Update 04 April

4 april, 2022

Over the weekend, Russia continued to withdraw combat elements from the north and the northeast of Ukraine. Ukrainian forces have claimed to re-gain control of Kyiv Oblast. However, the war is likely to be far from over and could still turn towards Russia’s favour. After the retreat, the remained mines and unexploded ordnance behind will be a long-term problem for Ukrainian ground forces and the local population.

In the north, Ukrainian forces have retaken most of the Kyiv region. In the town of Bucha, Ukrainian forces discovered at least 410 dead civilians, consequently Russia is being criticised for committing war crimes. Although some reports suggest that Russian forces have been cleared from the Kyiv Oblast, Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary-General, claims that they are regrouping and will launch new attacks on the capital. Elsewhere in the north, Ukrainian forces continue to advance in the Chernihiv region.

As Russia withdrawing most of its forces in the north, it is believed that Russia will launch a significant offensive in the east of Ukraine. Russia has slowly advanced in the east during the weekend, but a major offensive is yet to occur. Part of this offensive will be to create a defence line from Izyum to Mariupol, effectively trapping the Ukrainian forces east of the defence line. Thus far, Ukrainian forces have been able to repel Russia’s efforts in Izyum. The city of Kharkiv is still subject to heavy Russia bombardment.

In the south of Ukraine, it is believed that the city of Mariupol will fall in the coming days, enabling Russian troops to move both north towards Izyum to create the defence line, but also west to support Russian efforts west of Kherson. There have been rallies in Kherson during the weekend, several protestors were detained by Russian forces. Russia has intensified its shelling of Mykolaiv; however, the defence line between Mykolaiv and Kherson remains at large unchanged. On 03 April, Russia struck several oil depots in Odesa, but also residential areas. Although the risk is currently low, there is a possibility that Russia could launch an amphibious attack against Odesa.

In the western Ukraine, there have been no major attack against western Ukraine during the weekend. Russian airstrikes have been reported in Ternopil and Khmelnytsky; however, the severity of the attacks is expected to be low.

Reaction of the West

After the pictures of murdered civilians in Bucha, Irpin, and Hostomel – all towns close the Kyiv – were published during the weekend, the reactions from the international community have been many and cohesive. Leaders from the United Kingdom, the United states, Germany, Czech Republic, France, Poland, Greece, Italy, Japan and New Zeeland have all condemned the killings of civilians and called for more sanctions and a thorough investigation of the crimes in order to pursue accountability.

Charles Michel, president of the European Council, tweeted on 03 April that further sanctions were ”on their way” and EU ambassadors are expected to discuss the new round of measures on Wednesday, 06 April.

The future measures that will be discussed during the week are most likely further individual sanctions, a ban on Russian ships using EU ports, more export restrictions and embargoes on energy supplies such as coal, oil, or gas. Calls for sanctions to target Russian energy exports have grown louder. Italy, one of the EU countries most dependent on Russian gas and which has previously opposed all energy sanctions, seems to have changed their mind. Enrico Letta, chief of the centre-left Democratic Party, a junior partner in Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s national unity government, called for a ”full oil and gas Russia embargo”.


During the weekend, devastating news came from the regions that were under Russian control and civilian bodies have been found in Bucha, Kyiv Oblast. As of today, Ukrainian officials reported that at least 410 civilians have been found dead in the town of Bucha. Russia is now facing growing criticism for alleged war crimes committed by Russian forces in the region. UN Secretary General stated that the situation requires an independent investigation amid claims that the attacks were carried out intentionally by Russian army. UN officials called Russian officials to discuss the attacks targeting civilians in Bucha region however Russian officials claimed that the hostilities were due to the provocation by Ukrainian radical elements during the Security Council meeting.

According to OHCHR, from 24 February to 02 April, 3,455 civilian casualties have been recorded; a total of 1,417 killed and 2,038 injured. The actual figures are considerably higher as the intense hostilities are still ongoing in some locations and many reports are still pending corroboration.

According to UNHCR’s data, number of refugees that had fled Ukraine have already exceeded the estimations and reached 4,1 million. Since 24 February the escalation has caused not only civilian casualties but also civilian infrastructure, forcing people to flee their homes seeking safety, protection and assistance. According to Swedish Migration Agency, more than 25,000 Ukrainian citizens applied for asylum under the EU’s Temporary Protection Directive so far. The figures are expected to grow quickly after the end of 90 days free movement of Ukrainian citizens who are currently in Sweden.

Do you want to gain a deeper understanding of how the current situation in Eastern Europe will affect your company?
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