Ukraine Silver Coin Map Russia War Volodymyr Zelenskyy Autograph NATO For Sale

Ukraine Silver Coin Map Russia War Volodymyr Zelenskyy Autograph NATO

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Ukraine Silver Coin Map Russia War Volodymyr Zelenskyy Autograph NATO:

Ukraine Coin + Card
"Slava Ukraini"
This is a Silver Plated Coin with Signed Photo Card
One Side of the Coin has a map of Ukraine in the colours of the Ukraine Flag Blue and YellowWith the words "Invasionof Ukraine" with the date the war started "24th February 2002" it also has the words"Slava Ukraini" which translates to "Glory to Ukraine"
The other side has an image of the President of UkraineVolodymyr Zelenskyy with his famous quoteWhen offered a flight out of Ukraine by the USA he replied "The fight is here; I need ammunition, not a ride"
There is also a card with an image of the President and his autograph is printed on the card
The coin is 50mm x 35mm and weights 14 grams or half an ounceThe card is the size of a standard business card 55mm x 85mm
In Excellent Condition
Sorry about the poor quality photos. They dont do the coin justice which looks a lot better in real life
Starting at under a Pound...With ..If your the only buyer you win it for less than £1....Grab a Bargain!!!!AII have a lot ofUkranianItems on so why not >Check out myother items!
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The territory of modern Ukraine has been inhabited since 32,000 BC. During the Middle Ages, the area was a key centre of East Slavic culture under Kievan Rus', which was ultimately destroyed by the Mongol invasion in the 13th century. Over the next 600 years, the area was contested, divided, and ruled by external powers, including the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Austrian Empire, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire, and the Tsardom of Russia. The Cossack Hetmanate emerged in Central Ukraine in the 17th century but was partitioned between Russia and Poland, and ultimately completely absorbed by the Russian Empire. In the aftermath of the Russian Revolution a Ukrainian national movement re-emerged, and the Ukrainian People's Republic was formed in 1917. This short-lived state was forcibly reconstituted into the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, which became a founding member of the Soviet Union (USSR) in 1922. From 1932 to 1933 the Holodomor killed millions of Ukrainians. In 1939, Western Ukraine was annexed from Poland by the USSR. Ukraine was the most populous and industrialised republic after the Russian Soviet Republic. With the dissolution of the Soviet Union Ukraine regained its independence in 1991.
Since its independence, Ukraine has been governed as a unitary republic under a semi-presidential system. It declared itself a neutral state,[16] forming a limited military partnership with Russia and other CIS countries while also establishing a partnership with NATO in 1994. In 2013, after President Viktor Yanukovych suspended the Ukraine–European Union Association Agreement in favor of closer economic ties with Russia, mass protests and demonstrations known as the Euromaidan erupted, escalating into the Revolution of Dignity that led to the overthrow of Yanukovych and the establishment of a new government. These events formed the background to Russia's annexation of Crimea in March 2014 and the War in Donbas the following month. The latter was a protracted conflict with Russian-backed separatists that culminated in a Russian invasion in February 2022. Ukraine has continued seeking closer economic, political, and military ties with the West amid ongoing war with Russia.[17]
Ukraine is among the poorest countries in Europe and suffers from low life expectancy and widespread corruption.[18][19] However, due to its extensive fertile land, pre-war Ukraine was one of the largest grain exporters in the world.[20][21] It is a member of the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the OSCE, the GUAM organization, the Association Trio, and the Lublin Triangle.
HistoryMain article: History of UkraineEarly history
A gold Scythian neckpiece, from a royal kurgan in Pokrov (4th century BC).Settlement by modern humans in Ukraine and its vicinity dates back to 32,000 BC, with evidence of the Gravettian culture in the Crimean Mountains.[30][31] By 4,500 BC, the Neolithic Cucuteni–Trypillia culture was flourishing in wide areas of modern Ukraine, including Trypillia and the entire Dnieper-Dniester region. Ukraine is also considered to be the likely location for the domestication of the horse.[32][33][34][35] During the Iron Age, the land was inhabited by Cimmerians, Scythians, and Sarmatians.[36] Between 700 BC and 200 BC it was part of the Scythian kingdom.[37]
From the 6th century BC, Greek, Roman, and Byzantine colonies were established on the north-eastern shore of the Black Sea, such as at Tyras, Olbia, and Chersonesus. These thrived into the 6th century AD. The Goths stayed in the area, but came under the sway of the Huns from the 370s. In the 7th century, the territory that is now eastern Ukraine was the centre of Old Great Bulgaria. At the end of the century, the majority of Bulgar tribes migrated in different directions, and the Khazars took over much of the land.[38]
In the 5th and 6th centuries, the Early Slavic, Antes people lived in Ukraine. The Antes were the ancestors of Ukrainians: White Croats, Severians, Eastern Polans, Drevlyans, Dulebes, Ulichians, and Tiverians. Migrations from the territories of present-day Ukraine throughout the Balkans established many South Slavic nations. Northern migrations, reaching almost to Lake Ilmen, led to the emergence of the Ilmen Slavs, Krivichs, and Radimichs, the groups ancestral to the Russians. Following an Avar raid in 602 and the collapse of the Antes Union, most of these peoples survived as separate tribes until the beginning of the second millennium.[39][need quotation to verify]
Golden Age of KyivMain articles: Kievan Rus' and Kingdom of Ruthenia
The furthest extent of Kievan Rus', 1054–1132.The establishment of the Kievan Rus' remains obscure and uncertain; there are at least three versions depending on interpretations of the chronicles.[40] In general, the state included much of present-day Ukraine, Belarus and Russia.[41] According to the Primary Chronicle the Rus' elite and rulers initially consisted of Varangians from Scandinavia.[42] In 882, the pagan Prince Oleg (Oleh) conquered Kyiv from Askold and Dir and proclaimed it as the capital of the Rus'.[43] However, it also believed that the East Slavic tribes along the southern parts of the Dnieper River were already in the process of forming a state independently.[44]
During the 10th and 11th centuries, Kievan Rus' became the largest and most powerful state in Europe.[45] The Varangians later assimilated into the Slavic population and became part of the first Rus' dynasty, the Rurik dynasty.[41] Kievan Rus' was composed of several principalities ruled by the interrelated Rurikid kniazes ("princes"), who often fought each other for possession of Kyiv.[46]
The Golden Age of Kievan Rus' began with the reign of Vladimir the Great (980–1015), who turned Rus' toward Byzantine Christianity. During the reign of his son, Yaroslav the Wise (1019–1054), Kievan Rus' reached the zenith of its cultural development and military power.[41] The state soon fragmented as the relative importance of regional powers rose again. After a final resurgence under the rule of Vladimir II Monomakh (1113–1125) and his son Mstislav (1125–1132), Kievan Rus' finally disintegrated into separate principalities following Mstislav's death.[47]
The 13th-century Mongol invasion devastated Kievan Rus' and Kyiv was completely destroyed in 1240.[48] On today's Ukrainian territory, the principalities of Halych and Volodymyr-Volynskyi arose, and were merged into the state of Galicia–Volhynia.[49] Daniel of Galicia, son of Roman the Great, re-united much of south-western Rus', including Volhynia, Galicia and the ancient capital of Kyiv. He was subsequently crowned by the papal archbishop as the first king of the newly created Kingdom of Ruthenia in 1253.[50]19th and early 20th centuryMain articles: Southwestern Krai, Kharkov Governorate, and Chernigov GovernorateFurther information: Ukraine during World War I, Ukraine after the Russian Revolution, Ukrainian War of Independence, and Soviet–Ukrainian War
Polish troops enter Kyiv in May 1920 during the Polish–Soviet War. Following the Peace of Riga signed on 18 March 1921, Poland took control of modern-day western Ukraine while Soviets took control of eastern and central Ukraine.Beginning in the 19th century, there was migration from Ukraine to distant areas of the Russian Empire. According to the 1897 census, there were 223,000 ethnic Ukrainians in Siberia and 102,000 in Central Asia.[69] An additional 1.6 million emigrated to the east in the ten years after the opening of the Trans-Siberian Railway in 1906.[70] Far Eastern areas with an ethnic Ukrainian population became known as Green Ukraine.[71]
The 19th century saw the rise of Ukrainian nationalism, particularly in Austrian Galicia under the relatively lenient rule of the Habsburgs.[72] With growing urbanization and modernization, and a cultural trend toward romantic nationalism, a Ukrainian intelligentsia committed to national rebirth and social justice emerged. The serf-turned-national-poet Taras Shevchenko (1814–1861) and the political theorist Mykhailo Drahomanov (1841–1895) led the growing nationalist movement.[73][74]
Ukrainians entered World War I on the side of both the Central Powers, under Austria, and the Triple Entente, under Russia. Around 3.5 million Ukrainians fought with the Imperial Russian Army, while 250,000 fought for the Austro-Hungarian Army.[75] During the Russian Revolution and War of Independence, the short-lived Ukrainian People's Republic was proclaimed on 23 June 1917. The Bolshevik Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (or Soviet Ukraine) successively established territories in the former Russian Empire; while the West Ukrainian People's Republic and the Hutsul Republic emerged briefly in the Ukrainian lands of former Austro-Hungarian territory.[76]
Following the Polish–Ukrainian War and the Polish–Soviet War, western Ukraine was incorporated into Poland and the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic was formed in lands annexed by the Bolsheviks (1921 Peace of Riga). Modern-day Bukovina was occupied by Romania and Carpathian Ruthenia was admitted to Czechoslovakia as an autonomy.[77] In Poland, the Polish government openly propagated anti-Ukrainian sentiment and restricted rights of people who declared Ukrainian nationality and belonged to the Eastern Orthodox Church.[78][79] In consequence, an underground Ukrainian nationalist and militant movement arose in the 1920s and 1930s, which gradually transformed into the Ukrainian Military Organization and later the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN).
Inter-war Soviet UkraineSee also: Holodomor
A starved man on the streets of Kharkiv, 1933. Collectivization of crops and their confiscation by Soviet authorities led to a major famine in Soviet Ukraine known as the Holodomor.The Russian Civil War devastated the whole Russian Empire including eastern and central Ukraine. It left over 1.5 million people dead and hundreds of thousands homeless in the former Russian Empire territory. Soviet Ukraine also faced the Russian famine of 1921 (primarily affecting the Russian Volga-Ural region).[80][81] During the 1920s,[82] under the Ukrainisation policy pursued by the national Communist leadership of Mykola Skrypnyk, Soviet leadership encouraged a national renaissance in Ukrainian culture and language. Ukrainisation was part of the Soviet-wide policy of Korenisation (literally indigenisation). Starting from the late 1920s with a centrally planned economy, Soviet Ukraine took part in an industrialisation scheme which quadrupled its industrial output during the 1930s.
During the early Soviet period, the Ukrainian peasantry suffered from the programme of collectivization of agricultural crops. Collectivization was part of the first five-year plan and was enforced by regular troops and the secret police known as Cheka. Those who resisted were arrested and deported to gulags and work camps. As members of the collective farms were sometimes not allowed to receive any grain until unrealistic quotas were met, millions starved to death in a famine known as the Holodomor or the "Great Famine", which was recognized by some countries as an act of genocide perpetrated by Joseph Stalin and other Soviet notables.[83] Largely the same groups were responsible for the mass killing operations during the civil war, collectivization, and the Great Terror.[84]
World War IISee also: Eastern Front (World War II), Reichskommissariat Ukraine, and The Holocaust in Ukraine
The territorial evolution of the Ukrainian SSR, 1922–1954Following the Invasion of Poland in September 1939, German and Soviet troops divided the territory of Poland. Thus, Eastern Galicia and Volhynia with their Ukrainian population became part of Ukraine. For the first time in history, the nation was united.[85][86]
In 1940, the Soviets annexed Bessarabia and northern Bukovina. The Ukrainian SSR incorporated the northern and southern districts of Bessarabia, Northern Bukovina, and the Hertsa region. But it ceded the western part of the Moldavian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic to the newly created Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic. These territorial gains of the USSR were internationally recognized by the Paris peace treaties of 1947.[citation needed]Marshal Timoshenko (born in the Budjak region) commanded numerous fronts throughout the war, including the Southwestern Front east of Kyiv in 1941.German armies invaded the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941, initiating nearly four years of total war. The Axis initially advanced against desperate but unsuccessful efforts of the Red Army. In the encirclement battle of Kyiv, the city was acclaimed as a "Hero City", because of its fierce resistance. More than 600,000 Soviet soldiers (or one-quarter of the Soviet Western Front) were killed or taken captive there, with many suffering severe mistreatment.[87][88]
Although the majority of Ukrainians fought in or alongside the Red Army and Soviet resistance,[89] in Western Ukraine an independent Ukrainian Insurgent Army movement arose (UPA, 1942). It was created as the armed forces of the underground Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN).[90][91]Kyiv suffered significant damage during World War II, and was occupied by the Germans from 19 September 1941 until 6 November 1943.In total, the number of ethnic Ukrainians who fought in the ranks of the Soviet Army is estimated from 4.5 million[89] to 7 million.[97][c] The pro-Soviet partisan guerrilla resistance in Ukraine is estimated at 47,800 from the start of occupation to 500,000 at its peak in 1944, with about 50% being ethnic Ukrainians.[98] Generally, the Ukrainian Insurgent Army's figures are unreliable, with figures ranging anywhere from 15,000 to as many as 100,000 fighters.[99][100]The vast majority of the fighting in World War II took place on the Eastern Front.[103] By some estimates, 93% of all German casualties took place there.[104] The total losses inflicted upon the Ukrainian population during the war are estimated at 6 million,[105][106] including an estimated one and a half million Jews killed by the Einsatzgruppen,[107] sometimes with the help of local collaborators. Of the estimated 8.6 million Soviet troop losses,[108][109][110] 1.4 million were ethnic Ukrainians.[108][110][c][d] Victory Day is celebrated as one of ten Ukrainian national holidays.[111] The losses of the Ukrainian people in the war amounted to 40–44% of the total losses of the USSR.[112]
Post–World War IIFurther information: Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, History of the Soviet Union (1953–1964), History of the Soviet Union (1964–1982), and History of the Soviet Union (1982–1991)
Two future leaders of the Soviet Union, Nikita Khrushchev (left, pre-war CPSU chief in Ukraine) and Leonid Brezhnev (an engineer from Kamianske)The republic was heavily damaged by the war, and it required significant efforts to recover. More than 700 cities and towns and 28,000 villages were destroyed.[113] The situation was worsened by a famine in 1946–1947, which was caused by a drought and the wartime destruction of infrastructure. The death toll of this famine varies, with even the lowest estimate in the tens of thousands.[106] In 1945, the Ukrainian SSR became one of the founding members of the United Nations organization,[114] part of a special agreement at the Yalta Conference.[115]
Post-war ethnic cleansing occurred in the newly expanded Soviet Union. As of 1 January 1953, Ukrainians were second only to Russians among adult "special deportees", comprising 20% of the total.[116] In addition, over 450,000 ethnic Germans from Ukraine and more than 200,000 Crimean Tatars were victims of forced deportations.[116]
Following the death of Stalin in 1953, Nikita Khrushchev became the new leader of the USSR. Having served as First Secretary of the Communist Party of Ukrainian SSR in 1938–1949, Khrushchev was intimately familiar with the republic; after taking power union-wide, he began to emphasize "the friendship" between the Ukrainian and Russian nations. In 1954, the 300th anniversary of the Treaty of Pereyaslav was widely celebrated. Crimea was transferred from the Russian SFSR to the Ukrainian SSR.[117]
By 1950, the republic had fully surpassed pre-war levels of industry and production.[118] Soviet Ukraine soon became a European leader in industrial production[119] and an important centre of the Soviet arms industry and high-tech research. Such an important role resulted in a major influence of the local elite. Many members of the Soviet leadership came from Ukraine, most notably Leonid Brezhnev. He later ousted Khrushchev and became the Soviet leader from 1964 to 1982.
On 26 April 1986, a reactor in the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant exploded, resulting in the Chernobyl disaster, the worst nuclear reactor accident in history.[120] At the time of the accident, 7 million people lived in the contaminated territories, including 2.2 million in Ukraine.[121]
After the accident, the new city of Slavutych was built outside the exclusion zone to house and support the employees of the plant, which was decommissioned in 2000. A report prepared by the International Atomic Energy Agency and World Health Organization attributed 56 direct deaths to the accident and estimated that there may have been 4,000 extra cancer deaths.[122]
IndependenceSee also: Modern history of UkraineOn 21 January 1990, over 300,000 Ukrainians[123] organised a human chain for Ukrainian independence between Kyiv and Lviv, in memory of the 1919 unification of the Ukrainian People's Republic and the West Ukrainian National Republic. Citizens came out to the streets and highways, forming live chains by holding hands in support of unity.
On 16 July 1990, the new parliament adopted the Declaration of State Sovereignty of Ukraine.[124] This established the principles of the self-determination, democracy, independence, and the priority of Ukrainian law over Soviet law. A month earlier, a similar declaration was adopted by the parliament of the Russian SFSR. This started a period of confrontation with the central Soviet authorities. On 2–17 October 1990, the Revolution on Granite took place in Ukraine, the main purpose of the action being to prevent the signing of a new union treaty of the USSR. The demands of the students were satisfied by signing a resolution of the Verkhovna Rada, which guaranteed their implementation.[125]
In August 1991, a faction among the Communist leaders of the Soviet Union attempted a coup to remove Mikhail Gorbachev and to restore the Communist party's power. After it failed, the Ukrainian parliament adopted the Act of Independence on 24 August 1991.[126]Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk and President of the Russian Federation Boris Yeltsin signed the Belavezha Accords, dissolving the Soviet Union, on 8 December 1991.A referendum and the first presidential elections took place on 1 December 1991. More than 92%[127] of the electorate expressed their support for the Act of Independence, and they elected the chairman of the parliament, Leonid Kravchuk, as the first president of Ukraine. At the meeting in Brest, Belarus on 8 December, followed by the Alma Ata meeting on 21 December, the leaders of Belarus, Russia and Ukraine formally dissolved the Soviet Union and formed the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).[128] On 26 December 1991 the Council of Republics of the USSR Supreme Council adopted the declaration "In regards to creation of the Commonwealth of Independent States" which de jure dissolved the Soviet Union, and the Soviet flag was lowered over the Kremlin.[129] The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine did not ratify the accession, so Ukraine has never been a member of the CIS.[130]
Ukraine was initially viewed as having favourable economic conditions in comparison to the other regions of the Soviet Union.[131] However, the country experienced deeper economic slowdown than some of the other former Soviet Republics. During the recession, between 1991 and 1999, Ukraine lost 60% of its GDP[132][133] and suffered five-digit inflation rates.[134] Dissatisfied with the economic conditions, as well as the amounts of crime and corruption in Ukraine, Ukrainians protested and organized strikes.[135]
The Ukrainian economy stabilized by the end of the 1990s. A new currency, the hryvnia, was introduced in 1996. After 2000, the country enjoyed steady real economic growth averaging about seven percent annually.[136][137] A new Constitution of Ukraine, under the second President Leonid Kuchma in 1996, turned Ukraine into a semi-presidential republic and established a stable political system. Kuchma was, however, criticised by opponents for corruption, electoral fraud, discouraging free speech and concentrating too much power in his office.[138] Ukraine also pursued full nuclear disarmament, giving up the third largest nuclear weapons stockpile in the world and dismantling or removing all strategic bombers on its territory in exchange for various assurances (main article: Nuclear weapons and Ukraine).[139]
Orange RevolutionMain article: Orange Revolution
Protesters at Independence Square on the first day of the Orange RevolutionIn 2004, Viktor Yanukovych, then prime minister, was declared the winner of the presidential elections, which the Supreme Court of Ukraine later ruled had been largely rigged.[140] The results caused a public outcry in support of the opposition candidate, Viktor Yushchenko, who challenged the outcome. During the tumultuous months of the revolution, candidate Yushchenko suddenly became gravely ill, and was soon found by multiple independent physician groups to have been poisoned by TCDD dioxin.[141][142] Yushchenko strongly suspected Russian involvement in his poisoning.[143] All of this eventually resulted in the peaceful Orange Revolution, which brought Yushchenko and Yulia Tymoshenko to power, while casting Yanukovych in opposition.[144]
Yanukovych returned to power in 2006 as prime minister in the Alliance of National Unity,[145] until snap elections in September 2007 made Tymoshenko prime minister again.[146] Amid the 2008–09 Ukrainian financial crisis the Ukrainian economy shrank by 15%.[147] Disputes with Russia briefly stopped all gas supplies to Ukraine in 2006 and again in 2009, leading to gas shortages in other countries.[148][149] Yanukovych was elected President in 2010 with 48% of the vote.[150]
Euromaidan and the Revolution of DignityMain articles: Euromaidan and Revolution of DignityFurther information: Timeline of the Euromaidan
Pro-EU demonstration in Kyiv, 27 November 2013, during the Euromaidan protestsThe Euromaidan (Ukrainian: Євромайдан, literally "Eurosquare") protests started in November 2013 after the president, Viktor Yanukovych, began moving away from an association agreement that had been in the works with the European Union and instead chose to establish closer ties with the Russian Federation.[151][152][153] Some Ukrainians took to the streets to show their support for closer ties with Europe.[154]
Meanwhile, in the predominantly Russian-speaking east, a large portion of the population opposed the Euromaidan protests, instead supporting the Yanukovych government.[155] Over time, Euromaidan came to describe a wave of demonstrations and civil unrest in Ukraine,[156] the scope of which evolved to include calls for the resignation of President Yanukovych and his government.[157]
Violence escalated after 16 January 2014 when the government accepted new Anti-Protest Laws. Violent anti-government demonstrators occupied buildings in the centre of Kyiv, including the Justice Ministry building, and riots from 18 to 20 February left 98 dead, with approximately fifteen thousand injured and 100 missing.[158][159][160][161][162][163] On 21 February, President Yanukovych signed a compromise deal with opposition leaders that promised constitutional changes to restore certain powers to Parliament and called for early elections to be held by December.[164]
However, Members of Parliament voted on 22 February to remove the president and set an election for 25 May to select his replacement, a move described by Russia and US academic John Mearsheimer as a coup.[165][166][167][168] The ousting[169] of Yanukovych prompted Vladimir Putin to begin preparations to annex Crimea on 23 February 2014.[170][171] Petro Poroshenko, running on a pro-European Union platform, won with over fifty percent of the vote, therefore not requiring a run-off election.[172][173][174] Upon his election, Poroshenko announced that his immediate priorities would be to take action on the civil unrest in Eastern Ukraine and mend ties with the Russian Federation.[172][173][174] In October 2014 Parliament elections, the party Petro Poroshenko Bloc won 132 of the 423 contested seats.[175]
2014 Russian armed interventions and invasionFor broader coverage of this topic, see Russia–Ukraine relations § Annexation of Crimea and war in eastern Ukraine.
Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014, is shown in pink. Pink in the Donbas area represents areas held by the DPR/LPR separatists in September 2014 (cities in red).Using the Russian naval base at Sevastopol as cover, Putin directed Russian troops and intelligence agents to disarm Ukrainian forces and take control of Crimea.[176][177][178][179] After the troops entered Crimea,[180] a controversial referendum was held on 16 March 2014 and the official result was that 97 percent wished to join with Russia.[181]
On 18 March 2014, Russia and the self-proclaimed Republic of Crimea signed a treaty of accession of the Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol in the Russian Federation. The UN General Assembly immediately responded by passing resolution 68/262 declaring that the referendum was invalid and supporting the territorial integrity of Ukraine; only Russia voted against the resolution. However, it was not enforceable.[182][183][184][185] Attempts to pass enforceable resolutions in the U.N. Security Council were blocked by Russian vetoes.[184][185][186]
Separately, in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, armed men declaring themselves as local militia and supported by pro-Russian protesters[187] seized government buildings, police and special[clarification needed] police stations in several cities and held unrecognised status referendums.[188] The insurgency was led by Russian emissaries Igor Girkin[189] and Alexander Borodai[190] as well as militants from Russia, such as Arseny Pavlov.[191] They proclaimed the self styled Donetsk People's Republic and Luhansk People's Republic which have controlled about 1⁄3 of the oblasts since then.[192]
Talks in Geneva between the EU, Russia, Ukraine, and the United States yielded a Joint Diplomatic Statement referred to as the 2014 Geneva Pact[193] in which the parties requested that all unlawful militias lay down their arms and vacate seized government buildings, and also establish a political dialogue that could lead to more autonomy for Ukraine's regions. When Petro Poroshenko won the presidential election held on 25 May 2014, he vowed to continue the military operations by the Ukrainian government forces to end the armed insurgency.[194]
In August 2014, a bilateral commission of leading scholars from the United States and Russia issued the Boisto Agenda outlining a 24-step plan to resolve the crisis in Ukraine.[195] The Boisto Agenda was organized into five imperative categories for addressing the crisis requiring stabilization identified as: (1) Elements of an Enduring, Verifiable Ceasefire; (2) Economic Relations; (3) Social and Cultural Issues; (4) Crimea; and, (5) International Status of Ukraine.[195] In late 2014, Ukraine ratified the Ukraine–European Union Association Agreement, which Poroshenko described as Ukraine's "first but most decisive step" towards EU membership.[196] Poroshenko also set 2020 as the target for EU membership application.[197]OSCE SMM monitoring the movement of heavy weaponry in eastern Ukraine, 4 March 2015In February 2015, after a summit hosted in Minsk, Belarus, Poroshenko negotiated a ceasefire with the separatist troops. The resulting agreements, known as the Minsk Protocol, included conditions such as the withdrawal of heavy weaponry from the front line and decentralisation of rebel regions by the end of 2015.[198] They also included conditions such as Ukrainian control of the border with Russia in 2015 and the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Ukrainian territory. The ceasefire began on 15 February 2015. Participants in this ceasefire also agreed to attend regular meetings to ensure that the agreement was respected.[199]
On 1 January 2016, Ukraine joined the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area with the European Union,[17] which aims to modernize and develop Ukraine's economy, governance and rule of law to EU standards and gradually increase integration with the EU Internal market.[200] In 2017 the European Union approved visa-free travel for Ukrainian citizens: entitling Ukrainians to travel to the Schengen area for tourism, family visits and business reasons, with the only document required being a valid biometric passport.[201]
2022 Russian invasion of UkraineMain articles: Prelude to the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine and 2022 Russian invasion of UkraineIn spring 2021, Russia began building up troop strengths along its border with Ukraine.[202][203] On 22 February 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered military forces to enter the breakaway Ukrainian republics of Donetsk and Luhansk, calling the act a "peacekeeping mission". Putin also officially recognized Donetsk and Luhansk as sovereign states, fully independent from the Ukrainian government.[204][205]
In the early hours of 24 February 2022, Putin announced a "special military operation" to "demilitarize and de-Ny" Ukraine, and launched a large-scale invasion of the country.[206] Later in the day, the Ukrainian government announced that Russia had taken control of Chernobyl.[207] On 28 February 2022, Ukraine asked for immediate admission to the European Union in response to the invasion.[208]
One month after Russia's invasion of Ukraine, it appeared that early Russian predictions for a quick victory in Ukraine were based on faulty Russian intelligence.[209] Russia had not yet achieved two primary initial objectives, the capture of Ukraine's two largest cities, Kyiv and Kharkiv, with Ukrainian counter-offensives pushing back Russian front lines around Kyiv.[210] Several newspapers reported a woefully under-trained Russian army and of a lack of adequate Russian equipment, food, and weaponry.[211][212]
According to one Russian news station, over 9,861 Russian troops and at least 5 Russian generals have been killed to date and another 30,000 have been injured, captured, or are missing in action. The mounting bad news for the Russian military is believed to have begun to have a negative impact on the morale of the Russian troops.[213][214] Some military analysts are now beginning to refer to the progress of the war as devolving into a "stalemate situation."[215][216]
GeographyMain article: Geography of Ukraine
Simplified depiction of the biomes lying north of the Black Sea. The bright green belt girdling the Black Sea's southern coast, extending westwards, denotes a region of subtropics.Ukraine is the second-largest European country, after Russia. Lying between latitudes 44° and 53° N, and longitudes 22° and 41° E., it is mostly in the East European Plain. Ukraine covers an area of 603,628 square kilometres (233,062 sq mi), with a coastline of 2,782 kilometres (1,729 mi).[45]
The landscape of Ukraine consists mostly of fertile plains (or steppes) and plateaus, crossed by rivers such as the Dnieper (Dnipro), Seversky Donets, Dniester and the Southern Bug as they flow south into the Black Sea and the smaller Sea of Azov. To the southwest, the delta of the Danube forms the border with Romania. Ukraine's various regions have diverse geographic features ranging from the highlands to the lowlands. The country's only mountains are the Carpathian Mountains in the west, of which the highest is Hoverla at 2,061 metres (6,762 ft), and the Crimean Mountains, in the extreme south along the coast.[217]
Ukraine also has a number of highland regions such as the Volyn-Podillia Upland (in the west) and the Near-Dnipro Upland (on the right bank of Dnieper). To the east there are the south-western spurs of the Central Russian Upland over which runs the border with the Russian Federation. Near the Sea of Azov can be found the Donets Ridge and the Near Azov Upland. The snow melt from the mountains feeds the rivers and their waterfalls.
Significant natural resources in Ukraine include lithium,[218] natural gas,[219] kaolin,[219] timber[220] and an abundance of arable land.[221] Ukraine has many environmental issues.[222][223] Some regions lack adequate supplies of potable water.[224] Air and water pollution affects the country, as well as deforestation, and radiation contamination in the northeast stemming from the 1986 accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.[225]
Köppen climate classification.Ukraine has a mostly temperate climate, except for the southern coast of Crimea which has a subtropical climate.[226] The climate is influenced by moderately warm, humid air from the Atlantic Ocean.[227] Average annual temperatures range from 5.5–7 °C (41.9–44.6 °F) in the north, to 11–13 °C (51.8–55.4 °F) in the south.[227] Precipitation is highest in the west and north and lowest in the east and southeast.[227] Western Ukraine, particularly in the Carpathian Mountains, receives around 120 centimetres (47.2 in) of precipitation annually, while Crimea and the coastal areas of the Black Sea receive around 40 centimetres (15.7 in).[227]
Water availability from the major river basins is expected to decrease, especially in summer. This poses risks to the agricultural sector.[228] The negative impacts of climate change on agriculture are mostly felt in the south of the country, which has a steppe climate. In the north, some crops may be able to benefit from a longer growing season.[229] The World Bank has stated that Ukraine is highly vulnerable to climate change.[230]
BiodiversityMain article: Wildlife of Ukraine
Pine forest near Klavdievo, Borodianka Raion, Kyiv Oblast,Ukraine contains six terrestrial ecoregions: Central European mixed forests, Crimean Submediterranean forest complex, East European forest steppe, Pannonian mixed forests, Carpathian montane conifer forests, and Pontic steppe.[231] There is somewhat more coniferous than deciduous forest.[232] The most densely forested area is Polisia in the northwest; with pine, oak, and birch.[232] There are 45,000 species of animal,[233] with approximately 385 endangered species listed in the Red Data Book of Ukraine.[234] Internationally important wetlands cover over 7,000 square kilometres (2,700 sq mi), with the Danube Delta being important for conservation.[235][236]
PoliticsMain articles: Politics of Ukraine, Government of Ukraine, and Elections in UkraineFurther information: 2014 Russian military intervention in Ukraine, Annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, and War in DonbasUkraine is a republic under a mixed semi-parliamentary semi-presidential system with separate legislative, executive, and judicial branches.[237]
Constitution of UkraineMain article: Constitution of Ukraine
Chart for the political system of UkraineThe Constitution of Ukraine was adopted and ratified at the 5th session of the Verkhovna Rada, the parliament of Ukraine, on 28 June 1996.[238] The constitution was passed with 315 ayes out of 450 votes possible (300 ayes minimum).[238] All other laws and other normative[clarification needed] legal acts of Ukraine must conform to the constitution. The right to amend the constitution through a special legislative procedure is vested exclusively in the parliament. The only body that may interpret the constitution and determine whether legislation conforms to it is the Constitutional Court of Ukraine. Since 1996, the public holiday Constitution Day is celebrated on 28 June.[239][240] On 7 February 2019, the Verkhovna Rada voted to amend the constitution to state Ukraine's strategic objectives as joining the European Union and NATO.[241]
President, parliament and governmentVolodymyr Zelensky Official portrait.jpg Денис Шмигаль 2020 3 (cropped).jpgVolodymyr ZelenskyyPresident Denys ShmyhalPrime MinisterThe president is elected by popular vote for a five-year term and is the formal head of state.[242] Ukraine's legislative branch includes the 450-seat unicameral parliament, the Verkhovna Rada.[243] The parliament is primarily responsible for the formation of the executive branch and the Cabinet of Ministers, headed by the prime minister.[244] The president retains the authority to nominate the ministers of foreign affairs and of defence for parliamentary approval, as well as the power to appoint the prosecutor general and the head of the Security Service.{[245]
Laws, acts of the parliament and the cabinet, presidential decrees, and acts of the Crimean parliament may be abrogated by the Constitutional Court, should they be found to violate the constitution. Other normative acts are subject to judicial review. The Supreme Court is the main body in the system of courts of general jurisdiction. Local self-government is officially guaranteed. Local councils and city mayors are popularly elected and exercise control over local budgets. The heads of regional and district administrations are appointed by the president in accordance with the proposals of the prime minister.[246]Armed forcesMain article: Armed Forces of Ukraine
Henadii Lachkov, commander of the Ukrainian contingent in Multi-National Force – Iraq, kisses his country's flagAfter the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Ukraine inherited a 780,000-man military force on its territory, equipped with the third-largest nuclear weapons arsenal in the world.[270][271] In 1992, Ukraine signed the Lisbon Protocol in which the country agreed to give up all nuclear weapons to Russia for disposal and to join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty as a non-nuclear weapon state. By 1996 the country had become free of nuclear weapons.[270]
Ukraine took consistent steps toward reduction of conventional weapons. It signed the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, which called for reduction of tanks, artillery, and armoured vehicles (army forces were reduced to 300,000). The country plans to convert the current conscript-based military into a professional volunteer military.[272][better source needed] Ukraine's current military consist of 196,600 active personnel and around 900,000 reservists.[273]The Ukrainian frigate Hetman Sahaydachniy (U130)Ukraine played an increasing role in peacekeeping operations. In 2014, the Ukrainian frigate Hetman Sagaidachniy joined the European Union's counter piracy Operation Atalanta and was part of the EU Naval Force off the coast of Somalia for two months.[274] Ukrainian troops were deployed in Kosovo as part of the Ukrainian-Polish Battalion.[275]
A Ukrainian unit was deployed in Lebanon, as part of UN Interim Force enforcing the mandated ceasefire agreement. There was also a maintenance and training battalion deployed in Sierra Leone. In 2003–05, a Ukrainian unit was deployed as part of the multinational force in Iraq under Polish command.[276]
Military units of other states participated in multinational military exercises with Ukrainian forces in Ukraine regularly, including U.S. military forces.[277]
Following independence, Ukraine declared itself a neutral state.[16] The country had a limited military partnership with Russian Federation and other CIS countries and has had a partnership with NATO since 1994. In the 2000s, the government was leaning towards NATO, and deeper cooperation with the alliance was set by the NATO-Ukraine Action Plan signed in 2002. It was later agreed that the question of joining NATO should be answered by a national referendum at some point in the future.[272] Deposed President Viktor Yanukovych considered the current level of co-operation between Ukraine and NATO sufficient, and was against Ukraine joining NATO. During the 2008 Bucharest summit, NATO declared that Ukraine would eventually become a member of NATO when it meets the criteria for accession.
As part of modernization after the beginning of the Russo-Ukrainian War in 2014, junior officers were allowed to take more initiative and a territorial defense force of volunteers was established.[278] Various defensive weapons including drones were supplied by many countries, but not fighter jets.[279] During the first few weeks of the 2022 Russian invasion the military found it difficult to defend against shelling, missiles and high level bombing; but light infantry used shoulder-mounted weapons effectively to destroy tanks, armoured vehicles and low-flying aircraft.[280]
Administrative divisionsMain articles: Administrative divisions of Ukraine and Ukrainian historical regionsFurther information: Political status of Crimea and Sevastopol and Annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation
Ukraine (2021) — major cities and adjacent countriesThe system of Ukrainian subdivisions reflects the country's status as a unitary state (as stated in the country's constitution) with unified legal and administrative regimes for each unit.
Including Sevastopol and the Autonomous Republic of Crimea that were annexed by the Russian Federation in 2014, Ukraine consists of 27 regions: twenty-four oblasts (provinces), one autonomous republic (Autonomous Republic of Crimea), and two cities of special status—Kyiv, the capital, and Sevastopol. The 24 oblasts and Crimea are subdivided into 136[281] raions (districts) and city municipalities of regional significance, or second-level administrative units.
Populated places in Ukraine are split into two categories: urban and rural. Urban populated places are split further into cities and urban-type settlements (a Soviet administrative invention), while rural populated places consist of villages and settlements (a generally used term). All cities have a certain degree of self-rule depending on their significance such as national significance (as in the case of Kyiv and Sevastopol), regional significance (within each oblast or autonomous republic) or district significance (all the rest of cities). A city's significance depends on several factors such as its population, socio-economic and historical importance and infrastructure.
Volyn OblastVolynRivne OblastRivneZhytomyr OblastZhytomyrKiev OblastKyivKhmelnytskyi OblastKhmeln-ytskyTernopil OblastTernopilIvano-Frankivsk OblastIvano-FrankivskZakarpattia OblastZakarpattiaChernivtsi OblastChernivtsiVinnytsia OblastVinnytsiaCherkasy OblastCherkasyKirovohrad OblastKirovohradMykolaiv OblastMykolaivPoltava OblastPoltavaChernihiv OblastChernihivSumy OblastSumyKharkiv OblastKharkivDnipropetrovsk OblastDnipropetrovskOdessa OblastOdessaKherson OblastKhersonZaporizhia OblastZaporizhzhiaDonetsk OblastDonetskAutonomous Republic of CrimeaCrimeaLuhansk OblastLuhanskKyivSevastopolLviv republic Cities with special statusAutonomous Republic of CrimeaCity of KyivCity of SevastopolEconomyMain article: Economy of Ukraine
Kyiv, the financial centre of Ukraine.In 2021 agriculture was the biggest sector of the economy and Ukraine was the world's largest wheat exporter.[282] However, Ukraine remains among the poorest countries in Europe,[19] and in 2021 corruption in the country was rated worst on the continent after Russia.[283] In 2021 Ukraine's GDP per capita by purchasing power parity was just over $14,000.[284] Despite supplying emergency financial support, the IMF expected the economy to shrink considerably in 2022 due to Russia's invasion.[285]
In 2021, the average salary in Ukraine reached its highest level at almost ₴14,300 (US$525) per month.[286] About 1% of Ukrainians lived below the national poverty line in 2019.[287] Unemployment in Ukraine was 4.5% in 2019.[288] In 2019 5–15% of the Ukrainian population were categorized as middle class.[289] In 2020 Ukraine's government debt was roughly 50% of its nominal GDP.[290][291]
In 2021 mineral commodities and light industry were important sectors.[291] Ukraine produces nearly all types of transportation vehicles and spacecraft.[292][293][294] Antonov airplanes and KrAZ trucks are exported to many countries. The European Union is the country's main trade partner, and remittances from Ukrainians working abroad are important.[291]Kamianets-Podilskyi Castle, one of the Seven Wonders of UkraineBefore the Russo-Ukrainian war the number of tourists visiting Ukraine was eighth in Europe, according to the World Tourism Organization rankings.[295] Ukraine has numerous tourist attractions: mountain ranges suitable for skiing, hiking and fishing: the Black Sea coastline as a popular summer destination; nature reserves of different ecosystems; churches, castle ruins and other architectural and park landmarks; various outdoor activity points. Kyiv, Lviv, Odessa and Kamyanets-Podilskyi were Ukraine's principal tourist centres each offering many historical landmarks as well as formidable hospitality infrastructure. Tourism used to be the mainstay of Crimea's economy, but there was a major fall in visitor numbers following the Russian annexation in 2014.[296]
The Seven Wonders of Ukraine and Seven Natural Wonders of Ukraine are the selection of the most important landmarks of Ukraine, chosen by the general public through an Internet-based vote.DemographicsMain articles: Demographics of Ukraine and UkrainiansComposition of Ukraine by and article: List of cities in UkraineIn total, Ukraine has 457 cities, 176 of them are labelled oblast-class, 279 smaller raion-class cities, and two special legal status cities. These are followed by 886 urban-type settlements and 28,552 villages.[390]
Largest cities or towns in Ukraine2021 [2]Rank Name Region Pop. Rank Name Region Pop.KyivKyivKharkivKharkiv 1 Kyiv Kyiv (city) 2,962,180 11 Luhansk Luhansk 399,559 OdessaOdessaDniproDnipro2 Kharkiv Kharkiv 1,433,886 12 Vinnytsia Vinnytsia 370,6013 Odessa Odessa 1,015,826 13 Makiivka Donetsk 340,3374 Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk 980,948 14 Sevastopol Sevastopol (city) 340,2975 Donetsk Donetsk 905,364 15 Simferopol Crimea 336,3306 Zaporizhzhia Zaporizhzhia 722,713 16 Chernihiv Chernihiv 285,2347 Lviv Lviv 721,510 17 Kherson Kherson 283,6498 Kryvyi Rih Dnipropetrovsk 612,750 18 Poltava Poltava 283,4029 Mykolaiv Mykolaiv 476,101 19 Khmelnytskyi Khmelnytskyi 274,58210 Mariupol Donetsk 431,859 20 Cherkasy Cherkasy 272,651CultureMain article: Ukrainian culture
LiteratureMain article: Ukrainian literatureTechnically the history of Ukrainian literature dates all of the way back to the 11th century, following the Christianisation of Kievan Rus', however these earliest writings were liturgical and were written in the Old Church Slavonic language, not in true Ukrainian. Historical accounts of the time were referred to as chronicles, the most significant of which was the Primary Chronicle.[401][402][g] Literary activity faced a sudden decline during the Mongol invasion of Rus'.[401]Taras Shevchenko, self-portrait
Lesya Ukrainka, one of the foremost Ukrainian women writersUkrainian literature again began to develop in the 14th century, and was advanced significantly in the 16th century with the invention of the printing press and with the beginning of the Cossack era, under both Russian and Polish dominance.[401] The Cossacks established an independent society and popularized a new kind of epic poems, which marked a high point of Ukrainian oral literature.[402] These advances were then set back in the 17th and early 18th centuries, when publishing in the Ukrainian language was outlawed. Nonetheless, by the late 18th century modern literary Ukrainian finally emerged.[401] In 1798 the modern era of the Ukrainian literary tradition began with Ivan Kotlyarevsky's publication of Eneida in the Ukrainian vernacular.[403]
By the 1830s, a Ukrainian romantic literature began to develop, and the nation's most renowned cultural figure, romanticist poet-painter Taras Shevchenko emerged. Whereas Ivan Kotliarevsky is considered to be the father of literature in the Ukrainian vernacular; Shevchenko is the father of a national revival.[404]
Then, in 1863, the use of the Ukrainian language in print was effectively prohibited by the Russian Empire.[68] This severely curtailed literary activity in the area, and Ukrainian writers were forced to either publish their works in Russian or release them in Austrian controlled Galicia. The ban was never officially lifted, but it became obsolete after the revolution and the Bolsheviks' coming to power.[402]
Ukrainian literature continued to flourish in the early Soviet years when nearly all literary trends were approved (the most important literary figures of that time were Mykola Khvylovy, Valerian Pidmohylny, Mykola Kulish, Mykhayl Semenko and some others). These policies faced a steep decline in the 1930s, when prominent representatives as well as many others were killed by the NKVD during the Great Purge. In general around 223 writers were repressed by what was known as the Executed Renaissance.[405] These repressions were part of Stalin's implemented policy of socialist realism. The doctrine did not necessarily repress the use of the Ukrainian language, but it required that writers follow a certain style in their works.
In post-Stalinist times literary activities continued to be somewhat limited under the Communist Party. The most famous figures of Ukrainian post-war Soviet literature were Lina Kostenko, Dmytro Pavlychko, Borys Oliynyk (poet), Ivan Drach, Oles Honchar, Vasyl Stus, Vasyl Symonenko.
Literary freedom grew in the late 1980s and early 1990s alongside the decline and collapse of the USSR and the reestablishment of Ukrainian independence in 1991.[401]
Music is a major part of Ukrainian culture, with a long history and many influences. From traditional folk music, to classical and modern rock, Ukraine has produced several internationally recognised musicians including Kirill Karabits, Okean Elzy and Ruslana. Elements from traditional Ukrainian folk music made their way into Western music and even into modern jazz. Ukrainian music sometimes presents a perplexing mix of exotic melismatic singing with chordal harmony. The most striking general characteristic of authentic ethnic Ukrainian folk music is the wide use of minor modes or keys which incorporate augmented second intervals.[414]
During the Baroque period, music had a place of considerable importance in the curriculum of the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy. Much of the nobility was well versed in music with many Ukrainian Cossack leaders such as (Mazepa, Paliy, Holovatyj, Sirko) being accomplished players of the kobza, bandura or torban.Mykola Lysenko is widely considered to be the father of Ukrainian classical music[415]The first dedicated musical academy was set up in Hlukhiv in 1738 and students were taught to sing and play violin and bandura from manuscripts. As a result, many of the earliest composers and performers within the Russian empire were ethnically Ukrainian, having been born or educated in Hlukhiv or having been closely associated with this music school.[416] Ukrainian classical music differs considerably depending on whether the composer was of Ukrainian ethnicity living in Ukraine, a composer of non-Ukrainian ethnicity who was a citizen of Ukraine, or part of the Ukrainian diaspora.[417]
Since the mid-1960s, Western-influenced pop music has been growing in popularity in Ukraine. Folk singer and harmonium player Mariana Sadovska is prominent. Ukrainian pop and folk music arose with the international popularity of groups and performers like Vopli Vidoplyasova, Dakh Daughters, Dakha Brakha, Ivan Dorn and Okean Elzy.
MediaMain article: Media of UkraineThe Ukrainian legal framework on media freedom is deemed "among the most progressive in eastern Europe", although implementation has been uneven.[418] The constitution and laws provide for freedom of speech[419] and press. However, the government does not always respect these rights in practice.[420][better source needed] The main regulatory authority for the broadcast media is the National Television and Radio Broadcasting Council of Ukraine (NTRBCU), tasked with licensing media outlets and ensure their compliance with the law.[421]
Kyiv dominates the media sector in Ukraine: National newspapers Den, Dzerkalo Tyzhnia, tabloids, such as The Ukrainian Week or Focus, and television and radio are largely based there,[citation needed] although Lviv is also a significant national media centre. The National News Agency of Ukraine, Ukrinform was founded here in 1918. The Ukrainian publishing sector, including books, directories and databases, journals, magazines and business media, newspapers and news agencies, has a combined turnover.[clarification needed] Sanoma publishes Ukrainian editions of such magazines as Esquire, Harpers Bazaar and National Geographic Magazine.[citation needed] BBC Ukrainian started its broadcasts in 1992.[422] As of 2022 75% of the population use the internet, and social media is widely used by government and people.[423]
SportMain article: Sport in Ukraine
Ukrainian footballer Andriy Shevchenko celebrates a goal against Sweden at Euro 2012Ukraine greatly benefited from the Soviet emphasis on physical education. These policies left Ukraine with hundreds of stadia, swimming pools, gymnasia and many other athletic facilities.[424] The most popular sport is football. The top professional league is the Vyscha Liha ("premier league").
Many Ukrainians also played for the Soviet national football team, most notably Ballon d'Or winners Ihor Belanov and Oleh Blokhin. This award was only presented to one Ukrainian after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Andriy Shevchenko. The national team made its debut in the 2006 FIFA World Cup, and reached the quarterfinals before losing to eventual champions, Italy.Vitali Klitschko and his brother, WladimirUkrainian boxers are amongst the best in the world.[425] Since becoming the undisputed cruiserweight champion in 2018, Oleksandr Usyk has also gone on to win the unified WBA (Super), IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles. This feat made him one of only three boxers to have unified the cruiserweight world titles and become a world heavyweight champion.[426] The brothers Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko are former heavyweight world champions who held multiple world titles throughout their careers. Also hailing from Ukraine is Vasyl Lomachenko, a 2008 and 2012 Olympic gold medalist. He is the unified lightweight world champion who ties the record for winning a world title in the fewest professional fights; three. As of September 2018, he is ranked as the world's best active boxer, pound for pound, by ESPN.[427]
Sergey Bubka held the record in the Pole vault from 1993 to 2014; with great strength, speed and gymnastic abilities, he was voted the world's best athlete on several occasions.[428][429]
Basketball is becoming popular in Ukraine. In 2011, Ukraine was granted a right to organize EuroBasket 2015. Two years later the Ukraine national basketball team finished sixth in EuroBasket 2013 and qualified to FIBA World Cup for the first time in its history. Euroleague participant Budivelnyk Kyiv is the strongest professional basketball club in Ukraine.
Chess is a popular sport in Ukraine. Ruslan Ponomariov is the former world champion. There are about 85 Grandmasters and 198 International Masters in Ukraine.Rugby league is played throughout Ukraine.[430]
CuisineMain article: Ukrainian cuisine
Varenyky topped with fried onionThe traditional Ukrainian diet includes chicken, pork, beef, fish and mushrooms. Ukrainians also tend to eat a lot of potatoes, grains, fresh, boiled or pickled vegetables. Popular traditional dishes varenyky (boiled dumplings with mushrooms, potatoes, sauerkraut, cottage cheese, cherries or berries), nalysnyky (pancakes with cottage cheese, poppy seeds, mushrooms, caviar or meat), kapusnyak (cabbage soup made with meat, potatoes, carrots, onions, millet, tomato paste, spices and fresh herbs), borscht (soup made of beets, cabbage and mushrooms or meat) and holubtsy (stuffed cabbage rolls filled with rice, carrots, onion and minced meat). Among traditional baked goods are decorated korovais and paska Easter bread.[431] Ukrainian specialties also include Chicken Kiev and Kyiv cake.
