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Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Ukraine has been an independent democratic nation. Given its location between Europe and Russia, it often must balance the political tensions between Russia and the West. This tension came to a peak in late 2013, when the president of the Ukraine chose not to sign an economic agreement with the European Union and instead pursued closer ties to Russia. This upset many people living in Ukraine who took to the streets in extended protests resulting in the eventual removal of the Ukrainian president and several other high-level officials of the government. Shortly thereafter, a new pro-Europe leadership was installed by parliament. Amidst all this uncertainty and political change in Ukraine, Russian soldiers invaded Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula in March of 2014, taking control of airports, naval bases, and key bridges. Within weeks, Russia claimed Crimea as their own. Successful students will be able to ask questions to define how the cultural and ethnic diversity of this area might contribute to the current conflict.