|Prelude to the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine|
|Part of the Russo-Ukrainian War|
Russian military buildup around Ukraine as of 3 December 2021
|Parties involved in the crisis|
|Commanders and leaders|
In March and April 2021, Russian Armed Forces began massing thousands of personnel and military equipment near Russia's border with Ukraine and in Crimea, representing the largest mobilization since the annexation of Crimea in 2014. This precipitated an international crisis due to concerns over a potential invasion. Satellite imagery showed movements of armour, missiles, and heavy weaponry. The troops were partially withdrawn by June 2021, though the infrastructure was left in place. A second build-up began in October 2021, this time with more soldiers and with deployments on new fronts; by December over 100,000 Russian troops were massed around Ukraine on three sides. Despite the Russian military build-ups, Russian officials from November 2021 to 20 February 2022 repeatedly denied that Russia had plans to invade Ukraine.
The crisis was related to the ongoing War in Donbas, itself part of the Russo-Ukrainian War, ongoing since 2014. In December 2021, Russia advanced two draft treaties that contained requests for what it referred to as "security guarantees", including a legally binding promise that Ukraine would not join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and a reduction in NATO troops and materiel stationed in Eastern Europe, and threatened unspecified military response if those demands were not met in full. NATO rejected these requests, and the United States warned Russia of "swift and severe" economic sanctions should it further invade Ukraine. The crisis was described by many commentators as one of the most intense in Europe since the Cold War. International affairs analyst Fiona Hill later commented on 28 February 2022 Russia's invasion of Ukraine was another sign that World War III was already underway.
On 21 February 2022, Russia officially recognized the two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine, the Donetsk People's Republic and the Luhansk People's Republic, as independent states, and deployed troops to Donbas, in a move interpreted as Russia's effective withdrawal from the Minsk Protocol. The breakaway republics were recognized in the boundaries of their respective Ukrainian oblasts, which extend far beyond the line of contact. On 22 February, Putin said that the Minsk agreements were no longer valid. On the same day, the Federation Council unanimously authorised the use of military force in the territories.
Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Ukraine and Russia continued to retain close ties. In 1994, Ukraine agreed to abandon its nuclear arsenal and signed the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances on the condition that Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States issue an assurance against threats or use of force to the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine. Five years later, Russia was one of the signatories of the Charter for European Security, where it "reaffirmed the inherent right of each and every participating State to be free to choose or change its security arrangements, including treaties of alliance, as they evolve".
Despite being recognized as an independent country since 1991, as a former USSR constituent republic, Ukraine was perceived by the leadership of Russia as part of its sphere of influence. In 2008, Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke out against Ukraine's membership in NATO. In 2009, Romanian analyst Iulian Chifu and his co-authors opined that in regard to Ukraine, Russia has pursued an updated version of the Brezhnev Doctrine, which dictates that the sovereignty of Ukraine cannot be larger than that of the Warsaw Pact's member states prior to the collapse of the Soviet sphere of influence during the late-1980s and early-1990s. This view is built upon the premise that Russia's actions to placate the West in the early 1990s should have been met with reciprocity from the West, without NATO expansion along Russia's border.
Following weeks of protests as part of the Euromaidan movement (2013–2014), pro-Russian Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and the leaders of the Ukrainian parliamentary opposition on 21 February 2014 signed a settlement agreement that called for an early election. The following day, Yanukovych fled from Kyiv ahead of an impeachment vote that stripped him of his powers as president. Leaders of the Russian-speaking eastern regions of Ukraine declared continuing loyalty to Yanukovych, causing the 2014 pro-Russian unrest in Ukraine. This unrest was fomented by Russia as part of a coordinated political and military campaign against Ukraine, Amidst that Russia invaded and subsequently annexed Crimea in March 2014, followed by the War in Donbas, which started in April 2014 with the creation of the Russia-backed quasi-states of the Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics. The Minsk agreements allowed the fighting to subside in Donbas, leaving separatists in control of about a third of the region. This stalemate led to the war being labelled a "frozen conflict".
Since 2019, Russia has issued over 650,000 internal Russian passports among an unconfirmed overall population, which is considered by Ukrainian government as a step towards annexation of the region. On 14 September 2020, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy approved Ukraine's new National Security Strategy, "which provides for the development of the distinctive partnership with NATO with the aim of membership in NATO." On 24 March 2021, Zelenskyy signed the Decree No. 117/2021 approving the "strategy of de-occupation and reintegration of the temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol", complementing the activities of the Crimean Platform.
In July 2021, Putin published an essay titled On the Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians, in which he re-affirmed his view that Russians and Ukrainians were "one people". American historian Timothy Snyder described Putin's ideas as imperialism. British journalist Edward Lucas described it as historical revisionism. Other observers have noted that the Russian leadership has a distorted view of modern Ukraine and its history.
Russia has said that a possible Ukrainian accession to NATO and the NATO enlargement in general threaten its national security. In turn, Ukraine and other European countries neighboring Russia have accused Putin of attempting to restore the Russian Empire/Soviet Union and of pursuing aggressive militaristic policies.
Initial tensions (March–April 2021)
First Russian military buildup
On 21 February 2021, the Russian Defence Ministry announced the deployment of 3,000 paratroopers to the border for "large-scale exercises". The announcement was made following the Ukrainian government's crackdown on Viktor Medvedchuk earlier that month. Medvedchuk was a leading pro-Russian Ukrainian opposition politician and tycoon with close personal ties to Vladimir Putin. An analysis by Time published in February 2022 cited the event as the start of the Russian military buildup near Ukraine.
On 3 March, Suspilne claimed separatists from the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) reported they had been granted permission to use "preemptive fire for destruction" on Ukrainian military positions. On 16 March, the SBGS border patrol in Sumy spotted a Russian Mil Mi-8 helicopter trespassing approximately 50 metres (160 ft) into Ukrainian territory before heading back to Russian airspace. Ten days later, Russian troops fired mortars at Ukrainian positions near the village of Shumy in Donbas, killing four Ukrainian servicemen. Russia refused to renew the ceasefire in Donbas on 1 April.
Beginning from 16 March, NATO began a series of military exercises known as Defender Europe 2021.[u] The military exercise, one of the largest NATO-led military exercises in Europe for decades, included near-simultaneous operations across over 30 training areas in 12 countries, involving 28,000 troops from 27 nations. Russia criticized NATO for holding Defender Europe 2021, and deployed troops to its western borders for military exercises in response to NATO's military activities. The deployment led to Russia having a sizable troop buildup along the Russo-Ukrainian border by mid-April. A Ukrainian estimation placed the deployment at 40,000 Russian forces for Crimea and the eastern portion of the Russo-Ukrainian border. The German government subsequently condemned the deployment as an act of provocation.
On 30 March, colonel general Ruslan Khomchak, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine revealed intelligence reports suggesting a military buildup by the Russian Armed Forces on the outskirts of Ukraine in preparations for the Zapad Запад-2021. 28 Russian battalion tactical groups were situated along the Russo-Ukrainian border, primarily at Crimea, Rostov, Bryansk, and Voronezh. It was estimated that 60,700 Russian troops were stationed at Crimea and Donbas, with 2,000 military advisors and instructors in eastern-Ukraine alone. According to Komchak, the buildup, expected to increase to 53 battalion tactical groups, posed "a threat" to the military security of Ukraine. Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for Vladimir Putin, disagreed with the Ukrainian statements, claiming the military movements "are not of any concern" for neighbouring countries. Instead, the decisions were made to deal on matters of "national security".
Between late March and early April 2021, significant quantities of weapons and equipment from various regions of Russia, including as far away as Siberia, were transported towards the Russo-Ukrainian border and into Crimea. Unofficial Russian sources, such as the pro-Russian Telegram channel Military Observer, published a video of the flight of a group of Russian Kamov Ka-52 and Mil Mi-28 attack helicopters. It was emphasized by the original sources that the flight had allegedly taken place on the Russo-Ukrainian border.
Continued violence and escalation
Russian and pro-Kremlin media alleged on 3 April 2021 that a Ukrainian drone attack had caused the death of a child in the Russian-occupied part of Donbas. However, no further details were given surrounding the incident. Vyacheslav Volodin, speaker of the Russian State Duma believed that Ukrainian leaders should be "held responsible for the death", while proposing to exclude Ukraine from the Council of Europe (CoE). On 5 April, Ukrainian representatives of the Joint Centre of Control and Coordination (JCCC) sent a note to the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine regarding pro-Russian intentions to falsify the accusations. The next day, the mission confirmed the death of a child in Russian-occupied Donbas, but failed to establish a link between the purported "Ukrainian drone strike" and the child's death.
On 6 April 2021, a Ukrainian serviceman was killed as a result of shelling of Ukrainian positions near the town of Nevelske in Donetsk. Another soldier was killed near Stepne by an unknown explosive device. As a result of the shelling, the water pumping station in the "gray-zone" between the villages of Vasylivka and Kruta Balka in South Donbas was de-energized, cutting off the water supply to over 50 settlements. Shortly after the annexation of Crimea in 2014, Ukraine blocked the flow of the Northern Crimean Canal, which had supplied 85 percent of Crimea's water. Crimea's reservoirs were subsequently depleted and water shortages ensued, with water reportedly only being available for three to five hours a day in 2021. The New York Times has cited senior American officials mentioning securing Crimea's water supply could be an objective of a possible incursion by Russia.
Russia moved ships between the Caspian Sea and Black Sea. The transfer included several landing craft and artillery boats. Interfax reported on 8 April that the crews and ships of the Caspian Flotilla would perform the final naval exercises in cooperation with the Black Sea Fleet. On 10 April 2021, Ukraine invoked Paragraph 16 of the Vienna Document and initiated a meeting in the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) on the surge of Russian troops near the Russo-Ukrainian border and Russian-occupied Crimea. Ukraine's initiative was supported by several countries, but the Russian delegation failed to appear at the meeting and refused to provide explanations. On 13 April 2021, Ukrainian consul Oleksandr Sosoniuk was detained in Saint Petersburg by the Federal Security Service (FSB), allegedly while "receiving confidential information" during a meeting with a Russian citizen. Sosoniuk was later expelled from Russia. In response, Yevhen Chernikov, a senior Russian diplomat of the Russian embassy in Kyiv, was declared a persona non grata in 19 April in Ukraine and was forced to leave the country within 72 hours. On 14 April 2021, in a meeting in Crimea, Nikolay Patrushev, Secretary of the Security Council of Russia (SCRF) accused Ukrainian special services of trying to organize "terrorist attacks and sabotage" on the peninsula.
On the night of 14 to 15 April 2021, a naval confrontation took place in the Sea of Azov, 40 kilometres (25 mi) from the Kerch Strait, between three Ukrainian Gyurza-M-class artillery boats and six vessels from the Coast Guard of the Border Service of the FSB. The Ukrainian artillery boats were escorting civilian ships when the incident occurred. It was reported that Ukrainian ships threatened to use airborne weapons to deter provocations from FSB vessels. The incident ended without any casualties.
The following day, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine reported that Russia had announced the closure of parts of the Black Sea to warships and vessels of other countries until October, under the pretext of military exercises. The Ministry condemned the decision as a "gross violation of the right of navigational freedoms" guaranteed by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. According to the convention, Russia must not "obstruct maritime passages of the International strait to ports" in the Sea of Azov.
According to John Kirby, Pentagon Press Secretary, Russia had concentrated more troops near the Russo-Ukrainian border than in 2014. Russia reportedly imposed temporary restrictions on flights over parts of Crimea and the Black Sea from 20 to 24 April 2021, as stated in an international report for pilots.
On 22 April 2021, Russian Minister of Defence Sergey Shoigu announced a drawdown of military exercises with troops from the 58th and 41st Army, and the 7th, 76th, and 98th Guards Airborne Division returning to their permanent bases by 1 May after inspections in the Southern and Western military districts. Equipment at the Pogonovo training facility was to remain for the annual military exercise with Belarus scheduled in September 2021.
Renewed tensions (October 2021 – February 2022)
On 11 October 2021, Dmitry Medvedev, Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of Russia, published an article in Kommersant, in which he argued that Ukraine was a "vassal" of the West and that, therefore, it was pointless for Russia to attempt to hold a dialogue with the Ukrainian authorities, whom he described as "weak", "ignorant" and "unreliable". Medvedev concluded that Russia should do nothing in regard to Ukraine and wait until a Ukrainian government comes to power that is genuinely interested in improving relations with Russia, adding "Russia knows how to wait. We are patient people." The Kremlin later specified that Medvedev's article "runs in unison" with Russia's view of the current Ukrainian government.
In November 2021, the Russian Defence Ministry described the deployment of the US warships to the Black Sea as a "threat to regional security and strategic stability." The ministry said in a statement, "The real goal behind the US activities in the Black Sea region is exploring the theater of operations in case Kyiv attempts to settle the conflict in the southeast by force."
Second Russian military buildup
Senior officials of the US Department of Defense reported on 5 May 2021 that Russia had only withdrawn a few thousand troops since the previous military buildup. Despite withdrawals of several Russian units back to their native barracks, vehicles and equipment were not withdrawn, leading to fears that a re-deployment might occur. Senior US Defense Department officials in early May estimated over 80,000 Russian troops still remained at the Russo-Ukrainian border.
In early November 2021, reports of Russian military buildups prompted American officials to warn its European allies that Russia could be considering a potential invasion of Ukraine, while a number of experts and commentators believed that Putin was seeking a stronger hand for further negotiations with the West. The Ukrainian military intelligence (HUR MOU) estimated that the figure had risen to 90,000 by 2 November, composing of forces from the 8th and 20th Guards, and the 4th and 6th Air and Air Defence Forces Army.
On 13 November 2021, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced that Russia had again amassed 100,000 troops near the Russo-Ukrainian border, higher than an American assessment of approximately 70,000. On the same day, in an interview on Russia-1, Putin denied any possibility of a Russian invasion of Ukraine, labelling the notions as "alarmist", while simultaneously accusing NATO of undergoing unscheduled naval drills at the Black Sea. 8 days later, the chief of the HUR MOU, Kyrylo Budanov commented that Russian troop deployment had approached 92,000. Budanov accused Russia of conspiring several protests against COVID-19 vaccination in Kyiv to destabilize the country.
Between late-November and early-December 2021, as Russian and Ukrainian officials traded accusations of massive troop deployments in Donbas, Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba on 25 November admonished Russia against a "new attack on Ukraine", which he said "would cost [Russia] dear", while Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on 21 November called the accusations "[the] hysteria" that "[wa]s being intentionally whipped up" and said that, in their opinion, it was Ukraine who was planning aggressive actions against Donbas.
On 3 December 2021 Ukrainian Minister of Defense Oleksii Reznikov, spoke of the possibility of a "large-scale escalation" by Russia during the end of January 2022, during a session at the Verkhovna Rada (Ukraine's national parliament). Reznikov estimated that the Russian military buildup consisted of 94,300 troops. In early December 2021, an analysis conducted by Janes concluded that major elements of the Russian 41st Army (headquartered at Novosibirsk) and the 1st Guards Tank Army (normally deployed around Moscow) had been re-positioned to the west, reinforcing the Russian 20th and 8th Guards armies that were already positioned closer to the Russo-Ukrainian border. Additional Russian forces were reported to have moved to Crimea, reinforcing Russian naval and ground units that were already deployed there. American intelligence officials warned that Russia was planning an upcoming major military offensive into Ukraine scheduled to take place in January 2022.
Russia began a slow evacuation of its embassy staff at Kyiv beginning in January 2022. The motives of the evacuation remain unknown and were subjected to multiple speculations. By mid-January, an intelligence assessment produced by the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence estimated that Russia was in its final stages of completing a military buildup at the Russo-Ukrainian border, amassing 127,000 troops at the region. Among the troops, 106,000 were land forces, the remainder being naval and air forces. There were 35,000 more Russian-backed separatist forces and another 3,000 Russian forces in rebel-held eastern Ukraine. The assessment estimated that Russia had deployed 36 Iskander short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) systems near the border, many stationed within striking distance of Kyiv. The assessment also reported intensified Russian intelligence activity. An analysis conducted by the Atlantic Council in 20 January concluded that Russia had deployed additional critical combat capabilities to the region.
In late-January 2022, major Russian military units were relocated and deployed to Belarus under the auspices of previously planned joint military exercises to be held in February that year. Namely, the headquarters of the Eastern Military District was deployed to Belarus along with combat units drawn from the District's 5th, 29th, 35th, and 36th Combined Arms Army, 76th Guards Air Assault Division, 98th Guards Airborne Division and the Pacific Fleet's 155th Naval Infantry Brigade. Ukrainian and American officials believed that Russia would attempt to use Belarus as a platform to attack Ukraine from the north, due to the close proximity of the Belarusian–Ukrainian border to the city of Kyiv.
On 19 January 2022, United States President Joe Biden said his "guess" was that Russia "w[ould] move in" to Ukraine but Putin would pay "a serious and dear price" for an invasion and "would regret it".
On 20 January 2022, Russia announced plans to hold major naval drills later that month that would involve all of its naval fleets: 140 vessels, 60 planes, 1,000 units of military hardware, and 10,000 soldiers, in the Mediterranean, the northeast Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific, the North Sea and the Sea of Okhotsk. On 28 January, Reuters reported that three anonymous American officials had revealed that Russia had stockpiled medical supplies. Two of the three officials claimed that the movements were detected in "recent weeks", adding to fears of conflict. In an interview with The Washington Post in January 2022, Zelenskyy warned that Russian forces could invade and take control of regions in eastern Ukraine. He also argued that an invasion would lead to a large-scale war between Ukraine and Russia.
On 5 February 2022, two anonymous US officials reported Russia had assembled 83 battalion tactical groups, estimated to be 70-percent of its combat capabilities, for a full-scale invasion on Ukraine, and predicted that a hypothetical invasion would result in 8,000 to 35,000 military casualties and 25,000 to 50,000 civilian casualties. The officials anticipated that the possible launch window could start on 15 February and persist until the end of March, when extremely cold weather would freeze roads and assist in the movement of mechanized units.
On 8 February, a fleet of six Russian landing ships, namely the Korolev, the Minsk, and Kaliningrad from the Baltic Fleet; and the Petr Morgunov, the Georgiy Pobedonosets, and the Olenegorskiy Gornyak from the Northern Fleet, reportedly sailed to the Black Sea for naval exercises. The fleet arrived at Sevastopol two days later. On 10 February, Russia announced two major military exercises. The first was a naval exercise on the Black Sea, which was protested by Ukraine as it resulted in Russia blocking the naval routes at the Kerch Strait, the Sea of Azov, and the Black Sea; the second involved a joint military exercise between Belarus and Russia held in regions close to the Belarusian-Ukrainian border, involving 30,000 Russian troops and almost all of the Belarusian armed forces. Responding to the latter, Ukraine held separate military exercises of their own, involving 10,000 Ukrainian troops. Both exercises were scheduled for 10 days.
Referring to unspecified intelligence, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, stated an attack could begin at any moment prior to the conclusion of the 2022 Winter Olympics at Beijing on 20 February. Separately, the media published several reports based on acquired US intelligence briefed to several allies with specific references to 16 February as a potential starting date for a ground invasion. Following these announcements, the US ordered most of its diplomatic staff and all military instructors in Ukraine to evacuate. Numerous countries, including Japan, Germany, Australia and Israel also urged their citizens to leave Ukraine immediately. The next day, KLM suspended its flights to Ukraine, while other airlines shifted their flight schedules to limit exposure across the country.
