- MAY 2023
Germany responds to Russia’s decision to cap German staff
Berlin has revoked licenses of four out of five Russian consulates within the country. The Germans have given Russian officials until December 31st, 2023, to liquidate the consulates. With this decision only one consulate general, as well as the Russian embassy, will continue to operate in Germany. This comes as a response to Moscow’s decision to place a cap on the number of German state staff in Russia to 350. The decision will impact German diplomats, local staff, German schools, and Goethe Institutes.
UK Foreign Secretary argues Ukraine may strike “legitimate military targets” within Russia
In response to questions raised of drone attacks on Moscow earlier in the day, UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly argued Ukraine has a right to defend itself even if it means the nation must “project force beyond its borders to undermine Russia’s ability to project force into Ukraine itself.”
IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi addresses the United Nations
In a statement to the UN, noting the growing tensions around the ZNPP in Ukraine, Director General Grossi noted the circumstance as “extremely fragile and dangerous.” In his statement, Director General Grossi highlighted the “Seven indispensable pillars” for securing safety and security during active conflict and underlined the possibility of disastrous outcomes in the case of a radioactive leak from the plant. As well, the Director General highlighted five commitments “essential to avoid the danger of a catastrophic incident.” Among the commitments, the importance of maintaining critical infrastructure and off-site power of the plant is highlighted. Also, the importance of maintaining peace within and around the plant, which would include no attacks or acts of sabotage, is noted.
Demining aid announced for Ukraine
The Austrian government has announced that they will provide financial support necessary for demining purposes in Ukraine. The aid, worth €2 million, will only cover monetary needs as the Austrian government underlined that “no Austrian soldier will set foot on Ukrainian soil to clear mines as long as it is a war zone.”
Washington investigating alleged misuse of U.S.-made equipment.
White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby has reiterated that the United States does not condone the use of U.S.-made equipment to be used in Russia. This news come after pro-Ukrainian Russian militants conducted cross-border incursions, as well as reports of U.S.-made military trucks allegedly ending up in Russia. Of the reports, the White House has announced it is investigating the possibility of U.S.-made vehicles having been used within Russia.
Japan condemns Russia and adds substantial sanctions
Following the G7 summit, Japan has announced additional sanctions aimed at Russia. Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno condemned Moscow’s move to deploy nuclear weapons in Belarus. Japan has announced it will freeze assets of 78 groups and 17 individuals. As well, exports to 80 Russian organizations, including military-affiliated labs, and construction and engineering services to Russia have been banned.
Denmark and the Netherlands to train Ukrainian pilots
During a meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced that Denmark and the Netherlands will take lead in a coalition of partner nations training Ukrainian pilots to use F-16 fighter jets.
Pilot training begins in Poland
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has announced that the process of training Ukrainian pilots to fly F-16 jets has begun in Poland. Though the United States will not send their own F-16s to Ukraine, other countries such as the UK, Denmark, Belgium, and the Netherlands have promised they will supply their own fighter jets.
ZNPP temporarily disconnected from energy source
For the seventh time since the beginning of the conflict, the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine has been disconnected from the national electricity grid causing the plant to lose all power for over five hours. Director General of the IAEA, Rafael Grossi, underlined the nuclear security and safety concerns for both the public and the environment highlighted by the loss of power. General Director Grossi said of the single power line left which connects the ZNPP to the electrical grid, “This is unprecedented and uniquely risky situation.”
Last day of G7 summit reaffirms Group’s commitment to Ukraine
As the G7 summit wraps up, Russia’s threats of using nuclear weapons has been condemned by Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has announced that his country will begin a training program for Ukrainian pilots this summer. President of the United States, Joe Biden, announced the 38th authorized Presidential Drawdown of military equipment from the Defense Department inventories. The military aid consisting of a $375 million package will include ammunition and artillery, armored vehicles, and training. President Biden underlined continued support for Ukraine, stating, “Together with the entire G7, we have Ukraine’s back and I promise we’re not going anywhere.” The summit was used to not only reaffirm support of G7 members for Ukraine, but also to create new relationships between Ukraine and nations such as Brazil, India, and Indonesia.
G7 summit continues
As the G7 summit continues, the leaders of the Group of Seven highlight their support for Ukraine for “as long as it takes.”
G7 summit begins
The G7 summit in Hiroshima, Japan has begun with the war in Ukraine being at center of discussions. Among the possible measures discussed, the United States announced additional sanctions on over 300 targets; “intensifying one of the harshest sanctions efforts ever implemented.” The German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, highlighted the importance of measures to prevent circumvention of sanctions imposed on Russia. Additionally, Britain has announced plans to ban the import of Russian diamonds, copper, aluminum, and nickel, as well as a new package of sanctions aimed at Russian companies connected to the alleged theft of Ukrainian grain.
Situation in Zaporizhzhia highlights nuclear safety concerns
The area where most of Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant staff members reside, near the town of Enerhodar, has come under artillery fire. Though the plant has not been affected, the location of artillery fire had highlighted the continued nuclear safety and security dangers.
Grain deal extended
The Black Sea Grain Deal has been extended for an additional two months. The deal, which was meant to expire on May 18, 2023, was negotiated by the United Nations and Turkey.
Council of Europe meets in Iceland
For the fourth time ever since it was first founded, European leaders have gathered in Iceland for a two-day Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe meeting. Before the meeting took place, cyberattacks were committed on several of Iceland’s public and private sector websites, including governmental institutions such as parliament and even the supreme court. On Telegram, NoName057, a pro-Russian hacker group has claimed responsibility for the attacks. As the meeting was meant to highlight support for Ukraine’s war efforts, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy joined via video link. During the meeting, a new mechanism named the Register of Damages was unveiled which will help in tracking the damages and losses inflicted by Russian forces. President Zelenskyy highlighted the value of defence aid, noting Ukrainian forces have shot down a hypersonic missile thanks to defence mechanisms provided by Western aid.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy visits the UK
President Zelenskyy has landed in the UK to meet with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and discuss the ongoing war. Topics to be discussed by the leaders include the current state of warfare on the frontlines, as well as additional aid and equipment support for Ukraine.
Mitch McConnell visits Ukraine
Mitch McConnell, United States Senate Minority Leader, has landed in Kyiv to meet with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. McConnell, joined by three other Republican senators, highlighted his support for Ukraine’s ongoing self-defence in response to Russian aggression. The visit comes days after McConnell advocated for $40 billion of additional aid for Ukraine.
President Zelenskyy and Pope Francis meet
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has visited Pope Francis at the Vatican to seek “support for Ukraine’s peace plan from the pontiff.” During the talks, President Zelenskyy and Pope Francis discussed the deportation of Ukrainian children and humanitarian solutions for the ongoing war.
