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News By Category: UKRAINE

Ukraine Situation Report | 27 May 2022

27 May 2022

The past week has seen a significant escalation of Russian military operations in the eastern Donbas region. The twin cities of Severodonetsk and Lysychansk, located on either side of the Siverskyi Donets river, have suffered extremely heavy bombardment in recent days. The mayor of Severodonetsk, Oleksandr Stryuk, said that at least 1,500 people have been killed in the city since the start of the Russian invasion and that 60 percent of residential buildings have been destroyed. He said that around 12,000 people remain trapped in the city and the options for evacuations are extremely limited. The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said that the Russians are likely to completely encircle the twin cities in the coming days. Russian-backed separatists also claim to have taken control of the city of Lyman in the Donetsk region; although this has not yet been verified, Oleksiy Arestovych, adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, appeared to concede that Lyman had fallen to pro-Russian forces.

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Ukraine Situation Report | 20 May 2022

20 May 2022

The UN warned this week that the Russian invasion of Ukraine could lead to a global food crisis that could last for years due to worsening food insecurity triggered by rising prices. As one of Europe’s biggest global exporters of food and agricultural goods, Russia’s strategy of cutting off Ukraine’s access to southern Black Sea ports has led to reduced global supply, causing prices to soar. The UN claims that the crisis could still be averted through talks. The warning comes as Western allies continue to rally together in solidarity against Russia’s ‘military operation’ in Ukraine, with Washington reopening its embassy in Kyiv. Meanwhile, the southern Ukrainian port city of Mariupol has fallen to Russian forces after Kyiv declared an end to the Azovstal steelworks evacuation. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has vowed to retake captured areas in the south, including the occupied cities of Kherson, Melitopol, Berdiansk, Enerhodar and Mariupol.

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Ukraine Situation Report | 13 May 2022

13 May 2022

As the last remaining Ukrainian defence in Mariupol’s Azovstal steel plant continues to hold up despite near-constant Russian bombardment, experts and international observers are increasingly noticing the same thing: a distinct lack of Russian progress along the frontline in the eastern Donbas region. Last week, it was feared that Moscow would celebrate its May 9 Victory Day by announcing major battle wins; however, no such victories were reported, despite ramped up Russian offensives, as Ukrainian defensive positions successfully repelled most advances. Instead, Russian President Vladimir Putin further fed the Russian war propaganda machine, claiming that the West had instigated the war by provoking Russia into taking military action in Ukraine. Meanwhile, a Russian soldier is scheduled to go on trial for allegedly killing an unarmed Ukrainian civilian in the north-east Sumy region. The trial marks the first time a member of Russian military personnel will be prosecuted for a war crime since Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine.

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Ukraine Situation Report | 6 May 2022

06 May 2022

Russian military efforts are being ramped up in the lead-up to Moscow’s annual 9 May Victory Day celebrations as Russian President Vladimir Putin reportedly hopes to make serious gains on the battlefield. Meanwhile, reports have emerged indicating the US may have helped the Ukrainian military target and kill several Russian generals, and that the US also provided intel which helped Ukraine sink the Russian warship Moskva. Ukrainian estimates place the approximate number of children who have died since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine at 223, while a further 408 others are also understood to have been injured. Of these, over half have been reported in the Donetsk region, closely followed by Kyiv, Kharkiv, Chernihiv, and Kherson. The latest figures come as the UK’s ambassador to the UN told the Security Council that Russia is deliberately targeting civilians in clear violation of international humanitarian law, calling Russia’s war one which had been “designed to terrorise and kill”.

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Ukraine Situation Report | 29 April 2022

29 April 2022

As intense fighting continues along the main frontline in the east of Ukraine, Moscow has continued to ramp up pressure in Mariupol amid a blockade on the metal works plant where the last of the Ukrainian defence forces are holed up. Elsewhere, reports of explosions in a breakaway region of neighbouring Moldova have sparked fears of the conflict spreading outside of Ukraine. This comes as Russia reports more fires and alleged strikes in Russian bordering areas of Belgorod which Moscow has blamed Ukraine for. Meanwhile, a Russian missile attack on Kyiv has resulted in several civilian casualties, including a Kyiv-based journalist who died. The attack came as UN chief Antonio Guterres visited the capital, renewing concern surrounding the safety of high-profile diplomats and political figures visiting Kyiv for talks.

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Ukraine Situation Report | 22 April 2022

22 April 2022

This week’s situational report for Ukraine will mostly focus on the recent developments in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, following the launch of Russia’s new large-scale military offensive in the Donbas region – an area in eastern Ukraine which has been at the heart of war between Ukraine and Russia for almost a decade. Moscow’s strategised move to concentrate efforts on progressing the eastern frontline in Donbas has come alongside calculated military manoeuvres and withdrawals in the south and north of the country, which have largely served the purpose of enabling the Russian forces to reinforce and double-down in Donbas whilst holding captured territory in the southern Kherson region and maintaining pressure on the south-eastern port city of Mariupol.