On 10 February 2022, the Baltic states invoked provisions of the Vienna Document requesting an explanation from Belarus regarding the unusual military activities. The move was followed by Ukraine a day after, where it too invoked Chapter III (risk reduction) of the Vienna Document, requesting Russia to provide "detailed explanations on military activities in the areas adjacent to the territory of Ukraine and in the temporarily occupied Crimea". According to Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, no response had been received from Russian authorities within the required 48-hour deadline.
On 11 February 2022, U.S. President Biden warned Americans in Ukraine should leave as soon as possible, as a Russian invasion could begin on 16 February 2022.  On 13 February, Ukraine requested that an emergency meeting within the OSCE be held within the following 48 hours, at which Russia was expected to provide a response.
On 14 February 2022, a telephone conversation was made by Reznikov and his Belarusian counterpart, Viktor Khrenin, where they agreed on mutual confidence-building and transparency measures. These measures included visits by both defence ministers to their respective country's military exercises (Reznikov to the Russo–Belarusian Allied Resolve 2022 exercise, and Khrenin to the Ukrainian Zametil 2022 exercise). The emergency meeting of the OSCE requested by Ukraine was held on 15 February. However, the Russian delegation to the OSCE was absent from the meeting.
On 14 February 2022, Shoigu said units from Russia's Southern and Western military districts had begun returning to their barracks following the completion of "exercises" near Ukraine. However, in a press conference held the subsequent day, Biden commented that they could not verify such reports.
On 16 February, the Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg refuted Russian claims of retreating troops and said that Russia had continued the military buildup. The Russia Foreign Ministry called earlier Western warnings of a Russia invasion on this day "anti-Russian hysteria"  while President Zelenskyy called for a "day of unity" in anticipation of Russian threats. 
On 17 February 2022, top officials from the US and NATO stated that the threat of an invasion remained, as Russia was still actively looking for a casus belli for an invasion against Ukraine, with attempts being made to conduct a false flag operation. On 18 February, Biden announced that he was convinced that Putin had made a decision to invade Ukraine. On 19 February, two Ukrainian soldiers were killed while another five were wounded by artillery fire from separatists.
On 20 February 2022, the Belarusian Ministry of Defence announced the continuation of the Allied Resolve 2022 military exercises, decided Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko and Putin. According to Khrenin, it was due to the "escalation in military activity along the external borders of the Union State and the deterioration of the situation in Donbas". On the same day, several news outlets reported that US intelligence assessed that Russian commanders had been given orders to proceed with the invasion.
Alleged Russian subversion attempts
On 26 November 2021, Zelenskyy accused the Russian government and Ukrainian billionaire Rinat Akhmetov of backing a plan to overthrow the Ukrainian government. Russia subsequently denied the claims. On 10 January 2022, the SBU announced that it had arrested a Russian military intelligence agent who was attempting to recruit operatives to conduct attacks at Odessa. Three days later, Ukraine was struck by a cyberattack that affected the official websites of several Ukrainian government ministries. It was later suspected that Russian hackers might be responsible for the incident.
The HUR MOU accused Russian special services of preparing "provocations" against Russian soldiers stationed at Transnistria, a breakaway unrecognized state internationally considered part of Moldova, to create a casus belli for a Russian invasion of Ukraine. The Biden administration later revealled that the Russian government deployed Russian operatives, trained in urban warfare and explosives, as saboteurs to stage a fabricated attack against Russian proxy separatists at eastern Ukraine, to provide Russia with another pretext for an invasion. The Russian government denied the claims.
On 22 January 2022, the British government said Russia was preparing a plan to supplant Ukraine's government via military force and install a pro-Russian puppet administration in the country, potentially led by Yevheniy Murayev, a former member of the Ukrainian parliament. Both Murayev and the Russian government denied the allegations, with the latter blaming NATO member-states "led by the Anglo-Saxons" for the crisis. On 3 February, the US said that Russia was planning to use a fabricated video showing a staged Ukrainian "attack" as a pretext for a further invasion of Ukraine. The Russian government denied any plans to orchestrate a pretext for an invasion.
US intelligence sources warned in mid-February that Russia had compiled "lists of Ukrainian political figures and other prominent individuals to be targeted for either arrest or assassination" in the event of an invasion. The US Ambassador to the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva, Bathsheba Nell Crocker, wrote to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, saying the US has "credible information that indicates Russian forces are creating lists of identified Ukrainians to be killed or sent to camps following a military occupation", and that Russia "will likely use lethal measures to disperse peaceful protests ... from civilian populations".
Russia's accusations of genocide in eastern Ukraine
On 9 December 2021, Putin spoke of discrimination against Russian speakers outside Russia, saying: "I have to say that Russophobia is a first step towards genocide. You and I know what is happening in Donbass. It certainly looks very much like genocide." Russia also condemned the Ukrainian language law. On 15 February 2022, Putin told the press: "What is going on in Donbas is exactly genocide." Several international organizations, including the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, and the Council of Europe found no evidence supporting the Russian claims. The genocide allegations have been rejected by the European Commission as Russian disinformation.
The US embassy in Ukraine described Russian genocide claims as "reprehensible falsehood", while the Spokesperson for the US Department of State, Ned Price said the Russian government was making such claims as "an excuse for invading Ukraine". On 18 February, the Russian Ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov replied to a question about US officials, who doubted the fact of the genocide of Russians in Donbas, by posting a statement on the Embassy's Facebook page that said: 'This causes outrage and indignation. ... We see here not just double standards of the United States, but quite a primitive and crude cynicism. ... The main geopolitical goal of the United States is to push Russia back to the East as far possible. To that end, a policy to force the Russian-speaking population out of their current places of residence is needed. Therefore, Americans prefer not only to ignore the attempts of forced assimilation of Russians in Ukraine, but also strongly condone them with political and military support."
In preparation for a possible renewed Russian invasion, the Ukrainian Ground Forces announced a meeting in April 2021 regarding territorial defences to strengthen and protect the nation's borders and critical facilities, and to combat sabotage and reconnaissance groups in southern Ukraine. During the same month, Zelenskyy visited Ukrainian defensive positions in Donbas. According to Russia, Ukraine deployed 125,000 troops to the Donbas conflict zone in December 2021.
The United States estimated in December 2021 that Russia could assemble over 175,000 troops to invade Ukraine. Oleksii Reznikov, Ukrainian Minister of Defense, stated that "we have 250,000 official ... members of our army. Plus, I said 400,000 veterans and 200,000 reservists. 175,000 (is) not enough to go to Ukraine." Reznikov claimed that Russia could launch a large-scale attack on Ukraine in late-January 2022.
Ukraine's Territorial Defense Forces (the reserve component of the Ground Forces established after the 2014 conflict) recruited additional citizens and trained them in urban guerrilla tactics and firearms use. Such insurgency tactics, as reported by The New York Times, could support a resistance movement if the Russian military were able to overwhelm the Ukrainian military. Andrii Zahorodniuk, former Ukrainian Minister of Defense, wrote in January that in the case of a Russian invasion, the Russian forces would likely destroy "key elements of the country's military infrastructure" and will be able to "advance deep into Ukrainian territory", but would face difficulty in securing it. Zahorodniuk further stated, "Russian occupation forces will face highly motivated opponents fighting in familiar surroundings."
In response to expectations of a renewed invasion following the military buildup of over 100,000 Russian troops near the Russo-Ukrainian border, some NATO member nations in January 2022 began providing military aid, including lethal weapons, with the US giving approval to its NATO allies to send anti-armor missiles and other US-made weapons. The first US shipment of some 90 tonnes (200,000 lb) of lethal weapons arrived in Ukraine on 22 January 2022. The US provided FGM-148 Javelin antitank missiles, anti-armor artillery, heavy machine guns, small arms, ammunition, secure radio systems, medical equipment and spare parts.
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley threatened US support for an anti-Russian insurgency within Ukraine, similar to the CIA's assistance to anti-Soviet mujahideen rebels in Afghanistan in the 1980s. According to James Stavridis, former Supreme Allied Commander Europe at NATO (2009–2013), "The level of military support" for anti-Russian guerrilla fighters "would make our efforts in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union look puny by comparison."
In December 2021, the US government approved additional defense aid of US$200 million to Ukraine. This was in addition to previous aids to Ukraine, making the total defense aid in 2021 worth US$650 million. Deliveries of lethal weapons from the US started the following month and included .50 BMG caliber ammunition, M141 Bunker Defeat Munition (BDM) and Javelin systems. The US also intends to transfer Mil Mi-17 helicopters to Ukraine, previously flown by the Afghan Air Force.
The Biden administration approved deliveries of American-made FIM-92 Stinger surface-to-air missiles to Ukraine. In January 2022, the Biden administration granted permission to the Baltic nations to transfer American-made equipment to Ukraine. Estonia donated Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine, while Latvia and Lithuania provided Stinger air defense systems and associated equipment.
Other NATO members also provided aid to Ukraine. Pre-existing British and Canadian military training programs were bolstered in January 2022. The British deployed additional military trainers and provided light anti-armor defence systems, while the Canadians deployed a small special forces delegation to aid Ukraine. On 17 January, British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace announced that Britain had supplied Ukraine with 1,100 short-range anti-tank missiles. On 20 January, Sky News reported that 2,000 short-range anti-tank NLAW missiles had been delivered via numerous Royal Air Force C-17 transport aircraft between the UK and Ukraine. On 21 January, the UK Defence Journal reported that there had been an increase in Royal Air Force RC-135W Rivet Joint surveillance aircraft being deployed to monitor Russian forces on the Russo-Ukrainian border.
On 16 January 2022, the Danish government announced they would provide Ukraine with a €22 million (US$24.8 million) defense package. On 21 January, the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wopke Hoekstra, said that the Netherlands was ready to deliver "defensive military support". He explained that Ukraine had asked the Netherlands for arms assistance on 20 January, and a parliamentary majority supported it.
On 31 January 2022, Poland announced its decision to supply Ukraine with lethal weapons. It intended to provide significant quantities of light ammunition, artillery shells, light mortar systems, reconnaissance drones, and Polish-made Grom surface-to-air missiles.
On 17 February 2022, a tripartite format of cooperation was launched between Poland, Ukraine and the United Kingdom, to respond to threats to European security and to deepen Ukraine's relationships with the two other European nations in matters of cyber security, energy security and countering disinformation.
The Dutch and Spanish governments deployed forces to the region in support of NATO. On 20 January 2022, Spanish Defence Minister, Margarita Robles announced that the Spanish Navy was being deployed to the Black Sea. The patrol vessel Meteoro, acting as a minesweeper, was already en route and the frigate Blas de Lezo departed on 22 January. She announced that the Spanish government was considering deploying the Spanish Air Force (SAF) to Bulgaria. Four Eurofighters were deployed on 12 February. The Netherlands said it would send two F-35s to Bulgaria as part of NATO's expanded air surveillance mission.
On 5 February 2022, the first of 2,000 newly deployed US soldiers to Europe arrived in Germany and Poland, as part of the US attempt to bolster NATO's eastern flank as Russia deploys more forces along Ukraine's borders.
Escalation and invasion (February 2022 – present)
Alleged clashes between Russia and Ukraine
Fighting in Donbas escalated significantly on 17 February 2022. While the daily number of attacks over the first six weeks of 2022 was 2 to 5, the Ukrainian military reported 60 attacks on 17 February. Russian state media also reported over 20 artillery attacks on separatist positions the same day. For example, the Ukrainian government accused Russian separatists of shelling a kindergarten at Stanytsia Luhanska using artillery, injuring three civilians. The Luhansk People's Republic said that its forces had been attacked by the Ukrainian government with mortars, grenade launchers and machine gun fire.
On 18 February, the Donetsk People's Republic and the Luhansk People's Republic ordered mandatory evacuations of civilians from their respective capital cities, although it has been noted that full evacuations would take months to accomplish. Ukrainian media reported a sharp increase in artillery shelling by the Russian-led militants in Donbas as attempts to provoke the Ukrainian army. Russian state media also reported a "car bombing", allegedly targeting the separatist government headquarters in Donetsk.
On 21 February 2022, Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) announced that Ukrainian shelling had destroyed an FSB border facility 150 m from the Russia–Ukraine border in Rostov Oblast. Separately, the press service of the Southern Military District announced that Russian forces had in the morning that day killed a group of five saboteurs near the village of Mityakinskaya, Rostov Oblast, that had penetrated the border from Ukraine in two infantry fighting vehicles, the vehicles having been destroyed. Ukraine denied being involved in both incidents and called them a false flag. Additionally, two Ukrainian soldiers and a civilian were reported killed by shelling in the village of Zaitseve, 30 km north of Donetsk.
Several analysts, including the investigative website Bellingcat, published evidence that many of the claimed attacks, explosions as well as evacuations in Donbas were staged by Russia.
On 21 February 2022, the Luhansk Thermal Power Plant in the Luhansk People's Republic was shelled by unknown forces. The Ukrainian News Agency said that it was forced to shut down as a result.
Recognition of the Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics by Russia
On 21 January 2022, the Communist Party of the Russian Federation announced on Pravda that its deputies would introduce a non-binding resolution in the State Duma to ask President Putin to officially recognize the breakaway Donetsk People's Republic and Luhansk People's Republic. The resolution was adopted by the State Duma on 15 February 2022 in a 351–16 vote, with one abstention; it was supported by United Russia, the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, A Just Russia - For Truth and the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, but was opposed by the New People party.
On 21 February 2022, the leaders of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people's republics, respectively Denis Pushilin and Leonid Pasechnik, requested that President Putin officially recognize the republics' independence; both leaders also proposed signing a treaty on friendship and cooperation with Russia, including on military cooperation. Concluding the extraordinary session of the Security Council of Russia held on that day, Putin said that the decision on recognition thereof would be taken that day.
The request was endorsed by Minister of Defence Sergey Shoigu. Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said the government had been laying the groundwork for such move for "many months already". Later that day, Putin signed decrees of recognition of the republics. Additionally, treaties "on friendship, co-operation and mutual assistance" between Russia and the republics were inked.
Prior to the signing ceremony at the Grand Kremlin Palace, Putin's address to Russian citizens was made public, in which he announced that Ukrainian statehood was a fiction, that "modern Ukraine was entirely created by Russia, more precisely, Bolshevik, communist Russia", and specifically blamed Vladimir Lenin for the separation, adding that admission of Ukraine to NATO was "a foregone conclusion", that Moscow could not afford to ignore the threat of a nuclear-armed Ukraine, he demanded that "those who seized and retain[ed] power in Kiev ... immediately cease hostilities", or face consequences.
With reference to the legally mandated decommunization in Ukraine that had begun in Ukraine in 2015, Putin said: "You want decommunisation? That suits us fine. But don't stop halfway. We're ready to show Ukraine what real decommunisation means for Ukraine." The recognition decision was promptly condemned by President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and the president of the European Council Charles Michel in identical statements on Twitter.
International sanctions on Russia
In response to the recognition of the two breakaway republics, Western countries rolled out sanctions against Russia. On 22 February 2022, UK Prime Minister Johnson announced sanctions on five Russian banks, namely Rossiya Bank, Industrialny Sberegatelny Bank, General Bank, Promsvyazbank, and Black Sea Bank, and three billionaire associates of Putin, namely Gennady Timchenko, Boris Romanovich Rotenberg, and Igor Rotenberg. German chancellor Scholz announced a halt to the certification process of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.
EU foreign ministers blacklisted all members of the Russian Duma who voted in favour of the recognition of the breakaway regions, banned EU investors from trading in Russian state bonds, and targeted imports and exports with separatist entities. US president Biden announced sanctions on banks VEB.RF and Promsvyazbank and comprehensive sanctions on Russia's sovereign debt.
The countries that have or will impose sanctions include:
- Australia – Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that it would "begin imposing further sanctions on oligarchs, whose economic weight is of strategic significance to Moscow and over 300 members of the Russian Duma, their parliament."
- Japan – Japan said that it would strengthen its sanctions against Russia to also include financial institutions and military equipment exports.
- New Zealand – New Zealand is prohibiting export of goods to the Russian military and other related security forces.
- Singapore – Singapore will block certain Russian banks and financial transactions. It will also control the export of items that could be used as weapons against the people of Ukraine.
- South Korea – South Korea's government decided to tighten export controls by banning shipment of strategic items. They will also block some Russian banks from the SWIFT banking system.
- Switzerland – Switzerland has announced that it will freeze the economic assets of 363 individuals including Putin, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov effective immediately.
- United Kingdom – Prime Minister Johnson revealed that the UK would employ sanctions to target banks, members of Putin's closest circle, and wealthy Russians.
- United States – The US government decided to remove a selected number of Russian banks from the SWIFT messaging system.
On 21 February 2022, following the recognition of the Donetsk and Luhansk republics, President Putin ordered additional Russian troops into Donbas, in what Russia called a "peacekeeping mission". Later on the same day, several independent media outlets confirmed that Russian forces were entering Donbas. On 22 February 2022, the United States declared this movement an "invasion". On the same day, the Federation Council unanimously authorised Putin to use military force outside Russia. Ukrainian President Zelenskyy ordered reservists called up, while not committing to general mobilization yet.
On 23 February 2022, an unidentified senior U.S. defense official was quoted by news media as saying that "80 percent" of Russian forces assigned and arrayed along Ukraine's border were ready for battle and that a ground incursion could commence at any moment. On the same day, the Ukrainian parliament approved the decree of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on the introduction of a state of emergency from 00:00 on 24 February 2022 across the territory of all Ukraine, except Donetsk and Luhansk regions, for a period of 30 days. The Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs recommended that Ukrainian citizens refrain from travel to Russia and those living in Russia leave the country "immediately".
About 4 a.m. Moscow time on 24 February 2022, President Putin announced the beginning of a "special military operation" in the Donbas region. Shortly after, reports of big explosions came from multiple cities in central and eastern Ukraine, including Kyiv and Kharkiv. The US was swift to announce that it would not send US combat troops into Ukraine to intervene militarily. The US repeated its commitment not to send ground troops into Ukraine for fear of provoking war between the United States and Russia. Many observers believed that Russian military operations in Ukraine would inevitably lead to the capitulation of the Ukrainian government and end to the country's national sovereignty.
Between 2 and 3 November 2021, CIA director William Burns met with senior Russian intelligence officials in Moscow to convey to the Kremlin Biden's concern about the situation on the Russo-Ukrainian border. CNN reported that Burns spoke by phone with Zelenskyy following the meeting in Moscow. Simultaneously, a high-ranking US Department of State official was dispatched to Ukraine.
On 15 November, acting German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian expressed concern in a joint communique about "Russian movements of troops and hardware near Ukraine", calling on both sides to adopt and maintain "a posture of restraint". At the same time, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby confirmed that the United States continued to observe "unusual military activity" by Russia near the Russo-Ukrainian border. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken discussed reports of "Russian military activity" in the area with Le Drian. On 16 November, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters that it was important NATO "doesn't increase tensions, but we have to be clear-eyed, we need to be realistic about the challenges we face". Stoltenberg added that the alliance saw an "unusual concentration" of Russian forces, which Russia might be willing to use "to conduct aggressive actions against Ukraine".
