War Bulletin 25.02 3 p.m.

President of Ukraine

7:20 p.m. Video message from in front of the President’s Office building

“Good evening. Leader of the political party is here, Head of the Office of the President is here, Prime Minister is here, Adviser to the head of the Office of the President is also here and the President is here. All of us are here including our military. Citizens are here. All of us are defending our sovereignty and our State. Glory to our defenders. Glory to Ukraine.”

Operative information

The Russian occupier continues the offensive operation against Ukraine in previously selected areas with the support of long-range operational and tactical aircraft and the use of high-precision long-range weapons.

Groups of the Armed Forces of Ukraine together with the Territorial Defense Forces hold the defense of Kyiv and previously defined borders.

The enemy insidiously inflicts air and artillery strikes on civilian infrastructure.

The occupying forces continue to suffer losses in personnel and equipment.

Since the beginning of Russia’s invasion, the following Russian forces have been destroyed by the Armed Forces of Ukraine:

tanks — up to 80,

armored combat vehicles of various types — 516,

helicopters — 7,

aircraft — 10,

cruise missiles — up to 20,

automotive equipment — more than 100,

personnel — more than 2800 people.

Enemy reconnaissance and sabotage groups operate insidiously, disguising themselves in civilian clothes and infiltrating cities in order to destabilize the situation by carrying out sabotage operations.

Positions continue to be held in the area of the Joint Forces operation.

Chornobyl Power Plant is under Russian control

Chornobyl Power Plant is under Russian control and there is no more place where to dispose spent nuclear fuel in Ukraine. Moreover, U.S. technologies for spent nuclear fuel disposal that have been used at the plant can get into Russians hands. Head of our Nuclear Regulatory Agency, Mr. Korikov, passed the following info to the IAEA in Vienna: 

Russian armed forces took as hostages operating personnel of Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant. 92 persons are at the site more than for two days.

Russian armed forces took as hostages soldiers of National Guard of Ukraine around 130 persons.

ChNPP personnel is supporting operation of the facility and ensures safety at gunpoint.

Moreover, invasion into Ukraine of heavy military machinery through the Natural Reserve established over the contaminated with radiation territories around Chernobyl NPP.  The movement of heavy military machinery though the Exclusion zone led to raise into the air of radioactive substances, which was detected by the automated system of radiation monitoring and observed by all safety concerned countries of EU. 

The reasons of such five to fifteen times increase of gamma irradiation levels are not clear. But such levels are being detected starting the invasion. 

So it means that New Safe Confinement, constructed at the cost of world countries, to protect the world from radiation consequences of destroyed Unit 4, is under the threat of random attack of unmanned aerial and explosive devices. 

Nuclear facilities at the whole territory of Ukraine are in the risk zone that no one country in the world faced before. 

Under such circumstances Ukraine cannot fulfill in the full scope its obligations under Nuclear Safety Convention and Joint Convention on the safety of spent fuel management and the safety of radioactive waste management, also agreement between Ukraine and IAEA on implementing safeguards according to nonproliferation treaty since seizure of nuclear facilities by inadequate and unidentified military persons. 

Air alert is declared now at Khmelnitsky NPP and Neteshin city.

We ask IAEA to

  1. create special task force to monitor actions of Russian Federation, because its behavior gives grounds to doubt the effectiveness of existing safety regimes. 
  2. to raise question to possible impose of sanctions on construction of new Russian design NPPs,
  3. carry out international audit of nuclear material in possession of this country.

Ukraine respects the Agency as unique and powerful international organization and that is why we hope that along with deep concern the Agency will create the conditions to pressure Russia by world leading countries before President Putin will order to use nuclear weapon, as a last argument in his fight for personal ambitions.

Ukraine fully complies with taken international obligations and truly hopes for efficient support from all IAEA members including support from scientific and expert society of Russian Federation, which is being respected still.

Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine on the ongoing military aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine

The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation continue a full-scale invasion operation in the territory of Ukraine to destroy the Ukrainian state, topple the Ukrainian government and impose occupation control.

RF is attacking Ukraine from the Russian territory, the Black and Azov Seas, the temporarily occupied Crimea and Donbas, and the territory of Belarus, using combat aviation, ballistic missiles, artillery, tanks, armored personnel carriers, ground forces and other means. Russian units are conducting missile and bomb strikes on civilian infrastructure in Kyiv, Kharkiv, Odesa, Chernihiv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Lviv and other Ukrainian cities. The Kremlin has launched a large-scale military operation to seize the Ukrainian capital.

Civilians, including children, are being killed and wounded in the center of Europe.

Russia is committing flagrant violations of the rules of warfare and other norms of international law in Ukraine. In connection with numerous war crimes and violations of the Rome Statute by Russia, the MFA of Ukraine together with the Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine are collecting materials to transmit to the International Criminal Court to hold Russian leadership to the strictest responsibility.

The Russian occupants seized the Chernobyl NPP. They do not allow the rotation of employees of the nuclear power plant, as required by international safety regulations. Control levels of radiation have been exceeded due to the disruption of topsoil because of the movement of large number of Russian military equipment and the release of contaminated radioactive dust into the air. The Ukrainian side has already warned the IAEA that Russia’s actions could lead to a large-scale environmental catastrophe in Europe.

The Ukrainian Army and all other national defense forces are honorably repelling Russia’s attack; the enemy forces are suffering losses, and we are holding our strategic positions.

Ukraine is grateful to the United States, Canada, the EU, and other international partners for imposing new economic sanctions on Russia. At the same time, these measures are now insufficient to stop Russia’s war against Ukraine.

We call on certain European states not to be guided by narrow political interests when it comes to protecting the security of not only Ukrainian citizens, but also the security of all citizens in Europe. It is about the future of the international security architecture and the global world order based on respect for the UN Charter and fundamental norms of international law. Russia must immediately be disconnected from the SWIFT payment system. We need to act now and without any delay.

Ukraine also called on its partners to provide additional weapons to strengthen our country’s defense capabilities.

We also actively seek financial and humanitarian support for Ukraine and Ukrainian citizens.

The Russian Federation must end its armed aggression against Ukraine and begin a dialogue about peace resolution. This will help save lives and prevent a catastrophe of the scale that Europe has not seen since World War II.

Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Ruslan Stefanchuk

“On behalf of the Verkhovna Rada, I address the parliaments and governments of the world. The Russian Federation’s full-scale aggression against Ukraine continues, peaceful cities are under aircraft and missile strikes. There are casualties among the civilians.

The Russian regime is shelling Kyiv, Kharkiv, Sumy, Kherson and other cities of Ukraine.

The Chernobyl nuclear power plant captured by the enemy is at risk. The occupiers can cause ecological and industrial disaster by their actions, they fought on the territory of the Safe Confinement.  

The Armed Forces of Ukraine are heroically resisting the enemy. The Ukrainian people are united by the cause of defending their Motherland.

We defend not only the territorial integrity of our state, but also the values on which the civilized world, the EU and NATO are based. The security of Europe and the world is under threat today.

We urge you to resolutely and together oppose attempts to destroy the European security order.

In order to minimize civilian casualties, save the lives of innocent Ukrainian children, women and the world from a new nuclear disaster, we urge you to close the sky over Kyiv and the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone.”

Address of Ukrainian Members of Parliament regarding Russian full-scale military invasion of Ukraine

As of February 24, 2022, Russia has begun a full-scale military invasion of Ukraine. On that morning, Ukrainians in Kramatorsk, Kharkiv, Kyiv, Odesa, Kherson, Brovary, Mykolaiv have woken up to the sound of explosions and shooting.

In his statement, Vladimir Putin declared war of Ukraine saying Russia is doing it in self-defence and alleged that this invasion seeks to protect population in the Donbass.

