- MILITARY SITUATION
The Russian troops continue simultaneously attacking Ukraine from the territory of Russia, Belarus and the temporarily occupied parts of Ukraine’s Donetsk, Luhansk regions and Crimea. This is full-scale war, launched by Russia against Ukraine, not a «conflict in Ukraine». Proper wording is critical, including within the international organizations.
- The main directions of Russia’s invasion remain Kyiv, Kharkiv, southern regions of Ukraine, Donetsk and Luhansk regions;
- Russia fires hundreds of missiles at residential areas and military positions, attacks with aviation, tanks and artillery, and sends subversion and reconnaissance groups. Amphibious landing to the coastal regions of Ukraine remains possible;
- Russia has significant air advantage, which it actively uses by attacking critical civilian infrastructure, killing dozens of civilians daily, bombing Ukrainian airports. We urgently need no-flight zone, or air defense systems and fighter planes. This would significantly accelerate the end of war;
- 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)’
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. 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;
- No one greets Russia in Ukraine. In the towns temporarily under control of Russian troops, Ukrainian population is actively protesting against them. In the city of Kherson, Russian occupiers attempt to establish another fake “people’s republic”: both local residents and local authorities rejected this stage show.
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 briefing on 11 March.
We continue to fight and we will win:
- Ukraine has activated its right for self-defense according to the UN Charter Article 51;
- Ukraine’s Armed Forces fight Russia’s Armed Forces. More than 100.000 Ukrainian citizens have already joined the territorial defence units. Almost 20.000 volunteers from 52 countries of the world are coming from abroad to join Ukraine’s International Legion;
- Almost all Russian troops prepared for invasion have already been sent to Ukraine. They were stopped everywhere and face severe logistical challenges. 31 battalion tactical groups lost their combat capability. So-called “hidden” mobilization is taking place in Russia;
- The Russian troops are suffering heavy losses. As of morning 13 March, they constitute more than 12.000 personnel (ten times more than Ukrainian military losses), 74 aircrafts, 86 helicopters, 374 tanks, 1226 armored vehicles, 140 artillery systems, 62 MLRS, 34 anti-aircraft systems, 7 UAVs, 3 vessels/boats. Up to 700 Russian military were taken captive;
- The Russian leadership attempts to conceal real losses of the Russian troops in Ukraine, afraid of mass anti-war protests (including by blocking social networks, intimidating media, censorship, high fines and imprisonment up to 15 years, as well as using mass graves for Russian military killed in action). Still, truth cannot be hidden. On 2 March, the Russian side has recognized losses, but stated only a small part of them. On 9 March, Russia has recognized the use of conscripts;
- 92% of Ukrainian citizens are convinced that we will win this defensive war against Russia. Mayors of Ukrainian towns reject Russia’s proposals to surrender.
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 Plant. Fortunately, Ukrainian firefighters managed to put the fire out. It was seized by Russia, the situation remains very fragile. The Russian occupiers have declared that the Plant is now under control of “Rosatom”, which raises additional concerns on nuclear security;
- The Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant was seized by the Russian troops. On 9 March, its power line was damaged, leaving the Plant without electricity. It must be immediately repaired, otherwise leak of radiation could take place;
- 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;
- Russia’s nuclear-deterrence forces remain on alert. Threats by nuclear war continue.
Russia flagrantly violates international law, including:
- 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;
- 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 has mobilized 3.5 thousand persons in the temporarily occupied parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions. They were sent to the forward positions of the Russian troops;
- 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.
- 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:
- Since the start of war, Russia sent 328 missiles (as of 11 March) 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;
- The number of civilians killed by Russian troops exceeds military losses;
- These are crimes against humanity.
Humanitarian situation is rapidly deteriorating:
- The residential areas of such cities as Kharkiv, 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, in which 1582 civilians lost their lives in 12 days due to Russian attacks and blockade;
- The UN OHCHR recorded 1581 confirmed civilian casualties in Ukraine: 579 killed and 1002 injured (as of midnight 11 March). The OHCHR believes that the real figures are considerably higher. Numbers according to official sources of Ukraine to be confirmed;
- According to the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine, 79 children were killed by Russian invaders, 100 wounded.
