Content (headings work like links).
- WAR SITUATIO
- HUMANITARIAN SITUATIO
- RUSSIA’S RESPONSIBILITY
- DIPLOMATIC EFFORTS
- ACTIONS BY THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY
- ECONOMIC RECOVERY
1. WAR SITUATION
The Russian troops continue simultaneously (albeit with different intensity) attacking Ukraine from the territory of Russia, Belarus and the temporarily occupied parts of Ukraine’s Donetsk, Luhansk regions and Crimea. This is a full-scale war against Ukraine (international armed conflict), launched by Russia, not a «conflict in Ukraine». Proper wording is critical. While highlighting the situation in Ukraine, a clear reference must always be done to Russia as an aggressor. We protect the entire Europe, not only ourselves, as Putin will not stop in Ukraine:
- The main directions of Russia’s invasion remain Kyiv, southern regions of Ukraine, Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Due to the failure of the original invasion plan, the occupant forces are now being regrouped and replenished in order to renew their advance into Ukraine’s territory;
- Russia fired 467 missiles just at the residential areas (the overall number is estimated to be over 1200), attacks with aviation (1804 airstrikes as of 24 March), tanks and artillery, and sends subversion and reconnaissance groups. Ukraine became a testing ground for Russian missiles, which are used more and more often as Russian troops were stopped on the ground;
- Russian warships shell the coast line. Ukraine’s coast of the Azov Sea now is temporarily blocked by Russia. Amphibious landing to the Odesa region remains possible;
- Russia has air advantage, which it actively uses by attacking military positions and civilian objects and infrastructure, killing dozens of civilians daily, bombing Ukrainian airports. Only on 23 March there were more than 250 flights made over Ukraine’s territory (60 more, than there was on 22 March);
- Several towns were temporarily occupied (including Kherson and Melitopol). Some are attacked and besieged on the ground, with severe damage to residential areas and numerous casualties among civilians (Kharkiv, Mariupol, Mykolaiv, Sumy, Chernihiv);
- Intensive fighting left vast areas of Ukraine mined (~82,525 km2 as of 21 March);
- Russia organizes cyber attacks and fake news campaigns aimed to sow panic in Ukrainian towns and cut off Ukrainian citizens from the official information sources;
- There are no places left in Ukraine without an overt military threat, be it shellings or infiltration of sabotage groups, members of which continue to be detained in all regions.
The territory of Belarus is actively used by Russia for its military purposes:
- Missiles are launched from the territory of Belarus, airfield and rail networks are used for transportation of Russian personnel, cargo and ammunition, fuel is supplied to the Russian troops on Ukrainian soil;
- Direct engagement of Belarus armed forces remains highly probable in the next few days. On 11 March, the Russian aircrafts entered Ukraine’s air space and shelled three villages in Belarus located on the border with Ukraine. This was a false flag operation, aimed at providing pretext for Belarus direct engagement into Russia’s war;
- Lukashenka’s regime shares responsibility with Kremlin for its war against Ukraine.
Despite significant military advantage, Russia failed to reach its key goals:
- Ukraine did not surrender in three days, as Kremlin was expecting. Kyiv as a political and military command centre remains intact;
- No big cities with the only exception of Kherson were taken. Ukraine managed to establish defense and counter-attack. Russian troops regroup and attempt to control the already captured positions;
- No one greets Russia in Ukraine. In the towns temporarily under control of Russian troops, the Ukrainian population is actively protesting against them. In the city of Kherson, Russian occupiers attempted to establish another fake “people’s republic”: both local residents and local authorities rejected this stage show. The Russian troops intimidate local residents, and continue their hunt for activists, journalists and local authorities able to organize protests against temporary occupation.
