- OPERATIONAL SITUATION
The Russian troops simultaneously attack Ukraine from the territory of Russia, Belarus and the temporarily occupied parts of Ukraine’s Donetsk, Luhansk regions and Crimea.
The main directions of Russia’s invasion remain Kyiv (with the key goal to change Government to a pro-Russian one), Kharkiv (second largest city of Ukraine close to the border with Russia), southern regions of Ukraine adjacent to Russia-occupied Crimea, the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, as well as the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
Russia fires hundreds of cruise and operational-tactical missiles at military positions and cities, attacks with aviation, tanks and artillery, and sends subversion and reconnaissance groups to attack civilian infrastructure. Amphibious landing is being prepared to the coastal regions of Ukraine (the city of Odesa is the main target).
The territory of Belarus is actively used by Russia for its military purposes: missiles are launched, and the airfield network is used for transportation of personnel and cargo. Despite Lukashenka’s statements, the direct engagement of Belarus armed forces remains highly probable. Lukashenka’s regime shares responsibility with Kremlin for its war against Ukraine.
Russian military vessels are blocking the access of civil ships to the North-Western part of the Black Sea along Ukraine’s shoreline and deliberately attacking them in violation of the international law of the sea. In violation of the International Convention of the Safety of Life at Sea, the humanitarian aid mission (the rescue ship ‘Sapphire’) was captured and detained by Russian warships in the Serpent (Zmiinyi) Island area. 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 has mobilized 3.5 thousand persons in the temporarily occupied certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions. They are being brought to Kherson oblast with the aim to be involved in further armed attacks of Russian Army on Ukrainian cities.
Despite the use of its best military units, Russia failed to reach the key goals. Ukraine did not surrender. Predominant majority of Russian troops prepared for invasion (111 out of 117 battalion tactical groups) have already been sent to Ukraine. Still, several towns were occupied, and several cities are attacked and besieged (Kharkiv, Kherson, Mariupol).
Russia’s irresponsible actions pose the gravest nuclear 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 Station, equal to six Chornobyl. Fortunately, Ukrainian firemen managed to put the fire out. The power station was seized by Russia, the situation remains very fragile. The Chornobyl Nuclear Power Station remains under control of the Russian troops since the first day of war. Russia’s nuclear-deterrence forces remain on alert. Regular threats by nuclear war continue.
The web-sites of the governmental institutions of Ukraine suffer from cyber attacks. The sabotage groups continue their attempts to sew panic among the civilian population, including by damaging critical civilian infrastructure.
- UKRAINE’S RESPONSE
In response to the full-scale war launched by Russia, Ukraine has activated its right for self-defence according to the Article 51 of the United Nations Charter.
Ukraine’s Armed Forces fight Russia’s Armed Forces. Tens of thousands of Ukrainian citizens have already joined the territorial defence units. This number is only growing. Volunteers are coming from abroad to join Ukraine’s International Legion.
The Russian troops are suffering heavy losses. As of morning 4 March, they constitute around 9166 personnel (killed and wounded), 33 aircrafts, 37 helicopters, 251 tanks, 939 armored vehicles of different types, 105 artillery systems, 50 MLRS, 404 trucks, 60 fuel cisterns, 18 anti-aircraft systems, 3 UAVs, 2 light speedboats.
The Russian leadership attempts to conceal real losses of the Russian troops in Ukraine, afraid of mass anti-war protests. Still, truth cannot be hidden. On 2 March, the Russian side has recognized losses, but stated only a small part of them. Russian population and Belarus people are protesting against attacking Ukraine. Thousands of Russian citizens have already been detained. Detentions are also widespread in Belarus.
88% of Ukrainian citizens are convinced that we will win this defensive war against Russia.
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.
On 24 February, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine approved President’s decision to impose the martial law on the entire territory of Ukraine for a period of 30 days. Due to this, some constitutional rights, fundamental freedoms and legitimate interests of legal entities may be temporarily restricted.
A curfew was introduced in a number of Ukrainian cities including Kyiv.
- HUMANITARIAN SITUATION
Faced with military defeats on the ground, the Russian troops began indiscriminate shelling of Ukrainian cities with missile strikes and heavy artillery. Kindergartens and schools, universities and hospitals, airports and fuel stations, bridges and water reservoirs are targeted.
Thousands of Ukrainian civilian citizens were killed and wounded.
Many people have lost their homes. Nearly 875 thousand Ukrainians were forced to leave Ukraine. Hundreds of thousands became IDPs.