Black Sea Grain Deal expiration looms, talks continue
As the expiration date of the Black Sea Grain Deal approaches on May the 18th, talks continue between Ukraine, Turkey, Russia, and the United Nations. Hulusi Akar, the Turkish Defence Minister, stated that the four parties are “heading toward an agreement on the extension of the grain deal.”
Japan announces support for Ukrainian refugees
Japan’s Finance Minister, Shunichi Suzuki, has announced that the nation will mobilize $1 billion to support Ukrainian refugees of war. The aid will be provided by Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and will be delivered to neighboring countries of Ukraine which host refugees.
Canada and Latvia to provide training for Ukrainian soldiers
Canada’s Defence Minister Anita Anand announced that Canadian and Latvian armed forces will begin training Ukrainian soldiers in Latvia next week. Latvia currently hosts Canada’s largest foreign military deployment, made up of 800 troops. Training will focus on junior officers in various areas including intelligence reconnaissance and battle planning.
Ursula von der Leyen visits Ukraine
President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, has visited Kyiv on Europe Day and hailed the nation of Ukraine as “the beating heart of today’s European values.” During her visit, von der Leyen announced that the 11th package of sanctions against Russia has been prepared. The sanctions added more products to the EU transit ban, such as advanced tech and aircraft products. As well, additional tools to combat the circumvention of sanctions by the Russian state were also proposed. The tools will be utilized to ban “shadow” groups and entities from Russia, as well as third countries, that are intentionally circumventing sanctions placed by the EU.
Moscow evacuates citizens near nuclear plant
Concerns have been raised by the United Nations nuclear watchdog and Moscow ordered the evacuation of residents from Russian-occupied areas which are in close distance to the nuclear facility of Zaporizhzhia. Of the 1,600 evacuees, over 600 are children. Director general of the IAEA said in a statement, there are “very real nuclear safety and security risks facing the plant.” Grossi emphasized the importance of quick action to prevent any escalation of security concerns. The Director of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant said the operating staff have not evacuated and continue to do all that is necessary to uphold security and safety regulations.
Ukrainian grain stalled in Black Sea ports
According to the UN, authorization to export Ukrainian grain and fertilizer from Black Sea ports has not been achieved. Officials from four parties – including Ukraine, Russia, Turkey, and the United Nations – make up the Joint Coordination Centre based in Istanbul with the goal of implementing the Black Sea Grain Deal. Russian officials have expressed to their JCC counterparts that they will not approve any new vessels for transport unless their guaranteed transit will be finished by May 18th, which is the expected date of the end of the Black Sea Grain Deal as Russia has threatened to quit the coordination efforts. In Moscow, the UN trade official Rebeca Grynspan met with the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Vershinin to discuss efforts in facilitating the transport of Russian food and fertilizer.
The European Union approves new aid package
The EU has officially adopted the €1 billion aid package for Ukraine announced on May 3rd. As part of the agreement, the Council is set to receive updates regarding the implementation of the aid resources to better monitor progress. With the approval of this latest aid package, the EU’s monetary contribution to Ukraine under the European Peace Policy has accumulated to €5.6 billion.
President Zelenskyy visits the Netherlands
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has visited the Netherlands to speak at the Hague. During his speech, President Zelenskyy called for the creation of a new war crimes tribunal to address Russian aggression directly.
Belgium and the Netherlands articulate continued support
During his visit to the Netherlands, President Zelenskyy was reaffirmed the solidarity of Belgium and the Netherlands to Ukraine’s war efforts. The states discussed continued military support for Ukraine, including the provision of defence equipment; support for Ukraine’s Peace Formula; strengthening Ukraine’s state security and defence sectors while the nation is on the path to NATO; accountability and justice in relation to international crimes committed against Ukrainians by the Russian state; as well as ongoing sanctions against Russia and compensation for war damages to Ukraine.
The U.S. and EU respond to Kremlin attack accusations
The United States has denied Washington’s involvement in the drone attack on the Kremlin and has accused Moscow of lying. White House national security spokesman John Kirby noted that the U.S. does not support, nor enable, Ukraine to launch attacks outside of their borders. The European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell also spoke of the Kremlin drone attack, stating “[w]e call on Russia not to use this alleged attack as an excuse to continue the escalation of war.”
Ukrainian President visits Finland
Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, has made a surprise visit to Finland to meet with the President of Finland Sauli Niinistö and prime ministers from other Nordic nations. Each leader will have the opportunity to meet with President Zelenskyy to discuss relations between nations, as well as possible peace initiatives.
The United States announced additional aid
The U.S. has announced additional security assistance for Ukraine which will include ammunition, artillery, anti-armor capabilities, and other provisions to be used for critical defense needs.
Over 98% of promised combat vehicles delivered to Ukraine
NATO allies and partner countries have officially delivered more than 98% of the combat vehicles promised to Ukraine. Over 1,550 armored vehicles, 230 tanks, and ammunition. Additionally, nine new Ukrainian brigades were trained and equipped, with more than 30,000 troops making up those new brigades.
European Union reaches new aid deal
EU have reached a deal on additional aid for Ukraine. A sum of €1 billion has been agreed upon for the joint procurement of additional ammo and missiles over the next year. If no member states object to the deal by the 5th of May, the agreement will go into effect.
- APRIL 2023
Ukraine and France continue bilateral talks
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and France’s President Emmanuel Macron held a call during which they discussed the framework of continued support for Ukraine. President Zelenskyy noted the immediate needs of the Ukrainian defense forces. Additionally, the two leaders discussed the preparations necessary for the upcoming NATO Summit in Vilnius which will play an important role in providing security guarantees for Ukraine.
Ukrainian grain transit deal reached in principle
The EU has reached a deal in principle which will allow the transit of Ukrainian grain to resume in Bulgaria, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, and Romania. The five EU nations had imposed restrictions on the transportation of Ukrainian grain as a result of growing concerns voiced by local farmers. The deal includes a €100 million package for local farmers across the five nations, as well as safeguard measures for wheat, maize, rapeseed, and sunflower seed.
Council of Europe resolution on deportation of Ukrainian children
In a resolution passed by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, it is announced that the deportation and russification of children from occupied territories in Ukraine matches with the international definition of genocide. Citing examples of children being denied their language and culture, as well as exposure to propaganda and visits to “patriotic sites,” for their conclusion. At this point, there are at least 19,000 children accounted for who have been deported to Russia, though there are many more who have not been accounted for.
Leaders from nine European nations visit Ukraine
Heads of state and foreign ministers from the countries of Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Czech Republic, and Slovakia visit Ukraine to show support against Russian aggression. During the meetings, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba repeated his nation’s need for U.S.-made fighter jets. Zelenskyy, during his meeting with his counterparts, also discussed ongoing military aid for Ukraine, as well as the expected counteroffensive.