Airports in Ivano-Frankivsk, Lutsk and Dnipro were shelled.

Military units in Lviv, Zhytomyr, Ivano-Frankivsk, Vinnytsia, Luhansk, Khmelnytsky, Kyiv, and Kherson regions were under missile fire.

Russia’s cynical aggression escalates by the hour. The number of victims grows – both military and civilian. Just in the first 24 hours of this war Ukraine has incurred the following loses: 137 dead, 316 injured.

The Ukrainians armed forces have been countering Russian aggression for eight years since February 20, 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea and occupied Eastern Ukraine.

 Today, the Ukrainians army is fighting back fierce attacks in Kyiv, Kherson, Kharkiv, Chernihiv, Donetsk, and Luhansk regions.

And today, we, as members of the Parliament of Ukraine, leaders of Inter-Parliamentary friendship groups and members of Ukraine’s delegations to the PACE, OSCE, IPU, NATO, appeal to you, our colleagues, to support Ukraine.

Immediate and decisive action is necessary to save Ukraine and our people. We ask you to call on your government and head of state to take the following action:

  1. Provide massive defence assistance to Ukraine and, most importantly, military equipment in the field of anti-air defence, as well as secure communication means for Ukrainian army.  
  2. Impose sanctions of unprecedented magnitude and force against Russian state, oligarchs and all Putin-affiliated elite. Most importantly, extend sanctions to their family members and revoke their visas. Stop issuing new visas to Russian citizens. Cut off from the SWIFT, impose an embargo on Russian oil and gas, block Russian airlines, sea cargo, passenger companies, block access to ports for Russian companies.
  3. Provide weaponry for territorial defence forces and volunteers willing to resist Russian aggression and occupation.
  4. Initiate the establishment of a no-flight zone over the territory of Ukraine, either by NATO or UN. Russian aviation now constitutes the crucial Russian asset to incur irreparable harm to Ukraine. Bold action can change the situation.
  5. Convene an extraordinary session of the UN General Assembly and:
  6. condemn the aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine;
  7. adopt a resolution calling sanctions against the Russian Federation as an aggressor state;
  8. initiate the establishment of a collective peace-keeping force on the basis of UN GA Resolution 377 (V) “Uniting for peace” dated November 3, 1950, on Korea (1950) allowing GA to issue such recommendations upon request of any 7 UN Security Council members or majority of the General Assembly members;
  9. vote to expel Russia from the UN Security Council. A country blatantly invading its neighbour cannot be a UN SC member.
  10. Initiate a UN Security Council investigation under Chapter VI of the UN Charter (Art. 34-35 of the UN Charter). Under Art. 27.3, the permanent member concerned, the Russian Federation, will not be able to veto this investigation.
  11. Open your country’s borders for Ukrainian refugees. No entry restrictions or complicated clearance procedures are acceptable at the time when all Ukrainian cities and towns are struck and shelled.
  12. Deploy NATO forces in Ukraine to deter further Russian advancement.
  13. Close the Bosphorus and Dardanelles Straits for Russian fleet, as foreseen by the Montreux Convention.
  14. Provide financial and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine.
  15. Urgently initiate procedures to invite Ukraine to EU and NATO membership. Provide a concrete and particular date upon which Ukraine becomes an EU and NATO member.
  16. Undertake efforts to stop dissemination of Russian disinformation.
  17. Provide assistance in disseminating reliable information concerning an ongoing invasion and Ukraine’s fight against aggressor state.
  18. Facilitate efforts in building an “anti-Putin” coalition and protecting Ukraine from Russian aggression.

 Without international support Ukraine stands no chance against one of the biggest military powers in the world.

Today the destiny of a European democracy is at stake. The global security framework is questioned.

We ask you today to take radical and concrete action for the future of a 44 million people and for the future of democracy. Every sanction, every act of support has meaning. Today political statements and calls for dialogue are no longer enough.

Drastic times call for drastic measures and we appeal to you, your parliament and your people to really stand with Ukraine.