In early November 2021, Ukrainian intelligence assessed the information about the transfer of additional Russian troops to the Ukrainian borders as "an element of psychological pressure." A week later, the Office of the President of Ukraine acknowledged that Russia was building up "specific groups of troops" near the border. Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba urged the French and German governments to prepare for a possible military scenario of Russia's actions against Ukraine.
Ukraine has intensified diplomatic efforts. On 15 November, Zelenskyy and the head of the European Council (EUCO) Charles Michel discussed "the security situation along the borders of Ukraine." On the same day, Kuleba held talks on the same issues in Brussels. The new Ukrainian defense minister, Oleksii Reznikov, went to Washington D.C., where on 18 November he met with US secretary of defense Lloyd Austin. On 16 November, British defence secretary Ben Wallace visited Kyiv.
Israel maintains strong relationship with both Ukraine and Russia, and sometimes acts as an interlocutor between the two. In April 2021, Zelenskyy asked the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to mediate the situation between himself and Putin. Israel raised the idea with Russia, who declined. In a meeting at Kyiv in October with Zelenskyy, Israeli President Isaac Herzog told Zelenskyy that the new Israeli government under Prime Minister Naftali Bennett was willing to resume efforts at Ukrainian-Russian mediation. Bennett raised the idea in a meeting with Putin two weeks later at Sochi, but Putin declined.
In late January, the United States was again discussing sanctions with European allies in case of a Russian invasion. Biden said the sanctions would be "swift and severe, including a "game over" strategy of targeting Russian banks, bond markets and the assets of elites close to Putin. This approach was also been criticized, and the proposed cut-off of Russian banks from the Visa, Mastercard and SWIFT payment systems was withdrawn. The challenge for US and NATO vis-à-vis Russia is the creation of credible deterrence with a plan for a de-escalatory sequence, including a reduction in inflammatory rhetoric, Russian troop withdrawals from the Russo-Ukrainian border, renewed Donbas peace talks, as well as a temporary halt on military exercises at the Black and Baltic Seas by the US, NATO or Russia.
A Normandy Format meeting was planned between Russian, Ukrainian, German and French senior officials at Paris on 26 January 2022, with a followup phone call between the French President Emmanuel Macron and Putin on 28 January. Ukraine fulfilled Russia's condition for a meeting at Paris and decided to withdraw a controversial draft law on the reintegration of Crimea and Donbas from the Ukrainian parliament, as contradicting the Minsk peace agreements.
On 7 February 2022, French President Emmanuel Macron met Vladimir Putin in Moscow, with mixed outcomes: Macron said that Putin told him that Russia will not further escalate the crisis; Putin scoffed at assertions that NATO is a "defensive alliance" and warned the Western countries that if Ukraine joined NATO and "decided to take back Crimea using military means, European countries will automatically be in a military conflict with Russia." Putin promised Macron not to carry out new military initiatives near Ukraine.
NATO–Russia security talks
On 7 December 2021, US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin talked by videoconference. One of the topics discussed was the crisis over Ukraine, the Russian side issuing a statement that said Putin highlighted the fact that it was "NATO that was undertaking dangerous attempts to develop Ukrainian territory and increase its potential along [Russia's] borders". He demanded "reliable, legal guarantees" that would preclude NATO from expanding its territory toward Russia or deploying its strike weapon systems in countries bordering Russia.
On 15 December 2021, Russia formally handed over to the US its two draft treaties on security guarantees whereby the US as well as NATO would, among other things, undertake not to deploy troops in ex-Soviet states that were not NATO members, rule out any further expansion of the Alliance eastward, undertake not to deploy any forces in other countries in addition to that which were deployed as of 27 May 1997, and refrain from conducting any military activity in Ukraine as well as in other states in eastern Europe, the South Caucasus and Central Asia.
Biden and Putin had a 50-minute phone call on 30 December 2021. In a White House statement released afterwards, on the call, Biden urged Putin "de-escalate tensions with Ukraine". According to Putin's aide, Biden told Putin that the US did not plan to deploy offensive weapon in Ukraine. Biden also warned that if Russia continued aggression against Ukraine, it would lead to "serious costs and consequences" such as the US imposing additional economic sanctions on Russia, increasing US military presence in the eastern members of NATO, and increased assistance to Ukraine. According to Putin's aide, Putin responded by saying that it would "cause a total severance of relations" between Russia and the US as well as the West at large.
The following day, Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov addressed the question about what Russia expected in response to its "security guarantees" proposals by saying that "we will not allow anyone to drag out our initiatives in endless discussions. If a constructive response does not follow within a reasonable time and the West continues its aggressive course, Russia will be forced to take every necessary action to ensure a strategic balance and to eliminate unacceptable threats to our security."
On 10 January 2022, the US and Russia held bilateral talks in Geneva, whose purpose had been defined by the two sides as "to discuss concerns about their respective military activity and confront rising tensions over Ukraine". The talks were led by Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, and US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman.
The Geneva meeting was followed by a meeting of the NATO–Russia Council in Brussels on 12 January that involved delegations from all thirty NATO countries and one from Russia to discuss (according to the official statement issued by NATO), "the situation in and around Ukraine, and the implications for European security". The Russian MoD statement following the meeting stated that Russia "brought Russian assessments of the current state in the field of Euro-security, and also gave explanations on the military aspects of the Russian draft agreement on security guarantees." The talks were judged by Russia to be unsuccessful. Following the meeting, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that, with respect to Ukraine's potential accession to NATO, all NATO Allies were "united on the core principle that each and every nation has the right to choose his own path" and "Russia doesn't have a veto on whether Ukraine can become a NATO member. ... at the end of the day, it has to be NATO Allies and Ukraine that decides on membership."
On 21 January 2022, Lavrov and Blinken met at Geneva. Blinken noted afterwards that the meeting "was not a negotiation but a candid exchange of concerns and ideas". Following the meeting, Blinken said that the US had made clear to Russia that its renewed invasion would "be met with swift, severe and a united response from the United States and our partners and allies."
The US delivered a formal written response to Russia's security demands on 26 January 2022. The response rejected Moscow's demand that NATO renounce its promise that Ukraine would be able to join NATO. Commenting on the content of the US response, Blinken said that the document "include[d] concerns of the United States and our allies and partners about Russia's actions that undermine security, a principled and pragmatic evaluation of the concerns that Russia has raised, and our own proposals for areas where we may be able to find common ground."
On 1 February 2022, Putin said the US response had failed to address Moscow's "three key demands", namely the non-expansion of NATO, refusal to deploy offensive weapon systems close to the Russian borders, and bringing back NATO's military infrastructure to the status quo of 1997. On 17 February, as the risk of Russian invasion of Ukraine was being assessed by the US and NATO as very high, Russia handed a letter to the US ambassador that blamed Washington for having ignored its main security demands.
United Nations Security Council
A UN Security Council meeting was convened on 31 January 2022 to discuss the ongoing crisis. Russia tried to block the meeting, but the request was rejected with ten votes for the meeting to go ahead, two against and three abstentions. During the debate, the US and Russia exchanged accusations. The US ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, accused Russia of "aggressive behavior", and posing a "clear threat to international peace and security". She said Russia had made the "largest military mobilization for decades in Europe", and was trying "to paint Ukraine and Western countries as the aggressors to fabricate a pretext for attack".
Russia's ambassador to the UN, Vasily Nebenzya, accused the West of "hysterics" and of "whipping up tensions" over Ukraine. He accused the US of "stoking the conflict" and said the UNSC meeting was "an attempt to drive a wedge between Russia and Ukraine". According to him, Ukraine was not abiding by the Minsk Protocols of 2014 and 2015 to end the conflict with the separatists, and Western nations were "pumping Ukraine full of weapons" contrary to the Minsk Protocols. Nebenzya added that Ukraine's violation of the Minsk Protocols could end in the 'worst way'.
Ukrainian permanent representative at the UN Sergiy Kyslytsya said Russia had deployed 112,000 troops near Ukraine's borders and in Crimea, with 18,000 deployed at sea off Ukraine's coast. China's permanent representative, Zhang Jun, said the meeting was counterproductive and "quiet diplomacy, not megaphone diplomacy" was needed. No resolution was agreed at the meeting.
Later, the 21 February intervention in Donbass was widely condemned by the UN Security Council, and did not receive any support. Kenya's ambassador, Martin Kimani, compared Putin's move to colonialism and said "We must complete our recovery from the embers of dead empires in a way that does not plunge us back into new forms of domination and oppression."
Another UN Security Council meeting was convened on 23–24 February 2022. Russia invaded Ukraine during this UN Security Council emergency meeting aiming to defuse the crisis. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had stated: "Give peace a chance." Russia invaded while holding the presidency of the UN Security Council for February 2022, and has veto power as one of five permanent members.
International treaties and negotiation structures
On 15 December 2021, Russia proposed documents that it referred to as "draft treaties", which referred to multiple international agreements, including the Charter for European Security and the NATO–Russia Council (NRC). Responses from NATO and the US in January 2022 referred to NRC, the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE), the United States–Russia Strategic Stability Dialogue (SSD), the Helsinki Final Act, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the Normandy Format and other treaties and forums.
|Name||Main parties||First signatures or date formed||Legal status||Discussed in||References|
|Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances||Ukraine, Russia, United States, United Kingdom||1994||Non-binding||Jan 2022 US response to Russia|||
|Charter for European Security||OSCE members||1999||Non-binding||Dec 2021 Russian draft for US–Russia Agreement|||
|NATO–Russia Council (NRC)||NATO, Russia||2002||Informal forum||Dec 2021 Russian draft for Russia–NATO Treaty|||
|Normandy Format||France, Germany, Russia, Ukraine||2014||Informal forum||Jan 2022 US response to Russia|||
|Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine||Ukraine, Russia and OSCE||2014||Informal forum||Jan 2022 US response to Russia|||
|United States–Russia Strategic Stability Dialogue (SSD)||US, Russia||2021||Informal forum||Jan 2022 US response to Russia|||
In an interview with the French newspaper Libération in April 2021, Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba said that Russian troops' build-up on the north-east border with Ukraine, in Ukraine's eastern war zone, and in Crimea, and the deterioration of the situation in eastern Ukraine were the gravest since the attack on Ukrainian sailors in the Kerch Strait in November 2018.
In November 2021, Kyrylo Budanov, the chief of Ukraine's military intelligence, said that Russia was preparing for an attack by the end of January or beginning of February 2022. On 25 January 2022, defence minister Oleksii Reznikov said he saw no immediate threat of a full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine. He insisted that the threat had not significantly increased in eight years as "the Russian army ha[d] not formed a strike group that would be able to carry out an invasion".
On 28 January 2022, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called on the West not to create a "panic" in his country over a potential Russian invasion, adding that constant warnings of an "imminent" threat of invasion were putting the economy of Ukraine at risk. Zelenskyy said that "we do not see a bigger escalation" than in early 2021 when Russian military build-up started. On 2 February, the US White House said it would no longer describe a potential invasion as "imminent".
On 12 February 2022, Zelenskyy said of the White House's warnings about the "imminent" threat of the Russian invasion that "the best friend of our enemies is panic in our country. And all this information only causes panic and does not help us." Davyd Arakhamia, the head of the faction of Zelenskyy's Servant of the People party in the Verkhovna Rada, said the constant warnings of a possible imminent Russian invasion of Ukraine "costs the country $2–3 billion every month."
On 19 February 2022, speaking at the Munich Security Conference 2022, Volodymyr Zelenskyy criticized the "policy of appeasement" towards Russia and called on the Western countries to help. He also said that Ukraine would not respond to provocations by the Russian-led militants in Donbas, following the escalation and death of two Ukrainian soldiers. On 22 February 2022, Zelenskyy said he will consider severing Ukraine's diplomatic relations with Russia.
Despite the Russian military build-ups, Russian officials over months repeatedly denied that Russia had plans to invade Ukraine. In mid-November 2021, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that it was "alarmist" to consider that Russia was planning to invade Ukraine.
On 27 November, Sergei Naryshkin, director of Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service, addressed allegations of plans to invade Ukraine by stating: "I need to reassure everyone. Nothing like this is going to happen", and blaming "malicious propaganda by the US State Department" for the situation. On 28 November, Dmitry Peskov, the spokesman for Putin, stated that "Russia has never hatched, is not hatching and will never hatch any plans to attack anyone ... Russia is a peaceful country". On 30 November, Putin stated that an expansion of NATO's presence in Ukraine, especially the deployment of any long-range missiles capable of striking Russian cities or missile defense systems similar to those in Romania and Poland, would be a "red line" issue for Russia.
On 19 January 2022, Russian deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov said that Russia does "not want and will not take any action of aggressive character. We will not attack, strike, [sic] invade, 'whatever' Ukraine." In late January 2022, Nikolay Zhuravlev, Vice Speaker of the Federation Council, warned that Europe would not receive natural gas, petroleum and metals from Russia in the event that Russia was disconnected from the SWIFT international payment system, moreover such a move could not be feasible as it would require consent of all the countries participating in this system.
Also in late January 2022, Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of Russia's Security Council, said that the idea that Russia is "threatening Ukraine" was "absolutely ridiculous" and added: "We don't want war. We don't need that at all." Russia's deputy foreign minister, Alexander Grushko condemned the deployment of NATO troops, warships, and fighter jets in Eastern Europe, saying that the military alliance was "demonising Russia" in order to "justify military activity on [NATO's] eastern flank". Russia accused Ukraine of not implementing Minsk agreements reached in 2015 with the aim of establishing peace in Donbas.
On 7 February 2022, Putin said at a joint press conference with French president Emmanuel Macron: "A number of [Macron's] ideas, proposals ... are possible as a basis for further steps. We will do everything to find compromises that suit everyone." On 12 February 2022, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov accused the United States and its allies of waging a "propaganda campaign" about Russian invasion of Ukraine. He described Western "demands to remove Russian troops from Russian territory" as "regrettable".
On 20 February, Russia's ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, said that Russian forces "don't threaten anyone ... There is no invasion. There is [sic] no such plans". On 21 February, President Putin signed a decree recognizing the two self-proclaimed separatist republics in Donbas as independent states.
- Albania and Kosovo – Albanian Armed Forces Colonel Ardian Lulaj and Kosovar Head of Strategic Communication Colonel Sefer Isufi both stated in early December 2021 that their respective countries would be willing to deploy Albanian Armed Forces and Kosovo Security Forces in a putative future mission in Ukraine should the US decide to lead such an endeavor.
- Argentina – On 22 February 2022, Argentina's government issued a statement condenming the use of force in Ukraine and called for diplomatic negotiations, in order to maintain international peace and security. The statement appealed to all parties involved to resolve their differences through dialogue, in accordance with the principles of the UN Charter and International Law, the peaceful settlement of disputes, and the non-use of force between states, with full respect for human rights.
- Armenia – Armenia called on Russia and Ukraine to solve all problems through diplomatic dialogue, negotiations, in accordance with the norms and principles of international law and the UN Charter.
- Australia – On 24 January, the Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne offered assistance to Ukraine in combating Russian cyber attacks. She also called on Russia to "de-escalate" tensions and urged Australians living in Ukraine to evacuate. Similar sentiments were expressed by Finance Minister Simon Birmingham, who warned that Australia would raise financial sanctions against Russia in the event of hostilities.
- Belarus – President of Belarus and Chairman of the Supreme State Council of the Union State, Alexander Lukashenko, on 21 January 2022 said the Union State "d[id] not want war", but all those who would threaten Russia and Belarus would find themselves in difficulty. He also stated that he would send "a whole contingent of the Belarusian army" to the border with Ukraine, because "Ukrainians allegedly began to draw troops there." On 18 January 2022, the Digital Forensic Research Lab of the Atlantic Council expert group published a review of the arrival of Russian troops in the Republic of Belarus. In particular, it was about unloading Russian BM-27 Uragan multiple rocket launchers at the Rechytsa station in the Gomel Oblast north of Kyiv. On 17 February, when asked by a journalist whether Belarus was ready to offer military assistance to Russia should the latter decide to help the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic and Luhansk People's Republic, Lukashenko said, "We will provide any support to Russia, both military and, if necessary, economic support. We will share the last piece of bread with them and with people who suffer in Donbass. If it is Chernigov, we will help Chernigov residents. This is our unwavering position."
- Belgium – On 24 January 2022, Belgian Chief of Defence Michel Hofman said that Belgian forces were on standby in the Baltic, and prepared "to intervene within a certain amount of time, but today it is too early to say where and how" should the situation escalate.
- Brazil – Brazil's president Jair Bolsonaro arrived in Moscow for trade talks with Putin on 16 February 2022. Bolsonaro said: "We pray for peace and respect all who act in that way."
- Bulgaria – In early January, Bulgarian Minister of Defense Stefan Yanev responded to a parliamentary question on the deployment of additional military units in Bulgarian territory that Bulgaria opposes "escalation of military measures before all other diplomatic means are used" and that Bulgaria had as of yet "no national position" on the situation. On 21 January, Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov condemned the Russian call for Bulgaria to leave NATO and for NATO troops to be withdrawn from Bulgaria and Romania, while President Rumen Radev called the statement "unacceptable".
- Canada – In January 2022, the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau stated that Canada would provide Ukraine with a CDN$120 million loan, but would not transfer military equipment. On 14 February 2022, Trudeau announced that Canada would provide a $500 million loan and send $7.8 million in lethal equipment to Ukraine.
- China – Chinese leader and General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party Xi Jinping supported Russia's demand that Ukraine must never join NATO. On 14 January 2022, a spokesman of China's Foreign Ministry emphasized that all countries should observe a traditional UN Olympic Truce resolution "from seven days before the start of the Olympic Games until seven days after the end of the Paralympic Games". Under this timeframe, the proposed truce resolution would thus begin on 28 January 2022 and conclude on 20 March 2022.
- Colombia – On 13 February 2022, Colombia's President Ivan Duque instructed its Chancellery to contact all Colombians registered as residing in Ukraine to offer them repatriation assistance. Duque has rejected any attempt to use force to limit any country from deciding whether or not to join NATO. On 15 February 2022, Ivan Duque stated that Colombia will accompany the international community imposing sanctions in case of military aggression against Ukraine.
- Croatia – On 19 January 2022, Croatia's Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, speaking to the Sabor, said that the situation in the east of Ukraine was very worrying and the most tense since 2014 and told: "Croatia does not want the situation to escalate and it will react clearly and resolutely to prevent any instability". On 25 January 2022, Croatia's President Zoran Milanović, noting what he called NATO's military build-up in the region and the Biden administration's "inconsistent and dangerous conduct" in international security affairs and stressing his role as Croatia's commander-in-chief, told the press, "We do not have any bearing on this and we will not have anything to do with this. I guarantee this. Croatia will not send any troops in case of an escalation. On the contrary, it will recall all troops, to the last Croatian soldier." Milanović went on to say that an "arrangement to meet Russia's security interests" ought to be found and that the acute crisis over Ukraine was "primarily determined by the dynamics of the US domestic politics". On the same day, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković reacted to the president's remarks by saying that on hearing those he thought it was being said "by some Russian official"; he also offered apologies to Ukraine and its government for Milanović's accusation of Ukraine as "one of the most corrupt states" and reiterated that Croatia supported Ukraine's territorial integrity and no Croat troops were in Ukraine, while the president's statement "had nothing whatsoever to do with the policy of the government of the Republic of Croatia".