New initiative in support of Ukrainian education
UNESCO and UNICEF are developing a program in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Science in Ukraine to provide children and teachers with the tools necessary for education including distance learning, psychosocial support, and teacher training. Over $51 million in assistance has been procured for the program with partners from Microsoft and Google contributing.
Italy invites international community to support Ukraine
Italy held a bilateral conference in Rome on the reconstruction of Ukraine. The conference hosted businesses from Ukraine, Italy, and the international community. Italian Premier, Giorgia Meloni, has urged allies in Europe to accelerate Ukraine’s membership bid to the EU. The Italian Premier argues that it is the “smartest way to thank Ukrainians for what they are doing.”
Ukrainian and Chinese heads of state open bilateral talks
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and the Chinese leader Xi Jinping had their first known contact since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The hour-long call allowed President Zelenskyy to articulate his own concerns to the Chinese leader who had, up until this point, conducted bilateral dialogue with Moscow strictly. During the call, the two state leaders discussed the ongoing war and its consequences with President Zelenskyy emphasizing the importance of regaining Ukrainian lands without territorial compromise. Of the talks, the Chinese Foreign Minister said Beijing’s central goal is “to facilitate talks for peace.”
Kaja Kallas visits Ukraine
Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas visited Ukraine and reiterated her support for the nation’s accession to NATO “as soon as conditions allow.” In the northwestern city of Zhytomyr, Prime Minister Kallas and President Zelenskyy signed a joint declaration condemning Russia’s aggression in Ukraine.
U.S. Ambassador criticized Lavrov
The U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield criticized the current chair of the UN Security Council, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. The U.S. Ambassador called the Russian Foreign Minister’s position as the chair to the UN Security Council “the epitome of irony and hypocrisy.” This came in response to Lavrov’s statements made during his address, in which he criticized Western countries and accused them, particularly the U.S., of undermining multilateralism in the Asia-Pacific region.
Update on the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Plant
Experts from International Atomic Energy Agency present at the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant have reported hearing shelling “almost every day” for the past week. Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said at one point that those present at the IAEA were told to shelter at the site as a result of potential danger. New damage has been noted to the windows in the turbine hall of Unit 4 by the team, which is being examined.
Uniting for Ukraine program announced in U.S.
President of the United States Joseph Biden has announced the Uniting for Ukraine program which is an additional humanitarian assistance outreach. Described as a “streamlined process to provide Ukrainian citizens who have fled Russia’s unprovoked war of aggression opportunities to come to the U.S.” Some aspects of the eligibility include having resided in Ukraine prior to February 11, 2022; be a Ukrainian citizen and possess a Ukrainian passport, or be a non-Ukrainian immediate family member of a Ukrainian citizen who is also applying for the program; have a supporter who filed Form I-134, Declaration of Financial Support, on their behalf that has been confirmed as sufficient by USCIS; complete vaccinations and other public health necessities; biometric and biographic screening and security checks.
Canadian Defence Minister Anita Anand in Germany
Canadian Defence Minister Anita Anand attended the eleventh meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group hosted by United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany. At the meeting, Defence Minister Anand announced a new military aid package for Ukraine including a $34.6 million contribution to the NATO Ukraine Comprehensive Assistance Package Trust Fund. This will enable the NATO CAP fuel material project to provide Ukraine with fuel supplies, enable the implementation of the NATO CAP Ribbon Bridge Project to provide Ukraine with modular flotation bridge assets, and enable the NATO CAP medical first aid projects. Additionally, $2.5 million for sniper rifles, including spare parts and accessories, and $2 million for new radio sets for the Leopard 2 donations.
United Kingdom adopts new sanctions against Russia
The UK has adopted new legislation, as well as expanded existing legislation on trade sanctions, which targets the import and acquisition of “revenue generating goods which originate in, or are consigned from” Russia. Sanctioned goods include iron and steel products, revenue generating goods such as chemicals, fuels, and fertilizers, oil and coal products, and critical-industry goods such as electronics and computers.
Secretary General Stoltenberg in Ukraine
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has visited Ukraine to meet with President Zelenskyy and other government officials. During his fourth trip to Ukraine as NATO Secretary General, Mr. Stoltenberg visited Bucha to pay his respects to the victims to Russian aggression and laid a wreath at the Wall of Remembrance of the Fallen for Ukraine. The Secretary General reiterated his support for the Ukrainian people in their resistance to Russian aggression. He stated, “Ukraine’s rightful place is in the Euro-Atlantic family . . . over time, our support will help to make this possible.” To ensure “full interoperability” with the alliance, the Secretary General highlighted a multi-year support initiative to help transition Ukraine’s equipment to NATO standards.
U.S. announces additional aid
Pentagon officials have announced a $325 million weapons package for Ukraine provided from military stockpiles.
Anchorage extended in U.S.
President of the United States, Joseph R. Biden extends anchorage of Russian-affiliated vessels in U.S. ports by continuing the national emergency declared on April 21, 2022, with Proclamation 1037.
Import bans imposed on Ukrainian goods
Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia have imposed import bans on Ukrainian farm produce, arguing their markets have been flooded and local farmers’ livelihoods threatened by Ukrainian exports. European Union politicians and officials have denounced the import bans. Czech Minister of Agriculture Zdeněk Nekula is quoted as saying the bans “won’t solve anything.” Further, EU diplomats argue that the bans are illegal as trade is an “exclusive competence of the EU.” In attempt to remedy the concerns, the EU disbursed millions of euros to Poland, Bulgaria, and Romania. Though Polish ambassador Andrzej Sadoś argues this is not enough and systemic solutions are needed.
Prisoners exchanged on Easter
On Orthodox Easter Sunday, 130 Ukrainian prisoners of war have been returned home by Russian forces in what is called the “great Easter exchange.” Russian prisoners were also released back to their forces, though there is no definite number.
Macron and Zelenskyy discuss peace talks
French President Emmanuel Macron and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had a telephone call following Macron’s visit to China. During the call, the French president highlighted that both France and China believe it is too early for peace talks, though the Ukrainian Peace Formula was referenced with particular attention. President Zelenskyy reiterated the importance of security guarantees for Ukraine.
Ukraine stops national sports teams from competing
The Ukrainian sports ministry announced that its national sports teams have been barred from competing in events which include competitors who are Russian and Belarusian. The news has been criticized by some athletes within Ukraine declaring that it would allow Russian and Belarusian representatives to “promote their narratives.” Though, Sports Minister Matvii Bidnyi outlined that even though Ukraine will not compete, it will send delegations to the competitions to “submit protests, collect information, highlight violations.”
