Ukraine's population is reducing because of low birth rate, increased mortality (especially among males), low immigration and high emigration
for economic and cultural reasons.
The 1986 Chornobyl accident increased pressure on the central government for autonomy.
Ukraine first declared its sovereignty from the Soviet Union
occupation in July 1990. Following the results of a referendum in November 1991 which indicated overwhelming popular support (90% in favour of independence), the Ukraine's Parliament declared its independence in early December 1991. This declaration became a concrete reality as the Soviet Union formally ceased to exist on 25 December 1991. Initially, there were severe economic difficulties with hyperinflation, and oligarchic rule prevailed in the early years.
The issues of cronyism, corruption and alleged voting irregularities came to a head during the heavily-disputed 2004 Presidential election, where allegations of vote-rigging sparked what became known as the "Orange Revolution". This revolution eventually resulted in the election of opposition candidate Viktor Yushchenko as President. During the following five years the Orange coalition broke up and Viktor Yushchenko lost the support of the majority of Ukranians. Ironically, his former adversary Viktor Yanukovich was elected President.
In February of 2014, after three months of street protests in Kyiv and all over Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych was deposed after he had refused to sign a deal with the European Union the previous November.
The Russian Federation then occupied Crimea and started the 2014 Ukraine-Russia war. A pro-Russian insurgency ( supported by Moscow) also followed in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Currently, Russia also directly participates with its regular military forces in Ukraine. Petro Poroshenko, a pro-Unity Ukrainian politic won the 2014 presidential election and is the fifth president of independent Ukraine. The Ukrainian government is now actively fighting against the Russian occupation.
In May 2017, Ukrainian citizens gained visa-free entry into the Schengen Area.