- 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 (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);
- Russia has significant air advantage, which it actively uses by attacking critical civilian infrastructure, wreaking havoc and killing dozens of civilians daily. 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, some are attacked and besieged, with severe damage to residential areas and numerous casualties among civilians (Kharkiv, Mariupol, Mykolaiv, Chernihiv);
- The web-sites of the governmental institutions of Ukraine suffer from cyber attacks.
The territory of Belarus is actively used by Russia for its military purposes:
- missiles are launched from the territory of Belarus;
- Belarus airfield network is used for transportation of personnel and cargo;
- Belarus supplies fuel to the Russian troops on Ukrainian soil;
- Cyber-attacks continue from Belarus;
- Direct engagement of Belarus armed forces remains highly probable;
- Lukashenka’s regime shares responsibility with Kremlin for its war against Ukraine;
Despite the use of its best military units, Russia failed to reach its key goals. Ukraine did not surrender in three days, as Kremlin was expecting. In the towns temporarily under control of Russian troops, Ukrainian population is actively protesting against them. No one greets Russia in Ukraine. 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 (111 out of 117 battalion tactical groups) have already been sent to Ukraine. They face severe logistical challenges;
- The Russian troops are suffering heavy losses. As of morning 8 March, they constitute more than 12.000 personnel, 48 aircrafts, 80 helicopters, 303 tanks, 1036 armored vehicles, 120 artillery systems, 56 MLRS, 27 anti-aircraft systems, 7 UAVs, 3 vessels/boats;
- 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 and imprisoning, 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;
- 88% 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, equal to six Chornobyl. Fortunately, Ukrainian firefighters managed to put the fire out. The power station was seized by Russia, the situation remains very fragile;
- The Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant was seized by the Russian troops;
- Russia’s nuclear-deterrence forces remain on alert. Threats by nuclear war continue;
- 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.
Russia flagrantly violates international law, including:
- Russian military vessels are blocking the access of civil ships along Ukraine’s shoreline in the Black Sea 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 were sent to the forward positions of the Russian troops fighting against cities of Kharkiv and Mariupol.
- HUMANITARIAN SITUATION
Humanitarian situation is rapidly deteriorating. Faced with military defeats, losses of personnel and vigorous resistance on the ground, the Russian troops began indiscriminate attacks on Ukrainian cities with missile strikes and heavy artillery. Documents and maps seized by Ukrainian troops from Russian prisoners of war confirm that bombardments of residential areas had been planned in advance. These are crimes against humanity:
- Kindergartens and schools, universities and hospitals, airports and fuel stations, bridges and water reservoirs are targeted. 202 schools, 34 hospitals and more than 1500 residential buildings were damaged or destroyed (as of 7 March);
- 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;
- Thousands of Ukrainian civilian citizens were killed and wounded;
- Many people have lost their homes. Almost 2 mln Ukrainians were forced to leave Ukraine (according to UNHCR; numbers according to official sources of Ukraine to be confirmed). Hundreds of thousands, if not millions became IDPs. Only from Kharkiv, 600.000 people were evacuated by trains;
- Such towns as Schastya and Stanytsia Luhanska near Luhansk, or Volnovakha in the Donetsk region, are now nearly destroyed;
- According to the estimates of Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine, damage to Ukraine’s transport infrastructure has already exceeded 10 bln USD;
- Almost the entire city of Mariupol and several towns near Kyiv have been left without heat, light and water. No humanitarian assistance can reach the destination due to Russian shellings. The Russian troops do not allow civilians to leave, using them as a human shield;
- Humanitarian corridors, planned for 5, 6 and 7 March, failed due to Russia’s continued fire. So called “green corridors” proposed by the aggressor for sending people to Russia and Belarus could be considered as forcible deportation of protected persons according to IHL. By exposing cities to indiscriminate shelling and creating a dire humanitarian situation, deliberately shelling 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.
- On 8 March, a humanitarian corridor was opened from Sumy. Despite several cases of ceasefire violations, civilians are leaving the city. Other humanitarian corridors must follow.
We urgently need humanitarian assistance, as fast as possible:
- 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;
- Over the last three days (as of 7 March), Ukraine received almost 7.000 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 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.
- 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).
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 and to support Ukraine:
- 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. On the eve of the first hearing on 7 March, Russia has notified the ICJ that it does not intend to participate in the process. Still, Russia’s refusal 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;
- UN Secretary-General has appointed Amin Awad as UN Crisis Coordinator for Ukraine to lead the coordination of all UN efforts, including its humanitarian response.
Ending the war, launched by Russia, remains Ukraine’s key priority. We are ready to consider any options, which would not cross such red lines as Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within the internationally recognized borders:
- Three rounds of Ukrainian-Russian negotiations were held on 28 February, 3 and 7 March. Despite the arrangements reached on establishment of humanitarian corridors, the Russian side has undermined all efforts to ensure them by breaking ceasefire. No ultimatums will be accepted by Ukraine.
- 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, in particular having in mind NATO’s reluctance to allow Ukraine join its ranks.
- 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 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, North Macedonia, Moldova, Norway, USA, Iceland, Switzerland, Montenegro);
- 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:
- Russian currency has drastically depreciated, almost twice as of now;
- Russian companies go bankrupt;
- Many international corporations are leaving Russia;
- Doing business with Russia becomes increasingly toxic;
- Russia’s sovereign ratings are downgraded, leading to default.
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;
- preventing Russia from the use of crypto-currencies to circumvent sanctions;
- closure of ports for Russian vessels (following the UK, Canada and Cyprus);
- 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;
- 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 for Russian officials and their families;
- support the declaration on Maritime Security and Safety of Seafarers in the Black Sea and Sea of Azov Resulting from the Russian Federation’s Further Invasion of Ukraine to be considered by IMO Council on 10-11 March;
- 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. More than 12 thousand (as of 7 March) of Russian citizens have already been detained. Detentions are also widespread in Belarus.
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. 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.