Germany approves Poland’s request for fighter jets
Germany’s defense minister announced that the government has approved Poland’s request to export five old MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine. Poland needs Germany’s approval to send the fighter jets to a third country as Poland inherited the jets from Germany.
Black Sea Grain Deal could be coming to an end
The Russian foreign ministry has announced that there will be no extension of the Black Sea Grain Deal beyond May 18. Moscow said that there are barriers to shipments which need to be accounted for and, as a result, demanded that the West remove those obstacles which inhibit the export of Russian grain and fertilizer.
Britain to provide $500 million in loan guarantees to Ukraine
British finance minister Jeremy Hunt has announced that Britain is ready to provide an additional $500 million in loan guarantees to Ukraine for public services such as schools and health care services, bringing the total this year to $1 billion.
Prime Minister Shmyhal visits Canada
Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal met with Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau to sign an updated Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement. The agreement is set to create new and ‘unique’ opportunities for Ukrainian businesses by opening markets in Canada. The updated agreement will strengthen the role of indigenous peoples in trade and for the first time recognize the “special place of Crimea, Crimean Tatars, Krymchaks, and Karaites.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced additional support for Ukraine. A new $2.4 billion loan to the Government of Ukraine has been disbursed in support of essential services for economic and energy stability. Since the beginning of the invasion in February 2022, the Canadian government has committed over $8 billion to Ukraine’s war efforts. Prime Minister Trudeau also announced a new bundle of sanctions targeting 14 Russian individuals and 34 entities which are complicit in Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine.
It was also announced that Cameco, a Saskatoon-based company and Ukraine’s state-owned Energoatom signed a supply contract through which Cameco will provide uranium to help meet Ukraine’s nuclear fuel needs until 2035.
Ukrainian children reunited with family
A humanitarian group named Save Ukraine has reunited 31 Ukrainian children with their families after they were moved to Russian-occupied territories over the span of the war. The group says it has now successfully completed five missions of reuniting Ukrainian children with their families.
President Zelenskyy visits Poland
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has arrived to Poland on an official visit to meet with President Andrzej Duda for his first trip to Poland since the invasion began in 2022. During Zelenskyy’s visit, President Duda promised to send Poland’s remaining fleet of MiG-29 fighter jets, should there be a need for them. During the visit, President Zelenskyy expressed his gratitude for Poland’s support of Ukraine’s efforts to defend their sovereignty. President Duda expressed his support for Kyiv’s bid to join NATO during the meeting, referencing his goal of getting additional security guarantees to secure and strengthen the military potential of Ukraine.
Poland’s agriculture minister resigns
Henry Kowalczyk resigned as local farmers are angered over competition caused by Ukrainian grain imports. As a result of Ukrainian grain reducing the market price of Polish grain, there has been an eruption of protests in Poland demanding the EU aid in minimizing “the impact of Ukrainian grain on the market.” Former minister Kowalczyk said his resignation comes as a result of the EU’s extension on tax breaks on imports of Ukrainian grain.
US announces additional security aid
The Department of Defense has announced new security assistance for Ukraine. The package will include artillery rounds, air defense interceptors, small arms, mortar systems, rockets, and anti-armor systems. The total value of security assistance will BE $2.6 billion.
Russia to head UN Security Council
Russia has taken charge of the United Nations Security Council as it is its turn to preside over the international body which safeguards and maintains global security. Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has called today’s events “the world’s worst April Fool’s joke.” Expectedly, there is much criticism over Russia’s position as the head of one of the most important international security guarantors. International Crisis Group UN head, Richard Gowan, has called the occasion “rather grotesque.” Though there is no legal pathway to remove Russia from the Council, members such as the US have vowed to “call out [Russia’s] lies.”
- MARCH 2023
OSCE calls for ‘Moscow Mechanism’
The OSCE has delivered a joint statement together with the EU Member States and over a dozen of other states to invoke the ‘Moscow Mechanism’ in response to continued violations of human rights. The statement called for a request of an inquiry led by ODIHR to create a mission of experts to build upon evidence of violations of human rights within the context of international law as well as provide relevant information on appropriate accountability mechanisms or possible courts or tribunals which might have jurisdiction.
Germany to provide additional aid
Germany has announced additional aid for Ukraine. 3.2 billion euros will be disbursed in 2023 and the rest up to 8.8 billion euros will be spread over 2024-2032 period.
IOC sets out recommendations
The International Olympic Committee has set out a list of recommendations regarding the participation of athletes with Russian and Belarusian passports. Reiterating solidarity with Ukraine and supporting the sanctions against Russian and Belarusian governments, the IOC stated that sports organizations “must have the sole responsibility to decide which athletes can take part in international competitions based on their sporting merits and not on political grounds or because of their passports.” Among the six recommendations are the following: athletes with a Russian or Belarusian passport can only compete as Individual Neutral Athletes; no teams of athletes with Russian or Belarusian passports are allowed; supporters of war cannot compete; athletes contracted in either country cannot compete; all INA must meet anti-doping requirements; and lastly the sanctions against the two governments must remain.
Additional sanctions possible for Russia
Lithuania, in response to the news coming out of Moscow on the movement of nuclear weapons in Belarus, asked for additional sanctions to be applied on Russia and Belarus in addition to the current package.
Russia sends missile system to Belarus
Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced a plan to station nuclear weapons in Belarus. President Putin has stated Moscow has transferred an Iskander short-range missile system capable of carrying tactical warheads to Belarus. Additionally, the construction of a tactical nuclear weapons storage facility in Belarus will begin in July.
World Bank delegation in Kyiv
President Volodymyr Zelenksyy met with the World Bank delegation led by Anna Bjerde. During this meeting, President Zelenskyy highlighted the importance of working with Ukraine in order to implement business insurance programs to facilitate job creation, as well as the importance of restoring lost and damaged infrastructure. This meeting came a day after the World Bank announced that the costs for Ukraine’s restoration and reconstruction amounts to at least $411 billion.
Four jets delivered to Ukraine from Slovakia
Slovakia has delivered four out of 13 pledged fighter jets to Ukraine. The Soviet-era fighter jets have been safely delivered to Ukraine by Ukrainian pilots. It is expected that the rest of the planes will be sent to Ukraine in the upcoming weeks.
Bulgaria wont send ammunition to Ukraine
Bulgarian President Rumen Radev has announced that “Bulgaria does not participate in the joint European plan to supply shells to Ukraine.” Radev clarified that Bulgaria will not send ammunition to countries which will re-send them to Ukraine either.
