Key messages on russia’s war against Ukraine (19.03)

21 March, 09:05
Review
Key messages on russia’s war against Ukraine (19.03) - фото 1
The official website of the Ukrainian Catholic University published on March,19 KEY MESSAGES ON RUSSIA’S WAR AGAINST UKRAINE .

by UCU press-office

19 March (24th day of war)

1. MILITARY SITUATION

The Russian troops continue simultaneously (albeit with different intensity) attacking Ukraine from the territory of Russia, Belarus and the temporarily occupied parts of Ukraine’s Donetsk, Luhansk regions and Crimea. This is a full-scale war, launched by Russia against Ukraine, not a “conflict in Ukraine”. Proper wording is critical, including in the international organizations. While highlighting the situation in Ukraine, a clear reference must always be done to Russia as an aggressor. We protect the entire Europe, not only ourselves, as Putin will not stop in Ukraine:

  • The main directions of Russia’s invasion remain Kyiv, Kharkiv, southern regions of Ukraine, Donetsk and Luhansk regions;
  • Russia fired almost 1000 missiles at residential areas and military positions, attacks with aviation, tanks and artillery, and sends subversion and reconnaissance groups. Just on March 18 Russia made 4 missile strikes at Ukraine, having launched 14 missiles, and over 40 air raids;
  • Russian warships shell the coast line. Amphibious landing to the Odesa region remains possible;
  • Ukraine’s coast of the Azov Sea now is temporarily blocked by Russia;
  • Russia has significant air advantage, which it actively uses by attacking military positions and 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);
  • Russia organizes cyber attacks and fake news campaigns aimed to sow panic in Ukrainian towns and cut off Ukrainian citizens from the official information sources;
  • There are no places left in Ukraine without an overt military threat, be it shellings or infiltration of sabotage groups, members of which continue to be detained in all regions.
A person looks at 109 empty prams placed in the center of Lviv during the “Price of War” campaign organized by local activists and authorities to highlight the large number of children killed in ongoing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, in Lviv, March 18.  - фото 89628
A person looks at 109 empty prams placed in the center of Lviv during the “Price of War” campaign organized by local activists and authorities to highlight the large number of children killed in ongoing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, in Lviv, March 18.
Photo source: REUTERS/Roman Baluk

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. Russian troops regroup and attempt to control the already captured positions;
  • 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 attempted to establish another fake “people’s republic”: both local residents and local authorities rejected this stage show. The Russian troops hunt for activists and local authorities able to organize protests against temporary occupation.

Kremlin attempts to conceal truth about war and real losses of the Russian troops in Ukraine:

  • Afraid of mass anti-war protests, the Russian authorities block social networks, intimidate media, introduce censorship, high fines and imprisonment up to 15 years for delivering true information about the war started against Ukraine;
  • Russian troops use mobile crematoriums and mass graves for those killed in actions;
  • There are reports on failed parachutes of Russian pilots shot down by Ukrainian defenders. This may indicate the deliberate actions by the Russian command to prevent their capture and evidence about war crimes;
  • The Russian side is not trying to take its captured soldiers out of Ukraine. Instead, their families are already receiving reports of their deaths or disappearances, although they are still alive and in captivity. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called on the mothers of Russian soldiers to turn to Ukraine to learn about the fate of their children;
  • Still, the truth cannot be hidden. On 2 March, the Russian side recognized losses, but stated only a small part of them. On 9 March, Russia recognized the use of conscripts.

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;
  • Russia’s claims that Ukraine needs to be “demilitarized” sound even more absurd, looking at the numbers of troops, heavy weapons and aircrafts sent by it to invade Ukraine.