Kremlin attempts to conceal truth about war and real losses of the Russian troops in Ukraine:
- Afraid of mass anti-war protests, the Russian authorities block social networks, intimidate media, introduce censorship, high fines and imprisonment up to 15 years for delivering true information about the war started against Ukraine;
- Russian troops use mobile crematoriums and mass graves for those killed in actions;
- There are reports on failed parachutes of Russian pilots shot down by Ukrainian defenders. This may indicate the deliberate actions by the Russian command to prevent their capture and evidence about war crimes;
- The Russian side is not trying to take its captured soldiers out of Ukraine. Instead, their families are already receiving reports of their deaths or disappearances, although they are still alive and in captivity. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called on the mothers of Russian soldiers to turn to Ukraine to learn about the fate of their children;
- Still, the truth cannot be hidden. On 9 March, Russia recognized the use of conscripts. On 21 March, one of Kremlin’s propaganda media published the information that the Russian authorities have admitted the loss of 9,861 in manpower and 16,153 wounded (this information was subsequently deleted from the web-page).
Having failed to make Ukraine surrender after a “Blitzkrieg”, Russia started searching for fake pretexts to “justify” its war of aggression:
- Despite Russia’s false allegations, Ukraine has neither intention, nor steps taken aimed at creation of nuclear weapon. This was confirmed by IAEA Director General on 4 March;
- Various Russian officials falsely accuse Ukraine of non-existent biological or chemical weapons. This was dismantled by the UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs as well as UN Member States at the UN SC briefings on 11 and 18 March;
- Russia’s claims that Ukraine needs to be “demilitarized” sound even more absurd, looking at the numbers of troops, heavy weapons and aircrafts sent by it to invade Ukraine.
Ukraine has activated its right for self-defense according to the UN Charter Article 51. We continue to fight and we will win:
- Ukraine’s Armed Forces fight Russia’s Armed Forces, inflicting devastating blows to them. More than 100.000 Ukrainian citizens joined the territorial defence units. Nearly 40.000 volunteers from dozens of countries are joining Ukraine’s International Legion;
- All Russian troops prepared for invasion have already been sent to Ukraine. They were stopped everywhere and face severe logistical challenges. Up to 40% tactical groups lost their combat capability. Russia pursues “hidden” mobilization and searches for mercenaries and private military companies to replenish losses by forming additional units;
- The Russian troops are suffering heavy losses. As of morning 25 March, they constitute about 16,100 personnel, 115 aircrafts, 125 helicopters, 53 UAV, 561 tanks, 1625 armored vehicles, 291 artillery systems, 90 MLRS, 49 anti-aircraft systems, 5 vessels/boats;
- Up to 1000 Russian military were taken captive. Six Russian high-level commanders were killed. The moral and psychological state of the Russian troops remains low. More and more Russian soldiers refuse to go to war;
- Attacking Ukraine, Russia is exhausting its stocks of missiles. Its military-industrial complex has to work 24/7 to replenish them. In the past two weeks over 20 Russian military enterprises were forced to suspend their activities in whole or in part due to shortage of parts and components. In particular, the production of aircraft missiles has been suspended at the russian research and production enterprise «Vimpel» ;
- Due to sanctions that stopped the supply of foreign components, the only Russian tank company «Uralvagonzavod» has suspended operations;
- 93% of Ukrainian citizens (as of 18 March) are convinced that we will win this defensive war against Russia. Mayors of Ukrainian towns reject Russia’s proposals to surrender;
- On 19 March, the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine took the decision to suspend during the martial law any activity of several political parties, linked to Russia.
Russia’s irresponsible actions pose the gravest nuclear and chemical contamination threats:
- On 4 March, the entire Europe was put on the brink of nuclear disaster, when the Russian troops began shelling the largest in Europe Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant. It remains seized by Russian military (400 military personnel and 50 military vehicles are stationed now) and controlled by “Rosatom”;
- The Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant was seized by the Russian troops. They have already twice damaged its power line, which could lead to the leak of radiation. Both times, the Ukrainian repair teams restored the power line. On 22 March, 7 areas of fire were spotted by satellites around the Plant, the scale of danger and damage is being assessed;
- The IAEA has lost connection with the monitoring systems of guarantees both in Chornobyl and Zaporizhzhya;
- On 10 March, Russian troops fired rockets on facilities of Kharkiv Institute of Physics and Technology, which contain nuclear material and an experimental reactor;
- On 20 March, the site of PJSC «SumyHimProm» was shelled, which caused ammonia leakage from a 50-ton tank;
- Russia’s nuclear-deterrence forces remain on alert. Threats by nuclear war continue.