- Kindergartens and schools, universities and hospitals, airports and fuel stations, bridges and water reservoirs are targeted. 280 schools, 34 hospitals and more than 1500 residential buildings were damaged or destroyed (as of 7 March);
- Many people have lost their homes. More than 1.5 mln persons left Ukraine across the Western border. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions became 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. Now the Russian army in Ukraine has been ordered to «switch to self-sufficiency.» Kremlin-sanctioned looting.
- According to the estimates of Ministry of Economy of Ukraine, damage to Ukraine’s economy has already reached 120 bln USD;
- The main efforts are now focused on establishment of humanitarian corridors, which are regularly violated by the Russian troops. On 12 March, 9 out of 14 planned corridors were open, and nearly 13.000 persons managed to leave. Tens of thousands leave the war-affected cities and towns daily;
- Russia must not use 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.
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;
- On 1–9 March, Ukraine received more than 36.000 tons of humanitarian aid. 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;
- UN Humanitarian has launched emergency appeals for a combined $1.7 billion to urgently deliver humanitarian support to people in Ukraine and refugees in neighbouring 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;
- We call on all foreign governments to demand from President Putin that he immediately stops his war in Ukraine.
War launched by Russia against Ukraine is not only the gravest military threat to international community, but a severe challenge to global food security:
- Ukraine’s exports comprise 10% of all wheat, 16% of all corn and 55% of all sunflower oil in the world. Due to the war, food exports from Ukraine are currently suspended;
- As war is unfolding, the situation will further deteriorate. A large deficit of grain production and exports will cause a significant increase in world grain prices.
- 400 million lives in the Middle East, North Africa and Asia are at risk of unstable access to food, malnutrition and famine;
- It is urgent to stop Putin, stop the war, and stop food terrorism.
- 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 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;
- 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;
- 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 immediately 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 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.
Russia’s diplomatic and politic 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;
- 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).
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 does not prevent the hearing;
- 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 been sent to Ukraine to collect evidence;
- All cases of violation of the provisions of international and international humanitarian law must be registered by the respective international bodies.
Ending the war, launched by Russia, remains Ukraine’s key priority. We urgently need ceasefire and humanitarian corridors for civilians to prevent further casualties:
- Three rounds of Ukrainian-Russian negotiations were held on 28 February, 3 and 7 March. The working groups were established, talks are held by video link. No ultimatums will be accepted by Ukraine, in particular on the territorial integrity;
- We regret that the Russian side took unconstructive stance on Ukrainian proposals on cease-fire and humanitarian corridors during the meeting of Minister Kuleba with Minister Lavrov in Turkey on 10 March;
- On 3 March, the Ukrainian Parliament adopted a number of decisions and appeals, including to the UN on the need to send peacekeeping forces to Ukraine;
- We need international legal 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.
- 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;
- 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 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, North Macedonia, Moldova, Norway, USA, Iceland, Switzerland, Montenegro, Albania);
- for the humanitarian support provided for the citizens of Ukraine,
- for fuel supplies (Azerbaijan’s SOCAR).
The unprecedented sanctions 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:
- Russian currency has drastically depreciated, almost twice as of now;
- Russian companies go bankrupt;
- Doing business with Russia becomes increasingly toxic, and many international corporations have already left Russia. This process continues;
- Russia’s sovereign ratings are downgraded, leading to default on public debt;
- Russia’s economy will face deep recession (decline 7 – 9% 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 defense system, including by providing military aircrafts;
- disconnect all Russian banks from SWIFT, first and foremost «Sberbank»;
- expanding sanctions to Lukashenka’s regime in Belarus;
- trade embargo on Russia, including in oil and gas sector (Russian exports of crude oil and gas is merely intact), as well as sales of gold and minerals;
- preventing Russia from the use of crypto-currencies to circumvent sanctions;
- 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, protective equipment, 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 divest from Russian assets and currency;
- 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.
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.
We are grateful for all financial 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 million USD for Ukraine;
- On 9 March, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has announced an initial 2 bln Euro 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 billion USD in Emergency Financing Support to Ukraine;
- On 10 March, the U.S. Congress approved 13.6 billion USD to aid Ukraine and support NATO in Eastern Europe.
Ukrainian government established four funds aimed at recovery of Ukraine’s economy (support to Ukrainian army and humanitarian assistance; restoration of destroyed infrastructure; re-launch of small and medium business; servicing external debt). When Ukraine wins, 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;
- 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);
- Launch by the EU of the new emergency financial assistance program for Ukraine (in addition to current MFA program) ;
- Massive investments, grants and contributions to relaunch Ukraine’s economic development.