Russian forces continues to launch missiles on major Ukrainian cities. In the north of Ukraine, Kyiv suffered the shelling of several residential neighbourhoods, killing at least two people on the night of 14 March. Intelligence reports have indicated that a Kyiv metro station experienced some damage. Early today, air sirens have been sounded in Kyiv, and Ukrainian authorities have imposed 35 hours of curfew from 15 March 20.00 until 7.00 17 March, local times. Movement in the city is only allowed with special passes. In addition, Ukrainian officials claimed on 14 March that a power supply line was damaged at Chernobyl nuclear power plant by Russian troops.
In western Ukraine, Ukrainian authorities have forbidden unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and light aircraft flights from flying over Lviv Oblast on 15 March. All unauthorized flights of UAVs will be considered “as espionage and sabotage attempts”. In addition, authorities in the city of Rivne have claimed that a Russian air strike damaged a television tower on 14 March. Ukrainian media reported that 19 people were killed in the attack.
In the east, the Russian Defence Ministry claimed that 23 people were killed in a Ukrainian Tochka-U missile strike in the Donetsk People’s Republic on 14 March. However, the Ukrainian Ministry has denied this attack. Oleh Syniehubov, head of the Kharkiv regional administration, has stated that one person was killed and another seriously injured following multiple attacks in Kharkiv on 14 March.
In southern Ukraine, on 15 March, the Russian Defence Ministry stated that the Russians forces have taken full control of Kherson. The Ukrainian authorities reported that more than 2,500 people have been killed in Mariupol since Russian troops have encircled the city. On 14 March, Ukrainian reports indicated that civilians were able to be evacuated from the city through agreed evacuation corridors, however, convoys carrying humanitarian aid to Mariupol remain blocked.
Following the Russian attack on the Yavoriv military training base, Britain has warned that it represents a major escalation of the conflict. The missile attack was met with renewed condemnation from US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a tweet calling for ”the brutality to stop”. In addition, the Estonian Parliament on 14 March adopted a resolution calling on EU and NATO member states and other parliaments to support and impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine. Estonia is notably the first NATO member to make such a statement.
US officials have claimed that Russia has requested military and financial support from China, reports that were denied by Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov on 14 March and by the Chinese foreign ministry representative, who dismissed the reports as disinformation. The full scope of the alleged request is currently unknown, however, US officials claim that Russia has requested MREs and have expressed fears about an alleged Russian request for drones. In addition, during a meeting in Rome between the US National Security Adviser and the Head of China’s Foreign Affairs commission on 15 March, the US made clear that there will be ”consequences” for any Chinese assistance to Russia’s military operations in Ukraine.
UN Chief Antonio Guterres has warned that Russia’s latest invasion of Ukraine will hit the world’s most vulnerable nations hard. The UN Chief cited Russia and Ukraine’s considerable wheat and sunflower oil export quotas, on which many of the world’s developing nations depend heavily. In addition, he expressed concern about the political instability and unrest that have historically followed rising food costs in the world’s most vulnerable nations.
Migration and humanitarian developments
Since Russian last invasion of Ukraine as of 11 March, the authorities had registered 5,200 Ukrainians who have entered Sweden. Due to the EU’s 90-day visa exemption rules for Ukrainians and no border control when entering Sweden from or via another EU/EEA country – like Poland or Denmark, Ukrainians do not have to register immediately upon arrival. For this reason, the numbers are estimated to be much higher. According to the Swedish Migration Agency, Migrationsverket, Sweden receives 4,000 refugees per day. Migrationsverket’s director general, Mikael Ribbenvik, also estimates that, in the most likely scenario, 212,000 Ukrainian refugees will arrive in Sweden by the end of the year.
Worldwide humanitarian organisations such as the British Red Cross, UNHCR, UNICEF and many others are trying to raise more funds to support Ukraine and the people affected by the war. The Swedish government has announced that Sweden has increased its humanitarian aid to Ukraine by 500 million SEK, which will be channelled through humanitarian organisations. The Ukrainian government, together with global charities, has launched an online platform that connects volunteers and people in need. The platform is called ”Spiv Diia” and includes details on the availability of humanitarian aid, including medicines, food and a variety of goods that may be needed.