Ukrainians drink stewed fruit compote, juices, milk, buttermilk, mineral water, tea and coffee, beer, wine and horilka.[432]
See alsoOutline of UkraineUkraine's industrial complexflag Ukraine portalmap Europe portalNotesa.^ Among the Ukrainians that rose to the highest offices in the Russian Empire were Aleksey Razumovsky, Alexander Bezborodko and Ivan Paskevich. Among the Ukrainians who greatly influenced the Russian Orthodox Church in this period were Stephen Yavorsky, Feofan Prokopovich and Dimitry of Rostov.
b.^ Estimates on the number of deaths vary. Official Soviet data is not available because the Soviet government denied the existence of the famine. See the Holodomor article for details. Sources differ on interpreting various statements from different branches of different governments as to whether they amount to the official recognition of the Famine as Genocide by the country. For example, after the statement issued by the Latvian Sejm on 13 March 2008, the total number of countries is given as 19 (according to Ukrainian BBC: "Латвія визнала Голодомор ґеноцидом"), 16 (according to Korrespondent, Russian edition: "После продолжительных дебатов Сейм Латвии признал Голодомор геноцидом украинцев"), "more than 10" (according to Korrespondent, Ukrainian edition: "Латвія визнала Голодомор 1932–33 рр. геноцидом українців") Retrieved 27 January 2008.
c.1 2 These figures are likely to be much higher, as they do not include Ukrainians of other nationalities or Ukrainian Jews, but only ethnic Ukrainians, from the Ukrainian SSR.
d.^ This figure excludes POW deaths.
e.^ Several countries with territory in Europe have a larger total area, but all of those also include territory outside of Europe. Only Russia's European territory is larger than Ukraine.
f.1 2 3 According to the official 2001 census data (by nationality;[433] by language[434]) about 75 percent of Kyiv's population responded 'Ukrainian' to the native language (ridna mova) census question, and roughly 25 percent responded 'Russian'. On the other hand, when the question 'What language do you use in everyday life?' was asked in the 2003 sociological survey, the Kyivans' answers were distributed as follows: 'mostly Russian': 52 percent, 'both Russian and Ukrainian in equal measure': 32 percent, 'mostly Ukrainian': 14 percent, 'exclusively Ukrainian': 4.3 percent."What language is spoken in Ukraine?". Welcome to Ukraine. February 2003. Archived from the original on 11 October 2017. Retrieved 11 July 2008.
g.^ Such writings were also the base for Russian and Belarusian literature.
Ukraine also has de facto borders to its south with Crimea, which Russia annexed from it in 2014. Ukraine still continues to claim the peninsula as its integral part and is supported internationally on the issue. See political status of Crimea for details.Partly controlled by the unrecognised breakaway state TransnistriaIncluding the disputed territory of Crimea (27,000 km2).Including the disputed territory of Crimea (2,416,856)
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vteLublin TriangleMembersLithuania Poland UkraineJoint projectsUkraine-Poland-Lithuania Interparliamentary AssemblyLITPOLUKRBRIGvteSovereign states and dependencies of EuropeSovereign and HerzegovinaBulgariaCroatiaCyprus2Czech KingdomVatican CityEurope orthographic Caucasus Urals boundary (with borders).svgStates with Cyprus2South Islands1 autonomous country of the Kingdom of DenmarkUnited KingdomAkrotiri and Dhekelia2 Sovereign Base AreasGibraltar British Overseas TerritoryGuernseyIsle of ManJersey Crown DependenciesSpecial areas ofinternal sovereigntyFinlandÅland autonomous region subject to the Åland Convention of 1921NorwaySvalbard unincorporated area subject to the Svalbard TreatyUnited KingdomNorthern Ireland country of the United Kingdom subject to the British-Irish AgreementScotsVolodymyr ZelenskyyВолодимир ЗеленськийOfficial portrait, 20196th President of UkraineIncumbentAssumed office20 May 2019Prime MinisterVolodymyr GroysmanOleksiy HoncharukDenys ShmyhalPreceded by Petro PoroshenkoPersonal detailsBorn Volodymyr Oleksandrovych Zelenskyy25 January 1978 (age 44)Kryvyi Rih, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union (now Ukraine)Political party Independent[1]Other politicalaffiliations Servant of the People (2018–present)Spouse(s) Olena Kiyashko ​(m. 2003)​Children 2Parent(s)Oleksandr ZelenskyyRymma ZelenskaResidence(s) Mariinskyi PalaceEducation Kyiv National Economic University Oleksandrovych Zelenskyy (Ukrainian: Володимир Олександрович Зеленський;[a] born 25 January 1978), commonly transliterated as Zelensky,[b] is a Ukrainian politician, former actor and comedian,[5] who is the sixth and incumbent president of Ukraine.
Zelenskyy grew up as a native Russian speaker in Kryvyi Rih, a major city of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast in central Ukraine. Prior to his acting career, he obtained a degree in law from the Kyiv National Economic University. He then pursued comedy and created the production company Kvartal 95, which produced films, cartoons, and TV shows including the TV series Servant of the People, in which Zelenskyy played the role of the Ukrainian president. The series aired from 2015 to 2019 and was immensely popular. A political party bearing the same name as the television show was created in March 2018 by employees of Kvartal 95.
Zelenskyy announced his candidacy in the 2019 Ukrainian presidential election on the evening of 31 December 2018, alongside the New Year's Eve address of then-president Petro Poroshenko on the TV channel 1+1. A political outsider, he had already become one of the frontrunners in opinion polls for the election. He won the election with 73.23 per cent of the vote in the second round, defeating Poroshenko. He has positioned himself as an anti-establishment and anti-corruption figure.
As president, Zelenskyy has been a proponent of e-government and unity between the Ukrainian- and Russian-speaking parts of the country's population.[6]: 11–13  His communication style heavily uses social media, particularly Instagram.[6]: 7–10  His party won a landslide victory in a snap legislative election held shortly after his inauguration as president. During his administration, Zelenskyy oversaw the lifting of legal immunity for members of the Verkhovna Rada,[7] the country's response to the C-19 pandemic and subsequent economic recession, and some progress in tackling corruption in Ukraine.[8][9]
Zelenskyy promised to end Ukraine's protracted conflict with Russia as part of his presidential campaign, and has attempted to engage in dialogue with Russian president Vladimir Putin.[10] Zelenskyy's administration faced an escalation of tensions with Russia in 2021, culminating in the launch of an ongoing full-scale Russian invasion in February 2022. Zelenskyy's strategy during the Russian military buildup was to calm the Ukrainian populace and assure the international community that Ukraine was not seeking to retaliate.[11] He initially distanced himself from warnings of an imminent war, while also calling for security guarantees and military support from NATO to "withstand" the threat.[12] After the start of the invasion, Zelenskyy declared martial law across Ukraine and a general mobilisation of the armed forces. His leadership during the crisis has won him widespread international admiration, and he has been described as a symbol of Ukrainian resistance.[13][14]
Early lifeVolodymyr Oleksandrovych Zelenskyy was born to Jewish parents on 25 January 1978 in Kryvyi Rih, then in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.[15][16][17][18] His father, Oleksandr Zelenskyy, is a professor and computer scientist and the head of the Department of Cybernetics and Computing Hardware at the Kryvyi Rih State University of Economics and Technology; his mother, Rymma Zelenska, used to work as an engineer.[19][20][21] His grandfather, Semyon (Simon) Ivanovych Zelenskyy, served as an infantryman, reaching the rank of Colonel,[5] in the Red Army (in the 57th Guards Motor Rifle Division)[22] during World War II; Semyon's father and three brothers died in the Holocaust.[23][24][25][26] In March 2022 Zelenskyy revealed that his great-grandparents had been killed after German troops burned their home to the ground during a massacre.[27]
Prior to starting elementary school, Zelenskyy lived for four years in the Mongolian city of Erdenet, where his father worked.[16] Zelenskyy grew up speaking Russian.[28][5] At the age of 16, he passed the Test of English as a Foreign Language and received an education grant to study in Israel, but his father did not allow him to go.[29] He later earned a law degree from the Kryvyi Rih Institute of Economics, then a department of Kyiv National Economic University and now part of Kryvyi Rih National University, but did not go on to work in the legal field.[16][30]
Entertainment careerAt age 17, he joined his local team competing in the KVN comedy competition team.[31] He was soon invited to join the united Ukrainian team "Zaporizhia-Kryvyi Rih-Transit" which performed in the KVN's Major League and eventually won in 1997.[16][32][33] That same year, he created and headed the Kvartal 95 team which later transformed into the comedy outfit Kvartal 95. From 1998 to 2003, Kvartal 95 performed in the Major League and the highest open Ukrainian league of KVN, the team members spent a lot of the time in Moscow and constantly toured around post-Soviet countries.[16][32] In 2003, Kvartal 95 started producing TV shows for the Ukrainian TV channel 1+1, and in 2005, the team moved to fellow Ukrainian TV channel Inter.[16]
In 2008, he starred in the feature film Love in the Big City, and its sequel, Love in the Big City 2.[16] Zelenskyy continued his movie career with the film Office Romance. Our Time in 2011 and with Rzhevsky Versus Napoleon in 2012.[16] Love in the Big City 3 was released in January 2014.[16] Zelenskyy also played the leading role in the 2012 film 8 First Dates and in sequels which were produced in 2015 and 2016.[16] He recorded the voice of Paddington Bear in the Ukrainian dubbing of Paddington (2014) and Paddington 2 (2017).[34]Zelenskyy in Prague in 2009Zelenskyy was a member of the board and the general producer of the TV channel Inter from 2010 to 2012.[30]
In August 2014, Zelenskyy spoke out against the intention of the Ukrainian Ministry of Culture to ban Russian artists from Ukraine.[35] Since 2015, Ukraine has banned Russian artists and other Russian works of culture from entering Ukraine.[36] In 2018, the romantic comedy Love in the Big City 2 starring Zelenskyy was banned in Ukraine.[37]
After the Ukrainian media had reported that during the war in Donbas Zelenskyy's Kvartal 95 had donated 1 million hryvnias to the Ukrainian army, some Russian politicians and artists petitioned for a ban on his works in Russia.[38][39][c] Once again, Zelenskyy spoke out against the intention of the Ukrainian Ministry of Culture to ban Russian artists from Ukraine.[35]Kvartal 95 performance in 2018In 2015, Zelenskyy became the star of the television series Servant of the People, where he played the role of the president of Ukraine.[30] In the series, Zelenskyy's character was a high-school history teacher in his 30s who won the presidential election after a viral video showed him ranting against government corruption in Ukraine.
The comedy series Svaty ("In-laws"), in which Zelenskyy appeared, was banned in Ukraine in 2017,[40] but unbanned in March 2019.[41]
Zelenskyy worked mostly in Russian-language productions. His first role in the Ukrainian language was the romantic comedy I, You, He, She,[42] which appeared on the screens of Ukraine in December 2018.[43] The first version of the script was written in Ukrainian but was translated into Russian for the Lithuanian actress Agnė Grudytė. Later, the movie was dubbed into Ukrainian.[44]
2019 presidential campaignMain article: 2019 Ukrainian presidential election
Zelenskyy and then Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko, 19 April 2019In March 2018, members of Zelenskyy's production company Kvartal 95 registered a new political party called Servant of the People – the same name as the television program that Zelenskyy had starred in over the previous three years.[45][46] Although Zelenskyy denied any immediate plans to enter politics and said he had only registered the party name to prevent it being appropriated by others,[47] there was widespread speculation that he was planning to run. As early as October 2018, three months before his campaign announcement and six months before the presidential election, he was already a frontrunner in opinion polls.[48][46] After months of ambiguous statements,[47][46] on 31 December, less than four months from the election, Zelenskyy announced his candidacy for president of Ukraine on the New Year's Eve evening show on the TV channel 1+1.[49] His announcement up-staged the New Year's Eve address of incumbent president Petro Poroshenko on the same channel,[49] which Zelenskyy said was unintentional and attributed to a technical glitch.[50]
Zelenskyy's presidential campaign against Poroshenko was almost entirely virtual.[51][52] He did not release a detailed policy platform[53] and his engagement with mainstream media was minimal;[51][d] he instead reached out to the electorate via social media channels and YouTube clips.[51] In place of traditional campaign rallies, he conducted stand-up comedy routines across Ukraine with his production company Kvartal 95.[55][56] He styled himself as an anti-establishment, anti-corruption figure, although he was not generally described as a populist.[53] He said he wished to restore trust in politicians, "to bring professional, decent people to power" and to "change the mood and timbre of the political establishment".[45][46][57] On 16 April 2019, a few days before the election, 20 Ukrainian news outlets called on Zelenskyy to "stop avoiding journalists".[51] Zelenskyy stated that he was not hiding from journalists but that he did not want to go to talk shows where "people of the old power" were "just doing PR" and that he did not have time to satisfy all interview requests.[58]
Prior to the elections, Zelenskyy presented a team that included former finance minister Oleksandr Danylyuk and others.[59][54] During the campaign, concerns were raised over his links to the oligarch Ihor Kolomoyskyi.[60] President Poroshenko and his supporters claimed that Zelenskyy's victory would benefit Russia.[61][62][63][64] On 19 April 2019 at Olimpiyskiy National Sports Complex presidential debates were held in the form of a show.[65][66][67] In his introductory speech, Zelenskyy acknowledged that in 2014 he voted for Poroshenko, but "I was mistaken. We were mistaken. We voted for one Poroshenko, but received another. The first appears when there are video cameras, the other Petro sends Medvedchuk privietiki (greetings) to Moscow".[65] Although Zelenskyy initially said he would only serve a single term, he walked back this promise in May 2021, saying he had not yet made up his mind.[68]
Zelenskyy stated that as president he would develop the economy and attract investment to Ukraine through "a restart of the judicial system" and restoring confidence in the state.[69] He also proposed a tax amnesty and a 5 per cent flat tax for big business which could be increased "in dialogue with them and if everyone agrees".[69] According to Zelenskyy, if people would notice that his new government "works honestly from the first day", they would start paying their taxes.[69]
Zelenskyy clearly won the first round of elections on 31 March 2019.[70] In the second round, on 21 April 2019, he received 73 per cent of the vote to Poroshenko's 25 per cent, and was elected President of Ukraine.[71][72] Polish president Andrzej Duda was one of the first European leaders to congratulate Zelenskyy.[73] French president Emmanuel Macron received Zelenskyy at the Élysée Palace in Paris on 12 April 2019.[74] On 22 April, U.S. president Donald Trump congratulated Zelenskyy on his victory over the telephone.[75][76] European Commission president Jean Claude Juncker and European Council president Donald Tusk also issued a joint letter of congratulations and stated that the European Union (EU) will work to speed up the implementation of the remainder of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, including the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area.[77]
PresidencyPresidential styles ofVolodymyr ZelenskyyFlag of the President of Ukraine.svgReference style Його Високоповажність, Президент України."His Excellency, the President of Ukraine"Spoken style Президент України."President of Ukraine"Alternative style Пане Президенте."Mr President"
Zelenskyy with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the Federal Chancellery Complex in Berlin, June 2019.
Zelenskyy and Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko in Zhytomyr, October 2019.Zelenskyy was inaugurated on 20 May 2019.[78] Various foreign officials attended the ceremony in Ukraine's parliament (Verkhovna Rada), including Salome Zourabichvili (Georgia), Kersti Kaljulaid (Estonia), Raimonds Vējonis (Latvia), Dalia Grybauskaitė (Lithuania), János Áder (Hungary), Maroš Šefčovič (European Union), and Rick Perry (United States).[79] Zelenskyy is the first Jewish president; with Volodymyr Groysman as prime minister, Ukraine became the first country other than Israel to have a Jewish head of state and head of government.[18] In his inaugural address, Zelenskyy dissolved the then Ukrainian parliament and called for early parliamentary elections (which had originally been due to be held in October of that year).[80] One of Zelenskyy's coalition partners, the People's Front, opposed the move and withdrew from the ruling coalition.[81]
On 28 May, Zelenskyy restored the Ukrainian citizenship of Mikheil Saakashvili.[82]
Zelenskyy's first major proposal to change the electoral system from a plurality voting system to proportional representation with closed party lists was strongly rejected by the Ukrainian parliament, due to the belief that closed lists would lead to more corruption in government.[83]
In addition, on 6 June, lawmakers refused to include Zelenskyy's key initiative on reintroducing criminal liability for illegal enrichment in the parliament's agenda, and instead included a similar bill proposed by a group of deputies.[84][85] In June 2019 it was announced that the president's third major initiative, which seeks to remove immunity from lawmakers, diplomats and judges, would be submitted after the July 2019 Ukrainian parliamentary election.[86] This initiative was completed on 3 September, when the new parliament passed a bill stripping lawmakers of legal immunity, delivering Zelenskyy a legislative victory by fulfilling one of his key campaign promises.[87]U.S. vice president Mike Pence and U.S. delegation meets with Zelenskyy in Warsaw on 1 September 2019
Zelenskyy meets with U.S. president Donald Trump in New York City on 25 September 2019On 8 July, Zelenskyy ordered the cancellation of the annual Kyiv Independence Day Parade on Maidan Nezalezhnosti, citing costs. Despite this, Zelenskyy highlighted that the day would "honor heroes" on Independence Day, however the "format will be new".[88][89][90] He also proposed to spend the money that would have been used to finance the parade on veterans.[91]
In 2020, Zelenskyy's party proposed reforms to Ukraine's media laws with the intent to increase competition and loosen the dominance of Ukrainian oligarchs on television and radio broadcasters. Critics said it risked increasing media censorship in Ukraine[92] because its clause of criminal responsibility for the distribution of disinformation could be abused.[93]
Zelenskyy was criticized for a secret trip to Oman in January 2020 that was not published on his official schedule and on which he appeared to mix a personal holiday with government business. Although the president's office said the trip had been paid for by Zelenskyy himself and not with government money, Zelenskyy came under heavy criticism for the lack of transparency around the trip, which was compared unfavourably to a secret vacation his predecessor Petro Poroshenko took in the Maldives, and which Zelenskyy himself had criticized at the time.[94][95]
In January 2021, parliament passed a bill updating and reforming Ukraine's referendum laws,[96] which Ukraine's Constitutional Court had declared unconstitutional in 2018.[97] Fixing the referendum law had been one of Zelenskyy's campaign promises.[96]
In June 2021, Zelenskyy submitted to the Verkhovna Rada a bill creating a public registry of Ukraine's oligarchs, banning them from participating in privatizations of state-owned companies, and forofferding them from contributing financially to politicians. Opposition party leaders supported Zelenskyy's goal of reducing oligarchs' influence on politics in Ukraine but were critical of his approach, saying the public register would be both dangerous, as it concentrated power in the president; and ineffective, since oligarchs were merely a "symbol" of more deeply-rooted corruption.[98] The bill was passed into law in September 2021.[99] Critics of Zelenskyy's administration have claimed that, in taking power away from the Ukrainian oligarchs, he has sought to centralise authority and strengthen his personal position.[100]
Cabinets and administrationZelenskyy appointed Andriy Bohdan as head of the Presidential Administration of Ukraine. Prior to this, Bohdan had been the lawyer of Ukrainian oligarch Ihor Kolomoyskyi.[101] Under the rules of Lustration in Ukraine, introduced in 2014 following Euromaidan, Bohdan is not entitled to hold any state office until 2024 (because of his government post during the Second Azarov Government).[102] Bohdan, however, contended that because heading the presidential administration is not considered civil service work, lustration did not apply to him.[103] A number of the members of the Presidential Administration Zelenskyy appointed were former colleagues from his former production company, Kvartal 95,[101] including Ivan Bakanov, who became deputy head of the Ukrainian Secret Service.[104] Former deputy foreign minister Olena Zerkal declined an appointment as deputy head of the presidential administration, but did agree to serve as the Ukrainian representative of the international courts concerning Russia.[105] Zelenskyy's requests to replace the foreign minister, defence minister, chief prosecutor and head of Ukraine's security service were rejected by parliament.[106][107] Zelenskyy also dismissed and replaced 20 of the governors of Ukraine's 24 oblasts.[108]
Honcharuk governmentMain article: Honcharuk GovernmentIn the 21 July 2019 parliamentary election, Zelenskyy's political party, Servant of the People, won the first single-party majority in modern Ukrainian history in parliament, with 43 per cent of the party-list vote. His party gained 254 of the 424 seats.[109]
Following the elections, Zelenskyy nominated Oleksiy Honcharuk as prime minister, who was quickly confirmed by parliament. Parliament also confirmed Andrii Zahorodniuk as defence minister, Vadym Prystaiko as foreign minister and Ivan Bakanov as head of the SBU.[110] Arsen Avakov, a controversial figure due to longstanding corruption allegations,[111] was kept on as interior minister, with Honcharuk arguing that the relatively inexperienced government needed experienced administrators and that Avakov had been "'drawn red lines' that cannot be crossed."[112]
Zelenskyy dismissed Bohdan as head of his presidential administration on 11 February 2020 and appointed Andriy Yermak as his successor the same day.[113]
Shmyhal governmentSee also: Land reforms by country § UkraineOn 6 March 2020, the Honcharuk government gave way to the government of Denys Shmyhal. At the time, there was disquiet in the press over the hasty departure of Honcharuk.[114] In his 4 March address to the Rada,[115] Zelenskyy recommitted to reforms domestic and financial, and remarked that he "cannot always become a psychologist for people, a crisis manager for someone, a collector who requires honestly earned money, and a nanny of the ministry in charge."[citation needed] By September 2020, Zelenskyy's approval ratings had fallen to less than 32 per cent.[116]Zelenskyy and Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on 16 October 2020On 24 March 2021, Zelenskyy signed the Decree 117/2021 approving the "strategy for de-occupation and reintegration of the temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol."[117]
Attempts to end the Donbas conflictOne of Zelenskyy's central campaign promises had been to end the war in Donbas and resolve the Russia-sponsored separatist movement there.[118] On 3 June, Zelenskyy appointed former president Leonid Kuchma as Ukraine's representative in the Tripartite Contact Group for a settlement in the conflict.[119] On 11 July 2019, Zelenskyy held his first telephone conversation with Russian president Vladimir Putin, during which he urged Putin to enter into talks mediated by European countries.[120][121] The two leaders also discussed the exchange of prisoners held by both sides.[121] In October 2019, Zelenskyy announced a preliminary deal struck with the separatists, under which the Ukrainian government would respect elections held in the region in exchange for Russia withdrawing its unmarked troops.[118] The deal was met with heavy criticism and protests by both politicians and the Ukrainian public. Detractors noted that elections held in Donbas were unlikely to be free and fair, that the separatists had long driven out most pro-Ukrainian residents out of the region to ensure a pro-Russia majority, and that it would be impossible to ensure Russia kept its end of the agreement.[118] Zelenskyy defended his negotiations, saying the elections would not be held before a Russian withdrawal.[122] The agreement failed to ease the conflict, as the separatists continued their attacks and Russia continued providing them with weapons and ammunition.[123] Several Ukrainian nationalist militias and former militias also refused to accept the agreement, including the far-right Azov fighters in the Luhansk region of Donbas. Zelenskyy met personally with some of these groups and tried to convince them to surrender their unregistered weapons and accept the peace accord. Andriy Biletsky, the leader of the far-right National Corps and first commander of Azov, accused Zelenskyy of being disrespectful to army veterans and of acting on behalf of the Kremlin by leaving Ukrainians vulnerable to Russian aggression.[124][125] Ultimately, the peace deal failed to reduce the violence, much less end the war.[123]
In December 2019, Russia and Ukraine agreed to resume talks mediated by France and Germany under the so-called Normandy Format, which had been abandoned in 2016; it was Zelensky's first face-to-face meeting with Vladimir Putin.[126] In July 2020, Zelenskyy announced a formal ceasefire with the separatists — the more than twentieth such attempt since the war began in 2014.[127] Although the ceasefire was frequently violated over the next few years and overall violence remained high, ceasefire violations in 2020 did decrease by over 50 per cent compared to the previous year.[128]
UIA Flight 752See also: Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752On 8 January 2020, the Presidential Office announced that Volodymyr Zelenskyy was cutting his trip to Oman short owing to the Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 plane crash in nearby Iran the same day.[129] The same day, internet news site released information that on 7 January 2020, Ukrainian politician of the Opposition Platform — For Life Viktor Medvedchuk – who has exclusive relations with the current president of Russia – may have arrived in Oman.[130][131] Soon, rumors began that Zelenskyy may have had some additional meetings beside the ones that were announced.[132] On 14 January 2020, Andriy Yermak dismissed the rumors as speculations and baseless conspiracy theories,[133] while Medvedchuk stated that the plane was used by his older daughter's family to fly from Oman to Moscow.[134] Later, Yermak contacted the on-line newspaper Ukrainian Truth and gave more details about the visit to Oman and the plane crash in Iran.[135]Zelenskyy and Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, in February 2021On 17 January 2020, the presidential appointee Minister of Foreign Affairs Vadym Prystaiko was unable to give answers during the "times of questions to the government" in parliament when the people's deputies of Ukraine asked him about the visit's official agenda, the invitation from Oman, officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who were preparing the visit, as well as how the president actually crossed the border while visiting Oman.[136][137] On 20 January 2020, Prystaiko followed up by giving a briefing to the press in the Office of the president of Ukraine and saying that he would explain everything about the visit that when the time came.[138]
Foreign relations
Zelenskyy, Ukraine's defense minister Andriy Taran and U.S. secretary of defense Lloyd Austin on 31 August 2021
Zelenskyy and U.S. president Joe offeren on 1 September 2021See also: List of international presidential trips made by Volodymyr ZelenskyyZelenskyy's first official trip abroad as president was to Brussels in June 2019, where he met with European Union and NATO officials.[139]
In August 2019, Zelenskyy promised to lift the moratorium on exhuming Polish mass graves in Ukraine after the previous Ukrainian government banned the Polish side from carrying out any exhumations of Polish victims of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army-perpetrated Volhynian massacres, following the removal of a memorial to the Ukrainian Insurgent Army in Hruszowice, southeastern Poland.[140]
In September 2019, it was reported that U.S. president Donald Trump had allegedly blocked payment of a congressionally mandated $400 million military aid package to Ukraine to pressure Zelenskyy during a July phone call between the two presidents to investigate alleged wrongdoing by Joe offeren and his son Hunter offeren,[64][141] who took a board seat on Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma Holdings.[142] This report was the catalyst for the Trump–Ukraine scandal and the impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump. Zelenskyy has denied that he was pressured by Trump and declared that "he does not want to interfere in a foreign election."[143]Zelenskyy and Azerbaijan's president Ilham Aliyev on 17 December 2019On a trip to the United States in September 2021, Zelenskyy engaged in talks and commitments with U.S. president Joe offeren,[144] Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm,[145] and Secretary of State Antony Blinken.[146] President Zelenskyy and First Lady Olena Zelenska also took part in the opening of the Ukrainian House in Washington, D.C.[145] On the same trip, he met with Apple CEO Tim Cook[147] and with Ukrainians in senior positions at Silicon Valley tech companies[148] and spoke at Stanford University.[149] While Zelenskyy was still in the U.S., just after delivering a speech at the United Nations, an assassination attempt was made in Ukraine on Serhiy Shefir, his closest aide. Shefir was unhurt in the attack, although his driver was hospitalized with three bullet wounds.[150]
2021–2022 Russo-Ukrainian crisisMain article: 2021–2022 Russo-Ukrainian crisisIn April 2021, in response to Russian military build-up at the Ukrainian borders, Zelenskyy spoke to American president Joe offeren and urged NATO members to speed up Ukraine's request for membership.[151]
On 26 November 2021, Zelenskyy accused Russia and Ukrainian oligarch Rinat Akhmetov of backing a plan to overthrow his government.[152] Russia denied any involvement in a coup plot and Akhmetov said in a statement that "the information made public by Volodymyr Zelenskiy about attempts to draw me into some kind of coup is an absolute lie. I am outraged by the spread of this lie, no matter what the president's motives are."[153][154] In December 2021, Zelenskyy called for preemptive action against Russia.[155]
On 19 January 2022, Zelenskyy said in a video message that the country's citizens should not panic and appealed to the media to be "methods of mass information and not mass hysteria."[156][157] On 28 January, 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 are putting the economy of Ukraine at risk.[158] Zelenskyy said that "we do not see a bigger escalation" than in early 2021 when Russia's military build-up started.[159] Zelenskyy and U.S. president Joe offeren disagreed on how imminent the threat was.[160][161]
On 19 February, as worries of a Russian invasion of Ukraine grew, Zelenskyy warned a security forum that Western nations should abandon their "appeasement" attitude toward Moscow. "Ukraine has been granted security assurances in exchange for giving up the world's third-largest nuclear arsenal. We don't have any firearms. And there's no security... But we have a right to urge a transformation from an appeasement policy to one that ensures security and peace," he stated.[162]
In the early hours of 24 February, shortly before the start of the Russian invasion, Zelenskyy recorded an address to the citizens of both Ukraine and Russia. He refuted claims of the Russian government about the presence of neo-nzs in the Ukrainian government and stated that he had no intention of attacking the Donbas region, while highlighting his personal connections to the area.[163] In part of the address, he spoke in Russian to the people of Russia, appealing to them to pressure their leadership to prevent war:
"Who will suffer the most from this? People. Who does not want this more than anyone? People. Who can prevent this? People."Are these people present among you? I am sure there are. Public figures, journalists, musicians, actors, athletes, scientists, doctors, bloggers, stand-up comedians, Tik-Tokers and many more. Regular people. Regular, normal people. Men, women, the elderly, children, fathers, and most importantly, mothers. Just like people in Ukraine. Just like the authorities in Ukraine, no matter how much they try to convince you otherwise.
