- WAR SITUATION 1
- HUMANITARIAN SITUATION 3
- RUSSIA’S RESPONSIBILITY 5
- DIPLOMATIC EFFORTS 7
- ACTIONS BY THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY 8
- ECONOMIC RECOVERY 10
1. WAR SITUATION
Russia’s original invasion plan aimed in particular at simultaneous seizure of Kyiv, Kharkiv and Odesa has failed. Currently, the Russian troops are being regrouped in order to support the offensive operations in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, most notably the city of Mariupol, with the aim to move the front line to the administrative boundaries of those two regions, and to make another attempt to seize the city of Kharkiv:
- Following military defeats on the ground, Russia has withdrawn its forces from the Kyiv, Chernihiv and Sumy regions. In other areas, they are being regrouped and replenished in order to renew the advance into Ukraine’s territory;
- 134,500 new conscripts are expected to join Russia’s army as a result of annual spring conscription, which started on 1 April. From 4 April to 23 May, Russia plans to hold a military meeting with reservists: the hidden mobilization may take place of about 60 thousand people, mostly from the Krasnodar region, Perm region, Dagestan, Ingushetia, and Kalmykia;
- Russia fires missiles (1,370 as of 31 March, including hundreds to the residential areas), attacks with aviation, tanks and artillery, and sends subversion and reconnaissance groups (>600 members of such groups were detained since the start of war as of 4 April). Ukraine became a testing ground for Russian missiles, 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. Russia’s air power raises serious security concerns even among NATO countries. Ukraine needs support in defending its sky, otherwise this threat would expand to our neighbours;
- Russian troops and illegal armed formations stationed in the Transnistrian region of the Republic of Moldova demonstrate readiness for the offensive operations against Ukraine;
- Several towns were temporarily occupied (including Kherson, Berdiansk, 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);
- Russian troops actively mine vast areas of Ukraine (~82,525 km2 as of 21 March) even while retreating, including with anti-personnel mines;
- In the Black Sea, floating Russian mines seized by Russia in Crimea in 2014 and released in 2022, pose the gravest security threat to all vessels;
- Russia organizes cyber-attacks (120 since the start of war, as of 2 April) through the specialized hacker groups affiliated with the Federal Security Service and the Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces, and fake news campaigns aimed to sow panic in Ukraine 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;
- According to rough estimates of Ukrainian experts, the cost of month of war for Russia amounts to 610 bln USD, which is comparable to Russia’s frozen assets abroad. The amount of its technical equipment and machinery (over 4,000 pcs) lost to Ukraine exceeds the amount possessed by many countries in Europe and in the world;
- On 1 April, mutual exchange of prisoners of war took place between Ukraine and Russia. 86 Ukrainian military including 15 women are now safe in the government-controlled territory. According to their testimony, during their captivity the Russian side was regularly violating the Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War.
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 probable. 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. At the same time, only 3% of Belarus residents support joining this war.
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, the Russian troops were withdrawn from it;
- No big cities with the only exception of Kherson were taken. Ukraine managed to establish defense and counter-attack. Recently, dozens of towns and villages were liberated in Kyiv, Chernihiv, Kherson, Zaporizhzhya, and Sumy regions. 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. Anti-Russian demonstrations continue until now, for five weeks of war, despite intimidations and hunt by the Russian occupiers for activists, journalists and local authorities. 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.
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 authorities do not inform soldiers’ families on their fate. Instead, their families are already receiving reports of their deaths or disappearances, although they are still alive and in captivity;
- As of 27 March, seven Russian high-ranking officers are known to have been killed in Ukraine, including major generals and lieutenants generals. The Russian side had acknowledged the death of only one of them;
- 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). On 25 March, Russian military officials stated the loss of 1,351 in manpower and 3,825 wounded;
- On 31 March, Russia has blocked extension of the mandate of the OSCE SMM, which could shed additional light on Russia’s war and crimes against Ukraine.
