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What's going on in Ukraine? 15 things to know

  • Interim Ukraine PM says Russia's actions are 'declaration of war'
  • Russian lawmakers approved use of military force in Ukraine
  • U.S. officials met Saturday to discuss escalating situation
What's going on in Ukraine? 15 things to know

Even if you've only been following peripherally, you're probably aware that the crisis in Ukraine seems to be escalating. 

Interim Ukraine Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said Sunday that Russia's recent decision to send military troops into the region is a "declaration of war to my country."

Russian President Vladimir Putin made the request Saturday, claiming the lives of Russian citizens in the southern Crimea region had been threatened. Top U.S. officials also met Saturday at the White House to discuss the situation. 

The Ukraine has been rattled by anti-government protests since November. Still, many people may not be entirely sure what all the fighting is about; you might be among them. So, now is as good a time as any to go over a few main points as we all catch up on this country in crisis.

1. First, why are tensions so high over there? It started over a trade pact

2. OK, so why are people talking about a "red alert" over there?  

3. I also heard an Ukrainian Navy official recently defected. What does that mean?

4. How does President Obama feel about this? He talked with Putin and he's concerned.

5. Wait, I'm not entirely sure where Ukraine is? Don't be embarrassed, it's right here.

6. Wow, that's awfully close to Sochi. Was there any impact on the Olympics?

7. OK, and while we're on the subject, what about the Winter Paralympics?

8. Back to the big picture, this appears to be an East vs. West clash. Correct? Correct.

9. So then it probably stands to reason that Ukraine itself is split on this, right? Do you have a map that clearly illustrates this divide?

10. But, why are some residents there so upset? What is it that they're so desperate to change that they are willing to die for?

11. The man in protesters' crosshairs is President Viktor Yanukovych. Tell me about him.

12. And what's this about the opposition being led in part by the 6-foot, 7-inch ex-heavyweight champion of the world?

13. Actress Hayden Panettiere remarkably finds herself in the middle of all this. Why?

14. This revolution is not only being televised, but it's also being streamed online. Give me two places where I can watch what's happening live.

15. How about four (1, 2, 3, 4) great Twitter lists for me to follow of people who are actually there or reporting on the clashes?

Follow Jonathan Anker on Twitter @JonFromHLN

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