"I know that they will not show this appeal of mine on Russian television. But the citizens of Russia must see it. They must know the truth. And the truth is that this needs to stop, before it is too late. And if the Russian leadership does not want to sit down at the table with us for the sake of peace, then perhaps, they will sit down at the table with you.
"Do Russians want war? I would very much like to answer this question. But the answer depends only on you, the citizens of the Russian Federation."The speech was widely described as "emotional" and "astonishing".[164][165]
2022 Russian invasion of UkraineMain article: 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine
Ukraine's Parliament (Verkhovna Rada) chairman Ruslan Stefanchuk, Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Ukraine's Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal after signing of the application for membership in the European Union during the war on 28 February 2022
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visits a military hospital for soldiers fighting in the Kyiv region, 13 MarchOn the morning of 24 February, Putin announced that Russia was initiating a "special military operation" in the Donbas. Russian missiles struck a number of military targets in Ukraine, and Zelenskyy declared martial law.[166] Zelenskyy also announced that diplomatic relations with Russia were being severed, effective immediately.[167] Later in the day, he announced general mobilisation.[168]
On 25 February, Zelenskyy said that despite Russia's claim that it was targeting only military sites, civilian sites were also being hit.[169] In an early morning address that day, Zelenskyy said that his intelligence services had identified him as Russia's top target, but that he is staying in Kyiv and his family will remain in the country. "They want to destroy Ukraine politically by destroying the head of state", he said.[170]
In the early hours of 26 February, during the most significant assault by Russian troops on the capital of Kyiv, the United States government and Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan urged Zelenskyy to evacuate to a safer location, and both offered assistance for such an effort. Zelenskyy turned down both offers and opted to remain in Kyiv with its defense forces, saying that "the fight is here [in Kyiv]; I need ammunition, not a ride".[171][172][173]
More than 90% of Ukrainians supported the actions of Zelenskyy,[174] including more than 90% in western and central Ukraine and more than 80% in Russian-speaking regions in eastern and southern Ukraine.[175] A Pew Research Center poll found that 72% of Americans had confidence in Zelenskyy's handling of international affairs.[176]
Zelenskyy has gained worldwide recognition as the wartime leader of Ukraine during the Russian invasion; historian Andrew Roberts compared him to Winston Churchill.[177][178] Harvard Political Review said that Zelenskyy "has harnessed the power of social media to become history's first truly online wartime leader, bypassing traditional gatekeepers as he uses the internet to reach out to the people."[179] He has been described as a national hero or a "global hero" by many commentators, including publications such as The Hill, Deutsche Welle, Der Spiegel and USA Today.[177][180][181][182] BBC News and The Guardian have reported that his response to the invasion has received praise even from previous critics.[173][183]
During the invasion, Zelenskyy has been reportedly the target of more than a dozen assassination attempts; three were prevented due to tips from Russian FSB employees who opposed the invasion. Two of those attempts were carried out by the Wagner Group, a Russian paramilitary force, and the third by the Kadyrovites, the personal guard of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov.[184]
While speaking about Ukrainian civilians who were killed by Russian forces, Zelenskyy said:[185]
"We will not forgive. We will not forget. We will punish everyone who committed atrocities in this war... We will find every scum who was shelling our cities, our people, who was shooting the missiles, who was giving orders. You will not have a quiet place on this earth – except for a grave."Zelenskyy has been called by the Times of Israel the "Jewish defender of Ukrainian democracy".[24] Gal Beckerman of The Atlantic described Zelenskyy as having "[given] the world a Jewish Hero".[186]
On 7 March 2022, Czech president Milos Zeman decided to award Zelenskyy with the highest state award of the Czech Republic, the Order of the White Lion, for "his bravery and courage in the face of Russia's invasion".[187]Zelenskyy with Polish Prime Minister Morawiecki, Czech Prime Minister Fiala and Slovenian Prime Minister Janša, Kyiv, 15 MarchZelenskyy has repeatedly called for direct talks with Russian president Vladimir Putin,[188] saying: "Good Lord, what do you want? Leave our land. If you don't want to leave now, sit down with me at the negotiating table. But not from 30 meters away, like with Macron and Scholz. I don't bite."[189] Zelenskyy said he was "99.9 percent sure" that Putin thought the Ukrainians would welcome the invading forces with "flowers and smiles".[190]
On 7 March, as a condition for ending the invasion, the Kremlin demanded Ukraine's neutrality; recognition of Crimea, which had been annexed by Russia, as Russian territory; and recognition of the self-proclaimed separatist republics of Donetsk and Luhansk as independent states.[191] On 8 March, Zelenskyy expressed willingness to discuss Putin's demands.[188] Zelenskyy said he is ready for dialogue, but "not for capitulation".[192] He proposed a new collective security agreement for Ukraine with the United States, Turkey, France, Germany as an alternative to the country joining NATO.[193] Zelenskyy's Servant of the People party said that Ukraine would not give up its claims on Crimea, Donetsk and Luhansk.[194] However, Zelenskyy said that Ukraine was considering giving the Russian language protected minority status.[195]
On 15 March 2022, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, together with Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala and Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša, visited Kyiv to meet with Zelenskyy in a display of support for Ukraine.[196]
On 16 March, a deepfake appeared online of Zelenskyy calling on Ukrainian citizens to surrender to Russia.[197]
Zelenskyy has made an effort to rally the governments of Western nations in an effort to isolate Russia. He has made numerous addresses to the legislatures of the EU,[198][199] UK,[200] Poland,[201] Australia,[202] Canada,[203] US,[204] Germany,[205] Israel,[206] Italy,[207] and Japan[208] and is set to address the Netherlands,[209] Romania[210] and the Nordic countries.[211][212][213]
On 27 March 2022, Slovakia awarded Zelenskyy one of the country's top awards, the State Award of Alexander Dubček. Eduard Heger, the Slovak prime minister, compared the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022 to the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968.[214]
Political viewsEconomic issuesIn a mid-June interview with BIHUS info [uk] a representative of the president of Ukraine at the Cabinet of Ministers, Andriy Herus [uk] stated that Zelenskyy had never promised to lower communal tariffs, but that a campaign video in which Zelenskyy stated that the price of natural gas in Ukraine could fall by 20–30 per cent or maybe more was a not a direct promise but actually "half-hinting" and "joking".[215] Zelenskyy's election manifesto mentioned tariffs only once—that money raised from a capital amnesty would go towards "lowering the tariff burden on low-income citizens".[216][217]
Foreign policyDuring his presidential campaign, Zelenskyy said that he supported Ukraine's becoming a member of the European Union and NATO, but he said Ukrainian voters should decide on the country's membership of these two organisations in referenda.[218] At the same time, he believed that the Ukrainian people had already chosen "eurointegration".[218][219] Zelenskyy's close advisor Ivan Bakanov also said that Zelenskyy's policy is supportive of membership of both the EU and NATO, and proposes holding referendums on membership.[220] Zelenskyy's electoral programme claimed that Ukrainian NATO membership is "the choice of the Maidan and the course that is enshrined in the Constitution, in addition, it is an instrument for strengthening our defense capability".[221] The program states that Ukraine should set the goal to apply for a NATO Membership Action Plan in 2024.[221] The programme also states that Zelenskyy "will do everything to ensure" that Ukraine can apply for European Union membership in 2024.[222] Two days before the second round, Zelenskyy stated that he wanted to build "a strong, powerful, free Ukraine, which is not the younger sister of Russia, which is not a corrupt partner of Europe, but our independent Ukraine".[223]
In October 2020, he spoke in support of Azerbaijan in regards to the Nagorno-Karabakh war between Azerbaijan and ethnic Armenians over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. Zelenskyy said: "We support Azerbaijan's territorial integrity and sovereignty just as Azerbaijan always supports our territorial integrity and sovereignty."[224]
In February 2022, he applied for Ukraine to join the European Union.[225][226]
Zelenskyy has tried to position Ukraine as a neutral party in the political and trade tensions between the United States and China. In January 2021, Zelenskyy said in an interview with Axios that he does not perceive China as a geopolitical threat and that he does not agree with the United States assertions that it represents one.[227]
Russo-Ukrainian WarFurther information: Russo-Ukrainian War
Zelenskyy and Russian President Putin met in Paris on 9 December 2019 in the "Normandy Format" aimed at ending the War in Donbass.Zelenskyy supported the late 2013 and early 2014 Euromaidan movement. During the war in Donbas, he actively supported the Ukrainian army.[30] Zelenskyy helped fund a volunteer battalion fighting on Donbas.[228]
In a 2014 interview with Komsomolskaya Pravda in Ukraine, Zelenskyy said that he would have liked to pay a visit to Crimea, but would avoid it because "armed people are there".[229] In August 2014, Zelenskyy performed for Ukrainian troops in Mariupol and later his studio donated a million hryvnias to the Ukrainian army.[230] Regarding the 2014 Russian annexation of Crimea, Zelenskyy said that, speaking realistically, it would be possible to return Crimea to Ukrainian control only after a regime change in Russia.[231]
In an interview in December 2018, Zelenskyy stated that as president he would try to end the ongoing war in Donbas by negotiating with Russia.[232][233] As he considered the leaders of the Donetsk People's Republic and the Luhansk People's Republic (DPR and LPR) to be Russia's "puppets", it would "make no sense to speak with them".[233] He did not rule out holding a referendum on the issue.[234][233] In an interview published three days before the 2019 presidential election (on 21 April), Zelenskyy stated that he was against granting the Donbas region "special status".[235] In the interview he also said that if he were elected president he would not sign a law on amnesty for the militants of the DPR and LPR.[235]
In response to suggestions to the contrary, he stated in April 2019 that he regarded Russian president Vladimir Putin "as an enemy".[236] On 2 May 2019, Zelenskyy wrote on Facebook that "the border is the only thing Russia and Ukraine have in common".[237]
Zelenskyy opposes the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline between Russia and Germany, calling it "a dangerous weapon, not only for Ukraine but for the whole of Europe."[238]
Government reform
Zelenskyy with NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg in June 2019During the presidential campaign, Zelenskyy promised bills to fight corruption, including removal of immunity from the president of the country, members of the Verkhovna Rada (the Ukrainian parliament) and judges, a law about impeachment, reform of election laws, and providing efficient trial by jury. He promised to bring the salary for military personnel "to the level of NATO standards".[239]
Although Zelenskyy prefers elections with open list election ballots, after he called the snap 2019 Ukrainian parliamentary election his draft law "On amendments to some laws of Ukraine in connection with the change of the electoral system for the election of people's deputies" proposed to hold the election with closed list because the 60-day term to the snap election did not "leave any chances for the introduction of this system".[240]
Social issues
Zelenskyy in the Donetsk region in June 2021Zelenskyy supports the free distribution of medical cannabis, free abortion in Ukraine, and the legalisation of prostitution and gambling.[235] He opposes the legalisation of firearms.[235]
Zelenskyy stated in April 2019 that "of course" he supports the decommunization of Ukraine, but is not happy with its form.[241][235] In an interview with RBC-Ukraine in April 2019, Zelenskyy said that OUN-B leader Stepan Bandera, a controversial figure in Ukrainian history, was "a hero for a certain part of Ukrainians, and this is a normal and cool thing. He was one of those who defended the freedom of Ukraine. But I think that when we name so many streets, bridges by the same name, this is not quite right."[241][242] In that same interview, Zelenskyy went on to criticise the overuse of tributes to Taras Shevchenko, a famous 19th century Ukrainian poet and painter. Zelenskyy concluded: "We must remember the heroes of today, heroes of the arts, heroes of literature, simply heroes of Ukraine. Why don't we use their names – the names of the heroes that today unite Ukraine?"[241]
Zelenskyy opposes targeting the Russian language in Ukraine and banning artists for their political opinions (such as those viewed by the Government as anti-Ukrainian).[243][244] In April 2019, he stated that he was not against a Ukrainian language quota (on radio and TV), although he noted they could be tweaked.[241] He also said that Russian artists "who have turned into (anti-Ukrainian) politicians" should remain banned from entering Ukraine.[235]
Pandora PapersThe October 2021 Pandora Papers revealed that Zelenskyy and his chief aide and the head of the Security Service of Ukraine Ivan Bakanov operated a network of offshore companies in the British Virgin Islands, Cyprus, and Belize. These companies included some that owned expensive London property.[245] Around the time of his 2019 election, Zelenskyy handed his shares in a key offshore company over to Shefir, but the two men appear to have made an arrangement for Zelenskyy's family to continue receiving the money from these companies.[245] Zelenskyy's election campaign had centred on pledges to clean up the government of Ukraine.[245] In a 17 October 2021 interview with ICTV, Zelenskyy did not deny that in 2012 he used offshore companies.[246] He claimed he did this to avoid (his then satirical TV shows) being "influenced by politics".[246] Zelenskyy stressed that neither he nor any member of "Kvartal 95" were involved in money laundering.[246]
Personal life
Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Olena Zelenska in 2019 parliamentary electionIn September 2003, Zelenskyy married Olena Kiyashko,[16] with whom he had attended school.[16] The couple's first daughter, Oleksandra, was born in July 2004.[16] Their son, Kyrylo, was born in January 2013.[16] In Zelenskyy's 2014 movie 8 New Dates, their daughter played Sasha, the daughter of the protagonist.[16] In 2016, she participated in the show The Comedy Comet Company Comedy's Kids and won 50,000 hryvnias.[16]
Zelenskyy's first language is Russian, and he is also fluent in Ukrainian and English.[247][248] His assets were worth about 37 million hryvnias (about US$1.5 million) in 2018.[249]
Awards and decorationsCzech Republic: CZE Rad Bileho Lva 1 tridy BAR.svg Order of the White Lion, First Class (2022)[250]Latvia: LVA Order of Viesturs V kl.PNG Commander of Grand Cross of the Order of Viesturs (2022)[251]Lithuania: LTU Order of Vytautas the Great with the Golden Chain BAR.png Order of Vytautas the Great with the Golden Chain (2022)[252]Poland: Jan Karski Eagle Award (2022)[253]Ukraine: Honorary Diploma of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine (2003)[254]United States: Ronald Reagan Freedom Award (2022)[255]Selected filmography
The film premiere of I, You, He, SheFilmYear Title Role2009 Love in the Big City Igor2011 Office Romance. Our Time Anatoly Efremovich Novoseltsev2012 Love in the Big City 2 IgorRzhevsky Versus Napoleon Napoleon8 First Dates Nikita Sokolov2014 Love in Vegas Igor ZelenskyyPaddington (Ukrainian dub) Paddington Bear (voice)2015 8 New Dates Nikita Andreevich Sokolov2016 Servant of the People 2 Vasyl Petrovych Holoborodko2018 I, You, He, She Maksym TkachenkoTelevision series and showsYear Title Role Notes2006 Dancing with the Stars (Ukraine) as contestant2008–2012 Svaty ("In-Laws") as producer2015–2019 Servant of the People Vasyl Petrovych HoloborodkoNotesUkrainian: Володимир Олександрович Зеленський, pronounced [ʋoloˈdɪmɪr olekˈsɑndrowɪdʒ zeˈlɛnʲsʲkɪj]; Russian: Влади́мир Алекса́ндрович Зеле́нскийZelensky's name lacks an established Latin-alphabet spelling, and it has been romanized in various ways: for example Volodymyr Zelenskyi or Zelenskyy from Ukrainian, or Vladimir Zelenskiy from Russian.[2] Zelenskyy is the transliteration on his passport, and his administration has used it since he assumed presidency in 2019.[3][4]Since 2015, Ukraine has banned Russian artists and other Russian works of culture from entering Ukraine.[36]From 21 January until 18 April 2019 Zelenskyy did not give interviews.[54]
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Volodymyr Zelenskyy.Wikiquote has quotations related to: Volodymyr ZelenskyyWikisource has original text related to this article:Volodymyr ZelenskyyOfficial website Edit this at WikidataKvartal 95 Archived 31 March 2019 at the Wayback MachineVolodymyr Zelenskyy at IMDbAppearances on C-SPANVolodymyr Zelenskyy on TelegramWho is Volodymyr Zelenskyy? 1:31h Biograph Fox VideosJames Hookway (31 March 2022). "Who Is Volodymyr Zelensky? What to Know About Ukraine's President". WSJ.Political officesPreceded byPetro PoroshenkoPresident of Ukraine2019–present IncumbentvtePresidents of UkraineList of presidentsLeonid KravchukLeonid KuchmaViktor YushchenkoViktor YanukovychOleksandr Turchynov (acting)Petro PoroshenkoVolodymyr ZelenskyyStandard of the President of UkraineHistoryHetman of Zaporizhian HostHetman of UkrainePresident of Ukraine (in exile) Andriy LivytskyiStepan VytvytskyiMykola LivytskyiMykola PlaviukInaugurationPeresopnytsia GospelSymbols BulavaFlagCollarSealFirst LadyResidencesMariinskyi PalaceHouse with ChimaerasHouse of the Weeping andsupporting agencies"Security bloc"National Security and Defense CouncilProcurator General*Foreign Intelligence ServiceDerzhspetszviazokSecurity Service of Ukraine*Administration of State SecurityGeneral StaffPardons Commission"Administrative bloc"Anti-Monopoly Committee*State Property Fund*State Committee on Television and Radio broadcasting*Public Humanitarian CouncilNational Institute of Strategic ResearchNational Academy for Public AdministrationSupportingAdministration buildingConstitutional Assembly of UkraineRepresentatives CrimeaState Management of Affairs(*) approved by parliamentvteLeaders of UkraineUkrainian People's Republic (1917–1920)Mykhailo HrushevskyVolodymyr VynnychenkoSymon Petliura (Holovnyi Otaman)West Ukrainian People's Republic (1918–1919)Kost LevytskyYevhen PetrushevychHetmanate (1918)Pavlo SkoropadskyiUkrainian People's Republic1 (1920–1992)Andriy LivytskyiStepan VytvytskyiMykola LivytskyiMykola PlaviukUkrainian National Council2 (1941)Kost LevytskyUkrainian Soviet Socialist Republic3 (1922–1991)Georgy PyatakovStanislav KosiorDmitry ManuilskyEmmanuil KviringLazar KaganovichStanislav KosiorNikita KhrushchevLazar KaganovichNikita KhrushchevLeonid MelnikovAlexei KirichenkoNikolai PodgornyPetro ShelestVolodymyr ShcherbytskyVolodymyr IvashkoStanislav HurenkoUkraine (since 1991)Leonid KravchukLeonid KuchmaViktor YushchenkoViktor YanukovychOleksandr Turchynov (Acting)Petro PoroshenkoVolodymyr Zelenskyy1Presidents of the Ukrainian People's Republic in exile. 2 Chairman of the Ukrainian National Council. 3First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.vteCandidates in the 2019 Ukrainian presidential electionWinnerVolodymyr ZelenskyLost in runoffPetro PoroshenkoOther candidatesGennady BalashovRoman BezsmertnyiOlha BohomoletsInna BohoslovskaViktor BondarYuriy BoykoOleksandr DanylyukYuriy DerevyankoMykola HaberAnatoliy HrytsenkoSerhiy KaplinYurii KarmazinArkadiy KornatskiyRuslan KoshulynskyiViktor KryvenkoVitalii KupriiIllia KyvaOleh LyashkoYulia LytvynenkoOleksandr MorozValentyn NalyvaichenkoRoman NasirovSerhiy NosenkoAndriy NovakVolodymyr PetrovRuslan RygovanovIhor ShevchenkoOlexandr ShevchenkoVitaliy SkotsykIhor SmeshkoOleksandr SolovyevSerhiy TarutaYulia TymoshenkoYuriy TymoshenkoOleksandr VashchenkoOleksandr VilkulVasiliy ZhuravlyovWithdrewDmytro DobrodomovDmytro GnapSerhiy KrivonosYevheniy MurayevAndriy SadovyiOpinion 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BazoumNigeria Muhammadu BuhariRwanda Paul KagameSão Tomé and Príncipe Carlos Vila NovaSenegal Macky SallSeychelles Wavel RamkalawanSierra Leone Julius Maada BioSomalia Mohamed Abdullahi MohamedSouth Africa Cyril RamaphosaSouth Sudan Salva Kiir MayarditSudan Abdel Fattah al-BurhanTanzania Samia Suluhu HassanTogo Faure GnassingbéTunisia Kais SaiedUganda Yoweri MuseveniWestern Sahara Brahim GhaliZambia Hakainde HichilemaZimbabwe Emmerson MnangagwaAmericasArgentina Alberto FernándezBarbados Sandra MasonBolivia Luis ArceBrazil Jair BolsonaroChile Gabriel BoricColombia Iván DuqueCosta Rica Carlos Alvarado QuesadaCuba Miguel Díaz-CanelDominica Charles SavarinDominican Republic Luis AbinaderEcuador Guillermo LassoEl Salvador Nayib BukeleGuatemala Alejandro GiammatteiGuyana Irfaan AliHaiti Ariel Henry*Honduras Xiomara CastroMexico Andrés Manuel López ObradorNicaragua Daniel OrtegaPanama Laurentino CortizoParaguay Mario Abdo BenítezPeru Pedro CastilloSuriname Chan SantokhiTrinidad and Tobago 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Dodik, Džaferović and KomšićBulgaria Rumen RadevCroatia Zoran MilanovićCyprus Nicos AnastasiadesCzech Republic Miloš ZemanEstonia Alar KarisFinland Sauli NiinistöFrance Emmanuel MacronGeorgia (country) Salome ZourabichviliGermany Frank-Walter SteinmeierGreece Katerina SakellaropoulouHungary János ÁderIceland Guðni Th. JóhannessonRepublic of Ireland Michael D. HigginsItaly Sergio MattarellaKosovo Vjosa OsmaniLatvia Egils LevitsLithuania Gitanas NausėdaMalta George VellaMoldova Maia SanduMontenegro Milo ĐukanovićNorth Macedonia Stevo PendarovskiNorthern Cyprus Ersin TatarPoland Andrzej DudaPortugal Marcelo Rebelo de SousaRomania Klaus IohannisRussia Vladimir PutinSan Marino Mina and RondelliSerbia Aleksandar VučićSlovakia Zuzana ČaputováSlovenia Borut PahorSouth Ossetia Anatoly BibilovSwitzerland Cassis, Berset, Maurer, Sommaruga, Parmelin, Amherd and Keller-SutterTurkey Recep Tayyip ErdoğanUkraine Volodymyr ZelenskyyOceaniaFiji Wiliame KatonivereKiribati Taneti MaamauMarshall Islands David KabuaFederated States of Micronesia David PanueloNauru Lionel AingimeaPalau Surangel Whipps Jr.Samoa Tuimalealiʻifano Vaʻaletoʻa Sualauvi IIVanuatu Tallis Obed MosesvteLeaders of the GUAM Organization for Democracy and Economic DevelopmentGeorgia (country) Salome ZourabichviliUkraine Volodymyr ZelenskyAzerbaijan Ilham AliyevMoldova Maia control Edit this at WikidataGeneralISNI 1VIAF 1WorldCatNational librariesGermanyUnited StaTesla ReferraltviaPolandCategories: Volodymyr Zelenskyy1978 birthsLiving peoplePeople from Kryvyi RihKyiv National Economic University alumniUkrainian male comediansUkrainian television presenters21st-century Ukrainian male actorsUkrainian male film actorsUkrainian male voice actorsUkrainian JewsUkrainian screenwritersUkrainian film producersParodistsCandidates in the 2019 Ukrainian presidential electionServant of the People (political party) politiciansUkrainian actor-politiciansJewish presidentsJewish male comediansJewish male actorsMale screenwritersJewish Ukrainian politiciansJewish Ukrainian comediansJewish Ukrainian actorsPresidents of UkraineTrump–Ukraine scandalPeople named in the Pandora PapersRecipients of the Ronald Reagan Freedom AwardGrand Crosses with Golden Chain of the Order of Vytautas the GreatCollars of the Order of the White LionRecipients of the Honorary Diploma of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine
2022 Russian invasion of UkrainePart of the Russo-Ukrainian War2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine.svgMilitary situation as of 6 April 2022 Ukraine Occupied Ukrainian territoriesFor a more detailed map, see the Russo-Ukrainian War detailed mapDate 24 February 2022 – present(1 month, 2 weeks and 1 day)LocationUkraine[c]Status Ongoing (list of engagements · control of cities · timeline of events)BelligerentsRussiaDonetsk PR[a]Luhansk PR[a]Supported by:Belarus[b]UkraineCommanders and leadersRussia Vladimir PutinUkraine Volodymyr PR:20,000[10]Luhansk PR:14,000[10]Ukraine:209,000 (armed forces)102,000 (paramilitary)900,000 (reserves)[10]Order of battle for the 2022 Russian invasion of UkraineStrength estimates are as of the start of the invasion.Casualties and lossesRussia:Per Russia (25 March):1,351 soldiers killed, 3,825 wounded[d][17]Per NATO (23 March):30,000–40,000 soldiers killed, wounded, missing or captured (7,000–15,000 killed)[18]Per the U.S. (30 March):10,000+ soldiers killed[19]Donetsk PR:Per the DPR (31 March):767 soldiers killed, 3,559 wounded[20]Ukraine:Per Ukraine (12 March):1,300 soldiers killed[21]Per the U.S. (9 March):2,000–4,000 soldiers killed[22]Per Ukraine (partial figures; 4 April):6,769–7,096+ civilians killed[23]Per the UN (7 April):1,563 civilian deaths and 2,213 wounded confirmed (OHCHR considers the number of civilian casualties to be considerably higher)[24]4.3 million+ refugees and 6.5 million internally displaced persons[25][26](See here for other estimates)vte2022 Russian invasion of UkrainePreludeTimelineEconomic impactPeace negotiationsProtests in occupied UkraineWar crimesKyiv offensiveAntonov AirportChernobylHostomelIvankivKyiv Shopping centre bombingVasylkivZhytomyrIrpin shellingBucha massacreBrovarySlavutychEastern Ukraine offensiveAvdiivkaMariupol Hospital airstrikeTheatre airstrikeArt school Ukraine offensiveKharkiv Cluster bombingKonotopSumy Ammonia leakTrostianetsChernihiv BombingBreadline attackChuhuiv air base attackOkhtyrkaLebedynIziumSouthern Ukraine offensiveSnake IslandKherson Airport airstrikeMelitopolMykolaiv Cluster bombingGovernment building port attackWestern Ukraine WarPreludeEuromaidanOdessa clashesPro-Russian unrestRevolution of DignityCrimeaTimelineLittle green menCrimean ParliamentSouthern Naval Base2014 Simferopol2018 Kerch Mariupol1st Sievierodonetsk Il-76 shootdownZelenopillia rocket attack1st Donetsk AirportLuhansk Border BaseSector D clashesGreat Raid of 2014Shakhtarsk RaionHorlivkaIlovaiskNovoazovsk2nd Mariupol2nd Donetsk AvdiivkaAttacks on civilians
SlovianskMalaysia Airlines Flight 17NovosvitlivkaVolnovakhaMariupol2022 invasionPreludeTimelineEconomic impactPeace negotiationsProtests in occupied UkraineWar crimesKyiv offensiveEastern Ukraine offensiveNortheastern Ukraine offensiveSouthern Ukraine offensivevtePost-Soviet conflicts1st Nagorno-KarabakhGeorgia 1st South Ossetia1st AbkhaziaTransnistriaTajikistanNorth Ossetia1993 Moscow1st Chechnya2nd AbkhaziaDagestan2nd ChechnyaKodoriNorth Caucasus TajikistanEuromaidan Revolution of DignityPro-Russian unrestRusso-Ukrainian CrimeaDonbasKerch Strait2022 invasion prelude2016 Nagorno-Karabakh2nd invaded Ukraine on 24 February 2022. Internationally considered an act of aggression,[27][28] the invasion has triggered Europe's largest refugee crisis since World War II,[29][30] with more than 4.3 million Ukrainians leaving the country[31] and a quarter of the population displaced.[32][33]