- Cuba – Miguel Díaz-Canel expressed his support for Vladimir Putin during the crisis.
- Czech Republic – On 26 January 2022, the Czech government decided to donate 4,006 152-mm artillery shells, for DANA howitzers, worth 36.6 million korunas, to Ukraine.
- Denmark – On 13 January 2022, Denmark sent four F-16 fighter jets and a frigate with a crew of 160 people to the Baltic states to reinforce the NATO Enhanced Forward Presence and patrol the sea.
- Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – On 10 January 2022, Lithuania's State Defense Council convened to discuss the Russian-Ukrainian tensions. In response to the aggressive Russian military behaviour, the council decided to increase the number troops and speed up military modernization plans. On 17 January, Latvia increased its military presence in the eastern part of the country. On 19 January, the Prime Minister of Estonia announced an extraordinary increase in defense spending by €380 million for the current fiscal year. The Baltic states also decided to accelerate their own weapons acquisitions, including a joint rocket artillery system. Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania also requested increased military deployments of NATO and American troops in the Baltics to deter aggressive Russian behaviour.
- Finland and Sweden – Russian proposals that NATO not accept new members received strong criticism from Sweden and Finland, who had been maintaining neutrality. In January 2022, both President of Finland Sauli Niinistö and Prime Minister Sanna Marin insisted on Finland's right to decide what alliances it would join. Sweden also expressed the position that only the Swedish people decide whether Sweden should join NATO. Russian threats sparked a debate in both countries about applying for NATO membership. On 13 January, the Swedish Armed Forces announced that they were deploying troops to the strategic island of Gotland, as a response to unusual Russian military activity.
- France – In April 2021, French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian, during a phone conversation with Ukrainian Minister for Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba, noted that France was anxiously monitoring the movement of Russian troops to the Ukrainian border and the temporarily occupied territories. He assured Kuleba of France's continued support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
- Germany – In April 2021, during a telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel demanded that Russia reduce its military presence near Ukraine's borders. In December 2021, German chancellor Olaf Scholz warned of "consequences" for Nord Stream 2, a Russian natural gas pipeline project operated by Gazprom, which delivers natural gas to Germany. In January 2022, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock warned that "any further escalation would carry a high price for the Russian regime — economic, political and strategic". Germany had maintained a policy of not providing Ukraine with lethal weapons. German Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht said that Germany wants to "de-escalate" tensions and that supplying weapons would "not be helpful". Ukraine also claimed that the German administration blocks the supply of arms through NATO. On 21 January 2022, Germany reportedly blocked Estonia from exporting weapons of German origin. Latvian Defense Minister Artis Pabriks called Germany's relationship with Russia (and China) as "immoral and hypocritical". On 26 January, Germany announced that it was going to ship 5,000 helmets to Ukraine, while reaffirming that it would not supply lethal weapons. Mayor of Kyiv and former world heavyweight boxing champion Vitali Klitschko described this offer as "a joke".
- Hungary – Hungarian Defence Minister Tibor Benkő declared that there was no need for NATO to deploy its troops in Hungary.
- India – On 28 January 2022, a spokesperson for the Indian Ministry of External Affairs Arindam Bagchi stated that the situation in Ukraine and the high-level discussions between Russia and the US were being closely monitored. The statement called "for a peaceful resolution of the situation through sustained diplomatic efforts for long term peace and stability in the region and beyond". On 29 January the Indian Embassy in Ukraine asked all Indians living there – mostly students in medical colleges – to register so that it could provide information in a swift manner. Unlike other states, India did not evacuate its diplomats. The Indian Express highlighted the Indian Government's difficult situation: on one hand, it was concerned about Russia's "muscle-flexing", but with almost 60 per cent of India's military supplies being Russian-manufactured and with the ongoing military stand-off with China, it did not want to jeopardise its close military ties with Moscow; on the other hand, the US and Europe were also important strategic partners. Indian media outlets noted that hostility and sanctions against Russia would create problems for the country's S-400 missile deal and likely "push Moscow in the direction of Beijing, hence strengthening the Chinese". On 31 January, India abstained from the procedural vote at the United Nations Security Council ahead of a meeting to discuss the situation on the Ukraine border. Later, on 17 February, its Permanent Representative to the UN TS Tirumurti issued a statement supporting the Minsk Agreements and emphasising that "the issue can only be resolved through diplomatic dialogue". The Indian Embassy in Ukraine, prompted by "high levels of tensions and uncertainties", released two advisories on 15 and 20 February asking all its nationals, especially students, to temporarily leave Ukraine if their stay was not essential. Family members of the Indian embassy staff were also sent home.
- Indonesia – Indonesian president Joko Widodo issued statements to urge both Ukraine and Russia sides to de-escalate and avoided war at all costs. He also urged the countries to focus on ongoing COVID-19 pandemic rather intensifying the political rivalry. On 24 February, after the Russian invasion, Widodo tweeted urging an end to the war as it endangered the world and humanity suffered. In a separate statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs emphasized the obligation of nations to respect international law and the UN Charter on territorial integrity, and condemned a clear aggression against the territory and sovereignty of a nation.
- Iran – Iran's Foreign Ministry urged all parties to avoid escalation, while blaming NATO and the United States for provocation.
- Israel – In late January 2022, Israel considered airlifting thousands of Jews out of Ukraine. On 11 February 2022, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement urging Israeli citizens and diplomats to consider leaving the country. In February 2022, the Ukrainian Ambassador to Israel claimed Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid "reiterates rhetoric of Russian propaganda", after Lapid said that Israeli officials "don't see a violent confrontation soon" between Ukraine and Russia. The Israeli Foreign Ministry subsequently summoned the Ukrainian Ambassador for an official reprimand. On 13 February 2022, The Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs has stated that Israel's official policy in the crisis is in support of Ukraine and the West. Israel refused to provide Ukraine with batteries for its Iron Dome's missile-defense system over worries it would damage Israel–Russia relations. On 23 February, Israel issued an official statement in support of Ukraine's territorial integrity, and stated its readiness to provide humanitarian aid to Ukraine. Following the Russian invasion, Israel provided an official condemnation of Russia's action in the crisis and once again said it was ready to provide humanitarian aid to Ukraine.
- Italy – On 3 February, President of Italy Sergio Mattarella said he could not accept "the winds of confrontation once again blowing across a continent that had experienced the tragedies of the First and Second World Wars". Prime Minister Mario Draghi underlined the importance of working towards a de-escalation of tensions, in light of the serious consequences that an aggravation of the crisis would have. On 11 February 2022, in Riga to meet his Latvian counterpart, Artis Pabriks, the Italian Defence Minister Lorenzo Guerini called for "a constructive dialogue". On 13 February, the Italian government declared itself ready to deploy 1,000 soldiers to NATO's Eastern border. Foreign affairs minister Luigi Di Maio travelled to Kyiv on 15 February 2022 to meet his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba, and on 17 February met with Russian foreign affairs minister Sergey Lavrov. On 22 February, Draghi described Russia's recognition of separatist republics as an "unacceptable territorial violation of the democratic sovereignty of Ukraine", while on the following day he stated that Italy could not tolerate Russia's prevarications and abuses.
- Japan – Prime Minister of Japan Fumio Kishida said he and Biden would work closely to prevent a Russian invasion of Ukraine and "keep close contact with other allies and partners and continue communicating on the point that any attack will be met with strong action." On 11 February 2022, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs advised Japanese citizens to leave Ukraine immediately and avoid traveling there under any circumstance. Kishida at a press conference on February 25 condemned Russia's military attack as a violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and said Japan would impose additional sanctions targeting Russia.
- Kazakhstan – Amid reports of a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev stated that the Russian president personally assured him that the territorial integrity of Kazakhstan will not be questioned by Russia.
- Kenya – The country's representative to the UN, Martin Kimani, abstained from a vote about Russia's conduct in Ukraine to hope for diplomacy. However, after Russia's recognition of the breakaway republics on 22 February 2022, Kimani condemned Russia and said it "breaches the territorial integrity" of Ukraine.
- Malaysia – On 24 February, after the Russian invasion, Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob expressed sorrow over the situation in Ukraine and expressed hope for a peaceful solution. Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim later issued a statement condemning the Russian agresssion.
- Moldova – President of Moldova Maia Sandu on 21 January 2022 said that the Moldovan authorities were closely watching into the situation in Ukraine and preparing for potential outcomes of the crisis. She also demanded the withdrawal of Russian troops from Transnistria, a breakaway territory legally and internationally considered part of Moldova. Sandu also called for calm from the citizens of Moldova in the face of the developments in Ukraine and expressed her confidence in the possibility of a diplomatic solution. Later, Sandu met with Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte and discussed with him the tensions in the Russia–Ukraine border. During the meeting, Rutte expressed his support for Moldova's territorial integrity in regard to Transnistria.
- New Zealand – On 12 February 2022, Minister of Foreign Affairs Nanaia Mahuta stated that the New Zealand Government was concerned about the Russian military buildup on the Ukrainian border and in Crimea, and supported Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. She urged New Zealand citizens in Ukraine to evacuate while commercial means were still available. She called on Russia to reduce tensions in accordance with international law. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern echoed Mahuta's remarks, stating that New Zealand was considering targeted sanctions against Moscow.
- Nicaragua – President Daniel Ortega expressed support for Russia's recognition of the LPR and DPR, declaring that Russia was "defending itself" from NATO.
- North Korea – On 28 February 2022, KCNA stated that "The root cause of the Ukraine crisis totally lies in the hegemonic policy of the U.S. and the West".
- Pakistan – Prime Minister Imran Khan announced he opposes military intervention, believing that the crisis can be resolved "peacefully". It was announced on 22 February 2022 that Pakistan would make a high-level visit to Moscow.
- Poland – Polish President Andrzej Duda announced that Ukraine could count on Polish support if Russia attacks, and called for a unified stance in Europe. On 21 January, the head of National Security Bureau Paweł Soloch stated that "supporting Ukraine is one of the key priorities of President Andrzej Duda's policy", while Duda and Zelenskyy discussed the possibility of further Polish and NATO defensive equipment deliveries.
- Romania – The Minister of National Defence of Romania, Vasile Dîncu, said that, in the event of a new Russian–Ukrainian war, Romania would not be militarily involved but would remain in a strategic relationship with NATO and react together with the alliance. President of Romania Klaus Iohannis urged the Romanian Armed Forces to be prepared for any aggression in the region, stating that the situation in Ukraine showed that measures of modernization and preparation of the Romanian military were necessary. Iohannis also called for a greater presence from NATO, the United States and other allies in the Black Sea region as a result of the tensions between Russia and Ukraine.
- Serbia – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Serbia recommended that citizens of Serbia in Ukraine consider temporarily leaving the territory of that country. Prime Minister of Serbia, Ana Brnabić, assessed that a possible more serious aggravation of the relations between Ukraine and Russia would have serious economic implications for Serbia as well, and emphasized hopes that dialogue will win.
- Singapore – On 22 February 2022, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that "Ukraine's sovereignty, territorial integrity 'must be respected'" and that all parties concerned should continue to pursue dialogue, including diplomatic means. Earlier in February, Singapore advised its citizens based in Ukraine "to leave the country as soon as possible via commercial means while it is still possible to do so."
- South Korea – President of South Korea Moon Jae-in ordered government ministries to prepare for the safe evacuation of Koreans in Ukraine, and draw up measures to mitigate damages to Korean companies, citing the threat of a looming Russian invasion of Ukraine. Korea is eyeing the building crisis over Russia's military build-up near Ukraine and stands ready to cooperate with its allies, Defense Ministry said. On 11 February 2022, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has decided to ban its nationals from traveling to all regions of Ukraine and urged those staying there to evacuate immediately amid brewing tensions in the region.
- South Africa – In a statement by Department of International Relations and Cooperation on 24 February, the South African Government "regretted that the situation has deteriorated despite calls for diplomacy to prevail". The statement called for Russia to withdraw its forces from Ukraine immediately, while it called for peaceful resolution of the conflict.
- Slovakia – The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Slovakia, Ivan Korčok, stated that the ceasefire and the announcement of an increase in Russia's military power on the border with Ukraine are a matter of concern and called for de-escalation of tensions.
- Spain – On 20 January 2022, Spain started deploying aircraft, ships and NATO forces to Bulgaria and the Black Sea. Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares also stated that Spain wanted "dialogue, but if does not bear fruit, of course, Spain will stand with its European partners and its NATO allies united in deterrence".
- Switzerland – On 21 January 2022, Switzerland continued to facilitate direct negotiations between Russia and the United States to avert an armed confrontation in Eastern Europe. Swiss President Ignazio Cassis explained during a press conference in Geneva "Switzerland is concerned over growing tensions. We are totally convinced that dialogue is the only way to reinforce security in Europe". On 27 February 2022, the Swiss Federal Council announced adherence to all sanctions imposed by the European Union against Russia. Exempt from these sanctions are payments for energy raw materials. Furthermore, Switzerland will not allow direct shipments of arms to the war zone and only support humanitarian missions during the crisis.
- Syria – On 22 February 2022, Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad announced its country's support to the Russian recognition of the republics' independence.
- Turkey – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs called Russian actions "unacceptable" and strongly condemned Russia's "grave violation of international law", and reiterated "support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity". Furthermore, a commercial Turkish-owned vessel was hit by a Russian bomb off the coast of Odessa. Turkish authorities said there were no casualties and the ship safely arrived in Romania, a NATO ally. On 27 February, Turkey referred to the invasion as a "war," rhetorically bringing the conflict under the 1936 Montreux Convention Regarding the Regime of the Straits and permitting Turkey to prohibit Russian as well as other foreign warships in the Bosporus and Dardanelles.
- United Arab Emirates – The United Arab Emirates largely remained silent on the issue. One of the UAE's major allies, the US, called for the Emirates to vote for the UN Security Council resolution condemning Russia's invasion of Ukraine and demanding Moscow to withdraw its troops. The Arab nation abstained from voting, taking no side at all, stating that it would "only lead to more violence". The UAE maintained strong relations with both Russia and the US. The Emirati decision was perceived as an independent foreign policy approach, after it depended on the US for such decisions for a long time. Consequently, Russian oligarchs started viewing the UAE as a safe place to move their assets and wealth to. Many attempted to evade the Western sanctions. Investigations revealed that the Russian oligarchs and businessmen moved their yachts to Dubai. Their private jets were also found travelling back and forth between Moscow and Dubai. Russians also sought to investing in real estate in the UAE. In their search for safe havens, rich Russians began shifting hundreds of millions of dollars into UAE banks from the sanctioning countries like the UK and Switzerland. Crypto companies in the Emirates received multiple requests from the Russians to liquidate billions of dollars of virtual currency. While some wanted to use cryptocurrency to invest in the Emirati properties, others wanted to turn the virtual money into hard cash and to store it elsewhere.
- United Kingdom – Foreign Secretary Liz Truss on 22 January 2022 wrote on Twitter that the UK would "not tolerate Kremlin plot to install pro-Russian leadership in Ukraine." Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab said that there was "a very significant risk Russia w[ould] invade Ukraine" and threatened "very significant economic consequences" if it did. On 7 February 2022, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Britain would not "flinch" as he prepared to deploy Royal Marines, RAF aircraft, and Royal Navy warships to eastern Europe. British citizens were being told by the Foreign Office to evacuate while commercial means were still available. On 14 February 2022, Johnson warned that an invasion of Ukraine could take place within 48 hours. Health Secretary Sajid Javid described the movement of Russian troops across the border as an "invasion of Ukraine".
- United States – On 2 April 2021, President Biden had his first telephone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. On 13 April, Biden had a telephone call with Russian President Putin; Biden "emphasized the United States' unwavering commitment to Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity"; Biden also voiced US concern "over the sudden Russian military build-up in occupied Crimea and on Ukraine's borders, and called on Russia to de-escalate tensions." In mid-April 2021, the US Department of the Treasury, along with the EU, UK, Australia, and Canada, sanctioned eight individuals and entities "associated with Russia's ongoing occupation and repression in Crimea." On 19 January 2022, President Biden said that he believed Russia would invade Ukraine. Biden said a full-scale invasion of Ukraine would be "the most consequential thing that's happened in the world in terms of war and peace" since World War II. On 22 January 2022, the US Embassy in Kyiv requested the evacuation of non-essential personnel along with their families by the United States Department of State. On 11 February 2022, Biden's national security advisor Jake Sullivan publicly warned of the likelihood of a Russian invasion of Ukraine prior to the end the 2022 Winter Olympics. On 12 February 2022, a senior official of the Biden administration told reporters "We are basing this assessment on what we're seeing on the ground with our own eyes, which is the continued Russian buildup on the border with Ukraine, and no meaningful evidence of de-escalation." On 14 February, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced the relocation of the US Ukraine embassy from the capital Kyiv to Lviv, citing a "dramatic acceleration in the buildup of Russian forces".
- Uruguay – On 23 February 2022, Uruguay's Ministry of Foreign Relations condemned the use of force and urged all parties to reduce tensions and achieve a political agreement. The Uruguayan government expressed "concern" about the recognition of the separatist republics of Donetsk and Luhansk as sovereign states by Russia and the displacement of military troops, in violation of the principles of the Charter of the United Nations. In addition, it said that the country considers that the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2202 "provides the way for the application of the Minsk agreements, leading to a peaceful and lasting solution to the conflict", and that the solution should "respect the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity" of Ukraine.
- Vatican City – Pope Francis called for peace several times, describing war as "madness". In addition, he called 26 January for to be a day of prayer for peace.
- Venezuela – Nicolás Maduro expressed his full support for Vladimir Putin in a Russian diplomatic delegation visit in the Miraflores presidential palace, ratifying the way for military cooperation. Maduro further expressed "all his support" after Putin's recognition of the Donetsk and Luhansk and the Russian mobilization into the territories. Juan Guaidó, on the other hand, described the action as an "illegal recognition" and "unilateral action of intervention", and rejected the deployment of troops in the territories.
- Vietnam – Vietnam on 25 February 2022 said it was seriously concerned about the armed conflict in Ukraine and called for restraint. The Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 25 February 2022 urged "all relevant parties to exercise restraint, abide by the United Nations Charter and basic principles of international law, refrain from using force, protect the people, continue with dialogue to seek a peaceful resolution, contributing to the maintenance of peace, security, stability, and cooperation in the region and the world." The spokesperson said Vietnam is paying special attention to the Vietnamese community in Ukraine, asking for the protection of life, safety, assets, legitimate rights and interests of Vietnamese citizens and businesses here.
Entities with limited recognition
- Abkhazia – On 22 February 2022, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs published a statement welcoming the recognition of independence of the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
- Republic of Artsakh – On 22 February 2022, the President of the breakaway state Arayik Harutyunyan welcomed the decision of President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin to "recognize the independence of the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics." He stated that "the right of nations to self-determination and building one's own state is inalienable for every people and is a fundamental principle of the international law."