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 initially prepared for invasion have already been sent to Ukraine. They were stopped everywhere and face severe logistical challenges. Russia pursues “hidden” mobilization, searches for mercenaries and private military companies, sends troops from the occupied parts of Georgia to replenish losses by forming additional units;
- The Russian troops are suffering heavy losses. As of 6 April, they constitute about 18,600 personnel, 150 aircrafts, 135 helicopters, 96 UAVs, 684 tanks, 1,861 armored vehicles, 332 artillery systems, 107 MLRS, 55 anti-aircraft systems, 7 vessels/boats;
- Nearly 600 Russian militaries remain captive in Ukraine. The moral and psychological state of the Russian troops remains low. More and more Russian soldiers refuse to go to war. According to the Security Service of Ukraine, some captured Russian servicemen testify that they are forced to fight in Ukraine, under the threat of a prison term of thirteen years;
- Attacking Ukraine, Russia is exhausting its stocks of missiles. Its military-industrial complex has to work 24/7 to replenish them;
- Over 20 Russian military enterprises were forced to suspend their activities in whole or in part due to shortage of parts and components, including the research and production enterprise «Vimpel» (production of aircraft missiles) and the only Russian tank company «Uralvagonzavod»;
- 95% of Ukrainian citizens (as of 5 April) are convinced that we will win this defensive war against Russia. Mayors of Ukrainian towns reject Russia’s proposals to surrender despite intimidations and atrocities committed by the Russian occupiers;
- 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”;
- From 24 February to 31 March, the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant was under control of the Russian troops. The consequences are now being assessed. The Russian military have twice damaged the power line, which could lead to the leak of radiation (both times, the Ukrainian repair teams restored it). During the occupation of the exclusion zone, fires were recorded in natural complexes and abandoned villages affecting the area of about 10,287 ha. The IAEA plans to send the first aid and support mission to the Plant in the next few days;
- The IAEA has lost connection with the monitoring systems of guarantees both in Chornobyl and Zaporizhzhya;
- On 10, 26 and 28 March, Russian troops fired 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. On 5 April, a cistern with nitric acid was damaged by Russian shelling in the town of Rubiznhe, causing its leakage and danger to local residents;
- 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, as well as intercepted communications, confirm that bombardments and shelling of residential areas have deliberate character;
- 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. In the liberated towns and villages, Ukrainian servicemen continue to find dead civilians, killed with their hands tied in dozens by Russian army;
- 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 the territory of Russia and Belarus from temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine. From Mariupol alone, 45,000 people have been trafficked to the filtration camps and further to the Russian territory and parts of Ukraine, temporarily occupied by Russia.
- These are violations of international humanitarian law and crimes against humanity.
Humanitarian situation is rapidly deteriorating:
- The residential areas of such cities as Kharkiv, Mariupol, Chernihiv, Sumy, 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. Nearly 130,000 civilians remain in blockade without water, heat, electricity, and communications. Thousands of civilians lost their lives due to Russian attacks and blockade. The current number of civilian deaths in Mariupol is estimated to reach 5,000 including about 210 children. Russia’s crimes include bombardment of a drama theatre where up to 1,300 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;
- In the liberated town of Bucha, hundreds of civilians were found, murdered by the Russian troops during occupation. 410 bodies have been taken by the law enforcement agencies for examination. In the towns of Borodianka and Hostomel located close to Bucha, hundreds of civilians more went missing, were killed or wounded. The massacre committed by the Russian military demonstrates real hatred towards Ukrainians and represents war crimes, which need to be investigated and those responsible brought to justice. We expect international community to condemn these war crimes by Russia and contribute to bringing it to justice;
- The UN OHCHR recorded 3,675 confirmed civilian casualties in Ukraine: 1,480 killed and 2,195 injured (as of midnight 4 April). The OHCHR believes that the real figures are considerably higher;
- According to UNICEF, the war in Ukraine has led to the displacement of 4.5 mln children – more than half of the country’s estimated 7.5 mln child population, including 2 mln children who have crossed into neighbouring countries as refugees and 2.5 mln who are now internally displaced inside Ukraine;
- Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine is investigating crimes committed by Russia during the full-scale invasion including the killing 167 children and injuring over 279 (as of 6 April). The data on children killed and injured in Mariupol is being established;
- According to the estimates by the Ministry for Reintegration of the Temporary Occupied Territories of Ukraine, as of 1 April, 533 educational institutions, 196 healthcare facilities, and 300 kindergartens were destroyed or damaged by the Russian troops. Roads, airports and bridges, fuel stations and oil refineries, food warehouses and water reservoirs continue to be targeted. ~6,800 residential buildings and 59 religious buildings were damaged or destroyed;
- According to the UNHCR, ~10.7 mln (1/4 of the total population) people have fled their homes in Ukraine: >6.5 mln people were displaced inside Ukraine, and 4.2 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. Seven humanitarian corridors in operation on 5 April allowed the evacuation of 3846 people, including 1496 from Mariupol. Eleven humanitarian corridors are planned for 6 April.