Ukraine has activated its right for self-defense according to the UN Charter Article 51. We continue to fight and we will win:

  • Ukraine’s Armed Forces fight Russia’s Armed Forces, inflicting devastating blows to them. More than 100.000 Ukrainian citizens joined the territorial defence units. Almost 000 volunteers from 52 countries are joining Ukraine’s International Legion;
  • All Russian troops prepared for invasion have already been sent to Ukraine. They were stopped everywhere and face severe logistical challenges. Up to 40% tactical groups lost their combat capability. Russia pursues “hidden” mobilization and searches for mercenaries and private military companies to replenish losses by forming additional units;
  • The Russian troops are suffering heavy losses. As of morning 18 March, they constitute about 1400 personnel (ten times more than Ukrainian military losses), 95 aircrafts, 115 helicopters, 466 tanks, 1470armored vehicles, 213 artillery systems, 72 MLRS, 44 anti-aircraft systems, 17 UAVs, 3 vessels/boats. Up to 1000 Russian military were taken captive. The moral and psychological state of the Russian troops remains low. More and more Russian soldiers refuse to go to war;
  • On March 18, the Ukrainian Armed Forces destroyed the Russian command post in Chornobayivka. Russian Lieutenant General Andrei Mordvichev, commander of the 8th Army of the Southern Military District, was also eliminated. This was the sixth commander of the Russian forces eliminated since the beginning of the invasion;
  • Attacking Ukraine, Russia has almost exhausted its stocks of missiles. Its military-industrial complex has to work 24/7 to replenish them;
  • 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. Russian military seized it (400 military personnel and 50 military vehicles are stationed now) and declared that the Plant is now under control of “Rosatom”;
  • The Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant was seized by the Russian troops. They have already twice damaged its power line, which could lead to the leak of radiation. Both times, the Ukrainian repair teams restored the power line;
  • 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 (five as of 16 March) along Ukraine’s shore in the Black Sea in violation of the international law of the sea. 94 ships remain blocked in the Ukrainian ports due to Russia’s illegal actions;
  • 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 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;
  • Russia’s attacks target residential areas, medical infrastructure, and transport means used for medical, humanitarian support and evacuation purposes;
  • The Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine launched a portal with information on the destruction of cultural and historical monuments of Ukraine by Russian aggressors. These materials will prove in the International Criminal Court Russia’s real goal, which is extermination of Ukrainian nation, culture, history and identity.

Responsibility for Russia’s war against Ukraine lies with the entire Russian society, not only president Putin and his proxies. All of them must bear the consequences:

  • The decision to start a war of aggression was taken by Putin. At the same time, 71% of Russians support this war and mass killings of Ukrainians. This is shared responsibility;
  • Russian soldiers murder Ukrainian citizens, Russian journalists make propaganda, Russian officials and enterprises work to support Putin’s decisions. This is not one man show;
  • European politicians and corporations drawing separating lines between Putin and “ordinary Russians” simply try to justify doing business as usual and making bloody money by trading with Russia even in the time of war, which is financed by such a business.

 

2. 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. Being aware that it will not be able to win this war, Russia deliberately destroys Ukraine’s economy:

  • Since the start of war, Russia has sent hundreds missiles 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;
  • Extensive environmental damage is also present, as water supply and sewerage systems and communications are targeted, port infrastructure along the coasts of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov is attacked, and nature and biosphere reserves and national nature parks have suffered significant losses;
  • 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, Mariupol, Melitopol, outskirts of Kyiv 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, which is now almost destroyed. Daily, 50-100 aviation bombs are dropped by Russians. Thousands of civilians lost their lives (as of 14 March) due to Russian attacks and blockade. Russia’s crimes include bombardment of a drama theatre where up to 1300 civilians were being sheltered, and seizure of a hospital with 400 civilians in it used as a human shield;
  • The UN OHCHR recorded 2149 confirmed civilian casualties in Ukraine: 816 killed and 1333 injured (as of midnight 17 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, 112 children were killed by Russian invaders, and more than 140 wounded (as of 19 March);
  • Kindergartens and schools, universities and hospitals, airports and fuel stations, bridges and water reservoirs are targeted. 489 educational institutions, 111 hospitals, more than 2700 residential buildings and 28 religious buildings were damaged or destroyed. In the city of Kharkiv alone, 600 houses were entirely destroyed;
  • Many people have lost their homes. According to the UNHCR, as of March 18, nearly 6.5 million people have been displaced inside Ukraine, on top of the over 3 million who have already fled the country;
  • 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. The Russian army in Ukraine has been ordered to “switch to self-sufficiency”. Kremlin-sanctioned looting.
  • The main efforts are now focused on establishment of humanitarian corridors, which are regularly violated by the Russian troops. On 18 March, 7 out of 9 planned corridors have worked. Over 9100 persons have left the sieged cities, including Mariupol. More humanitarian corridors are planned for 19 March;
  • 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.