Canada extends Emergency Travel Authorization
Canadian Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship has announced that the Government of Canada will extend the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel launched originally on March 17, 2022. This extension allows Ukrainians and their family members to apply overseas for the CUAET visa free of charge; allows anyone with a valid CUAET visa to travel to Canada before March 31, 2024; and those who are in Canada holding a CUAET visa will have until March 31, 2024 to extend or adjust their temporary status.
International Monetary Fund reaches an agreement with Ukraine
The IMF and Ukrainian authorities have reached a staff-level agreement on a set of financial and macroeconomic policies through a 4 year Extended Fund Facility (EFF) Arrangement worth $15.6 billion. The fund will support economic recovery and stability in Ukraine.
NATO’s Annual Report highlights defense spending concerns
The Secretary General’s Annual Report shows that defense spending among some large EU powers such as Germany, Italy, and France are still under the 2% mark. Leaders such as Estonia’s Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, whose nation spent 2.12% of economic output on defense spending, has expressed her shock at the underspending of allies and cites the ongoing war in Ukraine as a reason to spend more on defense.
The EU agrees to send additional ammunition to Ukraine
The EU reached a deal to jointly purchase and donate ammunition for Ukraine, though the “legal texts [are] still being finalized.” The €2 billion plan will include one million rounds of ammunition delivered across a 12 month period to help support counter-offences in Ukraine.
Canada ships recovery vehicle to Ukraine
Canada has sent a Bergepanzer 3, an armored recovery vehicle, to Ukraine. Canadian Defense Minister Anita Anand wrote, “We’re providing an armored recovery vehicle to help Ukraine sustain the heavy armour that we’ve donated.”
The ICC has issued arrest warrants for crimes in Ukraine
The International Criminal Court’s Pre-Trial Chamber II has issued warrants of arrest for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Commissioner for Children’s Rights Maria Lvova-Belova regarding their roles in the war in Ukraine, specifically in connection to the unlawful deportation of children.
Poland to set fighter jets to Ukraine
Poland will become the first NATO nation to supply fighter jets to Ukraine with the delivery of four Soviet-era MiG-29. President Andrzej Duda announced the delivery will take place “in the next few days.”
Denmark to allocate $1 billion fund for Ukraine
Denmark has announced that it will set up a $1 billion fund for Ukraine. The funds will be allocated for defense concerns such as equipment, training, and weapons. Additionally, civil, economic, and humanitarian aid will be provided through the fund by supporting business initiatives and reconstruction within Ukraine. Up to now, Denmark has contributed $721 million in military assistance.
Canada announces additional equipment for Ukraine
The Canadian Defense Ministry has announced the shipment of 8,000 rounds of artillery ammunition, 1,800 rounds of training ammunition for Leopard 1 tanks, and a dozen air defense missiles to Ukraine.
Netherlands to provide additional equipment
Dutch Defense Minister announced during her visit to Ukraine that the Netherlands will provide drone radars, two minesweepers, and an M3 amphibious bridge-building system. Along with Belgium, the Netherlands will provide minesweeping training to a Ukrainian crew.
Black Sea Grain Initiative extended for 60 days
United Nations officials, Trade and Development chief Rebeca Grynspan and relief chief Martin Griffiths facilitated talks with a Russian delegation in Geneva concerning the extension of the Black Sea Grain Initiative. Despite the UN’s commitment to “do everything possible to preserve the integrity of the Black Sea Grain Initiative,” Russia only agreed to a 60-day extension of the Initiative which is half of the 120 days previously agreed upon.
Sanna Marin visits Ukraine
Primes Minister of Finland, Sanna Marin, is in Ukraine to meet with President Zelenskyy. Before her meeting, Marin made a visit to wounded soldiers in a Kyiv Hospital who have been undergoing treatment. Defense and security were among the most important topics discussed by the leaders. Further strengthening of cooperation between the two countries and their allies, including on the topic of sanctions, was discussed. During the visit, two Memorandum of Understanding documents were signed between the governments of Ukraine and Finland.
Canada bans the import of Russian aluminum and steel
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Chrysia Freeland announced that Canada is banning the import of Russian aluminum and steel products. The ban will include all Russian aluminum products and all primary Russian steel products, including raw materials and finished products.
Ukraine cannot intercept Russian hypersonic missiles
Russia continues its attack against Ukraine by firing missiles, some of which are hypersonic missiles that Ukraine does not have the capabilities to intercept. At least six hypersonic missiles were launched today and power lines were affected at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant as well as other parts of Ukraine, including Kyiv.
U.N. Secretary-General visits Ukraine
The United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, has made a visit to Ukraine to express solidarity with the nation and those who have become victims of Russia’s invasion. Speaking to President Zelenskyy, Guterres stated that the U.N. “will continue to seek solutions and a just peace for the people of Ukraine, and the world.” During his visit, Secretary-General Guterres highlighted the importance of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which is due to expire in less than two weeks and called for an extension of the initiative.
Germany provides additional equipment
Germany has provided two additional Gepard self-propelled anti-aircraft guns to Ukraine. The German government has also reported the delivery of two additional border protection vehicles, and six mobile antenna systems. There are 13 bridge-laying tanks and 500 SFP9 pistols being prepared for shipment to Ukraine, as well.
the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen visits Canada
Ursula von der Leyen and Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged to deliver generators to Ukraine. President von der Leyen also addressed Canada’s parliament. She spoke on the topic of Russian aggression in Ukraine and emphasized that this threat against security in Europe will not be accepted. She urged for “steadfast military and economic support.” President von der Leyen took this time to highlight the resistance of women who have been victims of gender-based violence within the conflict.
Switzerland will not arm Ukraine
Swiss government opposed arms exports to Ukraine, citing the state’s legal framework as cause. President Alain Berset emphasized, “It’s not possible to make exception to the legal framework.” To date, no Swiss-made weaponry has been available for re-export to Ukraine, with nations such as Germany, Spain, and Denmark having explicit requests denied.
Onus on Russia to end the war, says Chancellor Scholz
In an interview with CNN which aired today, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has said the onus for ending the ongoing war in Ukraine is on Russian President Vladimir Putin. Referencing the strength in unity which Ukrainians have demonstrated over the past year, Chancellor Scholz highlights the determination of Ukrainians and their allies to continue to support resistance efforts. Chancellor Scholz is quoted as saying, “To my view, it is necessary that Putin understands that he will not succeed with his invasion and his imperialistic aggression and that he has to withdraw troops. This is the basis for talks.”
President of European Parliament in Ukraine
The president of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, met with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Lviv, Ukraine to discuss Ukraine’s EU membership. Metsola is quoted as saying, “I am hopeful that succession negotiations can begin already this year.” Additionally, the conversation included further discussion on sanctions and supplies of weapons. Zelenskyy stated on Telegram that “Ukraine aims to complete the implementation of the recommendations of the European Commission as soon as possible and to start negotiations on joining the EU already this year.” Metsola also laid wreaths in honor of victims of the Russian invasion and met with the speaker of the Ukrainian parliament, Ruslan Stefanchuk, who guided a tour of the city at night, and called for a special international tribunal to be established for the purpose of prosecuting crimes of aggression against Ukraine.