We need further humanitarian assistance. According to the UNHCR, 13 mln Ukrainian citizens are estimated to be in urgent need of humanitarian assistance across the country:
- 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 Prime Minister of Ukraine, as of 31 March Ukraine received >163,000 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 4 April, donors raised 606.4 mln USD or 53 per cent of the funds requested. In addition, UNHCR appealed for 550 mln USD to support Ukrainian refugees fleeing neighboring countries;
- We expect the ICRC to request from Russia the lists of Ukrainian citizens forcibly transferred to Russia’s territory, in particular from Mariupol.
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 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. They continue to be used: on 4 April, in the city of Mykolaiv alone, 10 civilians were killed and 61 wounded following Russia’s shelling with cluster munitions;
- The white phosphorus bomb attacks by Russia become regular practice in Donetsk and Luhansk regions;
- Human Rights Watch has documented several cases of Russian military forces committing laws-of-war violations against civilians in occupied areas of Ukraine, including repeated rapes, summary execution, looting and violent acts;
- 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;
- 24 Ukraine’s public officials have been kidnapped since the beginning of Russia’s aggression;
- Russia’s attacks target residential areas, air bomb shelters for civilians, medical infrastructure, and transport means used for medical, humanitarian support and evacuation purposes;
- According to the UNESCO, at least 53 Ukrainian historical sites, religious buildings and museums had sustained damage during Russia’s invasion (as of 1 April). 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 (135 as of 31 March). These materials will prove in the International Criminal Court Russia’s real goal, which is extermination of Ukrainian nation, culture, history and identity;
- Russia’s activity on forcibly conscripting and mobilizing men from the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine is a violation of the international humanitarian law. The particular cynicism is the conscription of the citizens of Ukraine, who are passing through the humanitarian corridors and forcing them to combat against Ukraine.
According to the Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine (as of 6 April):
- 4684 aggression and war crimes have been already registered (of which 4533 for violating the laws and customs of war);
- 353 suspects among Russia’s military and political leadership were determined;
- 2400 crimes against national security are being investigated, of which 1608 on encroachment on the territorial integrity and inviolability of Ukraine, 425 – state treason, 56 – 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;
- According to the Minister of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine, recently the Kremlin’s propagandists began actively promoting narratives aimed at cultivating Russians’ hatred towards all Ukrainians;
- 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, as well as statements made by the heads of state and government throughout the world, on Russia’s responsibility for war crimes:
- 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 visited Ukraine to collect evidence. The Ministry of Justice of Ukraine informs that as of 28 March 42 states have filed their appeals to the International Criminal Court in relation to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine;
- 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);
- On 30 March, the President of the UN Human Rights Council announced the appointment of three independent members of the Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine, mandated to investigate violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in the context of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, established by the UNHRC Resolution «Situation of human rights in Ukraine stemming from the Russian aggression» of 4 March 2022;
- All cases of violation of the provisions of international and international humanitarian law must be registered by the respective international bodies. Particular attention must be paid to Bucha and other towns of the Kyiv region, in which evidence of Russian war crimes must be collected as soon as possible.
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. This led to suspension of all joint activities with institutions located in Russia (including Joint Institute for Nuclear Research) and Belarus;
- On 8 March, the OECD decided to suspend the participation of Russia and Belarus;
- Russia and Belarus were banned from 90-95% world sport organizations (according to the estimates by the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Ukraine);
- 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;
- 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, 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 in its conclusions on the Russian military aggression against Ukraine has demanded Russia to stop its military aggression in the territory of Ukraine, withdraw all forces, fully respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence within its internationally recognized borders, and to guarantee safe passage for civilians with full respect to its obligations under the international law;
- On 27 March, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) officially announced the closure of its offices in Moscow and Minsk. On 4 April, the EBRD has formally suspended access by Russia and Belarus to its resources;
- The International Labour Organization (ILO) has suspended all technical cooperation with Russia until the ceasefire is implemented and peaceful resolution is adopted;
- More than 100 Russian diplomats were expelled from the EU countries in March 2022. This process continues in April: dozens of them were expelled from Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Denmark;
- On 31 March, the World Organization of Nuclear Operators (WANO) changed the operator for Ukrainian Nuclear Power Plants from Moscow to Paris WANO Centre;
- The UN SC rejected Russia’s demand to convene its meeting on 4 April for Russia to deliver its fakes on the war crimes committed by the Russian troops in the Kyiv region. Instead, the UK Presidency convened the meeting on 5 April: President Zelenskyy delivered a statement on Russia’s atrocities.