2. HUMANITARIAN SITUATION
Faced with military defeats, losses of personnel and vigorous resistance, the Russian troops began indiscriminate attacks on Ukrainian cities with missile strikes and heavy artillery. Being aware that it will not be able to win this war, Russia deliberately destroys Ukraine’s economy:
- Since the start of war, Russia has sent hundreds of missiles to the residential areas;
- Documents and maps seized by Ukrainian troops from Russian prisoners of war confirm that bombardments of residential areas had been planned in advance;
- Extensive environmental damage is also present, as water supply and sewage systems and communications are targeted, port infrastructure along the coasts of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov is attacked, and nature and biosphere reserves and national nature parks have suffered significant losses;
- The number of civilians killed by Russian troops exceeds military losses;
- While retreating, Russian troops plant mines in the previously seized Ukrainian territories, leaving them even in the children toys;
- On 19 March, the Russian troops illegally deported to the territory of Russia 2,389 children from the occupied parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions. This was a forced displacement of civilians into the territory of the aggressor state;
- There is evidence of civilians being forcibly transferred to Russia’s territory from Mariupol. Mariupol authorities estimate, that 15,000 people have been already trafficked to the filtration camps and further to the Russian territory;
- These are violations of international humanitarian law and crimes against humanity.
Humanitarian situation is rapidly deteriorating:
- The residential areas of such cities as Kharkiv, Chernihiv, Sumy, Mariupol, Melitopol, outskirts of Kyiv and many others, are intensively shelled, leaving daily dozens of innocent civilians killed and wounded;
- The worst situation remains in the besieged city of Mariupol, which is now almost destroyed. Daily, 50-100 aviation bombs are dropped by Russians. Thousands of civilians lost their lives due to Russian attacks and blockade. Russia’s crimes include bombardment of a drama theatre where up to 1300 civilians were being sheltered, of an art school, which served as a shelter for around 400 civilians, and seizure of a hospital with 400 civilians in it used as a human shield;
- The UN OHCHR recorded 2685 confirmed civilian casualties in Ukraine: 1035 killed and 1650 injured (as of midnight 23 March). The OHCHR believes that the real figures are considerably higher. Numbers according to official sources of Ukraine to be confirmed;
- According to UNICEF, one month of war in Ukraine has led to the displacement of 4.3 million children – more than half of the country’s estimated 7.5 million child population, including more than 1.8 million children who have crossed into neighbouring countries as refugees and 2.5 million who are now internally displaced inside Ukraine;
- According to the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine, 135 children were killed by Russian invaders, and 184 injured (as of morning 25 March);
- Kindergartens and schools, universities and hospitals, airports and fuel stations, bridges, food warehouses and water reservoirs are targeted. 566 educational institutions, more than 100 hospitals, more than 3780 residential buildings and 28 religious buildings were damaged or destroyed only on the territory controlled by Ukraine. In the city of Kharkiv alone, ~1000 houses were entirely destroyed, in Mariupol — over 2000 buildings destroyed or severely damaged;
- According to the UNHCR, more than 10 mln people have fled their homes in Ukraine: more than 6.5 mln people have been displaced inside Ukraine, and more than 3.67 mln left the country. The Office of the President of Ukraine estimates about 11–12 mln IDPs;
- Such towns as Schastya and Stanytsia Luhanska near Luhansk, or Volnovakha in the Donetsk region, are now nearly destroyed;
- Faced with logistical challenges, Russian troops began pillaging local residents and robbing humanitarian convoys. The Russian army in Ukraine has been ordered to «switch to self-sufficiency». Kremlin-sanctioned looting.
- The main efforts are now focused on establishment of humanitarian corridors, which are regularly violated by the Russian troops. On 24 March, 7 corridors have worked, and nearly 3.300 persons managed to leave, including 2.700 by private cars from Mariupol. 2 humanitarian corridors are planned for 25 March.
