Tensions are running high between Ukraine and Russia following the ouster of Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych and the invasion of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula by Russian forces. Here is a primer to help understand the complex developments currently taking place in a region of the world that many Americans are unfamiliar with:

  1. Key pipelines capable of transporting at least two or three wars’ worth of natural gas from Russia to Europe
  2. Rampant overfishing problem—let’s not forget about that
  3. You are here
  4. Place that Mark stopped by when he did study abroad two years ago. He didn’t stay too long, but if you’re looking for a hostel I’m sure he’d be happy to recommend one to you. He loved it there.
  5. Future site of memorial dedicated to hundreds of massacred Ukrainians
  6. Region that, in an ideal world—and we’re speaking totally hypothetically here—Putin would like to annex and control
  7. Arbitrary, haphazard line drawn in 1954 that will almost certainly cause the deaths of thousands
  8. Size of Texas
  9. Appleton, Ukraine: Largest ethnic Midwest population outside Wisconsin
  10. Dying embers of the Olympic spirit
  11. Location of most plentiful ukrainium reserves
  12. Besarabsky Market: This vibrant, tourist-friendly hub in Kiev is likely what most of the fighting is about
  13. Crimean city currently caught in crossfire between uninformed commenters on CNN.com