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Amnon Gutman - Ukraine Crisis, The East
Since the September 5, 2014 ceasefire deal in Minsk Both Pro Russia rebels and the UA army used the relative lull to build up their forces and for months the rebels tried to seize Donetsk airport, a strategic and symbolic asset, from government forces. With the start of 2015, a new rebel push began and by 22 January the airport was in their hands. in February 12, 2015 a new ceasefire deal was reached through international mediation, in an attempt to stop the fighting spiraling out of control. the important logistic raliway hub city of Debaltseve fell into rebels hands a few days after the deal was struck. A prolonged crisis in Ukraine began on 21 November 2013, when then-president Viktor Yanukovych suspended preparations for the implementation of an association agreement with the European Union. This decision resulted in mass protests by its opponents, known as the "Euromaidan". After months of such protests, Yanukovych was ousted by the protesters on 22 February 2014, when he fled the Ukrainian capital city of Kiev. Following his ousting, unrest enveloped the largely Russophone eastern and southern regions of Ukraine, from where he had drawn most of his support. An ensuing political crisis in Ukrainian autonomous region of Crimea resulted in the annexation of Crimea by Russia on 18 March. Subsequently, unrest in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts of Ukraine evolved into a war between the post-revolutionary Ukrainian government and pro-Russian insurgents. The conflict in the east has claimed the lives of more then 9000 people so far. (UN figures- December 2015), and left approximately 275,000 people displaced inside Ukraine (UNHCR- September 2015)