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) and dismissing Russian citizens from their Secretariats to eliminate Russia’s influence;
- We urge the contracting parties to major environmental treaties to suspend operation of such treaties in regard to the aggressor country and to terminate Russia’s membership in the governing and advisory bodies. Relevant appeals were sent to 13 UN conventions;
- 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);
- Four online petitions were posted at the global web movement Avaaz (the number of signatures as of 6 April): on bringing Putin to international responsibility for crimes in Ukraine (1.582 mln people, an increase of 120,000 in the last 24 hours), on the ban of imports of Russian oil, gas and coal (1,010 mln people), on cessation of Russia’s war against Ukraine (by ~ 2.331 mln people) and on rejecting war and nuclear weapons (1.048 mln people).
Ending the war, launched by Russia, remains Ukraine’s key priority. Six rounds of Ukrainian-Russian negotiations were held on 28 February, 3 March, 7 March, 14–16 March, 21 March, and 29 March. At the last round of negotiations on 29 March, the Ukrainian side has officially presented its proposals on the new system of security guarantees for Ukraine:
- an international treaty signed and ratified by all guarantee states (US, UK, France, China, and Russia as UN SC, as well as Turkey, Germany, Canada, Italy, Poland and Israel are considered, with the possibility for other states to join). Such treaty would envisage an improved analogue of the NATO mechanism for consultations and legally-binding commitments to provide military assistance in the case of attack against Ukraine;
- the international security guarantees will temporarily not cover the parts of territory temporarily occupied by Russia in Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk regions and Crimea;
- all guarantee states will support Ukraine’s accession to the EU;
- for the next 15 years, Ukraine and Russia will negotiate the status of Crimea, with the commitment in place not to use force to solve the problem;
- the issue of certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions will be discussed during the personal meeting of President Zelenskyy and president putin;
- all proposals by the Ukrainian authorities will be agreed with Ukrainian society, through the referendum. If the continuation of the NATO course will be supported in the referendum, new negotiations will be held with the Russian side.
Negotiations with Russia and consultations with the possible guarantee states continue. We are currently expecting Russia to provide written response to the proposals submitted by Ukraine on 29 March. On 4 April, President Zelenskyy established with his Decree an official delegation of Ukraine to negotiate the draft Treaty on security guarantees for Ukraine. According to the Head of Ukrainian state, different guarantee states might have different security guarantees, this will be decided in the course of consultations.
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 and expect further steps on it to be taken as fast as possible:
- 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”;
- On 24 March, the European Council in its conclusions on the Russian military aggression against Ukraine has reaffirmed the Versailles Declaration, acknowledging the European aspirations and the European choice of Ukraine.
- On 1 April, President of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola stated during her visit to Ukraine that the EU recognises Ukraine’s European ambitions and aspirations to be a candidate country for accession;
- We expect the European Commission to confirm until the end of April Ukraine’s correspondence to the candidate status criteria;
We are grateful for the decisions already taken by our friends and partners. Some of them were unprecedented, such as EU providing 1 bln EUR to the Armed Forces of Ukraine (within the European Peace Facility) or neutral Switzerland freezing Russia’s assets:
- arms, military equipment and ammunitions sent over to us by our partners;
- decisions taken by a number of countries to stop buying Russian energy resources, the main source of financing Russia’s war machine;
- the decision of Turkey to block the access of Russian warships to the Black Sea;
- 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;
- humanitarian support provided for the citizens of Ukraine;
- fuel supplies, including for the sowing campaign (Azerbaijan);
- Russia’s assets frozen in many countries of the world.
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, as well as introduced by those countries which have not made this until now. 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 (including 132 bln USD of gold blocked by the US). The US has banned the export of US dollars, and the EU has banned the supply of euro banknotes to Russia;
- Russian currency (real exchange rate, not the official one) has drastically depreciated. Inflation in 2022 is expected 18 – 25%;
- Russian companies go bankrupt. 27% (and the number is growing) of Russian companies has laid off employees;
- Doing business with Russia becomes increasingly toxic, causing severe reputational and business losses. More than five hundred companies refused to work in Russia or to cooperate with it and its citizens, as well as to supply their products and services there. This process should continue, as Russia’s economy has entered a stage of rapid degradation, and soon the withdrawal of investments will be much more complicated;
- The sanctions imposed on Russia’s main railway company, «Russian Railways», left Russia almost entirely without railway connection with the EU;
- Payment systems Visa, Mastercard, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, PayPal, Payoneer, MoneyGram, JCB, Paysera and transfer systems Western Union, Paysend, Wise completely stop working in Russia and stop all card transactions;
- 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).