We urgently need humanitarian assistance:
- A number of steps have been taken to simplify the procedure of delivery of humanitarian assistance through the state border of Ukraine for the period of duration of martial law;
- According to the Office of President of Ukraine, as of 22 March, Ukraine received during 2 weeks of March more than 100.000 tons of humanitarian aid. The Ministry of Infrastructure and Ukrzaliznytsia (Ukrainian Railways) are currently operating as logistics headquarters. We are grateful to our partners and expect a more active involvement of international organizations in humanitarian aid, including establishment of humanitarian corridors blocked by the Russian troops, ensuring delivery of humanitarian relief to the medical facilities, and provision of critical food supply to the civilian population;
- The UN Flash Appeal for Ukraine requested 1.14 bln USD to support the initial 3 months of the response to help six million of the most vulnerable in Ukraine. As of 24 March, donors raised 468,5 million USD or 41 per cent of the funds requested. In addition, UNHCR appealed for 550 mln USD to support Ukrainian refugees fleeing neighboring countries.
Russian military aggression threatens thousands of foreigners in Ukraine:
- We regret that while they had been warmly welcomed in our country, nowadays Russian invasion put their lives at high risk;
- Despite Russia’s propaganda, there is no discrimination based on the race or nationality, including when it comes to the crossing of the state border by foreign citizens;
- Foreign journalists Brent Renaud and Pierre Zakrzewski were killed by Russian troops. Several more were wounded;
- We call on all foreign governments to demand from President Putin that he immediately stops his war in Ukraine.
3. RUSSIA’S RESPONSIBILITY
Russia flagrantly violates international law, in particular:
- Russian military vessels are blocking access and deliberately attacking civil ships (five as of 16 March) along Ukraine’s shore in the Black Sea in violation of the international law of the sea. 94 ships remain blocked in the Ukrainian ports due to Russia’s illegal actions;
- In violation of the International Convention of the Safety of Life at Sea, the humanitarian aid mission (the rescue ship ‘Sapphire’) was captured by Russian warships in the Serpent (Zmiinyi) Island area and moved to the occupied port of Sevastopol. Two other Ukrainian civil ships were de facto pirated by Russian warships;
- In violation of the Hague conventions on the Laws and Customs of War on Land, Russia continues to mobilize thousands of residents of the temporarily occupied parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions. The mobilization age on those territories was increased to 65 years. They are sent to the forward positions of the Russian troops as cannon fodder;
- On 11 March, the UN OHCHR confirmed the use of cluster munitions by Russian troops in populated areas, incompatible with the international humanitarian law principles;
- The case of white phosphorus bomb attack is reported in the vicinity of Luhansk, the details are being investigated;
- Russia uses civilians as hostages and human shield. By exposing cities to indiscriminate shelling, creating a dire humanitarian situation, and firing at civilians during evacuation from the besieged Ukrainian cities to other places in Ukraine, Russia is forcing civilians to flee their homes and providing only a corridor to its territory or to Belarus, which could be considered as forcible deportation of protected persons according to IHL;
- There is evidence of Ukrainian women being raped by the Russian soldiers;
- Russia’s attacks target residential areas, air bomb shelters for civilians, medical infrastructure, and transport means used for medical, humanitarian support and evacuation purposes;
- The Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine launched a portal with information on the destruction of cultural and historical monuments of Ukraine by Russian aggressors. These materials will prove in the International Criminal Court Russia’s real goal, which is extermination of Ukrainian nation, culture, history and identity.
According to the Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine:
- 2275 aggression and war crimes have been already registered (of which 2216 for violating the laws and customs of war);
- 97 suspects among Russia’s military and political leadership were determined;
- 1446 crimes against national security are being investigated, of which 1007 on encroachment on the territorial integrity and inviolability of Ukraine, 295 — state treason, 52 — sabotage.