The invasion marked a major escalation of the Russo-Ukrainian War, which began following the 2014 Ukrainian Revolution of Dignity. Russia subsequently annexed Crimea, and Russian-backed separatists seized part of the south-eastern Donbas region of Ukraine, sparking a war there.[34][35] In 2021, Russia began a large military build-up along its border with Ukraine, amassing up to 190,000 troops along with their equipment. In a broadcast shortly before the invasion, Russian president Vladimir Putin espoused irredentist views,[36] questioned Ukraine's right to statehood,[37][38] and falsely[39] accused Ukraine of being dominated by neo-nzs who persecute the ethnic Russian minority.[40] Putin said that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), by expanding eastward since the early 2000s, had threatened Russia's security – a claim disputed by NATO[41] – and demanded Ukraine be barred from ever joining the alliance.[42] The United States and others accused Russia of planning to attack or invade Ukraine, which Russian officials repeatedly denied as late as 23 February 2022.[46]
On 21 February 2022, Russia recognised the Donetsk People's Republic and the Luhansk People's Republic, two self-proclaimed statelets in Donbas controlled by pro-Russian separatists.[47] The following day, the Federation Council of Russia authorised the use of military force abroad, and overt Russian troops entered both territories.[48] The invasion began on the morning of 24 February,[49] when Putin announced a "special military operation" to "demilitarise and denzfy" Ukraine.[50][51] Minutes later, missiles and airstrikes hit across Ukraine, including the capital Kyiv, shortly followed by a large ground invasion from multiple directions.[52][53] In response, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy enacted martial law and general mobilisation.[54][55]
Multi-pronged offensives were launched from Russia, Belarus, and the two occupied territories of Ukraine (Crimea and Donbas). The four major offensives are the Kyiv offensive, the Northeastern Ukraine offensive, the Eastern Ukraine offensive, and the Southern Ukraine offensive. Russian aircraft and missiles also struck western parts of Ukraine. Russian forces have approached or besieged key settlements, including Chernihiv, Kharkiv, Kherson, Kyiv, Mariupol, and Sumy,[56] but met stiff Ukrainian resistance and experienced logistical and operational challenges that hampered their progress.[57][58] Three weeks after launching the invasion, the Russian military had more success in the south, while incremental gains or stalemates elsewhere forced them into attrition warfare, resulting in mounting civilian casualties.[59] In late March 2022, Russian forces withdrew from the Kyiv region with the declared aim to refocus on Donbas, leaving behind devastated settlements and growing evidence of atrocities against civilians.[60]
The invasion has been widely condemned internationally. The United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution which condemned it and demanded a full withdrawal. The International Court of Justice ordered Russia to suspend military operations and the Council of Europe expelled Russia. Many countries imposed new sanctions, which have affected the economies of Russia and the world,[61] and provided humanitarian and military aid to Ukraine.[62] Protests occurred around the world; those in Russia have been met with mass arrests and increased media censorship,[63][64] including banning the terms "war" and "invasion".[53] Numerous companies withdrew their products and services from Russia and Belarus, and Russian state-funded media were banned from broadcasting and removed from online platforms. The International Criminal Court opened an investigation into allegations of Russian military war crimes in Ukraine.[65]
BackgroundPost-Soviet context and Orange RevolutionFurther information: Orange RevolutionSee also: Colour revolution, Russia–Ukraine relations, and Ukraine–European Union relationsAfter the dissolution of the Soviet Union (USSR) in 1991, Ukraine and Russia maintained close ties. In 1994, Ukraine agreed to accede to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and become a non-nuclear-weapon state. Former Soviet nuclear weapons in Ukraine were moved to Russia and dismantled.[66] In return, Russia, the United Kingdom (UK), and the United States (US) agreed to uphold the territorial integrity and political independence of Ukraine through the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances.[67][68]
In 1999, Russia was one of the signatories of the Charter for European Security, which "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".[69] In the years after the Soviet Union's collapse, several former Eastern Bloc countries joined NATO, partly in response to regional security threats involving Russia such as the 1993 Russian constitutional crisis, the War in Abkhazia (1992–1993) and the First Chechen War (1994–1996). Russian leaders described this expansion as a violation of Western powers' informal assurances that NATO would not expand eastward.[42][70]Protestors in Kyiv during the Orange Revolution, November 2004The 2004 Ukrainian presidential election was controversial. During the election campaign, the pro-European integration opposition candidate Viktor Yushchenko was poisoned by TCDD dioxin;[71][72] he later implicated Russian involvement.[73] In November, Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych was declared the winner, despite allegations of vote-rigging by election observers.[74] During a two-month period which became known as the Orange Revolution, large peaceful protests successfully challenged the outcome. After the Supreme Court of Ukraine annulled the initial result due to widespread electoral fraud, a second round re-run was held, bringing to power Yushchenko as president and Yulia Tymoshenko as prime minister, and leaving Yanukovych in opposition.[75]
The Orange Revolution is often grouped together with other early-21st century protest movements, particularly within the post-Soviet states, known as "colour revolutions". According to analyst Anthony Cordesman, Russian military officers viewed such colour revolutions as an attempt by the US and European states to destabilise neighbouring countries and undermine Russia's national security.[76] Russian president Vladimir Putin accused organisers of the 2011–2013 Russian protests of being former advisors to Yushchenko, and described the protests as an attempt to transfer the Orange Revolution to Russia.[77] Rallies in favour of Putin during this period were called "anti-Orange protests".[78]
At the 2008 Bucharest summit, Ukraine and Georgia sought to join NATO. The response among NATO members was divided; Western European countries opposed offering Membership Action Plans (MAP) to avoid antagonising Russia, while US president George W. Bush pushed for their admission.[79] NATO ultimately refused to offer Ukraine and Georgia MAPs, but also issued a statement agreeing that "these countries will become members of NATO". Putin voiced strong opposition to Georgia and Ukraine's NATO membership offers.[80] On 7 February 2019, the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's parliament, voted to amend the constitution to state that the country's long-term ambition was to join the European Union (EU) and NATO.[81] However, in the months prior to the 2022 invasion, the possibility of Ukraine joining NATO remained remote.[82]
Euromaidan, Revolution of Dignity, and the War in DonbasMain articles: Euromaidan, Revolution of Dignity, and War in DonbasSee also: 2014 pro-Russian unrest in Ukraine, Annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, and Russian nationalism
Euromaidan protests in Kyiv, December 2013In 2009, Yanukovych announced his intent to again run for president in the 2010 Ukrainian presidential election,[83] which he subsequently won.[84] In November 2013, the Euromaidan uprising began when a wave of large, pro-EU protests erupted in response to Yanukovych's sudden decision not to sign the EU–Ukraine Association Agreement, instead choosing closer ties to Russia and the Eurasian Economic Union. The Verkhovna Rada had overwhelmingly supported the agreement with the EU.[85] Russia had put pressure on Ukraine to reject it.[86]
The scope of the protests widened, with protesters opposing widespread government corruption, police brutality, and repressive anti-protest laws.[87] In February 2014, clashes in Kyiv between protesters and Berkut special police resulted in the deaths of 100 protesters and 13 policemen; most of the victims were shot by police snipers.[88] On 21 February 2014, Yanukovych and parliamentary opposition leaders signed an agreement calling for an interim government and early elections. The following day, Yanukovych fled Kyiv and later Ukraine;[89] the Ukrainian parliament subsequently voted to remove him from office.[90][91][92] Leaders in Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine declared continuing loyalty to Yanukovych,[93] leading to pro-Russian unrest.[94] Russian state-controlled media portrayed the crisis as having been instigated by the post-Yanukovych Ukrainian government, and represented Euromaidan as being controlled by "ultranationalist", "fascist",[95][96] "neo-nz",[97] and "anti-Semitic" groups.[98]Ukraine, with Crimea and two self-proclaimed separatist republics in DonbasThe unrest was followed by the annexation of Crimea by Russia in March 2014 and the war in Donbas, which started in April 2014 with the formation of two Russia-backed separatist quasi-states: the Donetsk People's Republic and the Luhansk People's Republic.[99][100] Russian troops were involved in the conflict.[101][102][103] The Minsk agreements were signed in September 2014 and February 2015 in a offer to stop the fighting, although ceasefires repeatedly failed.[104] A dispute emerged over the role of Russia: Normandy Format members France, Germany, and Ukraine understood Minsk as an agreement between Russia and Ukraine, whereas Russia insisted its role was that of a neutral mediator, pressing Ukraine to negotiate directly with representatives of the two separatist republics.[105][106] In 2021, Putin refused offers from Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy for high-level talks, and the Russian government subsequently endorsed an article by former president Dmitry Medvedev arguing it was pointless to deal with Ukraine while it remained a "vassal" of the US.[107]
The annexation of Crimea led to a new wave of Russian nationalism, with large parts of the Russian neo-imperial movement aspiring to annex more land from Ukraine, including the unrecognised Novorossiya.[108] Analyst Vladimir Socor argued that Putin's 2014 speech after the annexation of Crimea was a de facto "manifesto of Greater-Russia Irredentism".[109] In July 2021, Putin published an essay titled "On the Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians", in which he reaffirmed his view that Russians and Ukrainians were "one people".[110] American historian Timothy D. Snyder described Putin's ideas as imperialism,[111] while British journalist Edward Lucas called it historical revisionism.[112] Other observers regarded the Russian leadership as having a distorted view of modern Ukraine and its history.[113][114][115] Ukraine and other European countries neighbouring Russia accused Putin of irredentism and of pursuing aggressive militaristic policies.[116][117][118]
PreludeMain article: Prelude to the 2022 Russian invasion of UkraineRise in tensions (March 2021 – February 2022)
US paratroopers of 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment depart Italy's Aviano Air Base for Latvia, 23 February 2022. Thousands of US troops were deployed to Eastern Europe amid Russia's military build-up.[119]From March to April 2021, Russia commenced a major military build-up near the Russo-Ukrainian border. It was followed by a second build-up between October 2021 to February 2022 in both Russia and Belarus.[120] During these developments, the Russian government repeatedly denied it had plans to invade or attack Ukraine;[44][121] those who issued the denials included government spokesman Dmitry Peskov on 28 November 2021, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov on 19 January 2022,[43] Russian ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov on 20 February 2022,[44] and Russian ambassador to the Czech Republic Alexander Zmeevsky on 23 February 2022.[45]
Putin's chief national security adviser, Nikolai Patrushev,[122] who believed that the West has been in an undeclared war with Russia for years,[123] was a leading figure behind Russia's updated national security strategy, published in May 2021. It stated that Russia may use "forceful methods" to "thwart or avert unfriendly actions that threaten the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Russian Federation."[124][125]
In early December 2021, following Russian denials, the US released intelligence of Russian invasion plans, including satellite photographs showing Russian troops and equipment near the Russo-Ukrainian border.[126] The intelligence reported the existence of a Russian list of key sites and individuals to be killed or neutralised upon invasion.[127] The US continued to release reports that accurately predicted the invasion plans.[127]
Russian accusations and demandsFurther information: Russian opposition to Ukrainian NATO membershipSee also: Disinformation in the 2021–2022 Russo-Ukrainian crisis and Humanitarian situation during the war in Donbas
On 10 January 2022, Ukrainian deputy prime minister Olha Stefanishyna and NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg spoke to media about the prospect of a Russian invasion.In the months preceding the invasion, Russian officials accused Ukraine of inciting tensions, Russophobia, and the repression of Russian speakers in Ukraine. They also made multiple security demands of Ukraine, NATO, and non-NATO allies in the EU. These actions were described by commentators and Western officials as attempts to justify war.[128][129] On 9 December 2021, Putin said that "Russophobia is a first step towards genocide".[130][131] Putin's claims were dismissed by the international community,[132] and Russian claims of genocide were widely rejected as baseless.[133][134][135] Ukrainian president Zelenskyy declared that 16 February, a speculated date for the invasion, would be a "Day of Unity". Ukrainians were encouraged to "hang our national flags, put on blue and yellow ribbons, and show our unity to the whole world", as well as to sing the national anthem in public spaces at 10:00 EET (UTC+2).[136][137]
In a 21 February speech,[138] Putin questioned the legitimacy of the Ukrainian state, repeating an inaccurate claim that "Ukraine never had a tradition of genuine statehood".[139] He incorrectly described the country as having been created by Soviet Russia.[37] To justify an invasion, Putin falsely accused Ukrainian society and government of being dominated by neo-nzsm, invoking the history of collaboration in German-occupied Ukraine during World War II,[40][140] and echoing an antisemitic conspiracy theory which casts Russian Christians, rather than Jews, as the "true" victims of nz Germany.[51][132] While Ukraine has a far-right fringe, including the neo-nz Azov Battalion and Right Sector,[141][142] experts have described Putin's rhetoric as greatly exaggerating the influence of far-right groups within Ukraine; there is no widespread support for the ideology in the government, military, or electorate.[40][128][143] Ukrainian president Zelenskyy, who is Jewish, rebuked Putin's allegations, stating that his grandfather had served in the Soviet army fighting against the nzs.[144] The US Holocaust Memorial Museum and Yad Vashem condemned the abuse of Holocaust history and the use of comparisons with nz ideology for propagandist purposes.[145][146]Putin and his long-time confidant Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu[147]During the second build-up, Russia issued demands to the US and NATO, including a legally binding arrangement preventing Ukraine from ever joining NATO, and the removal of multinational forces stationed in NATO's Eastern European member states.[148] Russia threatened an unspecified military response if NATO continued to follow an "aggressive line".[149] These demands were widely interpreted as being non-viable; new NATO members in Central and Eastern Europe had joined the alliance because their populations broadly preferred to move towards the safety and economic opportunities offered by NATO and the EU, and their governments sought protection from Russian irredentism.[150] The demand for a formal treaty preventing Ukraine from joining NATO was also seen as unviable by Western officials, as it would contravene the treaty's "open door" policy, although NATO showed no desire to accede to Ukraine's requests to join.[151]
Alleged clashes (17–21 February 2022)Further information: Timeline of the war in Donbas (2022)Fighting in Donbas escalated after 17 February 2022.[152] The Ukrainians and the Russian separatists accused one another of firing into their respective territories.[153][154] On 18 February, the Donetsk and Luhansk people's republics ordered all civilians to leave their capitals,[155][156][157] although observers noted that full evacuations would take months.[158] Ukrainian media reported a sharp increase in artillery shelling by the Russian-led militants in Donbas as an attempt to provoke the Ukrainian army.[159][160]
In the days leading up to the invasion, the Russian government intensified a disinformation campaign intended to mute public criticism. Russian state media promoted fabricated videos—many amateur in quality[161][162]—that purported to show Ukrainian forces attacking Russians in Donbas; evidence showed that the claimed attacks, explosions, and evacuations were staged by Russia.[163] On 21 February, the head of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) said that Russian forces had killed five Ukrainian "saboteurs" that crossed into Russian territory, capturing one Ukrainian serviceman and destroying two armoured vehicles. The claim was denied by Ukraine and drew warnings that Russia was seeking further justification to start an invasion. The Sunday Times described it as "the first move in Putin's war plan."[164][165]
Escalation (21–23 February 2022)File:Обращение Президента Российской Федерации 2022-02-21.webmPutin's address to the nation on 21 February (English subtitles available)On 21 February,[166] Putin announced that the Russian government would recognise the Donetsk and Luhansk people's republics.[167] The same evening, Putin directed that Russian troops be deployed into Donbas, in what Russia referred to as a "peacekeeping mission".[168][169] The 21 February intervention in Donbas was condemned by several members of the UN Security Council; none voiced support.[170] On 22 February, video footage shot in the early morning showed Russian armed forces and tanks moving in the Donbas region.[171] The Federation Council unanimously authorised the use of military force outside Russia.[48]
In response, Zelenskyy ordered the conscription of army reservists;[172] The following day, Ukraine's parliament proclaimed a 30-day nationwide state of emergency and ordered the mobilisation of all reservists.[173][174][175] Russia began to evacuate its embassy in Kyiv.[176] The websites of the Ukrainian parliament and government, along with banking websites, were hit by DDoS attacks,[177] widely attributed to Russian-backed hackers.[178][179] Chinese military attackers were also alleged to have conducted a massive cyberwarfare programme on the eve of the invasion, including on nuclear infrastructure, pointing to advanced Chinese knowledge.[180]
On the night of 23 February,[181] Zelenskyy gave a speech in Russian in which he appealed to the citizens of Russia to prevent war.[182][183] He also refuted Russia's claims about the presence of neo-nzs in the Ukrainian government and said that he had no intention of attacking the Donbas region.[184] Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on 23 February that the separatist leaders in Donetsk and Luhansk had sent a letter to Putin stating that Ukrainian shelling had caused civilian deaths and appealing for military support from Russia.[185]
In response, Ukraine requested an urgent UN Security Council meeting.[186][187] Half an hour into the emergency meeting, Putin announced the start of military operations in Ukraine. Sergiy Kyslytsya, the Ukrainian representative, subsequently called on the Russian representative, Vasily Nebenzya, to "do everything possible to stop the war" or relinquish his position as president of the UN Security Council; Nebenzya refused.[188][189]
Declaration of military operationsOn 24 February, Putin announced that he had made the decision to launch a "special military operation" in eastern Ukraine.[190][191] In his pre-invasion speech, Putin said there were no plans to occupy Ukrainian territory and that he supported the right of the Ukrainian people to self-determination.[192] He said the purpose of the "operation" was to "protect the people" in the predominantly Russian-speaking region of Donbas who, according to him, "for eight years now, [had] been facing humiliation and genocide perpetrated by the Kyiv regime".[193]
Putin said that Russia sought the "demilitarisation and denzfication" of Ukraine.[194] Within minutes of Putin's announcement, explosions were reported in Kyiv, Kharkiv, Odessa, and the Donbas region.[195] An alleged leaked report from within the FSB claimed that the intelligence agency was not warned about Putin's plan to invade Ukraine.[196] Immediately following the attack, Zelenskyy announced the introduction of martial law in Ukraine.[197] The same evening, he ordered a general mobilisation of all Ukrainian males between 18 and 60 years old[55] who were prohibited from leaving the country.[198] Russian troops entered Ukraine from the north in Belarus (towards Kyiv); from the northeast in Russia (towards Kharkiv); from the east in the DPR and the Luhansk People's Republic; and from the south in Crimea.[199] Russian equipment and vehicles were marked with a white Z military symbol (a non-Cyrillic letter), believed to be a measure to prevent friendly fire.[120]
Invasion and resistanceAmbox current red Americas.svgThis section needs to be updated. Please help update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. (April 2022)Further information: List of military engagements during the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine and Timeline of the 2022 Russian invasion of UkraineSee also: Order of battle for the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine
An animated map of the invasion from 24 February to 24 MarchThe invasion began on 24 February after Putin's declaration of his intended military intervention.[190] The full military operation consisted of infantry divisions supported by armored units and air support in Eastern Ukraine, along with dozens of missile attacks across both Eastern Ukraine and Western Ukraine.[200][201] Ostensibly, the main infantry and tank division attacks were launched at four spearhead incursions, creating a Northern front (launched towards Kyiv), a Southern front (originating in Crimea), a Southeastern front (launched at the cities of Luhansk and Donbas), and an Eastern front.[202][203]
All four incursions crossed into Ukraine and approximately 100–200 kilometres beyond Ukrainian borders while occupying Ukrainian territory and encircling main cities. By 20 March, the four incursion fronts had formed a perimeter significantly within the entire border of Eastern Ukraine and started to extensively consolidate lines of communication and support between all four fronts within Ukraine while besieging Mariupol, Kyiv, Donbas, Luhansk, and other cities.[202][203] An extensive missile bombardment campaign was also conducted with dozens of missile strikes across Ukraine, reaching as far west as Lviv.[204][205]
On 25 March, the Russian Defense Ministry announced the "first stage" of what they referred as the "military operation in Ukraine" was generally complete, with Ukrainian military forces suffering serious losses, and the Russian military would now be concentrating on the "liberation of Donbas".[206][207] On 28 March, following the announcement of the possible resumption of peace talks, Ukrainian intelligence chief Kyrylo Budanov suggested that Putin sought to split Ukraine in half, emulating the post-war division between North and South Korea. The Guardian reported that: "Budanov said he believed Putin had rethought his plan for full occupation since failing to swiftly take Ukraine's capital, Kyiv, and overthrow Zelenskiy's government, raising the prospect of a long conflict."[208][209]
The invasion was conducted on four fronts, apparently with no supreme commander in the field:[210][211]
Along an axis towards western Kyiv from Belarus (a northern front), conducted by the Russian Eastern Military District, comprising the 29th, 35th, and 36th Combined Arms ArmiesAn axis towards eastern Kyiv from Russia by the Central Military District (a northeastern front), comprising the 41st Combined Arms Army and 2nd Guards Tank ArmyAn axis towards Kharkiv by the Western Military District (an eastern front), with the 1st Guards Tank Army and 20th Combined Arms ArmyA southern front (originating in occupied Crimea and Russia's Rostov oblast) with an eastern axis towards Odesa and a western area of operations toward Mariupol, by the Southern Military District, including the 58th, 49th, and 8th Combined Arms Army, the latter also commanding the 1st and 2nd Army Corps of the Russian separatist forces in Donbas[212]Northern frontSee also: Kyiv offensive (2022), Siege of Chernihiv, and Bucha massacre
Military control around Kyiv on 2 April 2022Russian efforts to capture Kyiv included a main spearhead striking south from Belarus along the west bank of the Dnipro River, with the apparent aim of encircling the city from the west. It was supported by two separate axes of attack from Russia along the east bank of the Dnipro: the western at Chernihiv, and the eastern at Sumy. The eastern axes of attack likely intended to encircle Kyiv from the northeast and east.[201][200]
On the first day of the invasion, Russian forces advancing towards Kyiv from Belarus gained control of the ghost towns of Chernobyl and Pripyat.[213][214] Following their breakthrough at Chernobyl, Russian forces were held at Ivankiv, a northern suburb of Kyiv. Russian Airborne Forces attempted to seize two key airfields around Kyiv, launching an airborne assault on Antonov Airport,[215][216] followed by a similar landing at Vasylkiv, near Vasylkiv Air Base to the south of Kyiv, on 26 February.[217][218]
These attacks appeared to have been an attempt by Russia to seize Kyiv rapidly, with Spetsnaz infiltrating into the city supported by airborne operations and a rapid mechanised advance from the north. The attacks were unsuccessful.[219] During its initial assaults on Kyiv, Russia reportedly made several attempts to assassinate Volodymyr Zelenskyy using Wagner Group mercenaries and Chechen forces. The Ukrainian government said these efforts were partially thwarted by anti-war officials within Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB), who shared intelligence of the plans.[220]Russian military vehicles destroyed in Bucha, Kyiv Oblast, 1 MarchBy early March, further Russian advances along the west side of the Dnipro were limited, after suffering setbacks from Ukrainian defence.[201][200] As of 5 March, a large Russian convoy, reportedly 64 kilometres (40 mi) in length, had made little progress toward Kyiv.[221] The London-based think tank Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) assessed the Russian performance from the north and east as "stalled".[222] Advances along the Chernihiv axis had largely halted as a siege of the city began. Russian forces also continued advancing from the northwest of Kyiv, capturing Bucha, Hostomel, and Vorzel by 5 March,[223][224] though Irpin remained contested as of 9 March.[225] By 11 March, it was reported that the lengthy convoy had largely dispersed, taking up positions that offered tree cover. Rocket launchers were also identified.[226] On 16 March, Ukrainian forces began a counter-offensive to repel Russian forces approaching Kyiv from several surrounding cities.[227]
By 20 March, the Russian military appeared to be waging a rapid invasion to achieve its apparent primary goal of the seizure of Kyiv, along with the occupation of Eastern Ukraine and the displacement of the Ukrainian government. Russian forces quickly became stalled while approaching Kyiv due to several factors, including the disparity in morale and performance between Ukrainian and Russian forces, the Ukrainian use of sophisticated man-portable weapons provided by Western allies, poor Russian logistics and equipment performance, the failure of the Russian Air Force to achieve air superiority, and Russian military attrition during their siege of major cities.[228][229][230] Unable to achieve a quick victory in Kyiv, Russian forces switched strategies and began using standoff weapons, indiscriminate bombing, and siege warfare.[228][231][232]