Half-measures are not enough. Further actions need to be done immediately to stop Russia’s war machine:
- complete trade and transport embargo on Russia, most notably on oil, gas, gold and minerals (according to the estimates by Bloomberg, due to high energy prices Russia may earn ~320 bln USD in 2022);
- disconnect all Russian banks from SWIFT, first and foremost «Sberbank»;
- closure of ports for Russian vessels and ban for the ships under the EU member-states and US flags to come to the Russian sea ports;
- 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, MLRS, tanks, anti-ship weapons. As stressed by President Zelenskyy, those who are afraid to make the necessary decisions, are co-responsible for the catastrophe created by Russian troops in Ukrainian cities;
- deprive Russia of the opportunity to use GPS in war;
- refrain from making payments in Russian roubles for oil, gas and grain;
- expanding sanctions to Lukashenka’s regime in Belarus;
- preventing Russia from the use of crypto-currencies to circumvent sanctions;
- monitor any attempts by Russia and Russian citizens to avoid sanctions;
- expand sanctions to those richest people of Russia who are still free to finance Putin’s regime and war against Ukraine;
- block the railway route between China and Poland in transit through Russia and Belarus;
- ban of all Russian channels of propaganda broadcasting fakes on Russia’s war on Ukraine;
- 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. Doing business in Russia and paying taxes to Russia’s budget must be stopped (the largest foreign companies paid 20.2 bln USD in taxes to the Russian government in 2020, nearly 1/3 of Russia’s annual military budget);
- 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 (in addition to the EC recommendations to recall EU citizenship for the sanctioned owners of the so-called “golden passports” provided to major Russian and Belarusian investors);
- 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;
- moving the 45th session of UNESCO from Kazan, Russia, to Lviv, Ukraine, and excluding Russia from the organization;
- termination of any business relations with the nuclear insurance pools and insurance companies of the Russian Federation and its allies in Belarus.
Russia continues to demonstrate that it understands only the language of force. Russia’s attack on Ukraine has shown that if NATO remains silent, the situation on the world stage will worsen. 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:
- According to the estimates of the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine, one month of war costs 10 bln USD for Ukraine’s state budget;
- 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, which has decreased in March by half compared to February;
- According to the estimates by Prime Minister of Ukraine, the GDP of Ukraine has fallen by 35% in just one month of the war. The EBRD assesses that Ukraine’s economy will shrink by a fifth in 2022;
- Russian troops damage and destroy bridges and roads, attack agricultural equipment to prevent the sowing campaign. Due to the war, 30% of the sown area is unavailable;
- Having taken control over all the hydrotechnical equipment of the North Crimean water channel, every day Russia robs Ukraine of water worth 1 mln USD;
- Around 1,500 settlements have been cut off electricity, due to damage caused by the Russian aggression;
- The Ukrainian Government estimates that overall infrastructure and economic losses in Ukraine caused by Russia’s war, will exceed 1 trillion USD in the coming years.
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, 14% of all corn and 47% of all sunflower oil in the world;
- Due to Russia’s war, the overall size of the agricultural areas is expected to decrease in Ukraine by 30%. Russian invaders are blocking Ukrainian ports (and foreign ships there) and deliberately destroying agricultural machinery;
- As a result of Russia’s actions, food exports from Ukraine are partially suspended, as railway and roads remain the only viable, but limited routes (no more than 15% of the monthly volumes of exports in agrifood through traditional sea ways). If the war continues, Ukraine will not be able to supply the world with 6 mln tons of wheat and 15 mln tons of corn left over from the last harvest, and will not be able to fully sow and harvest this year;
- This will cause a large-scale humanitarian crisis in the world in the near future. 400 mln lives in the Middle East, North Africa and Asia are at risk of unstable access to food, malnutrition and famine;
- Notwithstanding Russia’s aggression, the sowing season has begun in 21 regions of Ukraine. Sowing can be carried out on 6 mln hectares of land (80% of the area covered in 2021);
- On 1 April, Russia threatened the world with restrictions on its export of agricultural products to «unfriendly» countries, openly referring to food exports as another weapon.
We 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: 300 enterprises (as of 28 March) have already been relocated and 60 of them have resumed their work, while nearly 1,000 more have applied to follow;
- The Ukrainian Parliament continues to adopt the laws aimed at supporting Ukrainian business in war time, including by cutting red tape, simplifying tax system, lifting import duties, insuring bank deposits etc;
- 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 (3 bln USD received as of 4 April); 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 EUR 2 bln 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;
- 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;
- On 24 March, the European Council agreed to develop a Ukraine Solidarity Trust Fund, invited international partners to participate and called for an international conference to raise funding.
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 bln 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.