Ukraine and its partners are currently working on draft resolution on humanitarian situation in Ukraine. If the UN Security Council fails to adopt such resolution due to the Russian “veto”, Ukraine shall proceed with the adoption at the UNGA emergency special session.

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;
  • According to the Office of President of Ukraine, as of 16 March, Ukraine received in 10 days of March 000 tons of humanitarian aid. The Ministry of Infrastructure and Ukrzaliznytsia (Ukrainian Railways) are currently operating as logistics headquarters. 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;
  • The UN Flash Appeal for Ukraine requested 14 bln USD to support the initial 3 months of the response to help six million of the most vulnerable in Ukraine. In addition, UNHCR appealed for 550 mln USD to support Ukrainian refugees fleeing neighboring 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;
  • Foreign journalists Brent Renaud and Pierre Zakrzewski were killed by Russian troops. Several more were wounded;
  • We call on all foreign governments to demand from President Putin that he immediately stops his war in Ukraine.

3. 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 16 March, Russia was excluded from the Council of Europe, after 26 years of membership;
  • On 27 February, by a recorded vote of 11 in favour to 1 against (Russia), with 3 abstentions (China, India, UAE), the UN SC adopted a resolution calling on the UN GA Emergency Special session on Ukraine, effectively taking over the functions of the UN SC. 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;
  • 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 16 March, the FIDE Council suspended the national teams of Russia and Belarus from participation in official FIDE chess tournaments;
  • 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;
  • We appreciate the visit held to Kyiv on 15 March by the Heads of Governments of Czechia, Poland and Slovenia. Personal presence in the capital of defending country in war is a strong message of support;
  • On 17 March, the Danube Commission at its extraordinary meeting adopted the decision to suspend Russia’s representation;
  • The UN Flash Appeal for Ukraine requested 1.14 billion USD to support the initial 3 months of the response to help six million of the most vulnerable in Ukraine. As of 18 March, donors raised 408 million USD or 36 per cent of the funds requested. In addition, UN High Commissioner for Refugees appealed for 550 million USD to support Ukrainian refugees fleeing neighboring countries.

Russia’s diplomatic and political 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 (as, for instance, the Council of Europe did);
  • 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);
  • The global web movement Awaaz posted an online petition calling on world leaders to bring Putin to international responsibility for crimes in Ukraine. As of 09:00 19 March, it was signed by more than 771,000 people from all over the world, every hour the number increases by an average of 2,000 people.

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 did not prevent the hearing. On 16 March, the ICJ ordered Russia to immediately stop the invasion, the order being binding under international law. Russia must comply immediately, as ignoring the ICJ will isolate Russia even further;
  • 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 arrived 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. The negotiations continued on 14–16 March: ceasefire and withdrawal of Russian troops were in particular discussed. No ultimatums will be accepted by Ukraine, in particular on the territorial integrity. Faced with military defeats on the ground, the Russian side has taken now more realistic stance in the talks;
  • 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 legally binding long-term 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. They need to be strong enough to prevent any further attempts by Russia to attack Ukraine.

4. 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 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 expect that further steps on the EU membership for Ukraine would be taken as fast as possible.

We are grateful for the decisions already taken by our friends and partners, including:

  • 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 aircrafts in the airspace (EU, USA, UK, Canada, North Macedonia, Moldova, Norway, USA, Iceland, Switzerland, Montenegro, Albania), as well as the supply, leasing, insurance and maintenance of aircrafts;
  • for the humanitarian support provided for the citizens of Ukraine;
  • for fuel supplies (Azerbaijan’s SOCAR);
  • for the decision by the Swedish Port Workers’ Union to declare a blockade of ships to and from Russia, ships carrying Russian goods and ships belonging to Russia;

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:

  • Russia lost access to half of its gold and currency reserve. The US has banned the export of US dollars, and the EU has banned the supply of euro banknotes to Russia;
  • Russian currency has drastically depreciated, almost twice as of now;
  • Russian companies go bankrupt;
  • Doing business with Russia becomes increasingly toxic, causing severe reputational and business losses. As of 14 March, 209 Western companies have already left Russia, and 378 made this partially. This process should continue, as Russia’s economy has entered a stage of rapid degradation, and in several weeks the withdrawal of investments will be much more complicated;
  • Experts estimate that about 3 mln Russian citizens will become unemployed;
  • 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, as well as sales of gold and minerals. According to the International Energy Agency, due to sanctions, 3 mln barrels per day of Russian oil and products may not find their way to market beginning in April. Still, currently, since the start of war, Russia has already received 12.6 bln EUR from the EU Member States for coal, oil and gas;
  • preventing Russia from the use of crypto-currencies to circumvent sanctions;
  • monitor any attempts by Russian citizens to avoid sanctions (as was the case with the Swiss “Dukascopy Bank” which was issuing Visa/Mastercard cards to Russian residents until it was disclosed by Ukrainian journalists);
  • 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;
  • As Russia commits more and more barbaric atrocities in Ukraine, it must be expelled from all civilized organizations and platforms. We call on all FATF member-states to exclude Russia from the consortium and designate it on FATF’s black list without delay.

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.

5. ECONOMIC RECOVERY

One of Russia’s key goals in the war it has launched is to destroy Ukraine’s economy, to make us a “failed state”, which would not be able to resist Russia’s pressure and influence:

  • Since the start of war, a major part of economic activity has stalled. Many industrial plants located primarily in eastern Ukraine suspended their work. Russia’s blockade of Ukrainian ports in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov disrupts Ukraine’s export;
  • Russian troops damage and destroy bridges and roads, attack agricultural equipment to prevent the start of the sowing campaign;
  • The Ukrainian Government estimates that overall direct economic losses in Ukraine caused by Russia’s military aggression has already reached 565 bln USD (as of 15 March);
  • According to the IMF report of 14 March, Ukraine’s GDP will contract 10% in 2022 if there’s a prompt resolution to the war, and much more if it continues further.

The Russian war against Ukraine is a threat to global food security. Defending Ukraine also protects the world from hunger and famine.

  • Ukraine’s exports comprise about 10% of all wheat, 16% of all corn and 55% of all sunflower oil in the world;
  • Due to the military actions of the Russian Federation in Ukraine, a large-scale humanitarian crisis will commence in the world in the near future;
  • Russian invaders are blocking Ukrainian ports and deliberately destroying agricultural machinery. Food exports from Ukraine are partially suspended;
  • In addition to Ukraine, the crisis is beginning to affect numerous other countries that import grain crops. 400 million lives in the Middle East, North Africa and Asia are at risk of unstable access to food, malnutrition and famine.

We must do our utmost to thwart Russia’s plans and to keep Ukraine in line:

  • Ukraine’s business and industry outside the war zone continue working to support Ukraine’s economy. Those enterprises which need to be relocated from the battle zone, were offered support by the Government;
  • On 15 March, the Ukrainian Parliament adopted the law aimed at supporting Ukrainian business in war time, including by cutting red tape and simplifying tax system;
  • The Ukrainian authorities started preparing support to the spring sowing campaign where the current situation allows, including by ensuring state reimbursement for interest on loans to cover any expenses related to the agricultural activities;
  • The Ukrainian government established four funds: support to Ukrainian army and humanitarian assistance; restoration of destroyed infrastructure; re-launch of small and medium business; servicing external debt.

We are grateful for all financial and technical 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 4 billion USD in Emergency Financing Support to Ukraine;
  • On 15 March, President Biden signed the bill with 6 billion USD to aid Ukraine and support NATO in Eastern Europe;
  • On 16 March, Ukraine has finally joined ENTSO-E. This will significantly enhance our energy independence and prevent any blackmailing in this sphere from Russia and Belarus;
  • On 18 March, President of the EU Commission announced second disbursement of 300 mln Euro to Ukraine under the new emergency Macro-Financial Assistance programme.

We need to restore Ukraine’s economy when we win. 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 USD;
  • 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);
  • Massive investments, grants and contributions to relaunch Ukraine’s economic development.