On 25 March, the Ukrainian counteroffensive in Kyiv resulted in several towns, including Makariv,[233] being retaken to the east and west of Kyiv.[234] As part of a general retreat of Russian forces north of Kyiv, as well as attacks on Russian formations by the Ukrainian military, Russian troops in the Bucha area retreated north by the end of March. Ukrainian forces entered the city on 1 April.[235] Ukraine claimed to recapture the entire region around Kyiv, including Irpin, Bucha, and Hostomel, by 2 April, with evidence of war crimes being uncovered in Bucha.[236] On 6 April, Jens Stoltenberg speaking for NATO indicated that the Russian "retraction, resupply, and redeployment" of their troops from the Kyiv area should be interpreted as expanding Putin's plans for his military actions against Ukraine by redeploying and concentrating his forces on Easten Ukraine and Mariupol within the next two weeks prior to further expanding Putin's actions against the rest of Ukraine.[237]
Northeastern frontMain articles: Northeastern Ukraine offensive and Battle of SumyRussian forces advanced into Chernihiv Oblast on 24 February and besieged its administrative capital. The following day, the oblast's second largest city, Konotop, which is 90 kilometres (56 mi) from the Russian border, was attacked and captured by Russian forces.[238][239] A separate advance was made into Sumy Oblast on the same day, where the city of Sumy, just 35 kilometres (22 mi) from the Russo-Ukrainian border was attacked by Russian units. The Russian advance bogged down in urban fighting, and Ukrainian forces were successful in holding the city. According to Ukrainian sources, more than 100 Russian armoured vehicles were destroyed and dozens of soldiers were captured.[240] Okhtyrka also came under attack, where Russian forces were spotted deploying thermobaric weapons.[241]
In an assessment of the campaign on 4 March, Frederick Kagan wrote that the Sumy axis was currently "the most successful and dangerous Russian avenue of advance on Kyiv", and commented that the geography favoured mechanised advances as the terrain "is flat and sparsely populated, offering few good defensive positions".[200] Russian forces have made several deep advances along axes from the Sumy area, winning several battles in the process. Travelling along highways, Russian forces reached Brovary, an eastern suburb of Kyiv, on 4 March.[201][200] On 17 March, Izium was reportedly captured by Russian forces,[242] although fighting continued.[243] On 1 April, the Ukrainian military confirmed Izium was under Russian control.[244][245]
Eastern frontMain articles: Eastern Ukraine offensive, Battle of Kharkiv (2022), and Attack on Belgorod
Russian bombardment on the outskirts of Kharkiv, 1 MarchIn the east, Russian troops attempted to capture Kharkiv, less than 35 kilometres (22 mi) from the Russian border.[246][247] During the fighting, Russian tanks were met with strong Ukrainian resistance. On 28 February, the city was targeted by missile attacks which killed several people.[248] On 1 March, Denis Pushilin, the head of the DPR, announced that DPR forces had almost completely surrounded the city of Volnovakha.[249] On 2 March, Russian forces were repelled from Sievierodonetsk during an attack against the city.[250] On 25 March, the Russian defense ministry stated that Russia was prepared to enter the second phase of military operations in seeking to occupy major Ukrainian cities in Eastern Ukraine.[251] On 31 March, PBS News reported that Kharkiv was attacked by renewed shelling and missile attacks, at levels equalling or exceeding previous levels of shelling, on the day on which peace talks were to resume with Russia in Istanbul.[252]
Amid the heightened Russian shelling of Kharkiv on 31 March 2022, Russia reported a helicopter strike against an oil supply depot approximately 25 miles north of the border in Belgorod and accused Ukraine of the attack.[253] Ukraine, however, denied responsibility for the attack.[254]
Southern frontMain articles: Southern Ukraine offensive, Siege of Mariupol, and Battle of Enerhodar
Destroyed Russian BMP-3 near Mariupol, 7 MarchOn 24 February, Russian forces took control of the North Crimean Canal, allowing Crimea to obtain water from the Dnieper, previously cut off since 2014.[255] On 26 February, a siege of Mariupol began as the attack moved east towards the city, while simultaneously linking the front with separatist-held regions in Donbas.[241][256] En route to Mariupol, Russian forces entered Berdiansk before capturing it the following day.[257] On 1 March, Russian forces started preparing to resume their attack on Melitopol and other nearby cities, initiating a battle.[258] Ivan Fedorov, the mayor of Melitopol, later announced that Russian forces had occupied the city.[259] On the morning of 25 February, Russian units from the DPR advanced towards Mariupol and encountered Ukrainian forces near the village of Pavlopil, where they were defeated.[260][261][262] By the evening, the Russian Navy reportedly began an amphibious assault on the coastlines of the Sea of Azov 70 kilometres (43 mi) west of Mariupol. A US defence official said that Russian forces might be deploying thousands of marines from this beachhead.[263][264][265]
Another group Russian forces advanced north from Crimea, with the Russian 22nd Army Corps approaching the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant on 26 February.[266][267] On 28 February, they began a siege at Enerhodar in an attempt to take control of the nuclear power plant.[268] A fire was started at the plant during the battle.[269] The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) subsequently clarified that essential equipment had not been damaged.[270] By 4 March, the nuclear power plant fell under Russian control. Despite reports of fires, the power plant recorded no radiation leaks.[271] A third Russian attack group from Crimea moved northwest, where they captured bridges over the Dnieper.[272] On 2 March, Russian troops won a battle at Kherson and captured the city, becoming the first major Ukrainian city to be captured by Russian forces during the invasion.[273] Russian troops then advanced to Mykolaiv and attacked the city two days later, but were later repelled by Ukrainian forces.[274] Also on 2 March, Ukrainian forces initiated a counteroffensive on Horlivka,[275] which had been mainly controlled by the DPR since 2014.[276] Following a renewed missile attack on 14 March in Mariupol, the Ukrainian government claimed more than 2,500 deaths in the city.[277]
By 18 March, Mariupol was completely encircled and fighting reached the city centre, hampering civilian evacuation efforts.[278] On 20 March, an art school in the city, which was sheltering around 400 people, was destroyed by a Russian bombing.[279] The same day, as Russian forces continued their siege of the city, the Russian government demanded a full surrender, which several Ukrainian government officials refused.[202][203] On 24 March, Russian forces entered central Mariupol as part of the second phase of the invasion.[280] The city administration alleged the Russians were trying to demoralise residents by publicly shouting claims of Russian victories, including statements that Odessa had been captured.[281] On 27 March, Ukraine's deputy prime minister, Olha Stefanishyna, stated that "[Mariupol's inhabitants] don't have access to water, to any food supplies, to anything. More than 85 percent of the whole town is destroyed," and that Russia's objectives have "nothing to do with humanity".[282] In a telephone conversation between Putin and Macron on 29 March, Putin stated that the bombardment of Mariupol would only end when Ukrainian troops fully surrendered Mariupol, given the advanced state of devastation in the nearly overtaken city.[283]
On 1 April, a rescue effort by the United Nations (UN) to transport hundreds of civilian survivors out of Mariupol with 50 allocated buses was impeded by Russian troops, who refused them safe passage into the city while peace talks continued in Istanbul.[284] On 3 April, following the retraction of Russian forces from Kyiv at the end of phase one of the military invasion, Russia began to expand their attack on Southern Ukraine further west with increased bombardment and strikes against Odesa, Mykolaiv, and the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant.[285][286]
Western UkraineOn 14 March, Russian forces conducted multiple cruise missile attacks on a military training facility in Yavoriv, Lviv Oblast, close to the Polish border. Local governor Maksym Kozytskyy reported that at least 35 people had been killed in the attacks.[287][288] On 18 March, Russia expanded the attack to Lviv, with Ukrainian military officials saying initial information suggested that the missiles which hit Lviv were likely air-launched cruise missiles originating from warplanes flying over the Black Sea.[289]
Air conflictOn 24 February, Russian forces attacked the Chuhuiv air base,[290] which housed Bayraktar TB2 drones. The attack caused damage to fuel storage areas and infrastructure.[291] The next day, the Millerovo air base was attacked by Ukrainian military forces using OTR-21 Tochka missiles. According to Ukrainian officials, this destroyed several Russian Air Force planes and set the airbase on fire.[204][205] In the Zhytomyr Airport attack on 27 February, it was reported that Russia used 9K720 Iskander missile systems, located in Belarus, to attack the civilian Zhytomyr Airport.[292][293] Russia lost at least ten aircraft on 5 March.[294] On 6 March, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that 88 Russian aircraft had been destroyed since the war began.[295] However, an anonymous senior US defence official told Reuters on 7 March that Russia still had the "vast majority" of its fighter jets and helicopters that had been amassed near Ukraine available to fly.[296] After the first month of the invasion, Justin Bronk, a British military observer, counted the Russian aircraft losses at 15 fixed-wing aircraft and 35 helicopters, but noted that the true total was certainly higher.[297]
On 13 March, Russian forces conducted multiple cruise missile attacks on a military training facility in Yavoriv, Lviv Oblast, close to the Polish border. Local governor Maksym Kozytskyy reported that at least 35 people had been killed in the attacks.[298][299] The poor performance of the Russian Air Force has been attributed by The Economist to Russia's inability to suppress Ukraine's medium ranged surface-to-air missile (SAM) batteries, Russia's lack of precision-guided bombs, together with Ukrainian mid-range SAM sites that force planes to fly low, making them vulnerable to Stinger and other shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles, and lack of training and flight hours for Russian pilots rendering them inexperienced for the type of close ground support missions typical of modern air forces.[300]"Russian warship go f*ck yourself!", billboard in Russian language in Dnipro, Ukraine
Civilians in Kyiv preparing Molotov cocktails, 26 FebruaryNaval conflictUkraine lies on the Black Sea, which only has access through the Turkish-held Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits. On 28 February, Turkey invoked the 1936 Montreux Convention and sealed off the straits to Russian warships not registered as having Black Sea home bases and not returning to their ports of origin. This prevented the passage of four Russian naval vessels through the Turkish Straits.[301][302][303]
On 24 February, the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine announced that an attack on Snake Island by Russian Navy ships had begun.[304] The cruiser Moskva and patrol boat Vasily Bykov bombarded the island with their deck guns.[305] When the Russian warship identified itself and instructed the Ukrainian soldiers stationed on the island to surrender, their response was "Russian warship, go f*ck yourself!"[306][307] After the bombardment, a detachment of Russian soldiers landed and took control of Snake Island.[308]
Russia stated on 26 February that US drones were supplying intelligence to the Ukrainian navy to help target Russian warships in the Black Sea, which the US denied.[309]
By 3 March, the Ukrainian frigate Hetman Sahaidachny, the flagship of the Ukrainian navy, was scuttled in Mykolaiv to prevent its capture by Russian forces.[310][311][312][313] On 14 March, the Russian source RT reported that the Russian Armed Forces had captured about a dozen Ukrainian ships in Berdiansk, including the Polnocny-class landing ship Yuri Olefirenko.[314]
On 24 March, Ukrainian officials said that a Russian landing ship docked in Berdiansk – initially reported to be the Orsk and then its sister ship, the Saratov – was destroyed by a Ukrainian rocket attack.[315][234][257]
Popular resistanceUkrainian civilians resisted the Russian invasion, volunteering for territorial defence units, making Molotov cocktails, donating food, constructing barriers such as Czech hedgehogs,[316] and helping to transport refugees.[317] Responding to a call from Ukraine's transportation agency, Ukravtodor, civilians dismantled or altered road signs, constructed makeshift barriers, and blocked roadways. Social media reports showed spontaneous street protests against Russian forces in occupied settlements, often evolving into verbal altercations and physical standoffs with Russian troops.[318]
In some instances, people physically blocked Russian military vehicles, sometimes forcing them to retreat.[318][319][320] The Russian soldiers' response to unarmed civilian resistance varied from reluctance to engage the protesters[318] to firing into the air or directly into crowds.[321] There have been mass detentions of Ukrainian protesters, and Ukrainian media reported forced disappearances, mock executions, hostage-taking, extrajudicial killing, and sexual violence perpetrated by the Russian military.[322]
Foreign military involvementSee also: List of foreign aid to Ukraine during the Russo-Ukrainian War
Russia Ukraine Countries that have supplied Ukraine with military equipment during the 2022 invasion
Russia Ukraine Countries sending any aid, including humanitarian aid, to UkraineSince 2014, the UK, US, EU, and NATO have provided mostly non-lethal military aid to Ukraine.[323] Lethal military support was limited, with the US beginning to sell weapons including Javelin anti-tank missiles starting in 2018,[323] and Ukraine agreeing to purchase TB2 combat drones from Turkey in 2019.[324] As Russia began building up its equipment and troops on Ukraine's borders, in January 2022, the US started approving some of the NATO member states to transfer their US-produced weapons to Ukraine.[325] The UK also began supplying NLAW and Javelin anti-tank weapons.[326] Following the invasion, NATO member states, including Germany, agreed to supply weapons, but NATO as an organisation did not.[62][327][328] NATO and its member states also refused to send troops into Ukraine as this would risk a larger-scale war,[329][330] a decision which some experts have labelled as a policy of appeasement.[331][332]
On 26 February, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that he had authorised $350 million in lethal military assistance, including anti-armor and anti-aircraft systems.[333][334] The next day the EU stated that it would purchase €450 million (US$502 million) in lethal assistance and an additional €50 million ($56 million) in non-lethal supplies to be supplied to Ukraine, with Poland acting as a distribution hub.[335][336][337] During the first week of the invasion, NATO member states supplied more than 17,000 anti-tank weapons to Ukraine.[338]
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell stated that the EU intended to supply Ukraine with fighter jets. Bulgaria, Poland, and Slovakia had MiG-29s, and Slovakia also had Su-25s, aircraft which Ukraine already flew and which could be transferred without pilot training.[339] However, the planes' owners were reluctant to donate weapons critical for their own territorial defences, and feared that Russia could view it as an act of war if jets fly from their air bases to fight over Ukraine.[340][341]
Anatoly Bibilov, president of Georgia's breakaway state South Ossetia, announced on 26 March that troops from South Ossetia had been sent to Ukraine.[342][343] Later, it was clarified that Bibilov was referring to Ossetians with Russian citizenship or who serve in the Russian military at the fourth military base of the 58th Russian Army, deployed in South Ossetia.[344][345] Redeployment of troops from the base started on 16 March.[346][347]
Foreign volunteersSee also: International Legion of Territorial Defense of UkraineUkraine has been actively seeking volunteers from other countries. On 1 March, Ukraine temporarily lifted visa requirements for foreign volunteers who wished to join the fight against Russian forces. The move came after Zelenskyy created the International Legion of Territorial Defense of Ukraine and called on volunteers to "join the defense of Ukraine, Europe and the world."[348] Ukraine's foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba stated that as of 6 March, approximately 20,000 foreign nationals from 52 countries have volunteered to fight.[349] Most of these volunteers joined the newly created International Legion of Territorial Defense of Ukraine.[349]
On 3 March, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov warned that mercenaries are not entitled to protection under the Geneva Conventions, and foreign fighters that have been captured will not be given prisoner of war status and will be prosecuted as criminals.[350] On 11 March, Moscow announced that 16,000 volunteers from the Middle East were ready to join other pro-Russian foreign fighters alongside the Donbas separatists.[351] A video uploaded online showed armed Central African paramilitaries calling to arms to fight in Ukraine with Russian troops.[352]
Casualties and humanitarian impactCasualtiesFurther information: Casualties of the Russo-Ukrainian WarSee also: List of Russian generals killed during the 2022 invasion of Ukraine and List of journalists killed during the Russo-Ukrainian WarBreakdown Casualties Time range SourceCivilians 6,769–7,096+ killed 24 February – 4 April 2022 Ukrainian government[e]1,563 killed, 2,213 wounded 24 February – 5 April 2022 United Nations[353]Ukrainian forces(UAF, NGU) 1,300 killed 24 February – 12 March 2022 Ukrainian government[354]2,000–4,000 killed 24 February – 9 March 2022 US estimate[355]14,000 killed, 16,000 wounded 24 February – 25 March 2022 Russian government[17]Russian forces(RAF, Rosgvardiya, PMC Wagner) 1,351 killed, 3,825 wounded[d] 24 February – 25 March 2022 Russian government[17]30,000–40,000 casualties[f] 24 February – 23 March 2022 NATO estimate[356]10,000+ killed 24 February – 30 March 2022 US estimate[357]18,600 losses 24 February – 6 April 2022 Ukrainian government[358]Donetsk PR forces 767 killed, 3,559 wounded 25 February – 31 March 2022 Donetsk PR[g]With respect to Russian military losses, Ukrainian estimates tended to be high, while Russian estimates of their own losses tended to be low. Combat deaths can be inferred from a variety of sources, including satellite imagery and video image of military actions.[361] According to a researcher at the Department of Peace and Conflict Research at Uppsala University in Sweden, Ukraine's government was engaged in a misinformation campaign aimed to boost morale and Western media was generally happy to accept its claims, while Russia was "probably" downplaying its own casualties. Ukraine also tended to be quieter about its own military fatalities.[362] According to BBC News, Ukrainian claims of Russian fatalities were possibly including the injured as well.[363] Analysts warned about accepting the Ukrainian claims as fact, as Western countries were emphasizing the Russian military's toll, while Russia wanted to downplay its losses.[364]
The number of civilian and military deaths is impossible to determine with precision given the fog of war.[365][361] The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) considers the number of civilian casualties to be considerably higher than the one the United Nations are able to certify.[366]
Prisoners of warRussia claimed to have captured 572 Ukrainian soldiers by 2 March 2022,[367] while Ukraine claimed 562 Russian soldiers were being held as prisoners as of 20 March,[368] with 10 previously reported released in prisoner exchanges for five Ukrainian soldiers and the mayor of Melitopol.[369][370] Subsequently, the first large prisoner exchange took place on 24 March, when 10 Russian and 10 Ukrainian soldiers, as well as 11 Russian and 19 Ukrainian civilian sailors, were exchanged.[371][372] On 1 April, 86 Ukrainian servicemen were exchanged[373] for an unknown number of Russian troops.[374]
On 24 February, it was reported that Oksana Markarova, Ukraine's ambassador to the US, stated that a platoon of the 74th Guards Motor Rifle Brigade from Kemerovo Oblast surrendered, saying they were unaware that they had been brought to Ukraine and tasked with killing Ukrainians.[375]
On 8 March, a Ukrainian defence reporter with The Kyiv Independent announced that the Ukrainian government was working towards having Russian POWs work to help revive the Ukrainian economy, in full compliance with international law.[376]
RefugeesMain article: Ukrainian refugee crisis
Ukrainian refugees sheltering beneath a bridge in Kyiv, 5 March
Refugee children and babies in a basement in Kyiv, 1 MarchThe war has caused the largest refugee and humanitarian crisis within Europe since the Yugoslav Wars in the 1990s;[377][378] the UN has described it as the fastest growing such crisis since World War II.[379] Because of the continued military build-up in Russia along the Ukrainian border, many neighbouring governments and aid organisations had been preparing for a mass displacement event in the weeks before the invasion. In December 2021, the Ukrainian defence minister estimated that an invasion could force three to five million people to flee their homes.[380]
In the first week of the invasion, the UN reported over a million refugees had fled Ukraine; this subsequently rose to over 4.3 million by 6 April.[31][29] Most refugees were women, children, the elderly, or people with disabilities.[381][382][383] As of 16 March, another 6.5 million people were displaced inside Ukraine.[384] By 20 March, a total of ten million Ukrainians had fled their homes, making it the fastest growing refugee crisis in the contemporary era.[385] Most male Ukrainian nationals aged 18 to 60 were denied exit from Ukraine as part of mandatory conscription,[386] except if they were responsible for the financial support of three or more children, single fathers, or were the parent/guardian of children with disabilities.[387] Many Ukrainian men, including teenagers, in any case opted to remain in Ukraine to join the resistance.[388] There has also been an inflow of over 66,200 Ukrainian men to Ukraine, returning from abroad to fight.[389]
On 6 April, BBC News, relying on data from the UN High Commission for Refugees, reported that the total number of refugees exceeded 4.2 million people, the majority of whom crossed the border to Poland.[390] The BBC report provided the number of refugees seeking refuge in specific nations, stating Poland had received 2,490,447 refugees; Romania 654,825; Moldova 399,039; Hungary 398,932; Russia 350,632; Slovakia 202,417; and Belarus 17,317.[390] As of 17 March, over 270,000 refugees from Ukraine had arrived in the Czech Republic.[391] Turkey has been another significant destination, registering more than 58,000 Ukrainian refugees as of 22 March.[392][393] The EU invoked the Temporary Protection Directive for the first time in its history, granting Ukrainian refugees the right to live and work in the EU for up to three years.[394]
Thousands of refugees arriving in Russia appear to have been forcibly relocated.[395] Some Mariupol evacuees have allegedly been sent to work in Russia, with Ukrainian officials claiming thousands have been dispatched to Taganrog. RIA Novosti, a Russian state media outlet, reported that some Mariupol residents have been evacuated to Donetsk, Ryazan, and Yaroslavl.[396]
A second refugee crisis created by the invasion and by the Russian government's crackdown has been the flight of up to 200,000 Russian political refugees, to countries like the Baltic states, Georgia, and Turkey. Some of these have faced discrimination for being Russian.[397][398]
Legal implicationsLegalityMain article: Legality of the 2022 Russian invasion of UkraineThe invasion of Ukraine violated the Charter of the United Nations and constituted a crime of aggression according to international criminal law, raising the possibility of prosecution under universal jurisdiction.[399][400][401] The invasion violated the Rome Statute, which prohibits "the invasion or attack by the armed forces of a State of the territory of another State, or any military occupation, however temporary, resulting from such invasion or attack, or any annexation by the use of force of the territory of another State or part thereof". Ukraine did not ratify the Rome Statute and Russia withdrew its signature in 2016.[402]
Human rights violationsInternational Commission of Inquiry on UkraineMain article: International Commission of Inquiry on UkraineOn 4 March 2022, the United Nations Human Rights Council voted 32–2, with 13 abstentions, to create the International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine, an independent international committee of three human rights experts with a mandate to investigate alleged violations of human rights and of international humanitarian law in the context of the invasion.[403][404]
War crimes and crimes against humanityMain article: War crimes in the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine
Executed people with wrists bound in plastic restraints, in a basement in Bucha
A children's hospital in Mariupol after Russian airstrikeAttributed to Russian authorities and forcesAccording to Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine, Russian forces repeatedly launched indiscriminate attacks in densely populated areas, exposing the civilian population to unnecessary and disproportionate harm.[405][406][407] Russian forces used cluster munitions – a type of weapon that is prohibited by most states because of its immediate and long-term danger to civilians[408][409] – and fired other explosive weapons with wide-area effects including air-dropped bombs, missiles, heavy artillery shells, and multiple launch rockets.[409] The result of the attacks was damage or destruction of civilian buildings, including houses, hospitals, schools, and kindergartens,[409] as well as nuclear power plants[410] and cultural properties such as historic buildings, museums, and churches.[411]
On 20 March, Russian forces were also accused of the deportations of thousands of civilians from Russian-occupied Mariupol to Russia.[412] In the first month of the invasion, the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission documented the arbitrary detention in Russian-occupied territories of journalists, civil society activists, public officials, and civil servants.[413][409][414]
Human rights organisations and news reports raised concerns about numerous episodes of sexual violence, torture, and extrajudicial executions of Ukrainian civilians by members of the Russian forces.[415][416][417] After Ukrainian forces retook the town of Bucha at the end of March, evidence emerged of mass war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Russian troops, including torture and willful killing of unarmed civilians.[418][419] In the aftermath of the Bucha massacre, several nations, including the US, UK, Germany, France, and Italy, have called for the punishment of the perpetrators and for increased sanctions on Russia.[420][421]
The German newsmagazine Der Spiegel reported on April 7, 2022 that the German Federal Intelligence Service (BND) has recorded radio conversations between the suspected Russian perpetrators of the murder of Ukrainian civilians in Bucha. On this basis, Der Spiegel concluded that these brutal acts must be a deliberate strategy of Putin's Russian Army[422].