- Taiwan – On 28 January 2022, President Tsai Ing-Wen suggested the National Security Council establish a task force to monitor events in Ukraine. She compared Russia's military buildup around Ukraine to China's repeated invasion of Taiwan's ADIZ, stating that "Taiwan has faced military threats and intimidation from China for a long time. Therefore, we empathize with Ukraine's situation, and we also support the efforts of all parties to maintain regional security," and pleaded for peaceful dialogue.
In February 2022, following warnings from Western nations that a Russian invasion could be near, more than a dozen countries encouraged their nationals to leave Ukraine. The United States, the United Kingdom, São Tomé and Príncipe, and Germany are among the countries that have advised their citizens to leave.
- European Union – On 24 January 2022, due to the conflict, the European Commission proposed €1.2 billion financial aid for Ukraine in grants and loans. The European Union negotiated for possible liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplies with the United States, Qatar and Azerbaijan anticipating Russia stopping gas exports to Europe.
- NATO – NATO had repeatedly called on Russia to respect Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity and condemned Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea and support of separatists in eastern Donbas, and called for a resolution of the Donbas conflict via the Minsk agreements. In December 2021, as Russia continued a military buildup in and around Ukraine, the NATO Parliamentary Assembly met with Ukrainian leaders to reaffirm the alliance's support for Ukraine, call upon NATO members to enhance delivery of defensive weapon systems to Ukraine, and counter Russian disinformation. NATO and the US re-affirmed NATO's "open door" policy, maintaining that countries should freely choose whether to join NATO or not. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on 13 January 2022 said: "No one else has the right to try to veto or interfere in that process. And this is about fundamental principles for European security. It's about the right for every nation to choose their own path." In an interview, Stoltenberg re-affirmed NATO's "dual track" approach to Russia, saying, "We are ready to engage in dialogue with Russia, but we will never compromise on core principles for European security....Russia has a choice to either engage in dialogue with NATO and Western allies or choose confrontation. We need to be clear-eyed about the prospect that Russia will — once again — use military force against Ukraine. We will provide support to Ukraine to enable them to strengthen their ability to defend themselves." On 24 January 2022, Jens Stoltenberg, noting a number of NATO countries′ announcements regarding ongoing or upcoming deployments, said, "I welcome Allies contributing additional forces to NATO. NATO will continue to take all necessary measures to protect and defend all Allies, including by reinforcing the eastern part of the Alliance." (One of the Russian government's security demands forwarded to the US and NATO in December 2021 was that NATO stop expanding eastwards, specifically never admit Georgia as well as Ukraine.)
- UN – On 21 February 2022, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres qualified the decision of the Russian Federation "related to the status of certain regions of Ukraine" as "a violation of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine and inconsistent with the principles of the Charter of the United Nations."
- International Energy Agency – IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said that conflict between Russia and Ukraine "would [have] major implications" on natural gas prices, "if not leading to turmoil".
- Anonymous (hacker group) – The decentralized hacking group had dedicated some of their defacements of websites such as those of belonging to the United Nations and the Polar Research Institute of China, to promote proposals in order to defuse the crisis, including by calling for the creation of a "neutral grouping" of countries "wedged between NATO and Russia" that would include Ukraine, Finland, Belarus, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Moldova. Anonymous argued that the so-called "neutral security belt" could serve as an alliance similar to NATO or the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) that acts as a cordon sanitaire between NATO and CSTO countries in order to "assuage Russia's fears without NATO losing its face". Furthermore, they embedded Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft senior fellow Anatol Lieven's paper "Ending the Threat of War in Ukraine" at the defacement page and called for a referendum on whether to presumably follow the existing Minsk Protocol or hand over the separatist-controlled territories to a UN peacekeeping administration. Later, a second referendum in the separatist regions would then ask voters to choose to reunite with Ukraine, gain independence, or join Russia.
- Belarusian opposition – On 24 January, Belarusian hacktivists stated that they had disrupted Belarusian Railway "servers, databases and workstations" using ransomware, while leaving automation and security systems in place. They promised to decrypt the systems if 50 political prisoners were released and Russian soldiers were prevented from entering Belarus. Dzmitry Bandarenka, coordinator of the European Belarus civil campaign, told Charter 97 on 26 January 2022, that he believed that in the event of Russian aggression, tens of thousands of Belarusians would fight against the Russian Federation on Ukraine's side and defend their country's independence.
- Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople – Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew on 13 January 2022 called for peace in Ukraine. The Ecumenical Patriarch said: "Peace is a matter of choice and must be shared by all the forces engaged in this extremely complex and sensitive geopolitical context."
- Metropolis of Bessarabia – Representants of the Romanian Orthodox Metropolis of Bessarabia in Moldova announced that it was closely looking at the situation at the borders of Ukraine. The metropolis also published a statement saying that it was praying for peace.
- Russian intellectuals – On 30 January 2022, 90 Russian intellectuals, including Lev Ponomaryov and Svetlana Gannushkina, issued a public statement on Echo of Moscow urging the Russian government to avoid starting an "immoral, irresponsible, and criminal" war between Russia and Ukraine. As of 7 February 2022[update], the statement had been signed by 5,000 Russian intellectuals. On 31 January, retired Colonel General Leonid Ivashov published a statement on behalf of the All-Russian Officers' Assembly that opposed the "criminal policy of provoking a war" and calling for Putin to resign. On 20 February, Ponomaryov and seven others, including Yuri Samodurov, held solitary street protests in Pushkinskaya Square in Moscow. The eight protestors were arrested.
- Ukrainian citizens – On 5 February 2022, from two to five thousand people in Kharkiv protested against the Russian threat to invade Ukraine. On 12 February, two thousand people protested in Kyiv to show unity in opposition to the threat of a further Russian invasion of Ukraine.
- Orthodox Church of Ukraine – Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine Epiphanius said "we, as a nation, must be ready to repel the enemy, if he still dares, violating the laws of God and man, to increase [his] crimes" by engaging in "open war." The Orthodox Church of Ukraine also published prayers for "when the fatherland is in danger" and for "liberation from the invasion of foreigners."
- Catholic Church of Ukraine – Major Archbishop of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church Sviatoslav Shevchuk urged people in Ukraine to remain united in "the face of this great threat ... on our borders." The Latin Catholic bishops' conference of Ukraine called for 16 February to be a "day of intense prayer and fasting."
- International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement – The ICRC deployed one of its largest contingents to Ukraine, where the organization has been active since 2014, working closely with the Ukrainian Red Cross Society. The ICRC was active primarily in the disputed regions of the Donbas and Donetsk, assisting persons injured by armed confrontations when open hostilities between Russian and Ukrainian armed forces broke out on 24 February 2022. Thereafter the fighting moved to more populated areas in the Eastern Ukraine. The head of the ICRC delegation in Kyiv warned on 26 February 2022 that major cities were becoming the frontline with significant consequences for their populations, including children, the sick and elderly. The ICRC urgently called on all parties to the conflict not to forget their obligations under international humanitarian law to ensure the protection of the civilian population and infrastructure and respect the dignity of refugees and prisoners of war.
- Elon Musk announced 26 February 2022 that he had activated Starlink internet service in Ukraine as the country suffered power outages and gaps in internet service due to Russia's invasion. Equipment needed to use Starlink arrived in Kiev on 1 March 2022.
Impact on migration
Charity representatives based in Kyiv reported movements of Ukrainian population away from the front lines upon the beginning of the invasion on 24 February 2022. Moldova, Slovakia, and Poland pledged to keep their borders open to Ukrainian refugees. On the first day of the invasion, the Moldovan government reported 4,000 Ukrainian refugees, for whom tents were set up by the authorities. The following day, Ana Revenco, the Interior Minister of Moldova, 15,800 Ukrainian civilian arrivals.
Romania also received Ukrainian refugees. The Romanian Ministry of Internal Affairs reported around 10,000 Ukrainians refugees in their country upon the start of the invasion. There were minimal applications for refugee status in Moldova and Romania. In Romania, out of 10,000 Ukrainian refugees, only 11 applied for refugee status, reflecting most refugees' decisions to head for the Czech Republic and Poland instead.
In Poland, politician Paweł Szefernaker said that approximately 100,000 people had crossed the Poland–Ukraine border within two days. Poland was admitting children from Ukraine with birth certificates instead of passports. Within two weeks Poland received no less than 1 million refugees. By February 28, more than half-a-million refugees had departed Ukraine. Poland had 281,000, 84,500 were in Hungary, 36,400 in Moldova, 32,500 in Romania, and 30,000 in Slovakia. Within ten days (6 March), there were 1.5 million refugees. By the 12th day (8 March), 2 million had left Ukraine. By the end of the second week (10 March), there were 2.3 million refugees abroad.
Since the beginning of the refugee crisis, both the US and the UK have admitted relatively few refugees and continental Europe had to deal with the mass exodus from the war zone. Currently, only family members of Ukrainians already residing in the UK can be admitted as refugees to Great Britain. Likewise, the US has only admitted 4,264 refugees in 2019 from the Ukraine as most of them are barred from entry by lengthy immigration application protocols.
- The Donetsk People's Republic is a separatist state that declared its independence in May 2014, while receiving recognitions from its neighbouring partially recognized quasi-state, the de facto state of South Ossetia, and Russia (since 2022).
- The Luhansk People's Republic is a separatist state that declared its independence in May 2014, while receiving recognitions from its neighbouring partially recognized quasi-state, the de facto state of South Ossetia, and Russia (since 2022).
- Canada sent ammunition, light weapons and other military equipment as well as military instructors; overall, Canada committed $7.8m in lethal aid and $620m in financial loans and non-lethal military aid.
- Croatia has decided to grant Ukraine's request for weaponry and sent infantry weapons and protective equipment in the amount sufficient for four brigades worth €16.5 million.
- Czech Republic sold armored cars and donated artillery shells.
- Estonia sent a field hospital (together with Germany) and weapons (specifically FGM-148 Javelin anti-tank missiles).
- France will provide defensive equipment to Ukraine.
- Latvia delivered FIM-92 Stinger air-defense systems
- Lithuania sent ammunition, weapons (including FIM-92 Stinger air-defense systems) and instructors.
- The Netherlands will supply Ukraine with sniper rifles, ammunition, combat helmets, flak jackets, and radars.
- Poland sold armoured personnel carriers, ammunition and sent instructors
- Spain sent 1,370 C-90 RPG, light machine guns and around 700,000 bullets as well as helmets, bulletproof vests, mine detectors and several tons of medical supplies
- Turkey sold combat drones (specifically Bayraktar TB2s).
- The United Kingdom sent ammunition, weapons (specifically NLAW anti-tank guided missiles) and instructors.
- The United States sent financial aid, ammunition, weapons and instructors.
- Germany sent a field hospital (together with Estonia)
- Italy sent demining equipment
- Sweden sent instructors
- Following a request under the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, the EU is sending medical supplies, field hospitals, generators, and CBRN equipment.
- Belarusian opposition assisting through cyberwarfare.
- DEFENDER Europe 21 was a large-scale U.S. Army-led, multinational, joint exercise designed to build readiness and interoperability between U.S., NATO and partner militaries. DEFENDER Europe 21 included a greater number of NATO ally and partner nations conducting activities over a wider area than what was planned for in 2020, which was severely restricted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 28,000 multinational forces from 26 nations conducted near-simultaneous operations across more than 30 training areas in a dozen countries. DEFENDER Europe 21 also included significant involvement of the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy. The exercise utilized key ground and maritime routes bridging Europe, Asia and Africa. The exercise incorporated new or high-end capabilities including air and missile defense assets, as well as assets from the U.S. Army Security Force Assistance Brigades and the recently reactivated V Corps. Defender Europe 21 was one of the largest U.S.-Army, NATO-led military exercises in Europe in decades. The exercise began in mid-March and lasted until June 2021. It included "nearly simultaneous operations across more than 30 training areas" in Estonia, Bulgaria, Romania, Kosovo and other countries. Gen. Christopher G. Cavoli, commanding general of the United States Army Europe and Africa, said that "While we are closely monitoring the COVID situation, we've proven we have the capability to train safely despite the pandemic." Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said that Russia had deployed troops to its western borders for "combat training exercises" in response to NATO "military activities that threaten Russia."
- "(70) No participating State will carry out a military activity subject to prior notification involving more than 40,000 troops or 900 battle tanks or 2,000 ACVs or 900 self-propelled and towed artillery pieces, mortars and multiple rocket launchers (100 mm calibre and above) unless it has been the object of a communication as defined above and unless it has been included in the annual calendar, not later than 15 November each year."
- Захарова: РФ и Беларусь вынуждены реагировать на наращивание сил НАТО у общих границ [Zakharova: Russia and Belarus are forced to respond to the build-up of NATO forces near their common border]. Rossiyskaya Gazeta (in Russian). Archived from the original on 20 January 2022. Retrieved 20 January 2022.
На брифинге Захарова подчеркнула, что на происходящее Москва и Минск вынуждены адекватно реагировать. В частности, путем совместного патрулирования воздушного пространства, регулярных совместных тренировок, а также учений. Так, уже в феврале пройдет совместное учение "Союзная решимость-2022". На территорию Беларуси уже начали прибывать подразделения из состава ВС РФ.[At the briefing, Zakharova stressed that Moscow and Minsk were forced to respond adequately to what was happening. In particular, through joint patrolling of the airspace, regular joint training, and exercises. So, in February, the joint exercise "Allied Resolve-2022" will be held. Units from the RF Armed Forces have already begun to arrive on the territory of Belarus.]
- "South Ossetia recognises independence of Donetsk People's Republic". Information Telegraph Agency of Russia. 27 June 2014. Retrieved 31 January 2022.
- Alec, Luhn (6 November 2014). "Ukraine's rebel 'people's republics' begin work of building new states". The Guardian. Donetsk. Retrieved 31 January 2022.
The two 'people's republics' carved out over the past seven months by pro-Russia rebels have not been recognised by any countries, and a rushed vote to elect governments for them on Sunday was declared illegal by Kiev, Washington and Brussels.
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11 июня 2014 года Луганская Народная Республика обратилась к Российской Федерации, а также к 14 другим государствам, с просьбой о признании её независимости. К настоящему моменту независимость республики признана провозглашенной Донецкой Народной Республикой и частично признанным государством Южная Осетия.[On June 11, 2014, the Luhansk People's Republic turned to the Russian Federation, as well as to 14 other states, with a request to recognize its independence. To date, the republic's independence has been recognized by the proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic and the partially recognized state of South Ossetia.]
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Croatia will send weapons worth €16.5 million to Ukraine and provide health care to refugees from the country, and the necessary medical assistance to the wounded, Croatia's defence and health ministers said on Monday. Croatia has decided to grant Ukraine's request for weaponry and will send infantry weapons and protective equipment in the amount sufficient for four brigades, Defence Minister Mario Banožić told the press. The value of the weapons is 124 million kuna (€16.5 million).
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Hrvatska će, na zahtjev Ukrajine, poslati toj zemlji pješačko oružje i zaštitnu opremu u količinama dovoljnima za opremanje četiri brigade, izjavio je ministar obrane Mario Banožić u ponedjeljak.[Croatia will, as per request from Ukraine, send that country infantry weaponry and protective equipment in amounts enough for equipping four brigades, said the Minister of Defence Mario Banozic on Monday.]
- "Шепетівський ремонтний завод" отримав партію шасі Tatra від чеської Excalibur Army для РСЗВ "Буревій" ["Shepetivka Repair Plant" received a batch of Tatra chassis from the Czech Excalibur Army for MLRS "Storm"] (in Ukrainian). Defense Express. 23 December 2021.
Нові шасі від Tatra були спеціально доопрацьовані чеською Excalibur Army під вимоги ЗСУ – в рамках виконання державного оборонного замовлення. На ДП "Шепетівський ремонтний завод" прибула партія шасі Tatra для випуску нової української 220-мм реактивної системи залпового вогню "Буревій".[The new chassis from Tatra was specially modified by the Czech Excalibur Army to the requirements of the Armed Forces – as part of the state defense order. A batch of Tatra chassis has arrived at the Shepetivka Repair Plant to produce a new Ukrainian 220-mm Bureviya multiple rocket launchers.]
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... the (Czech) government decided to donate 4,000 artillery shells to Ukraine for about CZK 37 million. Minister Černochová described it as a gesture of solidarity. Defence Minister Jana Černochová (ODS), who proposed the donation to the cabinet, sees it as a significant act of solidarity. The Czech Republic wants to use the donation to strengthen Ukraine's defense capabilities. The Czech Republic will send 4006 pieces of 152-millimeter artillery ammunition to Ukraine, worth CZK 36.6 million. It will be transferred through a donation agreement.
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American officials had expected additional Russian troops to stream toward the Ukrainian border in December and early January, building toward a force of 175,000.
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Russia has amassed more troops on the Ukrainian border than at any time since 2014.
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Photographs by Maxar Technologies
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Ukrainian estimates provided to the OSCE in June 2021 show that only 12,000 Russian forces were removed from the border, and the rest remain in place.
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No one expected much progress from this past week's diplomatic marathon to defuse the security crisis Russia has ignited in Eastern Europe by surrounding Ukraine on three sides with 100,000 troops and then, by the White House's accounting, sending in saboteurs to create a pretext for invasion.
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And the "swift and severe" response that U.S. officials have promised could roil major economies, particularly those in Europe, and even threaten the stability of the global financial system, analysts say.
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The lesson of the past year may be that while the Cold War is long over, Cold War-like behavior lives on. And in the three decades since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the tension between the world's two principal nuclear adversaries has never been worse — making the pathway to a peaceful de-escalation harder to discern.
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This practice lost favor, perhaps not coincidentally, right around the time the Soviet Union's sphere popped like a balloon in a Chuck E. Cheese brawl. That left the United States alone with a world-sized balloon, at which point everybody agreed spheres of influence were passé. Now, with the growing shakiness of the Pax Americana as Chinese and Russian powers grow, this ugly game is rebooting yet again, Andreas warns.
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The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, today repeated his warning that Moscow would view any attempt to expand NATO to its borders as a 'direct threat'.
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Conceptually, Russia sees Ukraine within the sphere of own 'privileged interests'; in fact, it means a modernized version of Brezhnev's doctrine of 'limited sovereignty', realized after the occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1968.
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- Remarks concerning Ukraine by Vladimir Putin. on YouTube. RT. 21 February 2022. Minutes 41:17–42:58. "Because of the openness and goodwill, our goodwill, relations between Russia and the West were at a high level. Russia fulfilled all its obligations, we withdrew troops from Germany, from the central and European countries, and it made a huge contribution in overcoming the legacy of the Cold War. We consistently suggested all kinds of cooperation, including in the form of the NATO council and OECD. ... [When I asked], how would America see Russia joining NATO? ... How did Americans really look at this possibility? You can see it in their practical steps, in regard for a country: Open support of the terrorists in North Caucasus; Ignoring our demands and our concerns in the security area; Withdrawing from the arms treaties, and so on and so forth. It still begs the question, why? Why did they do that? What for? Okay, you don't want to see a friend in us, an ally in us. But why do you want to make an enemy out of us?"
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At that point, his own party abandoned him and called for a vote to take place. Parliament then voted to remove Yanukovych from office by a margin of 328 to 0.
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Underscoring Ukraine's regional divisions, leaders of Russian-speaking eastern provinces loyal to Yanukovich voted to challenge anti-Yanukovich steps by the central parliament.