Briefing by Mykhailo Podoliak, Advisor to President Zelenskyy

— In many towns across the country the Volunteer Territorial Defense has been working together with the Armed Forces and the police. In some places the Volunteer Territorial Defense units are particularly strong.

— Ukraine is maintaining control over the majority of the territories that have been under the Russian attack. If you compare the military capabilities of the two countries, Ukraine is showing great efficiency.

— It is clear that the enemy is trying to accomplish their main mission: surround Kyiv and strategic cities in the East and South of Ukraine. The Ukrainian government, primarily the General Staff of the Armed Forces, understands what the enemy’s plans. 

— The Ukrainian interpretation of the military action taken by Russia remains the same. They have two goals: to destroy the tops of the Ukrainian government and to increase panic among the population to then establish their own temporary administration. Ukraine is well aware of those plans and Podolyak doubts that Russia’s goals will be achieved as the Ukrainian government is particularly efficient. 

— The tactics used by the Russian Armed Forces are not just military tactics. Their tactics resembles terroristic actions, when the residential neighborhoods get bombed. As of today, Ukraine has even seen bombings of day-care institutions. Podolyak thinks such war crimes demand thorough legal evaluation.

— The situation is most difficult in the Kharkiv direction, Sumy region, and the South of Ukraine, where the battles between the Ukrainian Army and Russian Armed Forces are continuing. Podolyak states that as of today the Russian Armed Forces lost more than a thousand soldiers. According to the Ukrainian military, if Ukraine persists, the losses among Russia’s army will only increase.

— President Zelensky is in Kyiv, and is working non-stop. He holds meetings with both members of the Cabinet of Ministers and the Deputies, as well as consultations with world leaders. Podolyak points out that president Zelensky is not only the operational manager of the country. He is also the Commander in Chief, who is in the know of all military action and resolves urgent questions, such as providing the Ukrainian army with all necessary resources. 

— Zelensky negotiates with the world leaders the establishment of a foundation for the support of the Ukrainian Armed Forces with the help of their partners.

Briefing by Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal

During the last two days Ukraine has been bravely fighting a war that Russia started on our land. Ukrainian Armed Forces have already won a place in world history with their heroism, resistance and bravery;

Our economy is going through a transformation: “Everything to help the front.  Everything for victory”;

I urge Ukrainians to join the Armed Forces, to join and assist local and regional forces, and to help volunteers and doctors;

Today we held a meeting of the Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers, where we adopted a number of measures needed to support martial law.

The State Treasury together with the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine reassigned funding to enhance the military’s financial resources;

The Government accomplished this by making a state internal loan in amount of 400 blns hryvnias through the issuance of military bonds;

We also agreed that funding President Zelenskyy sent to Ukrainians for vaccinations is now authorized to help the Ukrainian Army;

Additionally, the government announced enhancement of the security of Ukrainian ports;

Also and importantly, the heads of the regional forces are now able to make decisions on their own regarding the level of humanitarian support they need and where to direct it. And Ukrainian border guards have to expedite clearance of supplies and allow them to go through;

We have temporarily suspended the export of blood supplies for obvious reasons;

I want to address to our foreign partners. This is a moment when you should decide — let the aggressor go knowing what his is doing and what his long term intentions are, or, send him a strong response.

Examples include the embargo of all oil products from Russia; Suspend the entrance of Russian citizens to your country and; Eliminate Russia’s access to the SWIFT system.  We call on NATO countries help close the airspace over Ukraine. That will not mean that you are involved in this war, but rather that many generations will remember you as the heroes who helped stop the bloodiest war in the Europe after WWII.

Kherson Administration

Ukraine has lost control of the Antonov Bridge. Russian troops with significant forces, but having suffered significant losses, overcame the defense of the city.

Head of the Kyiv Regional State Administration

As a result of the Russian shelling in the Kyiv region, 4 civilians were killed and 15 wounded.