Responsibility for Russia’s war against Ukraine lies with the entire Russian society, not only president Putin and his proxies. All of them must bear the consequences:
- The decision to start a war of aggression was taken by Putin. At the same time, 74% of Russian citizens (the number is growing) support this war and mass killings of Ukrainians. This is shared responsibility;
- Russian soldiers murder Ukrainian citizens, Russian journalists make propaganda, Russian officials and enterprises work to support Putin’s decisions. This is not a one man show;
- European politicians and corporations drawing separating lines between Putin and “ordinary Russians” simply try to justify doing business as usual and making bloody money by trading with Russia even in the time of war, financed by such a business;
- According to a case study conducted in March by Active Group and published on 16 March, 86.6% of Russians support the idea of Russian aggression against EU countries. The main next target after Ukraine, 75.5% of Russian respondents chose Poland, 41% of respondents voted for an attack on the Baltic countries, 39.6% — one of the Warsaw Pact countries (Bulgaria, Hungary, former Czechoslovakia), 32.4% — Georgia, 28.8% — Moldova.
We welcome all steps made by the international institutions to bring Russia to justice:
- On 26 February, Ukraine submitted its application against Russia to the International Court of Justice, requesting the Court to issue an order that Russia must cease its unlawful attack on Ukraine. Although Russia has notified the ICJ that it does not intend to participate in the process, this did not prevent the hearing. On 16 March, the ICJ ordered Russia to immediately stop the invasion, the order being binding under international law. Russia must comply immediately, as ignoring the ICJ will isolate Russia even further;
- On 1 March, the ECHR decided to indicate to the Government of Russia to refrain from military attacks against civilians and civilian objects;
- International Criminal Court Prosecutor opened an investigation into the situation in Ukraine. The ICC investigators have already arrived to Ukraine to collect evidence;
- According to the Office of Prosecutor General of Ukraine, six countries have opened criminal cases in relation to Russian war crimes (Estonia, Lithuania, Germany, Poland, Slovakia, and Sweden);
- All cases of violation of the provisions of international and international humanitarian law must be registered by the respective international bodies.
4. DIPLOMATIC EFFORTS
The world supports Ukraine. Russia becomes increasingly isolated:
- On 25 February, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe suspended Russia`s rights of representation in CMCE and PACE. On 16 March, Russia was excluded from the Council of Europe, after 26 years of membership;
- On 27 February, by a recorded vote of 11 in favour to 1 against (Russia), with 3 abstentions (China, India, UAE), the UN SC adopted a resolution calling on the UN GA Emergency Special session on Ukraine, effectively taking over the functions of the UN SC. On 2 March, the UN GA with overwhelming majority of votes (141 YES and only 5 NO, with 35 abstained) adopted the Resolution on Russian invasion to Ukraine;
- On 3 March, Russia was suspended from the Council of the Baltic Sea States;
- On 3 March, 45 OSCE participating States have invoked the Moscow mechanism for Russia’s war against Ukraine;
- On 4 March, the UN HR Council adopted the Resolution «Situation of human rights in Ukraine stemming from the Russian aggression» (32 YES, 2 NO and 13 Abstained);
- On 8 March, the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) has condemned Russia’s military invasion into Ukraine and suspended Russia’s Observer status;
- On 8 March, the OECD decided to suspend the participation of Russia and Belarus;
- Russia was banned from many sport organizations. In particular, all Russian teams were suspended from participation in both FIFA and UEFA competitions until further notice. On 16 March, the FIDE Council suspended the national teams of Russia and Belarus from participation in official FIDE chess tournaments;
- On 10–11 March, the IMO Extraordinary Council Session deplored Russia’s attacks on commercial vessels and their seizures, demanding that Russia cease its unlawful activities;
- We appreciate the visit held to Kyiv on 15 March by the Heads of Governments of Czechia, Poland and Slovenia. Personal presence in the capital of defending country in war is a strong message of support;
- On 17 March, the Danube Commission at its extraordinary meeting adopted the decision to suspend Russia’s representation;
- On 17 March, the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunication Administrations has indefinitely suspended Russia and Belarus from membership;
- On 24 March 2022, the UN GA with overwhelming majority of votes (140 YES and only 5 NO, with 38 abstained) adopted the resolution “Humanitarian Consequences of the Aggression against Ukraine”;
- On 24 March the European Council held an exchange of views with the US President and made conclusions on Russian military aggression against Ukraine. The EC demands Russia to stop it’s military aggression in the territory of Ukraine, immediately and unconditionally withdraw all forces and military equipment from the entire territory of Ukraine and fully respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence within its internationally recognized borders. The EC also urged Russia to guarantee safe passage for civilians and fully respect its obligations under the international law.
