President Donald J. Trump participates in a bilateral meeting with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zalensky Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019, at the InterContinental New York Barclay in New York City. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

A Brief History of Ukraine

The politics and recent history of Ukraine are suddenly quite central to the politics and history of the United States.

In this episode of the Global Dispatches podcast we examine what the US impeachment inquiry looks like from Ukraine. Veteran journalist Steven Erlanger, who is the chief diplomatic correspondent in Europe for the New York Times explains the recent history of Ukraine, including the 2004 Orange Revolution which brought Viktor Yushenko to power; and later, how Yushenko was replaced by a more pro-Russian president named Victor Yonukovich, who subsequently fled to Russia during what was known as the Euromaidan revolution in 2014.

We then discuss the improbable rise of a comedian turned politician, Volodymyr Zelensky who became president in April 2019 — and how Zelensky has reacted to being thrust into the middle of a domestic political scandal in the United States.

My intention with this episode is to give you a brief and accessible introduction to Ukrainian politics — which are suddenly very central to the politics of the United States.

If you have 20 minutes and want to learn both the recent history of Ukraine and also better understand how events in DC are being interpreted in Kyiv, have a listen.

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