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Ukraine Situation Report | 15 April 2022

14 April 2022

Russia has continued to beef up its forces for a new assault in the eastern Donbas region of Ukraine. Defensive positions throughout the Donetsk and Luhansk regions have been reinforced with redeployed Ukrainian forces, while civilians are urged to flee towards central Ukraine. The upcoming battle for control in eastern Ukraine is widely anticipated to be critically decisive. Meanwhile, the wider world has been escalating diplomatic measures to ramp up pressure on Russia following the uncovering of alleged atrocities and war crimes committed by Russian soldiers in occupied areas of northern Ukraine. The International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor described parts of the country as a crime scene during a recent visit to Bucha, near Kyiv. The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has also found evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity by Russian forces in Ukraine, although Moscow has repeatedly denied targeting civilians. The usage of chemical weapons in Ukraine continues to be a prominent concern, as does the focus on securing agreements on civilian evacuations and aid deliverance.

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Ukraine Situation Report | 8 April 2022

08 April 2022

As the Russian invasion of Ukraine enters its 44th day, international attention continues to focus on alleged war crimes and atrocities purportedly committed by Russian troops after hundreds of civilian bodies were found in areas near Kyiv. Emerging evidence of mass civilian killings has led to an increase in sanctions on Russia, while the US, France, Germany, and other EU members have also expelled Russian diplomats. The EU has imposed a fifth round of sanctions, including: import bans on coal, wood, and chemicals; measures to prevent Russian vessels and trucks from accessing the EU; and a ban on transactions with four major Russian banks. On Wednesday, Russia was suspended from the Human Rights Council in a UN vote over the alleged war crimes. Meanwhile, Kyiv has asked NATO to provide weapons to Ukraine, saying help is needed in “days not weeks”.

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Ukraine Situation Report | 1 April 2022

01 April 2022

Over the past week, the attention in Ukraine has been on Russian promises to de-escalate fighting in the northern region around the capital city, Kyiv. The pledge from Moscow came in exchange for a potentially ‘neutral’ Ukraine with third-party security guarantees - the first sign of real progress to emerge from peace talks. Officials in Kyiv initially reported little or minimal difference on the ground throughout the first half of the week, with more substantial signs of withdrawal only confirmed in the last few days, as convoys near Kyiv redirect themselves to eastern Ukraine. On Friday, Ukrainian authorities also confirmed that Russian troops occupying the former nuclear power plant at Chernobyl have left the facility, seemingly retreating to the Belarussian border.

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Ukraine Situation Report | 25 March 2022

25 March 2022

A month on, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues to see intense fighting spread throughout parts of Ukraine. Russian advances have slowed, with Ukrainian counterattacks successful in pushing back troops in some areas surrounding Kyiv. While the main frontlines remain situated in the north, east, and south of the country, aerial bombardment has begun to target more western areas over the past week, including Lviv and Odesa. There has been increased concerns surrounding the possible use of chemical and/or nuclear weapons by Russia, as well as increased reports of the use of banned phosphorus bombs by the Russian forces. The bombs were banned by the 1977 Geneva Convention and the use of them would constitute a war crime.

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Ukraine Situation Report | 18 March 2022

18 March 2022

Since our last update on Monday, the Russian military has continued to target civilian populations in towns and cities across Ukraine using heavy artillery and airstrikes. The ground offensive has made little progress, despite claims from Russian President Vladimir Putin that the operation was “going to plan” almost four weeks in. There has also been no significant progress in peace talks, while Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has made further appeals to Western governments for additional support. In an address to the US Congress, he invoked the Pearl Harbour and 9/11 attacks, saying that his country needs the US “right now.” The US government has announced an additional $800m in security assistance, which includes anti-aircraft systems and anti-tank weapons. During a speech to the German Bundestag on Thursday morning, he called on the German chancellor, Olaf Scholz, to “stop dithering” and do more to help.

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Ukraine Weekend Summary | 14 March 2022

14 March 2022

Despite reports of constructive progress during weekend negotiations between Russian and Ukrainian representatives, the Russian military assault in Ukraine has intensified over the last few days, with high death tolls reported following strikes on military bases, residential areas, and other key infrastructure. While talks focus on establishing a ceasefire and the withdrawal of Russian troops, Russian strikes have continued to target major cities in the north-east, east, and south of the country, where humanitarian corridors have been set up on a daily basis in a bid to help civilians flee bombardment. However, new strikes have been increasingly targeting more places, including a military base near Ukraine’s border with Poland, and in the Zhytomyr region – a strategically key region for aid delivery.