Russia’s diplomatic and political isolation must continue:
- We call our partners to follow our example (Ukraine has terminated diplomatic relations with Russia) and to expel Russia’s ambassadors immediately;
- The international organizations must consider banning Russia’s membership for blatant violations of international law (as, for instance, the Council of Europe did);
- Countries, which support Russia’s actions in one way or another, should bear the consequences (Ukraine has recalled Ambassadors in Kyrgyzstan and Georgia for consultations following the unfriendly steps done by these countries);
- The global web movement Avaaz posted an online petition calling on world leaders to bring Putin to international responsibility for crimes in Ukraine. As of 17:00 24 March, it was signed by around 1.391.000 people from all over the world, out of the target number of 2 mln signatories;
- The global web movement Avaaz posted a new petition calling on world leaders to ban imports of Russian oil, gas and coal and stop doing business with Russian fossil fuel companies now. As of 10:00 25 March, it was signed by around 895.000 people from all over the world.
Ending the war, launched by Russia, remains Ukraine’s key priority. We urgently need ceasefire and humanitarian corridors for civilians to prevent further casualties:
- Four rounds of Ukrainian-Russian negotiations were held on 28 February, 3 March, 7 March, 14–16 March, and 21 March. The working groups were established, talks are held daily by video link;
- On 10 March, Minister Kuleba and Minister Lavrov met in Turkey: no constructive responses by the Russian side on ceasefire and humanitarian corridors;
- Russia is facing military defeats on the ground, which influence its unrealistic stance in the talks;
- As reiterated by President Zelenskyy on 20 March, no ultimatums will be accepted by Ukraine, including on the territorial integrity and sovereignty. The personal meeting between Presidents of Ukraine and Russia will be critical for restoration of peace;
- We need international legally binding long-term guarantees of security. Such guarantees can be provided in particular by the UN SC Member States and Ukraine’s neighbors, similar to the mechanism envisaged by the North Atlantic Treaty. They need to be strong enough to prevent any further attempts by Russia to attack Ukraine.
5. ACTIONS BY THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY
Ukrainian people are dying for the freedom of Ukraine and Europe. We strive for a full-fledged EU membership:
- According to the polls, held on 1 March, 86% of Ukrainian citizens support joining the EU, and 76% support accession to NATO;
- Majority (nearly 71% according to the recent polls) of the EU citizens also support Ukraine’s membership;
- On 28 February, President of Ukraine signed an official application for the EU membership for Ukraine within new urgent procedure. Ten EU countries have already supported it. Our application should be considered separately from Georgia and Moldova;
- On 1 March, the European Parliament (637 votes pro, 13 votes contra, 26 abstained) adopted Resolution, calling on European institutions to work towards granting Ukraine the status of EU candidate country and imposing tougher sanctions against Russia;
- On 10–11 March, the Informal meeting of EU heads of state or government adopted the statement on Russian aggression against Ukraine, in which “acknowledged the European aspirations and the European choice of Ukraine, as stated in the Association Agreement”;
- We expect further steps on EU membership for Ukraine to be taken as fast as possible.
We are grateful for the decisions already taken by our friends and partners, including:
- for arms, military equipment and ammunitions sent over to us by our partners;
- for the decision of Turkey to block the access of Russian warships to the Black Sea;
- for introducing the ban on Russian aircrafts in the airspace (EU, USA, UK, Canada, North Macedonia, Moldova, Norway, USA, Iceland, Switzerland, Montenegro, Albania), as well as the supply, leasing, insurance and maintenance of aircrafts;
- for the humanitarian support provided for the citizens of Ukraine;
- for fuel supplies (Azerbaijan’s SOCAR);
- as part of its fourth package of sanctions against Russia released on 18 March, the European Commission confirmed that it had banned imports of iron and steel products from Russia, and revoked the most-favored-nation trade regime.
