No, Ukraine is not a part of Russia.
The two countries have a long and complex history. Ukraine has, at times, been a part of both the Russian Empire and of the Soviet Union.
However, in the 21st century, Ukraine is an independent state, and Russia’s invasion of 2022 was a breach of Ukraine’s sovereignty. So too was Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014.
Ukraine’s Soviet Era
Russia and Ukraine were just two countries to join the new Soviet Union and the period of Soviet rule continued until 1991.
Ukraine Declares Independence from the Soviet Union
Ukraine regained control of its own destiny in 1991 as independence was declared once again. The treaty was signed on the 24th of August and was something of a knee jerk reaction to the failed August coup in Russia where an attempt to restore Soviet rule was made.
The coup failed but the Ukraine parliament moved quickly to distance itself from Soviet politics altogether and a new era of independent, democratic rule began.
Annexation of Crimea and the Donbass War
Following the Maidan Revolution in February 2014, in which the pro-Russian government of Viktor Yanukovych was overthrown, a conflict began with Russia and Russian backed separatists. The territory of Crimea was annexed by Russia in February 2014 and a war began in the Donbass region, leading to the succession of the ‘People’s Republics’ in Donetsk and Luhansk.
These regions remain unstable at the time of writing (early 2022) and are a potential major flashpoint for an anticipated Russian invasion of Ukraine.
2022 invasion of Ukraine
On February 23, 2022, Russian troops invaded Ukraine illegally. After a few days of initial success, Ukraine counterattacks pushed the Russian army back in many areas.
On 30 September 2022, Russia announced that it was formally annexing four Ukrainian Oblasts (regions) in addition to Ukraine. They are: Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia.
Other than Crimea, none of the areas were fully occupied by Russia at the time of the announcement.
In 2023 the front lines have largely stabilised, but the war continues. At the time of the last edit of this article in October 2023, Russia controlled around 15% of Ukrainian territory.