Update 08 March

8 mars, 2022

Russian advances in Ukraine are slow, and as a result, Russian efforts are increasingly indiscriminate and damaging, including the continuous shelling of residential areas. According to several analysts, the targeting of residential areas appears to be systematic and deliberate.

In northern Ukraine, attacks on Kyiv continue and the town of Iprin, on the outskirts of Kyiv, has been severely damaged by Russian shelling. The Russian military column north of Kyiv appears to be at a standstill.  Intelligence indicates that Russian troops are advancing towards Kyiv from the east – enabling a full-scale attack on Kyiv from three sides. Ukraine’s armed forces remain in control of the northern city Chernihiv. Despite heavy shelling, the city of Sumy in north-eastern Ukraine also remains under Ukraine’s Ukrainian control. It is likely that attacks will further increase in Kyiv in the coming days.

In eastern Ukraine, fighting in Kharkiv continues. As intense Russian shelling of Kharkiv continues, efforts to evacuate civilians have been impaired. Russian advances in the Donbas region have not been significant; however in southern Donbas, the city of Mariupol remains encircled by Russian forces.

In southern Ukraine, Russian propaganda has been heard in Melitopol’s radio stations. At the same time, Russian forces remain in control of Zaporizhzhia’s nuclear plant. Russian attacks on Mykolaiv continue as Russian forces move closer to a large power plant. In Odessa, Ukrainian’s are preparing for a Russian attack. In the last 24 hours, western Ukraine remains relatively untouched by Russian attacks.

International reactions

The Russian invasion on Ukraine continues to spark outrage in most countries, increasing the amounts of sanctions towards Russia. In addition to state sanctions, many private companies are suspend their operations within Russia. Among them are the payment systems Visa, Mastercard, American Express and PayPal, which will place further downward pressure on the Russian economy. Other big brands include Shell, Zara, and Samsung, which have decided to suspend their operations in Russia.

A total of 24 countries – Sweden among them – has decided to support Ukraine with weapons, despite Russian threats of negative consequences. President Putin is intending to dissuade western involvement by threats of escalation, up to and including use of nuclear weapons. It is unlikely that Putin will employ nuclear weapons in the short-term.

Non-governmental organisations are increasing their support to Ukrainian civilians. The UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths said that Russia needs to ensure that the military operations avoid civilians, homes, and critical infrastructure, as well as cooperate with humanitarian actors in order to create safe passage for humanitarian aid.

The US and the rest of NATO continues to engage closely with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his staff. NATO has increased their forces in eastern Europe and has not declared a humanitarian no-fly zone above Ukraine. It is unlikely that NATO will enforce a no-fly zone over Ukraine in the short-term. Talks between EU and Ukraine continue as well, mainly regarding a membership. On 07 March, the EU officially began to examine bids from Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia to join the EU.

Developments in Russia

On 07 March, several Russian television channels were hacked by the cyber collective Anonymous and had their programming substituted with coverage of the war in Ukraine by independent broadcasters Current Time and Dozhd TV, who are currently blocked in Russia by the Government.

There are increasing reports about Russian civilians leaving Russia as a result of the war in Ukraine. Countries including Armenia, Georgia, and Kyrgyzstan have seen an influx of Russian emigrants in the last few days. The Georgian Government has said that as many as 25,000 Russians have entered Georgia in recent days as the wave of emigration accelerated. Some Russians cite the threat of martial law and border closures as reasons to leave Russia.

On 07 March, the US Department of Defence reported that the Russian army is now trying to recruit Syrian mercenaries to fight in Ukraine as the war continues without major Russian successes.

Migration and humanitarian developments

According to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, between 24 February and 06 March there have been 1,207 civilian casualties in Ukraine. Most of the civilian casualties were caused by the use of explosive weapons including shelling from heavy artillery, missile, and air-strikes. People who can escape from the attacks, and the Russian invasion, have crossed into Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and Moldova. Europe is experiencing the largest refugee crisis since World War II and over 2 million Ukrainians have left Ukraine since the war began. Polish border service has reported that more than 1.2 million Ukrainian have crossed the Polish border alone. It is likely that up to 4 million people will flee the war. For Ukrainian refugees, the EU has granted a special status for at least one-year period and Ukrainians will have an immediate financial, medical, and shelter support in the EU.

Do you want to gain a deeper understanding of how the current situation in Eastern Europe will affect your company?
Contact Dominic Bowen at our international desk

Kontakta mig