General Wayne Eyre visits Ukraine
Canada’s defence chief, General Wayne Eyre, has visited Ukraine for the first time since the Russian invasion. During the visit, General Eyre discussed possible avenues of support provided by Canada and the Canadian Armed Forces. Other than meeting with the Ukrainian military officials, General Eyre participated in the daily moment of silence for Ukrainian soldiers who lost their lives to the war and laid flowers at the Wall of Remembrance for the Fallen.
US announced additional aid
The United States has announced additional $400 million in a new aid package for Ukraine. This new package of aid will include a wide range of equipment such as ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, armored vehicle-launched bridges, demolition munitions, equipment for obstacle training, and 155 mm, 105 mm, and 25 mm artillery rounds.
German Chancellor and President of the United States meet
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz met with President Joe Biden during his brief visit to the United States. For over an hour, the two leaders met in private in the Oval Office where they discussed the importance of global solidarity and the ongoing efforts of security, humanitarian, economic and political assistance for Ukraine. The two leaders also discussed how to respond in the case of China providing weapons to Russia.
Russia denounces aid to Ukraine
At the UN conference on disarmament, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov denounced aid provided by the United States and other allies to Ukraine. Ryabkov warned NATO and the US that their policies are “fueling the conflict in Ukraine,” and emphasized that this is the reason for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to suspend the 2012 New START treaty (the only remaining nuclear pact with the US).
US to host war planning exercises in Germany
The United States has announced that it will host war planning exercises in Germany for Ukrainian military officials.
Half of Swiss population supports relaxing military neutrality
According to a poll published today, conducted in collaboration with the LeeWas Institute, 50% of the population of Switzerland favour relaxing the country’s military neutrality to allow for the transfer of arms to Ukraine. The poll also highlighted that voters of all political stripes favour allowing for arms transfers to take place, with the exception of those who favour the Swiss People’s Party, which also happens to be the country’s largest political party. To date, the country has refused to allow nations that hold Swiss-made weapons to re-export them to the frontlines in Ukraine. Though, there are several initiatives under parliamentary debate regarding the reduction of the re-export rules.
- FEBRUARY 2023
European Commission to work with Poland to find abducted children
The European Commission along with Poland have announced an initiative to find Ukrainian children illegally taken by the Russian army from occupied territories. With more than 16,000 children reported to have been deported to Russia from Ukraine, this initiative is of utmost importance. The goal of the process is to find children who have been abducted and punish those responsible for these crimes.
European Union adopts tenth package of sanctions
The EU has adopted its tenth package of sanctions directed at Russia. The package of sanctions includes the prohibition on exports of critical technology and industrial goods, the suspension of broadcasting licenses of RT Arabic and Sputnik Arabic, restrictions on Russian nationals from holding positions in the governing bodies of the EU critical infrastructures. Additional sanctions against 121 individuals and entities are also included.
One year marked
Today one year has been marked since the beginning of the Russian war in Ukraine. Since February 24, 2022, 7,100 civilians have been killed and 11,600 have been wounded. There have been 700 attacks on health facilities and over 2,700 on educational institutions. Ukraine and Russia have had each over 130,000 military casualties. Ukraine has had 40% of its energy infrastructure destroyed and faces a loss of 35% in GDP growth.
Canada is there for Ukraine “in the long and the short term”
The Canadian government has pledged $32 million to support Ukraine’s resistance to Russian aggression. This new package includes $7.5 million for the purposes of demining efforts, $13 million towards accountability efforts including addressing conflict-related sexual violence offences, and $12 million to counter threats including biological, chemical, nuclear, and radiological. Since February of last year, the Canadian government has pledged $5 billion for Ukraine’s support efforts. Minister of National Defence, Anita Anand is quoted as saying, “[w]e are there in the long and the short term with Ukraine.” Defence Minister Anand’s words echo the sentiments shared by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau the day before stating that Canada “will continue to do whatever is necessary to ensure that Russia does not benefit from having illegally invaded Ukraine.”
The United Nations’ General Assembly votes on Ukraine war
The UN General Assembly has voted on the end of the war in Ukraine, calling on Russia to withdraw its troops from the country. Out of 193 Member States, 141 voted in favor of ending the war with seven against, including Belarus, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Eritrea, Mali, Nicaragua, Russia and Syria. There were 32 abstentions, notably China, India, and Pakistan. The Assembly called on Member States to work together in solidarity to address the international impacts of the war in all sectors and emphasized the importance of holding accountability for serious crimes committed to ensure justice for victims and survivors.
Giorgia Meloni meets President Zelenskyy
Italian prime minister Giorgia Meloni meets with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv, announcing that Rome is planning to hold a reconstruction conference in April which would allow Italian businesses to help in the reconstruction processes of Ukraine. During this meeting, President Zelenskyy criticized former Italian prime minister, and notable ally of prime minister Meloni, Silvio Berlusconi’s pro-Russian comments.
President Joe Biden in Kyiv
President Joe Biden visits Kyiv and meets with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at Mariinsky Palace. During his visit, President Biden announces an additional half a billion dollars of assistance to Ukraine, as well as promised a new round of sanctions on Russia in the coming days. This visit comes as the war in Ukraine moves towards its second year.
Kamala Harris speaks at the Munich Security Conference
During the second day of the Munch Security Conference, Vice-President of the United States Kamala Harris states Russia’s actions of aggression in Ukraine have accumulated to crimes against humanity. At the same conference, Prime minister of the UK, Rishi Sunak, also states the need to hold Russian aggression accountable.
Munich Security Conference begins
The Munich Security Conference begins today where among various topics of international importance, Ukraine will be discussed. President Zelenskyy delivered a speech to appeal to allies to speed up processes for delivering promised weapons and defence systems. Russian officials were not invited to the meeting, for the first time since the 1990s.
Keir Starmer promises support for Ukraine
British opposition leader, the Labour party’s Keir Starmer, visits Ukraine to meet with President Zelenskyy. During his visit, Starmer visited the town of Irpin and the site of a mass grave in the town of Bucha. Starmer highlighted during his visit that should there be a change in government in Britain, “the position on Ukraine will remain the same.”
Anxieties increase about Belarusian involvement
As fears increase that Russia’s close ally, Belarus, will help Russia in conducting a spring offensive, the Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko claims Belarus would not send any troops to Ukraine unless it is directly attacked.