The unprecedented sanctions (nearly 6000 as of now) are of particular importance, isolating Russia’s economy and severely undermining its economic and financial capacities to continue aggression. Atrocities, which continue to be committed by Russia in Ukraine, confirm that sanctions must be further strengthened and expanded. The world has to stop buying Russian commodities, which continue to finance Kremlin’s war against Ukraine:
- Russia lost access to half of its gold and currency reserve. The US has banned the export of US dollars, and the EU has banned the supply of euro banknotes to Russia;
- Russian currency has drastically depreciated, almost twice as of now;
- Russian companies go bankrupt;
- Doing business with Russia becomes increasingly toxic, causing severe reputational and business losses. As of 22 March, almost 240 Western companies have already left Russia, and 378 made this partially. This process should continue, as Russia’s economy has entered a stage of rapid degradation, and in several weeks the withdrawal of investments will be much more complicated;
- The Western Union payment system has decided to suspend the possibility of conducting operations in Russia from 1 April. The remittances sent to Russia from other countries and not paid by 24 March 2022, will be returned to the sender;
- Experts estimate that about 3 mln Russian citizens will become unemployed;
- Russia’s sovereign ratings are downgraded, leading to default on public debt;
- Russia’s economy will face deep recession (decline 7 – 14% in 2022 is expected according to the different forecasts).
Further actions need to be done immediately:
- no-flight zone over Ukraine to cease the shelling of civilians by Russia and ensure the safety of critical infrastructure such as Nuclear Power Plants;
- strengthening Ukraine’s air and ground defense system, including by providing military aircrafts, Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), tanks, anti-ship weapons. Even 1% of the current quantity possessed by NATO member states will help us to balance Russia’s current advantage;
- disconnect all Russian banks from SWIFT, first and foremost «Sberbank»;
- refrain from making payments in Russian roubles, and from strengthening the Russian currency thereby;
- expanding sanctions to Lukashenka’s regime in Belarus;
- complete trade embargo on Russia, most notably on oil, gas, gold and minerals (daily, Europe pays Russia over 600 million EUR for oil and gas);
- preventing Russia from the use of crypto-currencies to circumvent sanctions;
- monitor any attempts by Russian citizens to avoid sanctions (as was the case with the Swiss “Dukascopy Bank” which was issuing Visa/Mastercard cards to Russian residents until it was disclosed by Ukrainian journalists);
- closure of ports for Russian vessels (following the UK, Canada and Cyprus) and ban for the ships under the EU member-states and US flags to come to the Russian sea ports;
- ban of all Russian channels of propaganda broadcasting fakes on Russia’s war on Ukraine;
- supporting Ukraine with weapons including cruise missiles, protective gear, ammunition, fuel, and whatever else necessary to counter the biggest army in the continent;
- deputinizing the world: ending Putin’s influence in politics, diplomacy, business, sports, culture, research & other spheres;
- encouraging private business to withdraw their investments, relocate production sites from Russia, and cut running contracts;
- imposing a visa-regime for holders of Russian diplomatic passports, blocking new visas and residency permits and revoking existing ones for Russian officials and their families;
- Prime Minister of Ukraine has officially appealed to the G7 countries regarding the status of Russia’s and Belarus’ membership in the IMF and all World Bank organizations;
- excluding Russia from the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering and designating it on FATF’s black list without delay.
The war launched by President of Russia, must be stopped. It is not in the interest of Russian and Belarusian citizens:
- We are grateful to the wide Ukrainian community abroad, which joined the Government of Ukraine in delivering the truth on Russia’s war in Europe;
- Anti-war demonstrations held by citizens of many nations throughout the world demonstrate strong support to Ukraine in defending against Russia;
- It is critical to keep informing Russian and Belarusian citizens on the aggressive war conducted without their consent against Ukraine by their leaders;
- Russian and Belarusian people are protesting against attacking Ukraine. Thousands are detained.