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... their top aim is federalization of the country through all-Ukrainian referendum, one step from secession from the nation. 'It should be a federation in the borders of Ukraine, but with the right to separate if people demand this,' Kariakin said, confident that 85 percent of people in Luhansk Oblast, Ukraine's seventh most populous with 2.2 million people, support him.
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Putin framed the invasion and eventual annexation of Crimea as an act of salvation rather than a clear violation of international law and turned a revolution which could have marked the end of his rule into a much-needed popularity booster ...
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In September 2020, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy approved Ukraine's new National Security Strategy, which provides for the development of the distinctive partnership with NATO with the aim of membership in NATO.
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Decree No. 117/2021 of March 24 on enactment of the relevant decision of the National Security and Defense Council was published on the website of the Head of State.
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During the recent Direct Line, when I was asked about Russian-Ukrainian relations, I said that Russians and Ukrainians were one people – a single whole.
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Historically speaking, the idea that a dictator in another country decides who is a nation and who is not is known as imperialism.
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But that fear has gone hand-in-hand with chauvinistic bluster that indicates Moscow has a distorted view of modern Ukraine and the goals it wants to achieve there.
- Dickinson, Peter; Haring, Melinda; Lubkivsky, Danylo; Motyl, Alexander; Whitmore, Brian; Goncharenko, Oleksiy; Fedchenko, Yevhen; Bonner, Brian; Kuzio, Taras (15 July 2021). "Putin's new Ukraine essay reveals imperial ambitions". Atlantic Council. Archived from the original on 15 July 2021. Retrieved 25 January 2021.
Vladimir Putin's inaccurate and distorted claims are neither new nor surprising. They are just the latest example of gaslighting by the Kremlin leader.
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Putin's key trope is that Ukrainians and Russians are 'one people', and he calls them both 'Russian'. He starts with a myth of common origin: 'Russians, Ukrainians and Belarusians are all descendants of Ancient Rus', which was the largest state in Europe' from the 9th–13th centuries AD.
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The result heightened Kremlin's fears of encirclement and of losing the strategic depth that enabled Russia to prevail over Western invaders twice ... no amount of assurances that NATO is not a threat to Russia, that its purpose is purely defensive or that none of its weapons would ever be used except in response to an attack could assuage Moscow.
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To the West, it's a statement of autonomy; to Russia, it's a threat.
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'He does not understand that the collapse of the Soviet system was predetermined, therefore he believes his mission is to restore the Soviet system as soon as possible,' he (Vladimir Bukovsky) says.
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He wants to rebuild the former Soviet sphere of influence that extended from Central Europe through Central Asia, and views this effort as a restoration of Russian greatness.
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Photograph by Office of the Lithuanian President
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[D]ays after the Inauguration of President Joe Biden, America's allies in Kyiv decided to get tough on Medvedchuk. The Ukrainian government took his TV channels off the air, depriving Russia of its propaganda outlets in the country. The U.S. embassy in Kyiv applauded the move. ... The first inkling of Putin's response came less than two days later, at 7 a.m. on Feb. 21. In a little-noticed statement, the Russian Defense Ministry announced the deployment of 3,000 paratroopers to the border with Ukraine for 'large-scale exercises,' training them to 'seize enemy structures and hold them until the arrival of the main force.'
- Stepura, Anton (3 March 2021). Бойовики "ДНР" заявили про дозвіл вести "упереджувальний вогонь на знищення" [DNR militants declare permission to conduct "preemptive fire for destruction"]. Suspilne (in Ukrainian). Translated via Google Translate; Photograph by UNIAN. State Committee for Television and Radio-broadcasting (Ukraine). Archived from the original on 24 January 2022. Retrieved 24 January 2022.
Бойовики самоназваної 'ДНР' отримали дозвіл на ведення 'упереджувального вогню на знищення'. ... У заяві бойовиків ідеться, що 'підрозділам народної міліції дано дозвіл на ведення попереджувального вогню на придушення і знищення вогневих точок противника'.[Militants of the self-proclaimed 'DPR' received permission to conduct 'preemptive fire for destruction'. ... The statement of the militants states that 'the units of the people's militia were given permission to conduct warning fire to suppress and destroy enemy firing points.']
- Російський вертоліт порушив повітряний простір України [Russian helicopter violates Ukrainian airspace]. Ukrayinska Pravda (in Ukrainian). Dragon Capital. 16 March 2021. Archived from the original on 18 March 2021. Retrieved 31 May 2021.
16 березня прикордонний наряд ДПСУ в Сумській області зафіксував заліт вертольоту (за ознаками – Мі-8 -ред.) з Російської Федерації на відстань близько 50 метрів на територію України. Після чого гелікоптер повернув у зворотному напрямку і залишив повітряний простір нашої держави.[On March 16, the SBGS border patrol in the Sumy region recorded a helicopter (Mi-8-ed.) flying from the Russian Federation at a distance of about 50 meters into Ukraine. Then the helicopter turned in the opposite direction and left the airspace of our state.]
- Inna, Semenova (29 March 2021). Найбільші втрати від початку перемир'я. Що сталося в бою під Шумами і як відповість Україна [The biggest losses since the beginning of the armistice. What happened in the battle of Shumy and how Ukraine will respond?]. nv.ua (in Ukrainian). Novoye Vremya. Archived from the original on 23 January 2022. Retrieved 19 January 2022.
Бій біля селища Шуми (Донецька область) стався вдень 26 березня. Бойовики прицільно обстріляли українські позиції близько 13:45. ... Внаслідок обстрілу загинули четверо українських військовослужбовців, ще двох було поранено.[The battle near the village of Shumy (Donetsk region) took place in the afternoon of March 26, 2021. The militants fired at Ukrainian positions at about 1:45 p.m. ... Four Ukrainian servicemen were killed and two others were wounded in the shelling.]
- Росія відмовилася повернутися до режиму припинення вогню з 1 квітня [Russia has refused to return to the ceasefire since April 1]. Ukrayinska Pravda (in Ukrainian). Dragon Capital. 31 March 2021. Archived from the original on 3 November 2021. Retrieved 3 November 2021.
Росія не підтримала пропозицію голови української делегації в ТКГ Леоніда Кравчука поновити режим припинення вогню на Донбасі з 00:00 1 квітня.[Russia did not support the proposal of the head of the Ukrainian delegation to the TCG Leonid Kravchuk to renew the ceasefire in the Donbass from 00:00 on April 1.]
- Zelensky approves strategy for de-occupation, reintegration of Crimea Interfax-Ukraine March 24, 2021.
- Putin's Invasion of Ukraine Ray McGovern on Salon March 3, 2022.
- "Massive, Army-led NATO exercise Defender Europe kicks off". Army Times. 15 March 2021.
- "NATO, US to stage large-scale military exercises around Serbia until summer". Euractiv. 22 March 2021.
- "Germany Says Russia Seeking To 'Provoke' With Troop Buildup At Ukraine's Border". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 14 April 2021.
- South, Todd (15 March 2021). "Massive, Army-led NATO exercise Defender Europe kicks off". Army Times. Photograph by Carlos Cuebas Fantauzzi. Sightline Media Group. Archived from the original on 23 January 2022. Retrieved 22 January 2022.
- "Ukraine: purpose of upcoming Defender Europe 2021 exercise is to practice for war with Russia". UAWire. 4 April 2021. Archived from the original on 19 January 2022. Retrieved 22 January 2022.
- Zakharova, Maria (15 April 2021). "Briefing by Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, Moscow, April 15, 2021". The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. Moscow: Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Archived from the original on 18 April 2021. Retrieved 18 April 2021.
These propaganda attacks demonstrate that the Alliance and its member countries want to justify their more intensive military activities in Ukraine and near it. ... I would like to remind you that throughout this year alone NATO is planning seven military exercises in Ukraine. ... NATO warships are entering the Black Sea ever more frequently; the number of such visits increased by one-third last year.
- "Germany Says Russia Seeking To 'Provoke' With Troop Buildup At Ukraine's Border". rferl.org. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. AFP, UNIAN, TASS, Interfax, Reuters. 14 April 2021. Retrieved 19 February 2022.
'My impression is that the Russian side is trying everything to provoke a reaction,' German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer told public broadcaster ARD television on April 14. ... [R]ussia has amassed more than 40,000 troops both on Ukraine's eastern border and in the occupied Crimean Peninsula.
- Kizilov, Eugene (30 March 2021). Росія стягує війська до кордону з Україною – Хомчак [Russia draws troops to the border with Ukraine – Khomchak]. Ukrayinska Pravda (in Ukrainian). Translated via Google Translate. Kyiv: Dragon Capital. Archived from the original on 21 May 2021. Retrieved 31 May 2021.
[Р]осія стягує війська до кордону з Україною – у Брянську і Воронежську області РФ та до окупованого Криму. ... [с]таном на 30 березня вздовж російсько-українського кордону та на окупованих територіях Донбасу і Криму перебувають 28 батальйонних тактичних груп противника. ... Українське командування очікує, що незабаром біля українського кордону і в Криму Росія збере ще 'до 25 батальйонних тактичних груп, що в сукупності з наявними розгорнутими силами та засобами поблизу з державним кордоном України створює загрозу воєнній безпеці держави'. ... році Росія збільшила свою військову присутність на півострові до 32,7 тис. військових. ... на окупованому Донбасі розгорнуті 14 полків російської армії у складі 28 тисяч військових. ... На сході України перебуває також апарат військових радників та інструкторів у складі 2 тисяч осіб.[[R]ussia is withdrawing troops to the border with Ukraine – at Bryansk and Voronezh and at occupied Crimea. ... As of 30 March, there are 28 battalion tactical groups of the enemy along the Russian-Ukrainian border and in the occupied territories of Donbas and Crimea. ... The Ukrainian command expects that Russia will soon assemble 'up to 25 more battalion tactical groups near the Ukrainian border and in Crimea, which, together with the deployed forces and means near the state border of Ukraine, threatens the state's military security.' ... Russia increased its military presence on the peninsula to 32.7 thousand troops. ... 14 regiments of the Russian army consisting of 28,000 troops were deployed in the occupied Donbass. ... In the east of Ukraine there is also a staff of military advisers and instructors consisting of 2 thousand people.]
- Росія не є загрозою для України, пересування армії Росії не має викликати занепокоєння – Кремль [Russia is not a threat to Ukraine, the movement of Russia's army should not be a concern – the Kremlin]. radiosvoboda.org (in Ukrainian). Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 5 April 2021. Archived from the original on 2 May 2021. Retrieved 31 May 2021.
За його словами, це не має викликати 'ані найменшого занепокоєння'. 'Росія не є загрозою ні для однієї країни світу, в тому числі не є загрозою для України', – сказав Пєсков.[According to him, this should not cause 'the slightest concern.' 'Russia is not a threat to any country in the world, including not a threat to Ukraine,' Peskov said.]
- Conley, Heather A.; Funaiole, Matthew P.; Bermudez Jr., Joseph S.; Newlin, Cyrus (22 April 2021). "Unpacking the Russian Troop Buildup along Ukraine's Border". csis.org. Imagery markups by William Taylor; Research support by Jennifer Jun. Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Archived from the original on 27 December 2021. Retrieved 27 December 2021.
On April 22, the Russian government appeared to turn down the heat on these deployments, with Minister Shoigu announcing a drawdown of the exercise and ordering troops to return to their permanent bases by May 1, to include the 58th Army of the Southern Military District, the 41st Army of the Central Military District, as well as the 7th and 76th Airborne Assault and 98th Airborne divisions, according to the statement. Importantly, the equipment and weapons of the 41st Army are to remain at Pogonovo, a military training ground 17 kilometers south of Voronezh.
- Roth, Andrew (6 April 2021). "EU and UK pledge backing to Ukraine after Russian military buildup". The Guardian. Moscow. Archived from the original on 9 April 2021. Retrieved 10 April 2021.
- Проліт "Алігаторів": як ЗС РФ практично реалізує інформаційні операції проти України під час військових навчань [The flight of the "Alligators": how the Russian Armed Forces practically implement information operations against Ukraine during military exercises]. InformNapalm.org (Українська) (in Ukrainian). 2 April 2021. Archived from the original on 19 January 2022. Retrieved 19 January 2022.
Сьогодні, 2 квітня, в російських джерелах, зокрема, на популярному телеграм- каналі 'Военный обозреватель', що афілійований з російськими силовими структурами, опублікували відео прольоту групи російських ударних вертольотів Ка-52 'Алігатор' і Мі-28 'Нічний мисливець', підкреслюючи при цьому, що проліт нібито відбувся на кордоні з Україною. Деякі регіональні джерела повідомляли, що російські вертольоти тільки наблизилися до кордону з Україною у районі Ростовської області РФ, але не перетинали його.[Translated via Google Translate: Today, 2 April, in Russian sources, in particular, on the popular telegram channel 'Military Observer', affiliated with the Russian security forces, published a video of the flight of a group of Russian attack helicopters Ka-52 'Alligator' and Mi-28 'Night Hunter'. emphasizing that the flight allegedly took place on the border with Ukraine. Some regional sources reported that Russian helicopters had just approached the border with Ukraine in the Rostov region of the Russian Federation but did not cross it.]
- Perepdaya, Elena (4 April 2021). Українська армія відкидає застосування зброї проти цивільних на Донбасі [The Ukrainian army rejects the use of weapons against civilians in Donbass] (in Ukrainian). Deutsche Welle. Archived from the original on 20 January 2022. Retrieved 19 January 2022.
Тим часом спікер російської Держдуми В'ячеслав Володін заявив, що керівництво України має понести відповідальність за смерть дитини під Донецьком та запропонував виключити Україну з Ради Європи.[Meanwhile, Russian State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said Ukraine's leadership should be held responsible for the child's death near Donetsk and suggested excluding Ukraine from the Council of Europe.]
- Якщо Кремль шукає "казус беллі", вкидаючи цинічні фейки, світ це має сприймати всерйоз [If the Kremlin is looking for a "casus belli" by throwing cynical fakes, the world should take it seriously]. Ministry of Defense Ukraine (in Ukrainian). Government of Ukraine. 6 April 2021. Archived from the original on 20 January 2022. Retrieved 19 January 2022.
За повідомленням Української делегації для участі у Тристоронній контактній групі, 'Українська сторона Спільного центру з контролю та координації 5 квітня 2021 року надіслала Спеціальній моніторинговій місії ОБСЄ в Україні ноту щодо намірів окупаційної адміністрації фальсифікувати події в н.п. Олександрівське Донецької області України'.[According to the Ukrainian delegation to participate in the Tripartite Contact Group, 'On April 5, 2021, the Ukrainian side of the Joint Monitoring and Coordination Center sent a note to the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine regarding the occupation administration's intentions to falsify events. Oleksandrivske, Donetsk region of Ukraine'.]
- Lavrenyuk, Yaroslava (5 April 2021). Фейк: На Донбасі внаслідок атаки українського безпілотника загинула дитина (оновлено) [Fake: A child died in Donbas as a result of a Ukrainian drone attack (updated)]. Stopfake.org (in Ukrainian). Translated via Google Translate. Archived from the original on 20 January 2022. Retrieved 19 January 2022.
6 квітня Спеціальна моніторингова місія ОБСЄ в Україні підтвердила смерть дитини. Повідомляється, що вона померла 'в результаті вибухової травми й множинних осколкових поранень'. Інформація про те, що дитина загинула в результаті удару українського безпілотника відсутня.[On April 6, the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine confirmed the death of a child. She reportedly died 'as a result of an explosive injury and multiple shrapnel wounds.' There is no information that the child died as a result of a Ukrainian drone strike.]
- На Донеччині загинули двоє українських військових [Two Ukrainian servicemen killed in Donetsk region]. ukinform.ua (in Ukrainian). Ukrinform. 6 April 2021. Archived from the original on 15 April 2021. Retrieved 31 May 2021.
Внаслідок обстрілу українських позицій російськими найманцями поблизу населеного пункту Невельське, що на Донеччині, загинув український військовий. Ще один захисник загинув поблизу Степного через підрив на невідомому вибуховому пристрої. [Translated: A Ukrainian serviceman was killed as a result of shelling of Ukrainian positions by Russian mercenaries near the town of Nevelske in the Donetsk region. Another defender was killed near Stepny by an unknown explosive device.]
- Через обстріл на Донеччині 50 населених пунктів залишилися без води [Due to the shelling in Donetsk region, 50 settlements were left without water]. ukrinform.ua (in Ukrainian). Ukrinform. 6 April 2021. Archived from the original on 8 April 2021. Retrieved 31 May 2021.
У Донецькій області внаслідок обстрілу знеструмлена насосна станція першого підйому Південно-донбаського водогону. Постачання води споживачам припинене. Як передає Укрінформ, про це увечері 6 квітня повідомили в комунальному підприємстві 'Компанія 'Вода Донбасу'. Повідомляється, що від цієї насосної станції вода постачається майже до 50 населених пунктів регіону, на чотири фільтрувальні станції ... [Translated: In the Donetsk region, as a result of the shelling, the pumping station of the first rise of the South Donbas water supply system was de-energized. Water supply to consumers has been suspended. According to Ukrinform, this was announced in the evening of April 6 at the utility company 'Water of Donbass'. It is reported that from this pumping station water is supplied to almost 50 settlements of the region, to four filtering stations ...]
- Mirovalev, Mansur (21 May 2021). "The devastating human, economic costs of Crimea's annexation". Al Jazeera English. Al Jazeera. Archived from the original on 25 May 2021. Retrieved 19 January 2022.
These days, Simferopol, the second-largest city on the Crimean Peninsula, gets water for three hours a day on weekdays and for five hours on weekends.
- Cooper, Helene; Barnes, Julian E.; Schmitt, Eric (5 May 2021). "80,000 Russian Troops Remain at Ukraine Border as U.S. and NATO Hold Exercises". The New York Times. Photograph by Associated Press; article updated 1 September 2021. Washington D.C. Archived from the original on 14 January 2022. Retrieved 19 January 2022.
Senior American officials believe an incursion to secure the water supply remains a real threat. ... Senior Defense Department officials said that close to 80,000 Russian troops remained near various strips of the country's border with Ukraine, still the biggest force Russia has amassed there since Moscow annexed Crimea in 2014. ... The Russian military did order some units back to their barracks by May 1 — and they did move from the border — the officials said. But many of the units left their trucks and armored vehicles behind, a signal that they could go back if President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia decided to deploy them again.
- Troianovski, Anton (8 May 2021). "Where Ukrainians Are Preparing for All-Out War With Russia". The New York Times. Kalanchak, Ukraine. Archived from the original on 24 May 2021. Retrieved 19 January 2022.
In Washington, senior American officials believe that an incursion to secure the water supply remains a real threat, though the costs and difficulty of such a move appear to have been sufficient to dissuade Russia for now.
- Росія перекидає кораблі з Каспію на Чорне море [Russia transfers ships from the Caspian Sea to the Black Sea]. mil.in.ua (in Ukrainian). Militarnyi. Archived from the original on 19 January 2022. Retrieved 19 January 2022.