Fierce fighting continues in Bakhmut and Moldovan fears of Russian sabotage
A new Russian offensive has begun in the city of Bakhmut.
The President of Moldova, Maia Sandu, has accused Russia of planning to use foreign saboteurs to weaken Moldova’s leadership and instrumentalize the country for war against Ukraine. This comes a week after the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced that his country has uncovered a Russian intelligence plan to sabotage Moldova and days after the government of Moldova resigned. Moldovan intelligence has now also confirmed that they have identified subversive activities with the aim of undermining and destabilizing the state of Moldova.
Poland calls on allies to provide jets
The contested conversation around artillery continues as Poland’s President Andrzej Duda announced sending jets to Ukraine “requires decision by the allies”, noting that Poland has responsibilities as a member of NATO. Additionally, the President highlights Poland’s own needs for combat aircraft.
President Biden to travel to Poland
It is announced that President Biden will travel to Poland February 20-22 to discuss bilateral cooperation, collective efforts to support Ukraine and NATO’s deterrence. During this trip, President Biden is expected to address the ways in which the United States has and will continue to support Ukraine and its people.
Ukrainian President joins EU leader in Brussels
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy joins EU leaders as a special guest at the EU summit in Brussels, invited by the European Council President Charles Michel. President Zelenskyy called for additional support, especially artillery support to help bolster what will likely be a dangerous new spring offensive. During this time, Zelenskyy reiterated the critical importance Ukraine plays in the future prosperity and peace in Europe. The President also outlined that “a number of European leaders” have already informed him of readiness to provide weapons.
German Defense Minister visits Kyiv
German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius announced during his surprise visit to Kyiv that by August 2024 Ukraine will receive over 100 Leopard 1 battle tanks from multiple European countries.
President Zelenskyy invited to EU summit in Brussels
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has been invited to participate in a summit of EU leaders. Topics to be discussed include Ukraine, migration, and the economy. It has not yet been confirmed if the Ukrainian president will participate.
French president Emmanuel Macron and German chancellor Olaf Scholz welcomed Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy to the Elysée palace in Paris. The leaders met over dinner to discuss additional military aid for Ukraine ahead of the EU summit on Thursday.
The EU has agreed on a price cap for Russian petroleum products
As of February 5, 2022, the price per barrel of petroleum products which originate in or are exported from Russia will face a price cap: discount-to-crude petroleum products (such as fuel oil and naphtha) is set at USD 45 per barrel and premium-to-crude (such as diesel, kerosene and gasoline) is set at USD 100 per barrel. These measures are in addition to the price cap for crude oil that came into force in December 2022. The Council will review these measures mid-March, followed by a review period every two months.
EU-Ukraine summit held in Kyiv
The EU-Ukraine summit is held in Kyiv, being hosted by the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, attended by leaders in the EU, including the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and the European Council President Charles Michel. Among the topics discussed is Ukraine’s accession to the EU. The leaders discussed the process of accession, the EU’s response to the war, Ukraine’s initiatives for peace and accountability, cooperation on reconstruction, and global food security.
EU contribution for Ukraine grows to €3.6 billion
The European Council has adopted assistance measures under the European Peace Facility to provide additional assistance to the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Included within the assistance measures is a seventh package worth €500 million. Additionally, new €45 million will be provided for training efforts of the European Union Military Assistance Mission.
EU doubles number of Ukrainian soldiers to be trained
The EU has announced that it plans to double the number of Ukrainian soldiers trained to 30,000. Training missions will be provided for crews of battle tanks as well as other soldiers on specialized weapons.
Defense ministers meet at Thales
French defense minister Sébastien Lecornu and Ukrainian defense minister Oleksiy Reznikov met in Limours, France at the Thales site to sign a contract for the delivery of a complete short-range air defense system. Included in the contract is the delivery of the Ground Master 200 surface radar.
- JANUARY 2023
EU-Ukraine summit announced
Ukraine’s Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal has announced that Kyiv will host an EU-Ukraine summit on Friday February the 3rd.
The US has announced that Russia is not complying with New START which is the last remaining arms control treaty between the two global nuclear powers.
Training of Ukrainian troops has begun in the UK
Ukrainian troops will begin training in the United Kingdom to learn to use the nation’s Challenger 2 tanks, following the government’s promise to supply a squadron to Ukraine.
Civilian casualty update provided by OHCHR
The United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner has released an update of the civilian casualty in Ukraine which includes a total of 7,110 people killed and 11,547 injured. Most casualties occurred in Government-controlled areas of Ukraine through the use of explosive weapons. The OHCHR believes the actual figures are higher as information from some locations has been delayed because of ongoing intense hostilities.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has once more rejected requests by Kyiv for fighter jets to be sent to Ukraine. The Chancellor has said, that the “question of combat jets does not arise at all” going on to advise against “entering into a constant competition to outbid each other when it comes to weapons systems.”
Belgium announces new aid
Belgium’s Prime Minister, Alexander De Croo, has announced the country’s largest aid to Ukraine to date. The Council of Ministers has come to an agreement on €92 million in military aid which will include grenades, ammunition, army vehicles, rifles, anti-tank and anti-aircraft guns. In addition, the nation is sending €69 million in humanitarian aid for strengthening schools and providing mental health support for children.
Sannino states the war has moved onto “a different stage”
Secretary General of the European Union’s European External Action Service, Stefano Sannino, spoke at a press conference in Tokyo at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club declaring that Russia has brought the war to “a different stage” through indiscriminate attacks of civilians. Secretary General Sannino noted the actions of Moscow have prompted Germany and its allies to supply arms for Ukraine’s defense.
Canada announces tanks for Ukraine
Canadian Minister of National Defense Anita Anand has announced that Canada will supply Ukraine with four Leopard 2 A4 main battle tanks, as well as Canadian Armed Forces trainers to teach Ukrainian soldiers how to operate the machinery.
Moscow launches more missiles
Russia launched a new wave of missiles at Ukraine a day after the nation’s allies pledged to provide tanks in aid against Russian aggression. After 35 buildings were struck, 11 people died and 11 others were left injured. Strikes were reported in Kyiv, as well as at energy facilities in the Odesa region.
UNESCO declares Odesa World Heritage in Danger site
UNESCO has declared the Historic Centre of Odesa as a World Heritage in Danger site.
Germany agrees to send Leopard tanks
German chancellor Olaf Scholz has agreed to send 14 Leopard 2 A6 tanks to Ukraine “as a first step,” promising two battalions worth all together. Berlin will also provide other logistics such as the ammunition and maintenance of the systems.
United States agrees to send Abrams tanks
President of the United States Joe Biden has announced a battalion of 31 M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine. Though the process will take months until tanks arrive in Ukraine, the decision is a symbol of the unwavering support of the United States. The battalion will be part of a $400 million procurement through the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, a fund delivered by Congress.