6. ECONOMIC RECOVERY
One of Russia’s key goals in the war it has launched is to destroy Ukraine’s economy, to make us a “failed state”, which would not be able to resist Russia’s pressure and influence:
- Since the start of war, a major part of economic activity has stalled: nearly 30% of Ukraine’s economy does not function. Many industrial plants located primarily in eastern Ukraine suspended their work. Russia’s blockade of Ukrainian ports in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov disrupts Ukraine’s export;
- Russian troops damage and destroy bridges and roads, attack agricultural equipment to prevent the start of the sowing campaign;
- The Ukrainian Government estimates that overall direct economic losses in Ukraine caused by Russia’s military aggression has already reached 565 bln USD (as of 15 March);
- According to the IMF report of 14 March, Ukraine’s GDP will contract 10% in 2022 if there’s a prompt resolution to the war, and much more if it continues further.
The Russian war against Ukraine is a threat to global food security. Defending Ukraine also protects the world from hunger and famine.
- Ukraine’s exports comprise about 10% of all wheat, 16% of all corn and 55% of all sunflower oil in the world;
- Due to the military actions of the Russian Federation in Ukraine, a large-scale humanitarian crisis will commence in the world in the near future;
- Russian invaders are blocking Ukrainian ports and deliberately destroying agricultural machinery. Food exports from Ukraine are partially suspended;
- In addition to Ukraine, the crisis is beginning to affect numerous other countries that import grain crops. 400 million lives in the Middle East, North Africa and Asia are at risk of unstable access to food, malnutrition and famine;
- Even being under Russia’s attack, Ukraine is determined to start the sowing campaign according to the plan.
We must do our utmost to thwart Russia’s plans and to keep Ukraine afloat:
- Ukraine’s business and industry outside the war zone continue working to support Ukraine’s economy. With support of the Ukrainian authorities, the relocation from the war zone continues. The Ministry of Economy of Ukraine reports about 898 relocation applications from the enterprises;
- On 15 March, the Ukrainian Parliament adopted the law aimed at supporting Ukrainian business in war time, including by cutting red tape and simplifying tax system;
- The Ukrainian authorities started preparing support to the spring sowing campaign where the current situation allows, including by ensuring state reimbursement for interest on loans to cover any expenses related to the agricultural activities;
- The Ukrainian government established four funds: support to Ukrainian army and humanitarian assistance; restoration of destroyed infrastructure; re-launch of small and medium business; servicing external debt.
We are grateful for all financial and technical assistance urgently provided to Ukraine. This strengthens our resilience to Russia’s war:
- On 7 March, the World Bank has mobilized an Emergency Financing Package of over 700 mln USD for Ukraine;
- On 9 March, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has announced an initial 2 bln EUR resilience package of measures to help citizens, companies and countries affected by the war against Ukraine. The Bank has also pledged to do all it can to help with the country’s reconstruction, once conditions allow;
- According to the decision adopted on 9 March, the IMF has provided 1.4 bln USD in Emergency Financing Support to Ukraine;
- On 15 March, President Biden signed the bill with 13.6 bln USD to aid Ukraine and support NATO in Eastern Europe;
- On 16 March, Ukraine has finally joined ENTSO-E. This will significantly enhance our energy independence and prevent any blackmailing in this sphere from Russia and Belarus;
- On 18 March, President of the EU Commission announced second disbursement of 300 mln EUR to Ukraine under the new emergency Macro-Financial Assistance programme;
- The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said the EU would provide an additional 500 mln EUR to Ukraine;
- On 21 March, the UAH/USD Swap Agreement for 1 bln USD in equivalent between the central banks of Ukraine and Poland came into force. It will increase Ukraine’s international reserves and macrofinancial stability.
We need to restore Ukraine’s economy when we win. We will need further significant support by the world in rebuilding our country from Russia-brought destruction:
- Establishment of the international fund with the capital of at least 500 billion USD;
- Financial and technical support to strengthen Ukraine’s defensive capacities and prevent any further attempts by Russia to launch a war in Europe;
- Soonest possible access to the EU structural funds for the post-war reconstruction of Ukraine (taken into account submission of the application for the EU membership);
- Massive investments, grants and contributions to relaunch Ukraine’s economy;
- Russia’s property, confiscated abroad as a part of the imposed sanctions, has to become a part of reparations by Russia to Ukraine.