Attributed to Ukrainian authorities and forcesAuthorities from the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people's republics accused the Ukrainian armed forces of shelling populated areas and using cluster munitions,[409][423] and the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine documented the killing of civilians in an incident involving a missile over Donetsk.[409] The Ukrainian government denied this accusation, claiming the missile was launched by the Russian forces as part of a false flag operation.[424]
People believed to be marauders, bootleggers, pro-Russian supporters, and curfew violators were subjected to torture and ill treatment, as was documented in numerous reports and videos gathered by the UN Monitoring Mission.[409] Human rights organisations called on the Ukrainian government to uphold the rights of Russian prisoners of war under the Third Geneva Convention and to stop circulating videos of captured Russian soldiers being humiliated or intimidated.[425][426] A video purportedly showing Ukrainian soldiers shooting Russian prisoners in the knees prompted concerns about the torture and arbitrary executions of prisoners of war.[427][425] Oleksiy Arestovych, adviser to the Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, said that the case is taken "very serious" and that it will be immediately investigated, since it would be "absolutely unacceptable behavior".[428]
Legal proceedingsFurther information: Legality of the 2022 Russian invasion of UkraineInternational Criminal CourtMain article: International Criminal Court investigation in UkraineOn 27 February, Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba called for the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate the Okhtyrka kindergarten bombing.[429] On 28 February, Karim Ahmad Khan, the chief prosecutor of the ICC, said he planned to investigate allegations of war crimes in Ukraine "as rapidly as possible" following the ICC's preliminary examination of the case. Thirty-nine states officially referred the situation in Ukraine to the ICC. On 3 March, Khan announced that evidence was being collected of alleged war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide committed by individuals of all sides during the invasion, and that a full investigation would be opened.[430] Russia is not party to the ICC's Rome Statute, or founding treaty, and therefore does not recognize its authority.[431]
International Court of JusticeMain article: Ukraine v. Russian Federation (2022)Ukraine filed a lawsuit against Russia before the International Court of Justice (ICJ), accusing Russia of violating the 1948 Genocide Convention (to which both Ukraine and Russia are parties) by falsely claiming genocide as a pretext for invading Ukraine.[432] The International Association of Genocide Scholars supported Ukraine's request. Ukraine asked the ICJ to adopt provisional measures, an order directing Russia to halt its offensive in Ukraine. The ICJ granted Ukraine's request to expedite the proceedings.[433] Russian representatives refused to appear at a court hearing at the Peace Palace in The Hague.[434] On 16 March, the ICJ ordered Russia, as a provisional measure, to "immediately suspend the military operations that it commenced on 24 February 2022 in the territory of Ukraine". The decision was taken after a 13–2 vote, with the Russian and Chinese judges in opposition.[435][436] It is binding on Russia, but the ICJ has no means to enforce it.[437]
Universal jurisdictionMain article: Universal jurisdiction investigations of war crimes in UkraineDomestic investigations of potential war crimes committed by Russian forces in Ukraine were opened, under the principle of universal jurisdiction, in countries including Estonia, Germany, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, and legal proceedingsIryna Venediktova, the Prosecutor General of Ukraine, has called for a Nuremberg trials-style ad hoc international criminal tribunal to be established to hold Russian officials responsible for waging the crime of aggression and for atrocities during the war. Former British prime ministers Gordon Brown and John Major, as well as former prosecutor for the Nuremberg Military Tribunal Benjamin Ferencz, are among dozens of public figures who support the measure.[442][443]
Peace effortsMain article: 2022 Russia–Ukraine peace negotiations
In the first government delegation to Ukraine since the beginning of the invasion, the prime ministers of Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovenia met with Zelenskyy in Kyiv on 15 March.[444]On 28 February, Ukrainian and Russian negotiators began talks in Belarus aimed at a ceasefire and ensuring humanitarian corridors for the evacuation of civilians. After three rounds of talks, no deal was reached.[445] On 5 March, Russia declared a five-and-a-half-hour ceasefire in Mariupol and Volnovakha, to open humanitarian corridors for civilians to evacuate.[446][447] Ukraine blamed Russian forces for repeatedly breaking the ceasefire by shelling the two cities;[448][449] the Russian defence ministry stated the firing came from inside both cities against Russian positions.[449] The International Committee of the Red Cross declared that the effort to evacuate civilians had failed.[450]
On 7 March, as a condition for ending the invasion, the Kremlin demanded Ukraine's neutrality,[451] recognition of Crimea, which was annexed by Russia in 2014, as Russian territory, and recognition of the self-proclaimed separatist republics of Donetsk and Luhansk as independent states.[452] The same day, Russia declared a temporary ceasefire in Kyiv, Sumy, and two other cities, starting from 10:30 Moscow Time (UTC+3).[453] On 8 March, Zelenskyy suggested a direct meeting with Putin to end the invasion and expressed willingness to discuss Putin's demands.[454] Zelenskyy said he was ready for dialogue, but "not for capitulation".[455] He proposed a new collective security agreement for Ukraine with the US, Turkey, France, Germany, and Russia as an alternative to the country joining NATO.[456] Zelenskyy's Servant of the People party said that Ukraine would not give up Crimea, Donetsk, and Luhansk.[457] However, Zelenskyy said that Ukraine was considering giving the Russian language protected minority status.[458]
On 10 March, Foreign Ministers Sergey Lavrov and Dmytro Kuleba met for talks in Antalya, Turkey, with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu as a mediator within the scope of the Antalya Diplomacy Forum, in the first high-level contact between the two sides since the beginning of the invasion.[459] On 15 March, during the fourth round of talks, Zelenskyy suggested that Ukraine would accept not pursuing membership of NATO.[460] On 17 March, the Financial Times reported that a 15-point plan negotiated with Russia was identified by Zelenskyy as offering a more "realistic" possibility for ending the war than previous talks.[461] Mykhailo Podolyak, continuing as the chief negotiator for the Ukrainian peace delegation, indicated that peace negotiations of a 15-point plan would involve the retraction of Russian forces from their advanced positions in Ukraine, along with international guarantees for military support and alliance in case of renewed Russian military action, in return for Ukraine not pursuing further affiliation with NATO.[462]
On 17 March, Çavuşoğlu was the first foreign minister to visit Ukraine after the start of the invasion. In a joint meeting with Kuleba, he reiterated support for Ukraine and revealed plans for a collective security agreement for Ukraine involving the US, Russia, UK, France, Germany, and Turkey, and called for leaders of both countries to meet in person, stating that the "hopes for ceasefire have increased".[463] Shortly afterwards, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian reportedly received intelligence that the Russians might be disingenuous and warned that Russia was only "pretending to negotiate", in line with a strategy it has used elsewhere.[464]
On 20 March, Turkish presidential spokesman İbrahim Kalın said the two sides were getting closer on four key issues. He cited Russia's demand for Ukraine to renounce ambitions to join NATO, demilitarisation, what Russia has referred to as "denzfication", and the protection of the Russian language in Ukraine, with the issues of Crimea and Donbas being the most pressing of the negotiations.[465] However, that same day, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that no significant progress had been made in peace talks, accusing Ukraine of stalling the talks by making proposals unacceptable for Russia. In response, Ukraine reiterated its willingness to negotiate but stated it would not accept Russian ultimatums.[466] On 22 March, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said that "elements of diplomatic progress" were coming into view "on several key issues" and that an immediate cease-fire was possible; he urged the parties involved to cease hostilities immediately and enter into serious negotiations as the war was "unwinnable" on the battlefield.[467]
On 28 March, Zelenskyy confirmed that a renewal of peace talk negotiations with Russia would start in Istanbul on 29 March, with the intention of discussing Ukrainian neutrality towards Russia along with the repudiation of any claims for Ukrainian NATO membership in the future.[468] On 29 March, Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas indicated agreement with Le Drian that any Russian offers of peaceful negotiation about Ukraine or withdrawal from Kyiv should be met with diplomatic skepticism, based on a history of unreliability by Russia in similar peace negotiations with other countries.[464][469]
Media depictionsSee also: Disinformation in the 2021–2022 Russo-Ukrainian crisis and Media portrayal of the Ukrainian crisisThroughout the invasion, messages, videos, photos, and audio recordings were shared across social media, news sites, and by friends and families of Ukrainian and Russian citizens. While many were authentic, first-hand images of the conflict, others were images and videos of past conflicts and events or were otherwise misleading. Some of these were created to spread disinformation or propaganda.[470][471][472]
Observers have criticised Western media's portrayal of Ukraine's suffering as somewhat different from the suffering in wars in countries like Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Iraq, Libya, Palestine, Syria, and Yemen.[473][474][475] In China,[476] India,[477][478] Indonesia,[479] and Malaysia,[480] social media users showed sympathy for Russian narratives due more to cynicism toward US foreign policy rather than support for the invasion.
CensorshipSee also: Media freedom in Russia and Putinism
Russian state-controlled media does not inform the Russian public about the destruction and the high number of casualties among civilians and Russian soldiers.[481]The Russian censorship apparatus Roskomnadzor ordered the country's media to employ information only from Russian state sources or face fines and blocks,[482] and ordered media and schools to describe the war as a "special military operation",[483] in line with Putin's speech on 24 February 2022. As the Russian government has avoided referring to the Russian invasion of Ukraine as a war or an invasion, stories that describe the event as an "assault", "invasion", or a "declaration of war" were ordered to be deleted.[484][485][486] Roskomnadzor launched an investigation against several independent Russian media outlets for publishing information about the war or civilian casualties.[487] The regulator threatened to block access to the Russian Wikipedia in Russia, and fine Wikipedia up to four million rubles (US$50,000), over its article on the invasion for reporting casualties among the Russian military personnel and Ukrainian imposed partial restriction on access to Facebook on 25 February,[491] as Facebook had refused a Russian demand to stop fact-checking the posts made by four state-owned media organisations: Zvezda, RIA Novosti,, and Gazeta.Ru.[492] On 26 February, Facebook announced that it would ban Russian state media from advertising and monetising content on its platform.[493] Facebook also uncovered a Russian disinformation campaign using fake accounts, and attempts to hack the accounts of high-profile Ukrainians.[494] On 27 February, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen announced an EU-wide ban of Russia's state-sponsored RT and Sputnik news channels following the decision of Poland and Estonia days earlier.[495]
On 3 March, Echo of Moscow's board of directors voted to close the station down.[496] On 4 March, Roskomnadzor blocked access to several foreign media outlets, including BBC News Russian, Voice of America, RFE/RL, Deutsche Welle, and Meduza, as well as Facebook and Twitter.[497][498][499] Russian authorities also blocked access to Echo of Moscow and Dozhd (TV Rain), Russia's last independent TV station,[500] claiming that they were spreading false information on the Russian military and calling for violence.[501] Novaya Gazeta, an independent newspaper critical of the Russian government, suspended its activity until the end of the conflict after having received warnings from Roskomnadzor.[502]
Putin signed into law a bill introducing prison sentences of up to 15 years for those who publish "fake news" about the Russian military and its operations,[503] leading to some media outlets to stop reporting on Ukraine; he also signed into law a bill that would allow fines or prison sentences of up to three years for those calling for sanctions.[504][505][506] On 11 March, Mark Bernstein, a top Russian Wikipedia editor, was detained by the Belarusian security service GUBOPiK on charges of violating the "fake news" law after being doxxed on Telegram.[507]
Bolstering support against the invasion by UkraineUkrainian officials have used social media to bolster support against the invasion and to spread information to the world and their citizens. Targeted posts and videos have also been used for recruitment drives for international aid and soldiers. Some have highlighted the Ukrainian officials' methods as beneficial, by flooding the world with their messages.[508] Several academics, including Professors Rob Danish and Timothy Naftali, have highlighted Zelenskyy's speaking ability and his ability to manipulate social media to spread information and draw upon feelings of shame and concern while building kinship with the viewer.[509] Additional real time information about the invasion has been spread by online activists, journalists, politicians, and members of the general population, both from within and from outside Ukraine.[510]
PropagandaRussian state propaganda
Putin and Konstantin Ernst, chief of Russia's main state-controlled TV station Channel One.[511]Russian state-controlled media, such as Russia-24,[512] Russia-1,[513] and Channel One, and pro-Kremlin TV pundits like Vladimir Solovyov mostly followed the government's narrative on the war.[514][515][516] On 28 February, RIA Novosti published and then took down an article incorrectly saying that Russia had won the Russo-Ukrainian War and that "Ukraine has returned to Russia".[517][518] On 14 March, Marina Ovsyannikova, an editor for Russia's Channel One, interrupted the state television's live broadcast to protest against the Russian invasion of Ukraine,[519] carrying a poster stating in a mix of Russian and English: "Stop the war, don't believe the propaganda, here you are being lied to."[520] RT, a Russian state-controlled television network, was officially banned in the European Union and suspended by television service providers in several other countries.[521] Russian state-linked channels such as RT and Sputnik were also blocked by YouTube across Europe to prevent Russian disinformation.[522] Many RT journalists resigned from RT following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.[523][524]
Russian teachers received detailed instructions on how to talk to students about the invasion of Ukraine.[525] The Mayakovsky Theatre in Moscow received a government email "to refrain from any comments on the course of military actions in Ukraine", warning that any negative comments would be "regarded as treason against the Motherland".[525] The "Z" symbol has been used by the Russian government as a pro-war propaganda tool and by Russian civilians as a sign of support for the invasion.[526]
According to The Guardian's Pjotr Sauer, one reason many Russians still support Putin and the "special military operation" in Ukraine has to do with the propaganda and disinformation being disseminated by the Russian government.[527] Polls conducted by the Levada Center between 17 and 21 February found that 60% of respondents blamed the US and NATO for escalating tensions, while only 4% blamed Russia.[528] Similarly, a telephone survey conducted by independent researchers from 28 February to 1 March found that 58% of Russian respondents approved of the military operation.[529][530] However, a series of four online polls by Alexei Navalny's Anti-Corruption Foundation found that between 25 February and 3 March, the share of Russian respondents who considered Russia an "aggressor" increased from 29% to 53%, while the share of those who considered Russia a "peacemaker" fell by half from 25% to 12%.[531][532]
Some observers noted what they described as a "generational struggle" among Russians over perception of the war,[533] with younger Russians generally opposed to the war[534] and older Russians more likely to accept the narrative presented by state-controlled media in Russia.[535] Kataryna Wolczuk, an associate fellow of Chatham House's Russia and Eurasia programme, said, "[Older] Russians are inclined to think in line with the official 'narrative' that Russia is defending Russian speakers in Ukraine, so it's about offering protection rather than aggression."[535] Russia's opposition politician Alexei Navalny said the "monstrosity of lies" in the Russian state media "is unimaginable. And, unfortunately, so is its persuasiveness for those who have no access to alternative information."[536]
On 12 March, YouTube announced it was blocking an unspecified number of Russian state-backed media, including RT and Sputnik, citing its policy that prohibits content that "denies, minimizes, or trivializes well-documented violent events."[537] On 18 March, the British media regulator Ofcom revoked RT's broadcasting licence.[538] On 2 April, Axios reported that Putin's approval rating inside of Russia had risen to 83% a month after the invasion, from a 69% approval rating as measured prior to the invasion during the height of the C-19 pandemic.[539]
Mediazona, a Russian independent media outlet, reported that the FSB had fabricated a video of a woman accusing Ukraine of war crimes in Mariupol.[540][541] Mediazona also shared screenshots of what it said were emails from the FSB to media outlets, instructing them to not say where the video came from.[540]
Ukrainian propagandaPropaganda was used in Ukraine mainly to raise awareness in Europe to provide support and military aid to Ukraine, and to urge the implementation of a no-fly zone over Ukrainian territory.[542] In one example, a graphic and openly doctored video depicting the bombing of Paris was spread online in mid-March by multiple government accounts and local news outlets, including the Kyiv Post.[543]
Propaganda in other countriesChinese diplomats, government agencies, and state-controlled media in China have used the war as an opportunity to deploy anti-American propaganda,[544] and they have amplified conspiracy theories created by Russia, such as the false claims that public health facilities in Ukraine are "secret US biolabs".[545][546] Such conspiracy theories have also been promoted by Cuban state media.[547]
Russian propaganda has also been repeated by the state-controlled outlets of other countries such as Serbia[548] and Iran.[549][550] In Iran, the state media criticised the British embassy in Tehran after it raised the Ukrainian flag in support of Ukraine. Reports from Sputnik have been actively republished by Iran's pro-regime media.[551] In Latin America, RT Actualidad is a popular channel that has spread disinformation about the war.[552] Authorities in Vietnam have instructed reporters not to use the word "invasion" and to minimize coverage of the war.[553] In South Africa, the governing African National Congress published an article in its weekly newsletter ANC Today endorsing the notion that Russia had invaded Ukraine to denzfy it.[554][553]
Although the Indonesian government condemned Russia's invasion, pro-Russian propaganda was spread by social media users and some academics.[555][556] A study performed by Airlangga University revealed that 71% of Indonesian netizens supported the invasion.[556] This support was due to affection for Putin's strongman leadership, as well as anti-US and anti-Western political alignments.[557] Many Indonesians disliked Zelenskyy due to seeing him as a weak leader and a "comedian" not worthy to rule a country.[557] Additionally, many supported Russia due to positive reports of Ramzan Kadyrov and claims of the Azov Battalion covering their bullets with lard to be used against Chechen troops in the invasion.[558][559]
Sanctions and ramificationsMain article: International sanctions during the Russo-Ukrainian WarSanctionsFurther information: List of companies that applied sanctions during the Russo-Ukrainian War and List of people sanctioned during the Russo-Ukrainian WarSee also: Russia–Ukraine gas disputes, South Stream, and TurkStreamFile:President offeren on 2022 Russia invasion.webmUS president Joe offeren's statements and a short question and answer session on 24 February 2022Western countries and others imposed limited sanctions on Russia when it recognised the independence of Donbas. With the commencement of attacks on 24 February, a large number of other countries began applying sanctions with the aim of crippling the Russian economy.[560] The sanctions were wide-ranging, targeting individuals, banks, businesses, monetary exchanges, bank transfers, exports, and imports.[561][562][563] The sanctions included cutting off major Russian banks from SWIFT, the global messaging network for international payments, although there would still be limited accessibility to ensure the continued ability to pay for gas shipments.[564] Sanctions also included asset freezes on the Russian Central Bank, which holds $630 billion in foreign-exchange reserves,[565] to prevent it from offsetting the impact of sanctions[566][567][568] and implicated the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.[569] By 1 March, the total amount of Russian assets being frozen by sanctions amounted to $1 trillion.[570]
Major multinational companies, including Apple, IKEA, ExxonMobil, and General Motors, have decided themselves to apply sanctions to Russia, acting as international law enforcers on behalf of states.[571][572] Ukrainian and Western governments have explicitly urged the global private sector to help uphold international law, and the EU, UK and Australia have also called on global digital platforms to remove pro-Russian propaganda.[571] Multinational companies have disengaged from Russia to comply with sanctions and trade restrictions imposed by home states, but also on their own accord, beyond what was required by law, to avoid the economic and reputational risks associated with maintaining commercial ties with Russia.[571][572]French finance minister Bruno Le Maire said that the EU "will bring about the collapse" of the Russian economy.[573]Several countries that are historically neutral, such as Switzerland and Singapore,[574][575] have agreed to sanctions.[576][577] Some countries also applied sanctions to Belarusian organisations and individuals, such as President Alexander Lukashenko, because of Belarus' involvement in the invasion.[578] Since 1969, Germany had maintained a policy called Ostpolitik, choosing dependence on Russian energy to maintain peaceful relations with Russia and to integrate it in to Europe, while allowing defence spending to fall.[579]
In response to the invasion, Germany's new chancellor, Olaf Scholz, decided to suspend Nord Stream 2 and announced a new policy of energy independence from Russia, admitting that Ostpolitik was a failure. In addition, Germany provided arms shipments to Ukraine, the first time that it provided arms to a country at war since the end of World War II. Germany also increased defence expenditures by approximately $100 billion, by some estimates making it the third largest military spender in the world.[579] This change from a policy of appeasement to brinkmanship has been called a new epoch in German policy by The Economist.[580]
Upon his arrival for the NATO summit meetings in Europe on 24 March, offeren indicated that further economic sanctions would be placed against Russia, including restrictions on the Russian Central Bank's use of gold in transactions and a new round of sanctions that targeted defense companies, the head of Russia's largest bank, and more than 300 members of the Russian State Duma.[581]
On 27 February, Putin responded to the sanctions, and to what he called "aggressive statements" by Western governments, by ordering the country's "deterrence forces"—generally understood to include its nuclear forces—to be put on a "special regime of combat duty". This novel term provoked some confusion as to what exactly was changing, but US officials declared it generally "escalatory".[582] Following sanctions and criticisms of their relations with Russian business, a boycott movement began and many companies and organisations chose to exit Russian or Belarusian markets voluntarily.[583] The boycotts impacted many consumer goods, entertainment, education, technology, and sporting organisations.[584]
The US instituted export controls, a novel sanction focused on restricting Russian access to high-tech components, both hardware and software, made with any parts or intellectual property from the US. The sanction required that any person or company that wanted to sell technology, semiconductors, encryption software, lasers, or sensors to Russia request a licence, which by default was denied. The enforcement mechanism involved sanctions against the person or company, with the sanctions focused on the shipbuilding, aerospace, and defence industries.[585] As an effect of the sanctions, Russian elites shifted funds worth hundreds of millions of dollars from sanctioning countries, like the UK and Switzerland, to countries that have not imposed sanctions, like the United Arab Emirates.[586]
Russia Ukraine – closed its airspace to Russia in 2015 Countries that have banned Russian aircraft from their airspace in response to the invasionRussian airlines and private flights, with the exception of certain permitted flights such as those made for humanitarian reasons, were banned from national airspaces in the EU,[587] UK,[588] and US.[589] Russia responded by banning several countries from its airspace.[590] On 25 February, US carrier Delta Air Lines announced that it was suspending ties with Aeroflot.[591]
Economic impactMain article: Economic impact of the 2022 Russian invasion of UkraineFurther information: 2021–2022 global energy crisis and Russia in the European energy sectorKristalina Georgieva, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, warned that the conflict posed a substantial economic risk for the region and internationally. She added that the Fund could help other countries impacted by the conflict, complementary to a $2.2 billion loan package being prepared to assist Ukraine. David Malpass, the president of the World Bank Group, said that the conflict would have far-reaching economic and social effects, and reported that the bank was preparing options for significant economic and fiscal support to Ukrainians and the region.[592]
