April 23, 2014
Click map to enlarge.
- Natural gas took the center of attention during Ukraine's political crisis
in the winter of 2013-2014. However Ukraine is rich in other important resources as well.
An examination of the coal- and grain-producing regions show that eastern Ukraine, the area in dispute, is home to much of the country's natural wealth.
Resources in Conflict Regions
On April 23 Ukraine announced it would be stepping up its security operations in eastern provinces where many pro-Russian supporters are calling for secession from Ukraine and annexation by Russia.
In addition to political sentiment, the area is full of economic resources such as coal and highly-productive wheat and corn fields. Ukraine would stand to lose billions of dollars worth of reserves and revenue and Russia would stand to gain them if borders were redrawn.
The pro-Russian insurrection in the eastern provinces sits directly atop a major coal deposit.
The Donets basin in Ukraine lies under some of the towns, such as Donetsk and Luhansk, where pro-Russian forces have taken over Ukrainian government buildings.
Ukraine and surrounding areas has long been called the "Bread Basket" of Russia or the USSR, with its southeastern steppes providing a fertile topography for wheat. But Ukraine is also a major corn exporter as well. See maps of Ukraine's resources in conflict zones