Росія, як заявляється у рамках навчань, перекидає кораблі з Каспію на Чорне море. Про це пише Интерфакс. Міжфлотський перехід почали десантні та артилерійські катери Каспійської флотилії. Заявляється, що екіпажі та кораблі Каспійської флотилії будуть здавати підсумкові морські навчання у взаємодії з Чорноморським флотом. [Translated: Russia, as stated in the exercise, is transferring ships from the Caspian Sea to the Black Sea. This was reported by Interfax. The landing and artillery boats of the Caspian flotilla began the inter-naval crossing. It is stated that the crews and ships of the Caspian Flotilla will pass the final naval exercises in cooperation with the Black Sea Fleet.]
- "Meeting Requested by Ukraine under Vienna Document Chapter III Regarding Unusual Russian Military Activity". U.S. Mission to the OSCE. OSCE. 10 April 2021. Archived from the original on 24 February 2022. Retrieved 27 February 2022.
- "Ukraine – Joint statement by France and Germany at the OSCE (Vienna, 10 Apr. 2021)". Ministère de l'Europe et des Affaires étrangères. Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs. 10 April 2021. Retrieved 27 January 2022.
- Консула в Петербурзі Сосонюка затримали на кілька годин, і він уже в дипустанові. Україна готує відповідь, – речник МЗС Ніколенко [Consul in St. Petersburg Sosoniuk was detained for several hours, and he is already in the embassy. Ukraine is preparing an answer, – Foreign Ministry spokesman Nikolenko]. Censor.net (in Ukrainian). 17 April 2021. Archived from the original on 31 May 2021. Retrieved 31 May 2021.
...сьогодні вранці стало відомо, що український консул Олександр Сосонюк затриманий в російському місті Санкт-Петербург. Його затримала ФСБ нібито "під час отримання інформації закритого характеру під час зустрічі з громадянином РФ".[...this morning it became known that the Ukrainian consul Alexander Sosonyuk is detained in the Russian city of St. Petersburg. He was detained by the FSB allegedly "while receiving confidential information during a meeting with a Russian citizen."]
- Yavorovich, Tatiana (17 April 2021). Затримання українського консула: Єнін розповів, як у Росії підставили Сосонюка [Detention of the Ukrainian consul: Yenin told how Sosoniuk was set up in Russia]. Суспільне | Новини (in Ukrainian). Archived from the original on 20 January 2022. Retrieved 19 January 2022.
У Міністерстві закордонних справ України припускають, що затримання консула Генерального консульства України Олександра Сосонюка у Санкт-Петербурзі готувалось за заздалегідь спланованим сценарієм.[The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine assumes that the detention of the Consul General of Ukraine Oleksandr Sosonyuk in St. Petersburg was prepared according to a pre-planned scenario.]
- Igor, Litvinenko (22 April 2021). Висланий український консул покинув РФ [The deported Ukrainian consul left Russia] (in Ukrainian). RBC Ukraine. Archived from the original on 31 May 2021. Retrieved 31 May 2021.
Висланий український консул Олександр Сосонюк виїхав з Російської Федерації вчора, 21 квітня. Він візьме коротку відпустку, після чого повернеться до роботи у зовнішньополітичному відомстві України.[The deported Ukrainian consul Oleksandr Sosonyuk left the Russian Federation yesterday, April 21. He will take a short vacation, after which he will return to work in the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine.]
- Рокитна, Анастасія (19 April 2021). Україна направила ноту російському дипломату. У нього є 72 години, щоб покинути країну [Ukraine sent a note to a Russian diplomat. He has 72 hours to leave the country] (in Ukrainian). RBC Ukraine. Archived from the original on 25 April 2021. Retrieved 31 May 2021.
Україна направила ноту російському дипломату. Щоб покинути країну, у нього є 72 години. Про це повідомив в коментарі РБК-Україна речник Міністерства закордонних справ України Олег Ніколенко.[Ukraine sent a note to a Russian diplomat. He has 72 hours to leave the country. This was announced in a comment to RBC-Ukraine by the spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Oleh Nikolenko.]
- Патрушев заявив про "загрозу терактів і диверсій" у Криму [Patrushev said there was a "threat of terrorist attacks and sabotage" in Crimea]. Radio Liberty (in Ukrainian). 14 April 2021. Archived from the original on 19 January 2022. Retrieved 20 January 2022.
Секретар Ради безпеки Росії Микола Патрушев на нараді, яку він провів в анексованому Криму 14 квітня, заявив, що 'українські спецслужби намагаються організувати теракти і диверсії' на території півострова.[Russia's Security Council Secretary Mykola Patrushev said at a meeting in annexed Crimea on April 14 that 'Ukrainian special services are trying to organize terrorist attacks and sabotage' on the peninsula.]
- "Кораблі ФСБ РФ намагались спровокувати ВМСУ біля Керченської протоки: "Гюрзи-М" дали гідну відсіч" [Ships of the FSB of the Russian Federation tried to provoke the Navy near the Kerch Strait: "Gyurzy-M" gave a decent rebuff]. Defense Express. Archived from the original on 19 January 2022. Retrieved 19 January 2022.
У ніч з 14 на 15 квітня цього року відбувся інцидент в Азовському морі між трьома малими броньованими катерами "Гюрза-М" ВМС України та п'ятьма катерами і кораблем Берегової охорони Прикордонної служби ФСБ РФ...За його словами, інцидент відбувся 25 милях від Керченської протоки, коли катери наших ВМС виконували супровід цивільних суден...Щоб зупинити провокації, нашим морякам довелось попередити про готовність застосувати бортове озброєння. За даними Клименка, інцидент обійшовся без жодних втрат для нашого флоту, усі катери ВМС України успішно повернулись назад до гавані.[On the night of April 14–15 this year, an incident took place in the Sea of Azov between three small armored boats "Gyurza-M" of the Ukrainian Navy and five boats and a ship of the Coast Guard of the FSB Border Guard...According to him, the incident took place 25 miles from the Kerch Strait, when the boats of our Navy escorted civilian ships...To stop the provocations, our sailors had to warn about the readiness to use airborne weapons. According to Klymenko, the incident was without any losses for our fleet, all boats of the Ukrainian Navy successfully returned back to the harbor.]
- Міністерство закордонних справ України – Заява МЗС України у зв'язку із обмеженням Російською Федерацією свободи судноплавства в Чорному морі [Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine – Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine in connection with the Russian Federation's restriction of freedom of navigation in the Black Sea]. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine (in Ukrainian). Archived from the original on 4 November 2021. Retrieved 19 January 2022.
Російська Федерація оголосила про закриття з наступного тижня до жовтня 2021 року частини акваторій Чорного моря в напрямку Керченської протоки для військових кораблів та державних суден інших країн під приводом військових навчань. Такі дії Російської Федерації є черговою спробою в порушення норм і принципів міжнародного права узурпувати суверенні права України як прибережної держави, оскільки саме Україна наділена правами регулювати судноплавство в цих акваторіях Чорного моря.[The Russian Federation has announced the closure from next week to October 2021 of part of the Black Sea in the direction of the Kerch Strait for warships and state vessels of other countries under the pretext of military exercises. Such actions of the Russian Federation are another attempt in violation of the norms and principles of international law to usurp the sovereign rights of Ukraine as a coastal state, as it is Ukraine that has the right to regulate navigation in these Black Sea areas.]
- Yuri, Godovan (20 April 2021). Військ РФ біля кордону України зараз більше, ніж у 2014 році – Пентагон [Size of Russian troops near the Ukrainian border are now larger than in 2014 – the Pentagon]. Ukrainian Independent Information Agency (UNIAN) (in Ukrainian). Reuters. Archived from the original on 26 April 2021. Retrieved 31 May 2021.
У Пентагоні заявили, що Росія зосередила поблизу кордону з Україною більше військ, ніж у 2014 році. Про це заявив речник оборонного відомства США Джон Кірбі, передає "Радіо Свобода".[The Pentagon said that Russia had concentrated more troops near the border with Ukraine than in 2014. This was stated by spokesman for the US Department of Defense John Kirby, reports "Radio Liberty".]
- РФ обмежила польоти над частиною Криму і Чорного моря, – NOTAM [Russia has restricted flights over part of the Crimea and the Black Sea – NOTAM]. Censor.net (in Ukrainian). 20 April 2021. Archived from the original on 23 April 2021. Retrieved 31 May 2021.
Росія ввела з 20 по 24 квітня тимчасові обмеження на польоти над частиною Криму і Чорного моря. Про це йдеться в міжнародному повідомленні для пілотів (NOTAM), інформує Цензор.НЕТ із посиланням на Інтерфакс-Україна.[Russia has imposed temporary restrictions on flights over parts of Crimea and the Black Sea from April 20 to 24. This is stated in the International Notice to Pilots (NOTAM), informs Censor.NET with reference to Interfax-Ukraine.]
- Medvedev, Dmitry (11 October 2021). Почему бессмысленны контакты с нынешним украинским руководством [Why contacts with the current Ukrainian leadership are meaningless]. Kommersant (in Russian). Archived from the original on 21 January 2022.
Дураков сражаться за Украину нет. А нам с вассалами дело иметь бессмысленно. Дела нужно вести с сюзереном ... Бессмысленность и даже вредность отношений с нынешними руководителями Украины состоит еще и в том, что во главе этой страны стоят невежественные и необязательные люди. Они постоянно меняют позицию в угоду своим заокеанским хозяевам и политической конъюнктуре ... Тогда встает извечный и главный вопрос: что делать в этой ситуации? А ничего. Дождаться появления на Украине вменяемого руководства, которое нацелено не на тотальную конфронтацию с Россией на грани войны, не на организацию дебильных 'Крымских платформ', созданных для оболванивания населения страны и подкачки своих мускулов перед выборами, а на выстраивание равноправных и взаимовыгодных отношений с Россией. Вот только с таким руководством Украины и стоит иметь дело. Россия умеет ждать. Мы люди терпеливые.[There are no fools to fight for Ukraine. And it is pointless for us to deal with vassals. Business must be done with the suzerain ... The senselessness and even harmfulness of relations with the current leaders of Ukraine also lies in the fact that ignorant and unnecessary people are at the head of this country. They constantly change their position to please their overseas masters and the political situation ... Then the eternal and main question arises: what to do in this situation? But nothing. Wait for the emergence of a sane leadership in Ukraine, which is aimed not at a total confrontation with Russia on the brink of war, not at organizing moronic 'Crimean platforms' created to fool the population of the country and pump up their muscles before the elections, but at building equal and mutually beneficial relations with Russia. That's just with such a leadership of Ukraine and it is worth dealing with. Russia knows how to wait. We are patient people.]
- "Russia Shouldn't Negotiate With 'Vassal' Ukraine, Ex-President Medvedev Says". The Moscow Times. 11 October 2021. Archived from the original on 21 January 2022.
The Kremlin said later Monday that Medvedev's article "runs in unison" with Russia's view of the current Ukrainian government.
- Vladimir, Isachenkov (12 November 2021). "Kremlin denies plans to invade Ukraine, alleges NATO threats". Associated Press. Archived from the original on 10 December 2021. Retrieved 24 December 2021.
The Russian Defense Ministry described the deployment of the U.S. warships USS Mount Whitney and USS Porter, which sailed into the Black Sea last week, as a "threat to regional security and strategic stability." "The real goal behind the U.S. activities in the Black Sea region is exploring the theater of operations in case of Kyiv's attempts to settle the conflict in the southeast by force," the ministry said in a statement.
- Julian, Röpcke (3 December 2021). "BILD exklusiv: Russlands Kriegspläne, So könnte Putin die Ukraine vernichten" [BILD Exclusive: Russia's War Plans – How Putin could destroy Ukraine]. Bild (in German). Archived from the original on 25 January 2022. Retrieved 25 January 2022.
- Seth G., Jones; Philip G., Wasielewski (13 January 2022). "Russia's Possible Invasion of Ukraine". csis.org. Center for Strategic and International Studies. Archived from the original on 25 January 2022. Retrieved 25 January 2022.
- Ellyatt, Holly (17 November 2021). "The world is worried Putin is about to invade Ukraine. Here's why". CNBC. Photograph by Fabrice Cofferini (Agence-France Presse), Oksana Manchuk (Belarusian Telegraph Agency), and Bloomberg News; article updated 1 December 2021. NBCUniversal News Group. Archived from the original on 18 November 2021. Retrieved 18 November 2021.
- Sarah, Rainford (27 November 2021). "Russia-Ukraine border: Why Moscow is stoking tensions". BBC News. Photographs by Reuters. Moscow: BBC. Archived from the original on 25 December 2021. Retrieved 24 December 2021.
In recent weeks, Russian tanks have been moving west towards Ukraine once again, prompting fresh, even starker warnings from US intelligence circles that a cross-border offensive could be on the cards.
- "Центр оперативного інформування про безпекову ситуацію поблизу державного кордону України" [Center of Operations informing on the security situation near the Ukrainian state border]. Ministry of Defence of Ukraine. Government of Ukraine. 2 November 2021. Retrieved 19 February 2022.
За даними Головного управління розвідки Міністерства оборони, станом на початок листопада 2021 року біля нашого кордону та на тимчасово окупованих територіях Російською Федерацією зосереджено угруповання військ (сил) загальною чисельністю близько 90-та тисяч осіб. До його складу входять війська 8-ї,20-ї армій Південного та Західного військових округів, а також сили та засоби Чорноморського флоту РФ. Крім того, поблизу нашого кордону базуються окремі з'єднання та частини 4-ї,6-ї армій військово-повітряних сил та протиповітряної оборони повітряно-космічних сил збройних сил Російської Федерації.[According to the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defence, as of early October 2021, the Russian Federation has established a grouping of troops (forces) of an estimated 90,000 troops near our border and in the temporarily occupied territories. It includes forces of the 8th and 20th Armies of the Eastern and Western Military Districts, as well as forces and equipment of the Russian Black Sea Fleet. In addition, some units of the 4th and 6th Armies of the Military and Air Defence Forces and the anti-aircraft defense forces of the Russian Federation are based near our cordon.]
- TOI Staff (14 November 2021). "Ukraine's president says 100,000 Russian troops amassed near border". The Times of Israel. Photographs by Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP. Associated Press. Archived from the original on 18 November 2021. Retrieved 19 November 2021.
Ukraine's president has said some 100,000 Russian troops are amassed near his country's border.
- Harris, Shane; Sonne, Paul (3 December 2021). "Russia planning massive military offensive against Ukraine involving 175,000 troops, U.S. intelligence warns". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 30 December 2021. Retrieved 12 January 2022.
While Ukrainian assessments have said Russia has approximately 94,000 troops near the border, the U.S. map puts the number at 70,000.
- "Interview with Rossiya TV channel". The Kremlin. Moscow: President of Russia. 13 November 2021. Archived from the original on 3 February 2022. Retrieved 20 February 2022.
I have not seen such alarmist declarations, so far, at least. But I suppose it is as you say. Indeed, the United States and their NATO allies are presently conducting an unscheduled, and I want to stress that it is unscheduled, drill in the Black Sea.
- Altman, Howard (21 November 2021). "Russia preparing to attack Ukraine by late January: Ukraine defense intelligence agency chief". Military Times. Photo by Russian Ministry of Defence Press Service via Associated Press. Sightline Media Group. Retrieved 19 February 2022.
Russia has more than 92,000 troops amassed around Ukraine's borders.
- Глава разведки Украины назвал протесты в Киеве подготовкой России к военному вторжению [Ukrainian intelligence chief calls protests in Kyiv preparations for Russian military invasion]. Kommersant (in Russian). Kommersant Publishing House. 21 November 2021. Archived from the original on 3 December 2021. Retrieved 23 December 2021.
За недавними протестами против вакцинации от COVID-19 в Киеве и другими митингами на Украине стоит Россия — это подготовка к масштабному военному вторжению, заявил руководитель главного управления разведки Министерства обороны Украины Кирилл Буданов.[Translation via DeepL Translator; Photo by the Office of the President of Ukraine: Russia is behind the recent protests against COVID-19 vaccination in Kiev and other rallies in Ukraine in preparation for a large-scale military invasion, said the head of the main intelligence department of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, Kirill Budanov.]
- Solovyov, Vladimir (25 November 2021). Ненормандское положение вещей [The Abnormal State of Affairs]. Kommersant (in Russian). Translated via DeepL Translator; photo by Anatoly Zhdanov. Kommersant Publishing House. Archived from the original on 26 December 2021. Retrieved 23 December 2021.
Ожидать активных действий, по его словам, следует в январе-феврале будущего года.[Expect active action, he said, should be in January–February next year.]
- Hacaoglu, Selcan; Champion, Marc (3 December 2021). "Ukraine Angers Russia by Buying Turkish Drones and Wants To Get Its Hands On More". Bloomberg News. Bloomberg L.P. Archived from the original on 18 February 2022. Retrieved 27 February 2022.
- Kiselyova, Maria; Tétrault-Farber, Gabrielle (1 December 2021). Osborn, Andrew (ed.). "Russia says Ukraine has deployed half its army to Donbas conflict zone". Reuters. Moscow: Thomson Corporation. Archived from the original on 12 December 2021. Retrieved 24 December 2021.
- "Russia accuses Ukraine of mobilising artillery, feigning negotiations". Euronews. Moscow. Reuters. 10 December 2021. Archived from the original on 12 December 2021. Retrieved 24 December 2021.
- Trevelyan, Mark (9 December 2021). Kerry, Frances (ed.). "UPDATE 1-Russia accuses Ukraine of mobilising artillery, feigning negotiations". Yahoo!Finance. Additional reporting by Tom Balmforth. Moscow: Yahoo. Reuters. Archived from the original on 25 December 2021. Retrieved 24 December 2021.
- "Russia slams Western 'hysteria' over Ukraine". DW.com. Deutsche Welle. 21 November 2021. Archived from the original on 20 December 2021. Retrieved 24 December 2021.
- "U.S. 'Escalating' Russia-Ukraine Tensions by Arming Kyiv – Kremlin". The Moscow Times. Derk Sauer. 23 November 2021. Archived from the original on 27 November 2021. Retrieved 24 December 2021.
- Rodionov, Maxim (21 November 2021). Osborn, Andrew; Maclean, William (eds.). "Kremlin accuses West of artificially whipping up Ukraine tensions". Reuters. Additional reporting by Pavel Polityuk (Kyiv). Moscow: Thomson Corporation. Archived from the original on 24 December 2021. Retrieved 24 December 2021.
- Solovyov, Vladimir; Kovalenko, Marina (3 December 2021). За нашу соседскую родину [For our neighbouring country]. Kommersant (in Russian). No. 221. p. 1. Archived from the original on 26 December 2021. Retrieved 23 December 2021.
В Киеве это восприняли как однозначную угрозу. Там с уверенностью говорят о практически неминуемом масштабном конфликте с Россией. Такие опасения 3 декабря высказал министр обороны республики Алексей Резников, выступивший перед депутатами Верховной рады.[In Kyiv, this was perceived as a clear threat. They speak with confidence about an almost inevitable large-scale conflict with Russia. Such fears were expressed on December 3 by the Minister of Defense of the Republic Oleksii Reznikov, who spoke to the deputies of the Verkhovna Rada. "There is a possibility of a large-scale escalation from Russia. The most likely time to achieve readiness for escalation will be the end of January," Mr. Reznikov warned.]
