Conflict in Ukraine

“Mercer County stands with Ukraine in this one-sided unprovoked attack on a sovereign nation. We condemn the aggression by Russian leader Vladimir Putin, and we pray for an end to the unwarranted war on the Ukrainian citizens and a swift restoration to peace.”

Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes

We are constantly updating this page with more resources on the Ukraine Conflict. We featured information about where to find both new and historical information on Ukraine and the key components in this conflict. Please scroll to the bottom for caregiver and educator resources.

MFA of Ukraine has launched an information platform for foreign audiences concerning the war in Ukraine It provides verified information about the situation in, shares specific ways to support Ukraine, shows the human dimension of the resistance.

We have also provided a more in-depth conversation on our blog — Ukraine: Information and Resources ( — and on our podcast below.

Language Matters

Ukraine not “the Ukraine”. During the years that the country was controlled by the Soviet Union (1922–91), Ukraine was known as the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, which is why many refer to Ukraine as “the Ukraine” to this day. However, that is incorrect as Ukraine is its own country now. For more information on Ukraine as a country, please visit: Ukraine – The World Factbook (

Kyiv not Kiev. (KEE-eve not KEE-yev.) Kiev is the Russian spelling and pronunciation of the city and Kyiv is the Ukrainian spelling and pronunciation. On June 12, 2019, The United States Board on Geographic Names considered the appeal of Ambassador of Ukraine to the United States, Valeriy Chaly, and unanimously decided to remove “Kiev” as a conventional name and to recognize only one official spelling – “Kyiv”, as the correct name for the capital of Ukraine.

Chornobyl not Chernobyl. This is similar to Kyiv as Chornobyl is the Ukrainian spelling and Chernobyl is the Russian spelling. In August of 1997, the Ukraine government requested that the U.S. Department of State change to the preferred spelling of the country in which the nuclear power plant is located. It was approved and all reference to the city and power plant were updated to Chornobyl. You may see titles in our collection with the Russian spelling as they were published with those titles. However, our subjects and other cataloging information reflects the Ukrainian spelling.

For the most up-to-date information directly from the Ukrainian government, the Embassy of Ukraine in the USA / Посольство України в США – Home | Facebook website is a great resource.

What’s Happening Now

There is no definitive event or reason as to why President Putin decided to attack Ukraine at this time. However, many news sources have put together timelines and information sheets about the many events that led up to this declaration of war:

Below are the magazines we have available both physically and digitally for checkout at our libraries:

Here are some Ukrainian News Sources available in English:

  • Ukrainian Journal — English-language daily newsletter covering breaking political and business news from Ukraine.
  • Ukrinform — Ukrainian and world news from the national news agency.
  • UNIAN —Independent news agency.

Conflict With Russia

During the late 1980s and early 1990s, the Soviet Union’s control over Ukraine weakened, and its ability to govern began to deteriorate. One of the obstacles to independence was the number of Russian-speaking citizens in Ukraine; another problem was the dominance of the Communist Party.

On August 24, 1991, nearly all of the members of the Rada voted in favor of independence. In December 1992, a referendum was held in which the Ukrainian people voted overwhelmingly in support of national independence.

Flag of Ukraine

In 2013, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych started pulling away from trade and cooperation with the European Union. After the government used force against pro–European Union protesters, activists occupied Kyiv’s central square for several months until government forces used violence to dismantle the activists’ camp. Violence escalated and the pro-Russian Yanukovych left Ukraine for Russia in March 2014. Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion, illegitimate referendum, and subsequent annexation of Crimea. Elections were subsequently held and pro-Western president Petro Poroshenko took office on June 7, 2014. Elections were next held in March and April 2019, with Volodymyr Zelensky, a former actor and director, beating Poroshenko to become president.

Ukraine has been in conflict with Russia since early 2014, when Russia invaded Ukraine, held what the Ukrainian government and many other nations consider to be an illegitimate referendum, and illegally annexed Crimea. Ukraine maintains that Crimea is still Ukrainian, while Russia supports separatists in the eastern part of Ukraine. A cease-fire agreement signed in September 2014 did not stop the fighting. In February 2015, Ukraine, Russia, and Germany negotiated a peace agreement known as the Minsk Agreements, but some fighting between Ukrainian forces and separatists continued in eastern Ukraine.

For more information, please visit: Ukraine. (2021). Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th Edition, 1–8.

Want to Know More?

Chornobyl Under Russian Control
Russia Just Seized Chernobyl. Here’s Why It Matters. – Mother Jones
“More than 35 years after the worst nuclear accident in history, Russian troops advancing into Ukraine have seized control of the Chernobyl plant.” While, Mother Jones is typically a more left-lending publication, we have decided to feature it here as we believe it is one of the clearest and most accurate evaluations of this particular situation.

The Crimean Peninsula
Crimea – United States Department of State
“In February 2014 Russian forces entered Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula and occupied it militarily. In March 2014 Russia announced the peninsula had become part of the Russian Federation following a sham referendum that violated Ukraine’s constitution… The United States does not recognize the attempted annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation.”

North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
NATO – Topic: Relations with Ukraine
In response to the Russia-Ukraine conflict, NATO reinforced its support for capability development and capacity-building in Ukraine.

Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (Swift)
All About Swift, One Possible Path to Sanction Russia – The Washington Post
“As the U.S., the U.K. and the European Union impose new sanctions on Russia in response to its actions in Ukraine and consider increasing them, one idea under discussion involves cutting off access to a messaging system called Swift.”

Switzerland’s Neutrality
Neutrality (
“Permanent neutrality is a principle of Swiss foreign policy. It is a generating source of peace and stability in Europe and beyond. It ensures the country’s independence and the inviolability of its territory. According to the law of neutrality, Switzerland must not participate in a war between states.”

Materials at our Libraries

How To Help

Médecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders
MSF runs a range of activities in Ukraine working with local volunteers, organizations, health care professionals and authorities to help people travel to health care facilities and access prescribed medications.

OutRight Action International
As the situation continues to unfold in Ukraine, OutRight has started to receive the first requests for support from LGBTIQ organizations which are preparing to receive LGBTIQ people in search of shelter, safety and security.

UNICEF supports health, nutrition, HIV prevention, education, safe drinking water, sanitation and protection for children and families caught in the conflict in Ukraine.

For more ways to help, visit Here’s how you can help the people of Ukraine : NPR.

Resources for Caregivers and Educators

Put together by the Youth Services Librarians throughout the Mercer County Library System:

Materials at our Libraries