Such towns as Schastya and Stanytsia Luhanska near Luhansk, or Volnovakha in the Donetsk region, are now nearly destroyed. The residential areas of such cities as Kharkiv, Chernihiv and many others, are intensively shelled, leaving daily dozens of innocent civilians killed and wounded. Almost the entire city of Mariupol has been left without heat, light and water. There were no military purposes to commit these crimes against humanity.
International Criminal Court Prosecutor opened an investigation into the situation in Ukraine. The ICC investigators have already been sent to Ukraine to collect evidence.
On 1 March, the Government of Ukraine has adopted a decree simplifying the procedure of delivery of the humanitarian assistance through the state border of Ukraine for the period of duration of martial law (immediate passage of humanitarian aid across the state border of Ukraine on the basis of the accompanying documents or the declaration). On 2 March, President Zelenskyy established the Coordination Office on Humanitarian and Social Issues, headed by the Head of the Office of the President.
We expect 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. All cases of violation of the provisions of international and international humanitarian law must be registered.
UN Humanitarian has launched emergency appeals for a combined $1.7 billion to urgently deliver humanitarian support to people inside Ukraine and refugees in neighbouring countries.
Russian military aggression not only kills Ukrainians, but 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. We call on all foreign governments to demand from President Putin that he immediately stops his war in Ukraine.
Ukrainian underaged children are crossing EU/Ukraine border without parents (together with adult friends/relatives) and without powers of attorney from parents. We request decision makers in the EU countries to provide clarifications/instructions to EU institutions in order to secure free movement of and assistance to such underaged persons and their guardians.
- DIPLOMATIC EFFORTS
The world supports Ukraine. The international coalition in defense of Ukraine and peace continues to grow. As of now, there are 86 countries and 13 international organizations. Their number is growing.
Ukraine has terminated diplomatic relations with Russia.
We have also recalled our Ambassadors in Kyrgyzstan and Georgia for consultations following the unfriendly steps done by these countries.
We call our partners to follow our example and to expel Russia’s ambassadors immediately. The international organizations must consider banning Russia’s membership for blatant violations of international law.
On 25 February, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe adopted the decision to suspend the Russia`s rights of representation in the Committee of Ministers and in the Parliamentary Assembly.
On 1 March, the ECHR decided to indicate to the Government of Russia to refrain from military attacks against civilians and civilian objects.
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, urging Russia, in particular, to withdraw its troops from the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders, that is including Crimea and Donbas.
UN Secretary-General has appointed Amin Awad as UN Crisis Coordinator for Ukraine. He will lead the coordination of all UN efforts, including its humanitarian response.
13 Russian diplomats were expelled from the Russian Mission to the UN.
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 (the expert mission will establish violations of international humanitarian law, war crimes and crimes against humanity by Russia).
On 28 February, the first round of Ukrainian-Russian negotiations was held at the Ukrainian border with Belarus. Following the second round on 3 March, parties reached an agreement on joint provision of humanitarian corridors for evacuation of civilians, as well as for the delivery of medicines and food to the areas of the fiercest fighting. The third round will take place in the nearest future.
- ACTIONS BY THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY
Ukrainian people are dying for the freedom of Ukraine and Europe. We need international legal guarantees of security, and 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.
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 this initiative. On 1 March, the European Parliament (637 votes pro and only 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.
We are grateful for the decisions already taken by our friends and partners:
- 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 air vessels in the airspace (EU, USA, UK, Canada, Northern Macedonia, Moldova, Norway, USA, Iceland, Switzerland, Montenegro),
- for the humanitarian support and refugee camps provided for the citizens of Ukraine,
- for fuel supplies (Azerbaijan’s SOCAR).
The unprecedented sanctions imposed by many countries throughout the world are of particular importance. They severely undermine Russia’s economic and financial capacities to continue its aggression. Even the neutral Switzerland joined these ranks. The sanctions are already working: Russian currency has drastically depreciated, Russian companies go bankrupt, and many international corporations are leaving Russia. Doing business with Russia becomes increasingly toxic.
Further actions need to be done immediately:
- no-fly zone over Ukraine to cease the shelling of civilians by Russia;
- strengthening Ukraine’s air defense system, including by providing military aircrafts;
- full cutting Russia off the SWIFT, Visa and Mastercard services (not only for the banks under sanctions);
- expanding sanctions to Lukashenka’s regime in Belarus;
- trade embargo on Russia, including in oil and gas sector;
- closure of ports for Russian vessels (following the UK and Canada);
- isolating and excluding Russia from all possible international fora;
- supporting Ukraine with weapons, protective equipment, ammunition, fuel, and whatever else necessary to counter the biggest army in the continent;
- providing Ukraine with financial support;
- deputinizing the world: ending Putin’s influence in politics, diplomacy, business, sports, culture, research & other spheres.
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.