- Newswire (AP) (3 December 2021). "Ukraine says Russia amassed over 94,000 troops at border". The Independent. Photograph by Associated Press. Kyiv: Independent Digital News & Media Ltd. Associated Press. Archived from the original on 4 December 2021. Retrieved 20 February 2022.
Ukraine's defense minister estimated Friday that Russia has amassed more than 94,000 troops near their borders and said there is a probability of a "large-scale escalation" in late January.
- "Russia builds up forces on Ukrainian border". Politico. Janes. 9 December 2021. Archived from the original on 10 December 2021. Retrieved 30 December 2021.
hese units include elements of the 41st Combined Arms Army's 74th and 35th Motorised Brigades, 120th Artillery Brigade, and 119th Missile Brigade, as well as limited elements of the 90th Tank Division's 6th Tank Regiment. Since late November, Janes has identified the 41st Combined Arms Army's 55th Motorised Brigade (Mountain) beginning to deploy over 4,000 km from the Tuva region to Yelnya, including the brigade's three Tigr armoured car battalions and elements of its Nona-SVK self-propelled mortar battalion. ... Janes has identified the likely deployment of several new units to the Crimean Peninsula since the start of the October buildup. This includes elements of the 247th Airborne Regiment, at least one 42nd Motorised Division T-72B3 battalion, a Buk-M2 battalion likely from the 90th Air Defence Brigade, and a 34th Motorised Brigade (Mountain) battalion tactical group. Subsequent video footage indicates at least some of this equipment has since returned to its base in the Caucasus Mountains.
- "US intelligence finds Russia planning military offensive against Ukraine". Business Standard. Associated Press. 4 December 2021. Archived from the original on 8 December 2021. Retrieved 23 January 2022.
US intelligence officials have determined that Russian planning is underway for a possible military offensive against Ukraine that could begin as soon as early 2022 and would include an estimated 175,000 personnel, according to an administration official.
- Schwirtz, Michael; Sanger, David E. (18 January 2022). "Russia Thins Out Its Embassy in Ukraine, a Possible Clue to Putin's Next Move". The New York Times. Kyiv. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 31 January 2022.
- Chance, Matthew; Atwood, Kylie; Lyons, Emmet; Kaufman, Ami (19 January 2022). "Ukraine warns Russia has 'almost completed' build-up of forces near border". edition.cnn.com. CNN. Retrieved 31 January 2022.
- Wetzel, Tyson K.; Barranco, John B.; Johnson, Benjamin G.; Vardiman, Daniel (21 January 2022). "Will Russia make a military move against Ukraine? Follow these clues". Atlantic Council. Retrieved 31 January 2022.
Additionally, Russia recently deployed other critical combat capabilities to the region.
- Batashvili, David (30 January 2022). "Geostrategic Activities". Rondeli Russian Military Digest. No. 118. Rondeli Foundation. Archived from the original on 5 February 2022. Retrieved 11 February 2022.
Numerous sources indicated Russian troops' movements in various parts of Russia, in Belarus and in occupied Crimea. As a part of these movements, the Russian Eastern Military District's forces continued to enter Belarus ... the Russian forces already inside or moving into Belarus include those from: the 36th Army's ... the 29th Army's ... the 35th Army's ... the 5th Army's ... the Pacific Fleet's 155th Naval Infantry Brigade ... the 76th Air Assault Division's ... the 98th Airborne Division's ... the 11th Air Assault Brigade ...
- Isachenkov, Vladimir (18 January 2022). "Russia sending more troops to Belarus amid rising tensions with Ukraine". Global News. Contribution by Aamer Madhani (Washington D.C.), Geir Moulson (Berlin), Lorne Cook (Brussels), and Yuras Karmanau (Kyiv). Global Television Network. Associated Press. Archived from the original on 19 January 2022. Retrieved 19 January 2022.
Ukrainian officials have warned that Russia could launch an attack on Ukraine from various directions, including from its ally Belarus.
- Newswires (18 January 2022). "US fears arrival of Russian troops could lead to nuclear weapons in Belarus". france24.com. Photograph by AFP. France 24. Agence France-Presse. Archived from the original on 19 January 2022. Retrieved 19 January 2022.
- Isachenkov, Vladimir (19 January 2022). "Russia moves more troops westward amid Ukraine tensions". ABC News. Contribution by Aamer Madhani and Ellen Knickmeyer (Washington D.C.), Geir Moulson (Berlin), Lorne Cook (Brussels), and Yuras Karmanau (Kyiv); Photograph by Associated Press. Moscow: American Broadcasting Company. Associated Press. Archived from the original on 19 January 2022. Retrieved 19 January 2022.
A senior Biden administration official said the Russian troop deployment to Belarus raises concerns that Moscow may be planning to stage troops there to stretch Ukraine's defenses with an attack from the north.
- Mitchell, Ellen (18 January 2022). "Russia sends troops to Belarus for war games". The Hill. Photograph by Associated Press. Archived from the original on 19 January 2022. Retrieved 19 January 2022.
- Sanger, David E. (20 January 2022). "Biden Predicts Putin Will Order Ukraine Invasion, but 'Will Regret Having Done It'". The New York Times. Washington D.C. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 1 February 2022.
President Biden said on Wednesday that he now expected President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia would order an invasion of Ukraine, delivering a grim assessment that the diplomacy and ... 'The answer is that I think he still does not want a full-blown war, No. 1. No. 2, do I think he'll test the West, test the United States and NATO as significantly as he can? Yes, I think he will, but I think he'll pay a serious and dear price for it that he doesn't think now will cost him what it's going to cost him. And I think he will regret having done it.'
- "Joe Biden thinks Russia will attack Ukraine – but will face a 'stiff price'". The Guardian. 20 January 2022.
- Soldatkin, Vladimir; Balmforth, Tom (20 January 2022). Trevelyan, Mark (ed.). "Russia to hold major navy drills involving all its fleets". Reuters. Photograph by Vitaly Nevar (Reuters). Moscow: Thomson Corporation. Archived from the original on 24 January 2022. Retrieved 24 January 2022.
- Stewart, Phil (30 January 2022). Milliken, Mary; Bell, Alistair; Kerry, Frances (eds.). "EXCLUSIVE Russia moves blood supplies near Ukraine, adding to U.S. concern, officials say". Reuters. Reporting by Phil Stewart; Additional reporting by Tom Balmforth (Moscow) and Pavel Polityuk in (Kyiv). Washington D.C.: Thomson Corporation. Archived from the original on 27 February 2022. Retrieved 27 February 2022.
- Weymouth, Lally (20 January 2022). "Perspective | Volodymyr Zelensky: 'Everyone will lose' if Russia invades Ukraine". The Washington Post. Nash Holdings. ISSN 0190-8286. Archived from the original on 21 January 2022. Retrieved 21 January 2022.
I will say realistically if Russia decides to enhance their escalation, of course they are going to do this on those territories where historically there are people who used to have family links to Russia. Kharkiv, which is under Ukraine government control, could be occupied. Russia needs a pretext: They will say that they are protecting the Russian-speaking population ... If we are going to protect ourselves against one of the most powerful armies in the world, then this will be war. And if this will be war, it's going to be a very strong war, and everyone will lose.
- Stewart, Phil; Pamuk, Humeyra (6 February 2022). Milliken, Mary; Wallis, Daniel (eds.). "Russian forces at 70% of level needed for full Ukraine invasion, U.S. officials say". Reuters. Photographs by Vadim Yakubyonok and Oleksandr Klymenko. Washington D.C.: Thomson Corporation. Archived from the original on 22 February 2022. Retrieved 27 February 2022.
- Отряд кораблей ВМФ РФ завершил переход в Севастополь [A detachment of ships of the Russian Navy has completed its passage to Sevastopol]. Izvestia (in Russian). National Media Group. 10 February 2022. Archived from the original on 16 February 2022. Retrieved 27 February 2022.
8 февраля в Минобороны РФ сообщили, что отряд из шести больших десантных кораблей ВМФ России направился в Черное море для учений ... 'Отряд больших десантных кораблей Военно-морского флота России в составе 'Королев', 'Минск', 'Калининград', 'Петр Моргунов', 'Георгий Победоносец' и 'Оленегорский горняк' завершил межфлотский переход вокруг Европы. В настоящий момент корабли заходят в главную базу Черноморского флота — город Севастополь', — говорится в сообщении. [Translated via DeepL Translator; photographs by Paul Lvov of RIA Novosti: On February 8, the Russian Defense Ministry reported that a detachment of six large landing ships of the Russian Navy has headed to the Black Sea for exercises ... 'A detachment of large landing ships of the Russian Navy consisting of the 'Korolev', 'Minsk', 'Kaliningrad', 'Pyotr Morgunov', 'Georgy Pobedonosets' and 'Olenegorsk Miner' has completed an inter-fleet crossing around Europe. At the moment the ships are calling at the main base of the Black Sea Fleet – the city of Sevastopol,' the report said.]
- Российские военные проведут учения с корабельными группами в Черном море [The Russian military will conduct exercises with ship groups in the Black Sea]. Interfax (in Russian). Moscow: Interfax Group. 10 February 2022. Archived from the original on 21 February 2022. Retrieved 28 February 2022.
В Черном море пройдут учения, в котором будут задействованы корабельные тактические группы Черноморского флота РФ, сообщила пресс-служба флота в четверг. [Translated: An exercise will be held in the Black Sea, in which naval tactical groups of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation will be involved, the press service of the fleet said on Thursday.]
- "Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine on the Decision of the Russian Federation to Block Parts of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait". The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine. Government of Ukraine. 10 February 2022. Archived from the original on 24 February 2022. Retrieved 28 February 2022.
- Landale, James (10 February 2022). "Ukraine tensions: Russia accused of sea blockade". BBC Online. BBC. Archived from the original on 15 February 2022. Retrieved 28 February 2022.
Photographs by Reuters, Getty Images, and the Russian Defence Ministry: Ukraine has accused Russia of blocking its access to the sea as Russia prepares for naval exercises next week amid spiralling tension in the region.
- Защитить воздушное пространство: как проходят учения 'Союзная решимость – 2022' [Protect airspace: how the 'Allied Resolve – 2022' exercises are going]. Zvezda (in Russian). Russian Ministry of Defence. 10 February 2022. Archived from the original on 13 February 2022. Retrieved 27 February 2022.
В Белоруссии стартовали совместные с Россией масштабные маневры 'Союзная решимость – 2022'. Военнослужащие будут тренироваться отражать внешнюю агрессию и вести оборонительные операции, пресекать проникновение диверсантов и перекрывать каналы незаконной поставки оружия. [Translation via Google Translate: Large-scale maneuvers 'Allied Resolve – 2022' jointly with Russia have started in Belarus. The servicemen will train to repel external aggression and conduct defensive operations, prevent the penetration of saboteurs and block the channels of illegal supply of weapons.]
- Walker, Shaun (10 February 2022). "Russia and Belarus begin military drills near Belarusian border with Ukraine". The Guardian. Photograph by Anadolu Agency. Kyiv. Archived from the original on 26 February 2022. Retrieved 28 February 2022.
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Contribution from Erin Banco, Jacopo Barigazzi, Lili Bayer, Quint Forgey, Cristina Gallardo, Jakob Hanke Vela, Paul McLeary, Nahal Toosi, Hans von der Burchard and Giorgio Leali; Photograph by Sergey Bobok (Agence-France Presse) via Getty Images. [U].S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan declined to describe specific intelligence, but insisted the attack could begin before the end of the Winter Olympics in Beijing on February 20.
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According to a US official familiar with the findings, the US acquired intelligence that Russia is looking at Wednesday as a target date.
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Als Datum für den möglichen Beginn der Invasion wurde der 16. Februar genannt. [Translation: February 16 was mentioned as a possible date for the start of the invasion.]
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Contribution by Kevin Liptak, Natasha Bertrand, Maegan Vazquez, Olga Voitovych, Kareem El Damanhoury, Darya Tarasova, Sharon Braithwaite, Donald Judd and Jennifer Hansler
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Photographs by Reuters. Many countries, including Australia, Italy, Israel, the Netherlands and Japan have told their citizens to leave Ukraine. Some have also evacuated diplomatic staff and their families.
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- Олексій Резніков провів телефонну розмову з Міністром оборони Республіки Білорусь Віктором Хреніним [Telephone conversation between Oleksii Reznikov and Viktor Khrenin, the Ukrainian Defence Minister]. Ukrainian Ministry of Defence (in Ukrainian). Government of Ukraine. 14 February 2022. Archived from the original on 14 February 2022. Retrieved 14 February 2022.
З метою зміцнення взаємної довіри домовлено про візит аташе з питань оборони Республіки Білорусь в Україні на заходи навчань «Заметіль – 2022», а також про візит аташе з питань оборони України у Республіці Білорусь на заходи білорусько-російських навчань «Союзна рішучість - 2022». [Translated: In order to strengthen mutual trust, the visit of the Defense Attaché of the Republic of Belarus to Ukraine to the "Snowstorm - 2022" exercise, as well as the visit of the Defense Attaché of Ukraine to the Republic of Belarus to the Belarusian-Russian exercise "Union Determination - 2022" were agreed upon.]
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Photograph by Reuters
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Photographs by Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via Associated Press
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They are present in Donbas, and we have seen attempts to stage pretext, false-flag operations to provide an excuse for invading Ukraine.
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As of this moment, I'm convinced he's made the decision," he said, explaining his confidence by saying: "We have a significant intelligence capability.
- Зведення про ситуацію в районі проведення операції Об'єднаних сил станом на 07:00 20 лютого 2022 року [Summary of the situation in the area of the Joint Forces operation as of 07:00 on February 20, 2022]. Ukrainian Ministry of Defence (in Ukrainian). Government of Ukraine. 20 February 2022. Retrieved 20 February 2022.
Внаслідок обстрілів двоє українських військовослужбовців отримали осколкові поранення несумісні з життям. Четверо військовослужбовців отримали поранення різної ступені важкості та знаходяться у лікувальних закладах. Один військовослужбовець отримав бойове травмування.[As a result of the shelling, two Ukrainian servicemen received shrapnel wounds incompatible with life. Four servicemen received injuries of varying severity and are in medical facilities. One serviceman received a combat injury.]
- Россия и Белоруссия продолжат проверку сил реагирования Союзного государства [Russia and Belarus will continue to test the reaction forces of the Union State]. TASS (in Russian). Minsk: Government of Russia. 20 February 2022. Retrieved 20 February 2022.
"В связи с нарастанием военной активности у внешних границ Союзного государства и обострением ситуации на Донбассе президентами Республики Беларусь и Российской Федерации принято решение проверку сил реагирования Союзного государства продолжить", - заявил белорусский министр обороны Виктор Хренин. [Photograph by Petr Kovalev (TASS). Translated: In connection with the increase in military activity near the external borders of the Union State and the aggravation of the situation in the Donbass, the Presidents of the Republic of Belarus and the Russian Federation decided to continue testing the response forces of the Union State," Belarusian Defense Minister Viktor Khrenin said.]
- Подведены предварительные итоги совместного оперативного учения 'Союзная решимость-2022' [Preliminary results of joint operational exercise "Allied Resolve-2022" announced]. Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Belarus (in Russian). Government of Belarus. 20 February 2022. Retrieved 20 February 2022.
В связи с нарастанием военной активности у внешних границ Союзного государства и обострением ситуации на Донбассе, Президентами Республики Беларусь и Российской Федерации принято решение проверку сил реагирования Союзного государства продолжить. [Translation via Google Translate; Photograph by Yan Gorbanyuk: In connection with the increase in military activity near the external borders of the Union State and the aggravation of the situation in the Donbass, the Presidents of the Republic of Belarus and the Russian Federation decided to continue testing the response forces of the Union State.]
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Photograph by Alexei Alexandrov (AP Photo)
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"The operatives are trained in urban warfare and in using explosives to carry out acts of sabotage against Russia's own proxy-forces," the U.S. official said.
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The White House accused Moscow on Friday of sending saboteurs into eastern Ukraine to stage an incident that could provide President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia with a pretext for ordering an invasion of the country.
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The British government said Saturday that the Kremlin was developing plans to install a pro-Russian leader in Ukraine — and had already chosen a potential candidate [...]
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[t]hat the Russian government was considering trying to make a Russia-leaning former member of Ukraine's parliament, Yevhen Murayev, the country's new leader.
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Photograph by Reuters
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Four people familiar with U.S. intelligence said that Russia has drafted lists of Ukrainian political figures and other prominent individuals to be targeted for either arrest or assassination in the event of a Russian assault on Ukraine.
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[w]e have credible information [...] indicates Russian forces are creating lists of identified Ukrainians to be killed or sent to camps following a military occupation. [R]ussian forces will likely use lethal measures to disperse peaceful protests or otherwise counter peaceful exercises of perceived resistance from civilian populations.
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Президент назвал русофобию первым шагом к геноциду. [Translated: The President called Russophobia the first step towards genocide.]
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Photographs by Sergei Supinsky (AFP)
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Photograph by Andrew Harnik (AFP)
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[...] to the likening of the current situation related to language rights to "genocide of the Russian people". [...] While there have been to date no reports of limitations or perceived threats to the use of Russian language in Western parts of Ukraine [...]
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There is proof that Ukraine is committing atrocities against its Russian-speaking population in the country's east. [...] Allegations that Ukraine is attacking its own territory and persecuting its own citizens are absurd.
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Photograph by dpsu.gov.ua: У південних прикордонних районах України оголосили збори тероборони для посилення і захисту держкордону, охорони і оборони критичних об'єктів і боротьби з диверсійно-розвідувальними групами.[In the southern border areas of Ukraine announced a meeting of terrorist defense to strengthen and protect the state border, protection and defense of critical objects and the fight against sabotage and reconnaissance groups.]
- Ми пам'ятаємо кожного захисника, який загинув за Україну – Президент відвідав позиції українських військ на Донбасі [We remember every defender who died for Ukraine – the President visited the positions of Ukrainian troops in Donbass]. President of Ukraine (in Ukrainian). Kyiv: Government of Ukraine. 8 April 2021. Archived from the original on 17 April 2021. Retrieved 31 May 2021.
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The programs are part of the country's strategic defense plan in the event of a potential invasion by Russia — to foster a civilian resistance that can carry on the fight if the Ukrainian military is overwhelmed. [...] He described how the volunteers might resist based on the tactics of Islamist militias in Aleppo, Syria.
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The Baltic countries of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia also have received permission from the Biden administration to send U.S.-made weapons [...] Canada also has a military training program with Ukraine, and Ottawa recently sent a contingent of special forces to assist Kyiv. [...]
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He pointed to American support for the mujahedeen in Afghanistan against the Soviet invasion there in the late 1970s and 1980s, before the rise of the Taliban.
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The level of military support" for a Ukrainian insurgence, Stavridis said, "would make our efforts in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union look puny by comparison.
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M141 Bunker Defeat Munition действует таким Украина получила новую партию военной помощи от Вашингтона. Речь идет о ручных одноразовых гранатометах M141 Bunker Defeat Munition или SMAW-D. Кроме того, была передана и партия ПТРК Javelin. [Ukraine has received a new batch of military aid from Washington. These are M141 Bunker Defeat Munition or SMAW-D disposable grenade launchers. In addition, the Javelin ATGM party was transferred.]
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Photograph by LETA
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