Despite unprecedented international sanctions against Russia, payments for energy raw materials were largely spared from these measures, as were food supplies because of the potential impact on world food prices. Russia and Ukraine are major producers of wheat that is exported through the Bosporus to Mediterranean and North African countries.[593][594] The expulsion of some Russian banks from SWIFT is expected to affect the country's exports.[595] Due to the fact that Russia is the largest trading and economic partner for post-Soviet states in Central Asia and a major destination for millions of CIS's migrant workers,[596] Central Asia has been particularly hard hit by sanctions against Russia.[597][better source needed][clarification needed]
The major weapon manufacturers reported sharp rises in interim revenues and Zelenskyy meeting with Boris Johnson on 1 February 2022
President of Poland Andrzej Duda during his visit in Kyiv twelve hours before the invasion (23 February 2022)[601]Economic sanctions affected Russia from the first day of the invasion, with the stock market falling by up to 39% (RTS Index). The Russian ruble fell to record lows, as Russians rushed to exchange currency.[602][603][604] Stock exchanges in Moscow and St. Petersburg were suspended until at least 18 March,[605] making it the longest closure in Russia's history.[606] On 26 February, S&P Global Ratings downgraded the Russian government credit rating to "junk", causing funds that require investment-grade bonds to dump Russian debt, making further borrowing very difficult for Russia.[607]
The Central Bank of Russia announced interventions, its first since the 2014 annexation of Crimea, to stabilise the market.[608] On 28 February, it raised interest rates to 20% and banned foreigners from selling local securities.[609] According to a former deputy chairman of the Russian central bank, the sanctions put the Russian National Wealth Fund at risk of disappearing.[610] With the value of the Russian ruble and the share prices for Russian equities falling on major exchanges, the Moscow Exchange was closed for a day, which since has been extended to over a week.[611][612] As of 28 February, the price of Russia's credit default swaps signalled about a 56% chance of default.[613] Fitch Ratings feared that Russia would imminently default on its debts.[614]
On 27 February, BP, one of the world's seven largest oil and gas companies and the single largest foreign investor in Russia, announced it was divesting from Rosneft.[615] The Rosneft interest comprised about half of BP's oil and gas reserves and a third of its production. The divestment was projected to cost the company up to $25 billion, and analysts noted that it was unlikely that BP would be able to recover anywhere near the value of Rosneft.[616] The same day, the Government Pension Fund of Norway, the world's largest sovereign wealth fund, announced that it would divest itself from its Russian assets. The fund owned about 25 billion Norwegian krone ($2.83 billion) in Russian company shares and government bonds.[617]
On 28 February, Shell also announced that it would be pulling its investments in Russia.[618] On 1 March, the Italian energy company Eni announced that it would cancel its investments into the Blue Stream pipeline.[619] The same day, the world's largest shipping companies, Maersk and Mediterranean Shipping Company, suspended all container shipments to Russia, excluding foodstuffs, medical, and humanitarian supplies.[620][621]
Russia is reported to be experiencing a brain drain due to mass migration of up to 200,000 mainly younger Russian refugees, many of whom are tech industry professionals, to countries like Armenia, the Baltic states, and Turkey.[397][398] In response to sanctions in the entertainment industry, Russia is considering the legalisation of software piracy.[622]
Cyberattacks by unidentified global hackers have also been a problem for Russia. For example, a hacking of the Russian Federal Air Transport Agency, Rosaviatsia, in late March 2022 resulted in massive disruption and the agency switching back to the use of paper document flow and postal mail.[623] Due to budget limitations, Rosaviatsia did not have the necessary backups of the hacked data.[624]
UkraineThe National Bank of Ukraine suspended currency markets, announcing that it would fix the official exchange rate. The central bank also limited cash withdrawals to 100,000 hryvnia per day and prohibited withdrawal in foreign currencies by members of the general public. The PFTS Ukraine Stock Exchange stated on 24 February that trading was suspended due to the emergency events.[625]
Nord Stream, a natural gas pipeline, runs under the Baltic Sea, bypassing Ukraine. Germany imports 50% to 75% of its natural gas from Russia.[626] Nord Stream 2 would have doubled the annual capacity of Nord Stream to 110 billion m3 (3.9 trillion cu ft) and thereby decreased the price.Russia is the world's largest exporter of grains, natural gas, and fertilisers, and among the world's largest suppliers of crude oil and metals, including palladium, platinum, gold, cobalt, nickel, and aluminium.[627][628][629] As a result of the invasion, Brent oil prices rose above $130 a barrel for the first time since 2008.[630] The offeren administration was pressed on potential oil deals with Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, and Iran that would have them increase their oil production.[631] However, so far, Saudi Arabia has declined requests from the US.[632][633] Russia has offered crude oil and other commodities at discounted prices to India.[634]
The invasion threatened the energy supply from Russia to Europe,[635][636] with natural gas prices in Europe reaching an all-time high of $3,700 per thousand cubic meters on 7 March at ICE Futures.[637][638] This caused European countries to seek to diversify their energy supply routes.[639][640] On 7 March, German chancellor Olaf Scholz and other European leaders pushed back against the call by the US and Ukraine to ban imports of Russian gas and oil because "Europe's supply of energy for heat generation, mobility, power supply and industry cannot be secured in any other way".[641][642] However, the EU indicated that it would cut its gas dependency on Russia by two-thirds in 2022,[643] and Germany stated that it would reduce its dependence on Russian energy imports by accelerating renewables and reaching 100% renewable energy generation by 2035.[644][645] Before the invasion, the EU's energy strategy had focused more on the Green Deal and Fit for 55 plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030.[646]
Supply chain chaos due to Russia's key role in energy and commodity trade could fuel global inflation.[647] At the time of the invasion, Ukraine was the fourth-largest exporter of corn and wheat, and the world's largest exporter of sunflower oil, with Russia and Ukraine together responsible for 29% of the world's wheat exports and 75% of world sunflower oil exports.[648] On 24 February, China announced that it would drop restrictions on Russian wheat, partly due to heavy rains reducing domestic yields,[649] in what the South China Morning Post called a potential "lifeline" for the Russian economy.[650] On 25 February, the benchmark Chicago Board of Trade March wheat futures contracts reached their highest price since 2012, with the prices of corn and soybean also spiking.[648] The head of the World Food Programme, David Beasley, warned in March that the war in Ukraine could take the global food crisis to "levels beyond anything we've seen before".[651] A potential disruption to global wheat supplies could exacerbate the ongoing hunger crisis in Yemen,[652] Afghanistan[653] and East Africa.[654]
The supply of neon, needed for chip manufacture and lasers, was also severely constrained by the conflict. Ukraine produces about 70% of the global neon supply,[655] and 90% of the semiconductor-grade neon used in the United States.[656][657] The two largest suppliers in Ukraine, which together account for half of global neon production, were shuttered after the conflict broke out.[656] The supply of krypton and xenon, of which Ukraine is also a major exporter, was affected as well.[658] On 31 March, in apparent retaliation against Western economic sanctions, Putin announced that Russia would stop supplying all gas to Europe the following day that was not paid for in rubles. Without it, Europe would be forced to purchase more gas on the spot market, where prices are already 500% higher than last year. Germany and Austria, who are both heavily reliant on Russian gas, have triggered emergency measures that may involve rationing if necessary, and other European countries have plans in place as well.[659]
ReactionsFurther information: Reactions to the 2022 Russian invasion of UkraineSee also: Government and intergovernmental reactions to the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine and Non-government reactions to the 2022 Russian invasion of UkraineInternational organisationsUnited NationsFurther information: Eleventh emergency special session of the United Nations General Assembly and United Nations General Assembly Resolution ES-11/1See also: List of vetoed United Nations Security Council resolutions and United Nations Security Council veto power
UN General Assembly Resolution ES-11/1 vote condemning the invasion of Ukraine and demanding a complete withdrawal of Russian troops. In favour Against Abstained Absent Non-memberOn 23 February, UN Secretary-General António Guterres urged Russia to immediately end aggression in Ukraine.[660] On 25 February, Russia vetoed a UN Security Council draft resolution "deploring, in the strongest terms, the Russian Federation's aggression". Eleven countries voted in favour while China, India, and the United Arab Emirates abstained.[661] The UN Security Council voted to hold an emergency special session of the UN General Assembly to vote on a similar resolution,[662] which was convened on 28 February.[663]
On 2 March, the UN General Assembly voted 141–5 to demand Russia stop the war and withdraw all of its military forces; 35 countries abstained, including Algeria, Bangladesh, China, India, Pakistan, and South Africa, while Belarus, Eritrea, North Korea, and Syria supported Russia. Russia's UN representative said that the adoption of the resolution could fuel further violence.[664] During a meeting of the UN Human Rights Council on 1 March, over 100 diplomats walked out in protest over a speech by Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov.[665][666][667]
NATOFile:RAK Lakenheath U.S. F-35s land in Estonia.webmUS F-35s arrive in Ämari Air Base in Estonia on 27 February.[668]Eight NATO member states – Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia – triggered security consultations under Article 4.[669] The Estonian government issued a statement by Prime Minister Kaja Kallas saying: "Russia's widespread aggression is a threat to the entire world and to all NATO countries, and NATO consultations on strengthening the security of the Allies must be initiated to implement additional measures for ensuring the defence of NATO Allies. The most effective response to Russia's aggression is unity."[670] On 24 February, Stoltenberg announced new plans that "will enable us to deploy capabilities and forces, including the NATO Response Force, to where they are needed".[671] Following the invasion, NATO announced plans to increase military deployments[672] in the Baltics, Poland, and Romania.[673][674]
After the 25 February UN Security Council meeting, Stoltenberg announced that parts of the NATO Response Force would be deployed, for the first time ever, to NATO members along the eastern border. He stated that forces would include elements of the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF), led by France.[675] The US announced on 24 February that it would be deploying 7,000 troops to join the 5,000 already in Europe.[675] NATO forces included the USS Harry S. Truman's Carrier Strike Group 8, which entered the Mediterranean Sea the previous week as part of a planned exercise. The carrier strike group was placed under NATO command, the first time this had occurred since the Cold War.[676]
As Russia began to build forces on Ukraine's border in the leadup to their invasion, Finland and Sweden, both neutral states, increased their cooperation with NATO.[677] Both countries attended the emergency NATO summit as members of NATO's Partnership for Peace, and both condemned the invasion and have provided assistance to Ukraine. On 25 February, the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova threatened Finland and Sweden with "military and political consequences" if they attempted to join NATO.[678] Both Finnish and Swedish public opinion shifted in favour of joining NATO after the invasion.[679] A public petition asking the Parliament of Finland to hold a referendum to join NATO reached the required 50,000 signatures, prompting a parliamentary discussion on 1 March.[680]Western leaders met in Brussels for a round of emergency summits of NATO, the European Council and the G7 to discuss the war in Ukraine, 23 March 2022On 8 March, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg warned that "any attack against any NATO country [or] NATO territory ... will trigger Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty.[681] On 11 March, offeren proclaimed that while the United States would, as part of NATO, "defend every single inch of NATO territory with [its] full might", NATO would not "fight a war against Russia in Ukraine", as such "direct conflict between NATO and Russia is World War III, something we must strive to prevent".[682]
On 13 March, Jake Sullivan, the United States National Security Advisor to President offeren, warned of a full-fledged NATO response if Russia were to hit any part of NATO territory.[683] Sullivan added on 22 March, during offeren's trip to Europe to discuss updating NATO's posture towards Russia, that offeren would emphasize three key issues: new sanctions against Russia and tightening existing sanctions, longer-term adjustments to NATO force posture and contingencies in the case of nuclear weapons use, and 'joint action' on enhancing energy security in Europe, which is highly reliant on Russian gas.[684] Zelenskyy repeatedly urged NATO to impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine, which was rejected by the organization as it would involve shooting down Russian aircraft, an act that would significantly escalate the war to involve NATO.[685][686]
Upon his arrival for the 2022 Brussels extraordinary summit on 24 March, offeren increased the amount of new aid offered to Ukraine by one billion dollars and announced added guarantees for NATO obligations to protect all NATO-allied nations which border Ukraine.[581] On 28 March, offeren, at the end of his NATO trip to Europe, reaffirmed his condemnation of Putin, stating that he would "'make no apologies'" for previously stating that "'Putin cannot remain in power'".[687] On 29 March, Kallas sided with offeren's condemnation and called for the further isolation of Putin from international politics.[469] As part of the NATO Enhanced Forward Presence, NATO countries agreed to establish four multinational battalion-sized battlegroups in Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia, on top of four existing battlegroups in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland.[688]
European Union
International reaction to the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine Countries that have condemned the invasion Countries that have maintained a neutral stance Countries that have blamed the invasion on Ukraine or NATO provocation Unknown Russia UkraineFurther information: Foreign military support to UkraineOn 27 February, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen announced that the European Union would ban Russian state-owned media outlets RT and Sputnik in response to disinformation and their coverage of the conflict in Ukraine.[495] She also said that the EU would finance the purchase and delivery of military equipment to Ukraine and proposed a ban on Russian aircraft using EU airspace.[689] The following day, the Council of the European Union adopted two assistance measures to strengthen Ukraine's military capabilities.[690][691] The measures, for a total value of €500 million, financed the provision of military equipment to the Ukrainian armed forces including – for the first time in EU history – weapons and other lethal equipment.[692]
On 28 February, the EU imposed a ban on transactions with the Russian Central Bank and a ban on the overflight of EU airspace and on access to EU airports by Russian carriers.[693] On 2 March, a SWIFT ban for certain Russian banks was adopted, ensuring that they were disconnected from the international financial system, and the broadcasting activities in the EU of the outlets Sputnik and RT were suspended.[694] On 10 March, additional measures targeting the Belarusian financial sector were agreed upon,[695] and the EU imposed restrictive measures, including an asset freeze and a travel ban on 160 prominent businesspeople ("oligarchs") and members of the Russian Federation Council.[696] At the onset of the war, similar measures had already been applied on members of Russia's Security Council and Duma, and on other individuals.[697]
On 15 March, the EU decided to impose a fourth package of economic and individual sanctions, including trade restrictions for iron, steel, and luxury goods.[698] The European Commission claimed that restricting steel imports could lead to a loss of €3.3 billion in revenue for Russia,[699] and von der Leyen explained that the EU was working to suspend Russia's membership rights in multilateral institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.[700] On 23 March, the Council decided to double the funding supporting the Ukrainian armed forces, bringing the total amount from €500 million to €1 billion.[701] On 1 April, President of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola visited Kyiv to "show the EU's support for Ukraine" and to meet with Ukrainian officials.[702]
By 7 April, the EU indicated that a fifth round of economic sanctions would be brought against Russia to include the barring on coal exports from Russia to EU nations and expanding financial sanctions to include family members of Russian leaders already sanctioned.[703] Dmytro Kuleba has stated from Kyiv that promised of weapons support from the EU needed to be urgently expedited and changed from a format of promising to provide weapons support at some indefinite point in the future, to providing urgently needed military weapons needed within the next week to two weeks.[704]
Council of EuropeOn 25 February, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe suspended Russia from its rights of representation in the Committee of Ministers and in the Parliamentary Assembly.[705][706] In the following days, the European Court of Human Rights granted interim measures indicating to Russia that they should refrain from military attacks against civilians and civilian objects and should ensure access to safe evacuation routes, healthcare, food and other essential supplies, rapid and unconstrained passage of humanitarian aid, and movement of humanitarian workers.[707]
Russia replied, accusing NATO and EU countries of having undermined the Council of Europe, and announced its intention to withdraw from the organisation.[708][709] On 15 March, Russia notified the council of its decision to withdraw and to denounce the European Convention on Human Rights by the end of 2022.[710][711] The following day, the Committee of Ministers decided to expel Russia from the Council of Europe with immediate effect.[712]
ProtestsMain article: Protests against the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine
Anti-war protest in Helsinki, Finland, 26 February 2022In RussiaMain article: 2022 anti-war protests in RussiaSee also: Freedom of assembly in Russia and Opposition to Vladimir Putin in RussiaAlmost 2,000 Russians in 60 cities were detained by Russian police on 24 February for protesting against the invasion, according to OVD-Info;[713] by 6 March, it reported that more than 13,000 protestors had been detained overall,[714] with over 5,000 detained that day.[715] Russia's interior ministry justified these arrests due to the " restrictions, including on public events" that continue to be in place.[716] Russian authorities warned Russians of legal repercussions for joining anti-war protests.[717] Nobel Peace Prize winner Dmitry Muratov announced that the Novaya Gazeta newspaper would publish its next edition in both Ukrainian and Russian. Muratov, journalist Mikhail Zygar, director Vladimir Mirzoyev, and others signed a document stating that Ukraine was not a threat to Russia and calling for Russian citizens to denounce the war.[718]Protest by Russians living in the Czech Republic, 26 March 2022. The white-blue-white flag is a symbol of anti-war protests in Russia.Elena Chernenko, a journalist at Kommersant, circulated a critical open letter signed by 170 journalists and academics.[719] Mikhail Fridman, a Russian oligarch, said that the war would "damage two nations who have been brothers for hundreds of years" and called for the "bloodshed to end".[720] Three Communist members of parliament, including Mikhail Matveev,[721] who had supported the resolution recognising the Donetsk and Luhansk people's republics believing it was a peacekeeping mission and not a full-scale invasion, were the sole members of the State Duma to speak out against the war.[722] State Duma deputy Oleg Smolin said he was "shocked" by the invasion.[723] On 27 February, Russian politician Lyudmila Narusova, a member of the Federation Council, stated in a television interview: "I do not identify myself with those representatives of the state that speak out in favor of the war. I think they themselves do not know what they are doing. They are following orders without thinking."[724] Arkady Dvorkovich, who served as Russian deputy prime minister from 2012 to 2018, also condemned the invasion.[725] On 23 March, Putin's longtime advisor and Russian climate envoy Anatoly Chubais resigned from his position and left Russia due to his opposition to the war.[726]
Russian human rights activist Lev Ponomaryov started a petition to protest the invasion, garnering more than 750,000 signatures by 26 February.[487] Some Russians who signed petitions against Russia's war in Ukraine lost their jobs.[727] The founders of the Immortal Regiment commemoration movement, in which ordinary Russians annually march with photographs of veteran family members to mark World War II's Victory Day on 9 May, called on Putin to cease fire and described the use of force as "inhuman".[728]
On 3 March, the multinational oil company Lukoil, the second largest company in Russia after Gazprom, called for a ceasefire and diplomatic means to resolve the conflict.[729]
Outside RussiaSee also: 2022 boycott of Russia and Belarus
The Brandenburg Gate lit up in the colours of the Ukrainian flag during a solidarity protest in Berlin, Germany, 24 February 2022. The monument is visible from the nearby Russian Embassy.[730]Protests in support of Ukraine were held worldwide.[731][732] In Prague, about 80,000 people protested in Wenceslas Square.[733] On 27 February, more than 100,000 gathered in Berlin to protest against Russia's invasion.[734] During the 2022 Belarusian constitutional referendum, protestors in Minsk chanted "No to war" at polling stations.[735] On 28 February, instead of the traditional Cologne Carnival parade, Rose Monday, which had been cancelled a few days earlier due to C-19,[736][737] more than 250,000 (instead of the anticipated 30,000) gathered in Cologne in a peace march to protest against the Russian invasion;[738] many protesters employed the slogan "Glory to Ukraine".[739]
As well as the protests, there were also reported instances of anti-Russian sentiment and discrimination against the Russian diaspora and Russian-speaking immigrants from post-Soviet states as a result of the war.[740][741][742]
See alsoflag Russia portalflag Ukraine portalWar portalTimeline of the 2022 Russian invasion of UkraineList of interstate wars since 1945List of ongoing armed conflictsList of military engagements during the 2022 Russian invasion of UkrainePost-Soviet conflicts – Military conflicts in the former Soviet UnionRusso-Georgian War – 2008 conflict between Russia and GeorgiaTransnistria War – 1990–1992 conflict between Moldova and Russian-backed self-proclaimed TransnistriaSecond Cold War – Post–Cold War era termWorld War III – Hypothetical future global conflict
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WarIncidentsSiberia Airlines Flight 18122003 Tuzla Island conflictOrange RevolutionRussia–Ukraine gas disputes 2005–2006 Russia–Ukraine gas dispute Remember about the Gas – Do not buy Russian goods!2009 Russia–Ukraine gas disputeRelatedRussia–Ukraine borderRussia–Ukraine relations in the Eurovision Song ContestUrengoy–Pomary–Uzhhorod pipelineBlack Sea Fiber-Optic Cable SystemITUROrthodox Church of UkraineRussian language in UkraineOn the Independence of Ukraine"On the Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians"Spartak Moscow–Dynamo Kyiv rivalryInternational recognition of the Donetsk People's Republic and the Luhansk People's Republic Donetsk People's Republic–Russia relationsLuhansk People's Republic–Russia relationsCategory:Russia–Ukraine relationsvteWar in DonbasPart of the: 2014 pro-Russian unrest in UkraineRusso-Ukrainian War2022 Russian invasion of UkraineGeneraltopicsAircraft lossesHumanitarian situationInternational reactionsSanctions Sanctioned peopleOSCE Special Monitoring Mission to UkraineTrilateral Contact Group on UkraineCivil volunteer movementLittle green menAnti-Terrorist Operation Zone (Ukraine)Civil–military of Sloviansk (12 April – 5 July 2014)Battle of Kramatorsk (12 April – 5 July 2014)Battle of Mariupol (6 May – 14 June 2014)1st Battle of Donetsk Airport (26–27 May 2014)Siege of the Luhansk Border Base (2–4 June 2014)Zelenopillia rocket attack (11 July 2014)Battle in Shakhtarsk Raion (16 July – 26 August 2014)Battle of Horlivka (20 July – 6 September 2014)Battle of Ilovaisk (10 August – 2 September 2014)Novosvitlivka refugee convoy attack (18 August 2014)Battle of Novoazovsk (25–28 August 2014)Mariupol offensive (4–8 September 2014)2nd Battle of Donetsk Airport (28 September 2014 – 21 January 2015)Battle of Debaltseve (16 January – 20 February 2015)Shyrokyne standoff (10 February – 3 July 2015)Battle of Marinka (3 June 2015)Battle of Svitlodarsk (18–23 December 2016)Battle of Avdiivka (29 January – 4 February 2017)OthereventsDonbas status referendums (11 May 2014)Ukrainian Air Force Il-76 shootdown (14 June 2014)Shelling of Donetsk, Russia (13 July 2014)2014 Russian cross-border shelling of UkraineMalaysia Airlines Flight 17 shoot-down (17 July 2014) reactionsUNSC Resolution 2166 (21 July 2014)NATO summit in Wales (4–5 September 2014)Minsk Protocol (5 September 2014)Donbas general elections (2 November 2014)2014 G20 Brisbane summit (15–16 November 2014)Volnovakha bus attack (13 January 2015)Mariupol rocket attack (24 January 2015)Minsk II ceasefire agreement (12 February 2015)Kharkiv bombing (22 February 2015)Assassination of Alexander Zakharchenko (31 August 2018)Donbas general elections (11 November 2018)No to capitulation! 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