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Ukraine Daily Summary | 11 March 2022

11 March 2022

New Russian attacks have been targeting the cities of Lutsk, Ivano-Frankivsk, and Dnipro over the last 12 hours. The central-eastern city of Dnipro has been hit by blasts for the first time, with at least one fatality confirmed on Friday morning after airstrikes hit a kindergarten, a residential building, and a shoe factory. The city is a major stronghold in the region. An airfield and jet engine factory were also targeted in the north-western city of Lutsk, while explosions have reportedly hit airfields in Ivano-Frankivsk, in the south-west. Russia also claims to have taken the strategically important city of Volnovakha, in the south-east. The city lies halfway between Donetsk and the besieged port city of Mariupol, and its capture could allow Russian-backed separatist rebels and Russian forces to increase the already intense pressure bearing down on Mariupol.

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Ukraine Daily Summary | 10 March 2022

10 March 2022

A fourth round of talks has been held in Antalya, Turkey, on Thursday, with both Ukraine and Russia agreeing to continue to work on solving humanitarian issues on the ground in Ukraine. Kyiv stated, however, that Russian demands made during the meeting amounted to a surrender. Moscow continues to deny reports of a slow down in Russian advances, stating the “special operation” in Ukraine is proceeding according to plan. Meanwhile, the US has expressed concerns over Russian capability to launch chemical or biological attacks against Ukrainian civilians. Moscow has made similar claims against the US, alleging the Pentagon has been using Ukrainian territory to develop biological weapons.

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Ukraine Daily Summary | 9 March 2022

09 March 2022

The focus in Ukraine remains very much on establishing sustainable and actionable evacuation plans for civilians caught in besieged cities. Kyiv aims to evacuate civilians via six humanitarian corridors on Wednesday, including from Irpin, Kharkiv, Sumy, and Mariupol. Ukrainian forces have agreed to a 12-hour ceasefire along evacuation routes from 09:00 local time and have called on Moscow to fulfil their commitment to local ceasefires.

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Ukraine Daily Summary | 8 March 2022

08 March 2022

Following multiple failed humanitarian corridors and ceasefire agreements as Ukrainian civilians continue to desperately flee besieged cities, Tuesday has seen several new evacuation routes established by the Russian forces, aimed at enabling civilians to safely leave. People have been fleeing the cities of Irpin, near Kyiv, and Sumy – where 21 people died in an airstrike on Monday – via evacuation routes which have been agreed by both Ukraine and Russia. Meanwhile, Ukrainian authorities have claimed that an evacuation route out of the southern port city of Mariupol has come under fire between Mariupol and Zaporizhzhia.

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Ukraine Daily Summary | 3 March 2022

03 March 2022

Major explosions continue to rock the capital city of Kyiv, although information surrounding details of targets remain limited. A massive, 40-mile-long, convoy of Russian armoured military vehicles and equipment has slowed its progress as it moves towards the capital – Western intelligence suggests the stall may be down to logistical issues, including fuel and food shortages. Meanwhile, Russian forces have seized the key port city of Kherson in the south.

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Ukraine Daily Summary | 2 March 2022

02 March 2022

Multiple cities have been hard hit by Russian strikes over the last 24 hours, including Kharkiv, Mariupol, and Kherson. Meanwhile, the capital, Kyiv, remains the Russian’s main war focus, with a 40-mile-long convoy of Russian armoured vehicles situated about 15 miles north of the city on Wednesday. The convoy is thought to be preparing to assist an attack from the west, with Russian forces expected to simultaneously launch an assault from the east to encircle the capital.

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Ukraine Daily Summary | 1 March 2022

01 March 2022

A major missile strike has been carried out on Freedom Square in central Kharkiv on Tuesday morning, hitting the regional government’s headquarters. Some residential areas have also been hit, while dozens of civilians are said to have died in Kharkiv strikes on Monday. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has condemned the bombing as a war crime and a form of state terrorism, claiming Russian strikes were intentionally targeting civilians. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has also condemned the strike, saying he believed Russian President Vladimir Putin is prepared to use “barbaric and indiscriminate tactics against innocent civilians".

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Ukraine Daily Summary | 28 February 2022

28 February 2022

High-level talks are being held between Russian and Ukrainian delegations along the Ukraine-Belarus border on Monday. The talks come after Russian President Vladimir Putin raised Russia’s national nuclear force alert level over the weekend, sparking concern. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called the next 24 hours “crucial”, indicating he expects no favourable results from talks. Ukraine claims the pace of the Russian assault has slowed, with the capital, Kyiv, remaining in Ukrainian hands as a two-day curfew is lifted on Monday morning. Sporadic clashes continue to break out between Ukrainian defence forces and so-called Russian ‘saboteur’ groups. Russian troops are currently positioned 30km out from the capital.

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