the value of military equipment delivered to Ukraine by NATO is 65 billion euros.

April 4: Wagner’s troops declare that Bajmut has been taken.

April 6: Confidential US documents on its day-to-day involvement in the war are disseminated on social networks.

April 11: The Russian parliament and the Ukrainian government tighten rules on military service.

April 13: Jack Teixeira, accused of the above-mentioned leak of confidential documents, is arrested in the USA. The Ukrainian state oil company Naftogaz declares it is negotiating projects with the US Chevron Corporation, ExxonMobil and Halliburton.

April 26: Xi Jinping and Zelensky speak by telephone for the first time since the start of the war.

May 1: Russia launches a new round of missiles and drones over Ukraine.

May 3: A drone attack is launched on the Kremlin, which is shot down. Authorities call it an attempt to assassinate Putin. Russian bombing of train stations, supermarkets and civilian buildings in Kherson leaves 21 dead and more than 50 wounded.

May 4: An oil refinery in Krasnodar, Russia, is attacked, allegedly by Ukrainian drones.

May 6: Russian nationalist writer Zakhar Pripelin is wounded in a bomb attack.

May 11: It is confirmed that the British government has sent cruise missiles to Ukraine with a range as far as Crimea. The Washington Post reveals that in January and February 2023 the Ukrainian government intended to take the war to Russia, but that U.S. espionage detected the plan.

May 15: Zelensky visits Western Europe and obtains commitments from Italy, Germany, the UK and France to send arms to stop the Russian offensive.

May 18: According to The Wall Street Journal, British special forces operate in Ukraine communicating NATO intelligence to the Ukrainian army and commandos carrying out sabotage on Russian territory.

May 25: In Bajmut, Wagner’s mercenaries begin to be relieved by regular Russian troops.

June 1: A new incursion into Belgorod is carried out by Russian right-wing militias.

June 3: The Indonesian Minister of Defense presents a peace proposal that Zelensky rejects.

June 5: The Ukrainian Armed Forces begin offensive operations along the front between Orchiv and Soledar.

June 6: The New Kakhovka dam, which ensures water supply to the Zaporiyia nuclear power plant, is destroyed, causing flooding of the lower reaches of the Dnieper River. The Ukrainian and Russian governments accuse each other of causing the disaster.

June 8: According to the US Department of Defense, Ukrainian troops have suffered “significant losses” in their recent counteroffensive.

June 23-24: In this situation of repeated and increasing friction between Yevgeny Prigozhin and the Russian Defense Ministry, the Wagner Group launches the “March of Justice”. Private mercenaries in Putin’s service seized the city of Rostov-on-Don on their way to Moscow. Through Lukashenko’s mediation, the advance was stopped by secret agreements.

July 12: In Vilnius, capital of Lithuania, NATO summit meets and resolves to postpone Ukraine’s accession until the end of the war. Zelenzky criticized “the lack of an accession timetable”.

July 17: Ukrainian marine drones attack and damage the Crimean bridge over the Kerch Strait, built by Russia to connect its country to the peninsula after annexation in 2014. A few hours later, Russia announces that it will not renew the agreement on safe Ukrainian grain exports across the Black Sea, which had been signed to avert a global food crisis.

July 27-28: The 2nd Russia-Africa Summit is held in St. Petersburg under the motto “for peace, security and development”. Putin promises African leaders commercial supplies of grain and arms, with free quotas. On the periphery of the Summit, Prigozhin, head of the Wagner Group, reappears and meets with some leaders about the continuity of his mercenaries’ operations on African territory.