Poland sends request to Germany for tanks
Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak has announced that Poland has sent an official request to Germany asking permission to send tanks to Ukraine. A spokesperson for the German economy minister has confirmed that the necessary procedures are taken place and are being conducting with urgency.
Moscow warns provocation
Moscow warns supplying weapons will be seen as a direct provocation to further escalate the war. This comes as both Germany and the United States are working towards coming to a decision on providing battle tanks for Ukraine.
Baltic countries apply pressure on allies
As the EU summit approaches, Baltic countries are applying pressure on European allies to contribute more toward Ukraine’s war efforts. Lithuania’s Foreign Minister, Gabrielius Landsbergis, has endorsed tougher sanctions on Russia – as well as additional military support for Ukraine. Latvia’s Foreign Minister has announced that his country would lessen diplomatic relations with Russia. Though already had expelled the Russian ambassador in April, Lithuania’s Foreign Minister expressed solidarity with Estonia.
Moscow expels Estonian Ambassador
Russia has expelled the Estonian Ambassador to Moscow, Margus Laidre, after comments made by Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Urmas Reinsalu on his way to EU summit. Moscow has named the comments as “total Russophobia” and “cultivating enmity” towards Russia.
Estonia to contribute 1% of their GDP to war efforts
Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Urmas Reinsalu, made comments in support of more artillery support for Ukraine. The minister spoke to reporters about the need for continued support for Ukraine. Additionally, he committed Estonia to contribute 1% of their GDP to war efforts in support of Ukraine. Reinsalu calls for immediate action, for more sanctions, and for the EU’s strong vocal support to Zelensky’s 10-point plan.
RT France bank accounts frozen
Bank accounts of RT France have been frozen nearly one year after RT France was banned from broadcasting in the EU. Bruno Le Maire, the French Ministry of Economy and Finance has said the assets were frozen due to recent EU sanctions passed in December.
Ukraine Defense Contact Group meeting held
A Ukraine Defense Contact Group meeting is held at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany hosted by the U.S. Secretary of Defense, Lloyd J. Austin. The meeting focuses on the current war in Ukraine and security issues which relate to it with an emphasis on the impact on NATO allies and partners. Those attending include NATO Secretary General Jen Stotlenberg, Ukrainian Minister of Defense Oleksii Reznikov, and Canadian Defense Minister Anita Anand.
U.S. announces new aid
The United States has announced that $2.5 billion has been allocated for a new security package for Ukraine, including more Bradley Fighting Vehicles and, for the first time, Stryker combat vehicles. This news comes as pressure builds in Washington and Berlin on the question of providing tanks.
Canada Defence Minister Anita Anand visits Ukraine
The Minister announced the latest Canadian military contribution to Ukraine consisting of 200 armoured vehicles which are being purchased from Roshel, Mississauga, ON at a cost of $90 million.
Announcement on the strengthening of the rescEU reserve
The European Commission has announced it has allocated €242 million to Finland for the development of the first rescEU chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear strategic reserve. This action is partly due to the acts of aggression Russia has displayed. Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, has been quoted as saying “Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine has confirmed the need to strengthen EU CBRN preparedness. That is why, the rescEU CBRN reserves will provide the EU with a significant safety net enabling a quick and coordinated response at EU level.”
Death toll rises in Dnipro
Death toll in Dnipro rose to 40, with 46 people still reported missing.
Attack on the city of Dnipro
An apartment block in the Ukrainian city of Dnipro was left in crumbles after Russia launched Kh-22 missiles. The death toll has risen to at least 30, with 75 apartments destroyed and 230 damaged. Attacks were also carried out in Lviv, Zaporizhzhya, Kharkiv and Myoklaliv.
The U.K. has agreed to send next-generation tanks such as the Challenger 2 to Ukraine following a call between Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
The IAEA makes an announcement, fighting continues in Soledar
The International Atomic Energy Agency has announced that the Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi will travel to Ukraine in a week for the purpose of establishing continuous presence of both nuclear safety and security experts at all nuclear power facilities in the country. Two-member teams will be appointed to facilities across the country such as the Khmelnitsky, South Ukraine, and Rivne Nuclear Power Plants.
Fierce fighting continues in the town of Soledar where Russia has claimed victory, though denied by Ukrainian authorities.
New commander announced in Russia
Valery Gerasimov is appointed to the role of commander of the Russian forces in Ukraine. Gerasimov replaces Sergei Surokvikin, who will serve along with army General Oleg Salyukov and Colonel General Aleksei Kim as deputies under Gerasimov.
The United States announces new military assistance for Ukraine
The United States Secretary of State, Anthony J. Blinken, shared in a press statement that more than 3.75 billion in military assistance will be sent to Ukraine. The funds are meant to support Ukraine and countries impacted by Russia’s war in Ukraine to defend against emergent threats, as well as modernize, professionalize, and strengthen various security capabilities of these nations.
Ceasefire announced by Putin
President Vladimir Putin announced a ceasefire between January 6th and 7th for Orthodox Christmas, though this was denied by Ukraine.
- DECEMBER 2022
Zaporizhzhya power plant disconnected
The Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) was disconnected due to damage sustained by shelling. The Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency states he is consulting with both Ukraine and Russia in order to implement a nuclear safety and security protection zone around the Zaporizhzhya NPP.
Christmas celebrations and new ‘negotiations’
Three Ukrainian emergency service providers were killed during a demining excursion in the Kherson region. Some Ukrainians break from tradition by celebrating Christmas today instead of on January 7th like many Russians and other Orthodox Christians as a form of protest against Russian actions. President Vladimir Putin declares he is ready to negotiate, though unwilling to withdraw invading forces from Ukraine.
President Zelensky visits Washington, DC
President Volodymyr Zelensky visits Washington, DC and meets with President Joe Biden. During a joint press conference, President Biden announced new security assistance of $2.2 billion in additional humanitarian funding for Ukraine, including the Patriot battery systems for air defense. President Zelenskiy highlighted the crucial role Ukraine is playing for the pursuit of not only domestic, but global security.
President Zelensky visits Bakhmut
President Volodymyr Zelensky made a visit to the city of Bakhmut where fierce fighting has continued for months. During his visit, he spent time with troops and handed out awards. Though a key site of tension, Ukrainian forces have fought back on advancements.
Kamikaze drones fly over Kyiv
The capital city of Kyiv is under heavy fire by around 35 drones from Russia which hover over the city of 3.6 million people during the early hours of the day. Critical infrastructure was hit and a kamikaze drone flew over the South Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant. Russian President Vladimir Putin has arrived in Minsk for the first time in three years to meet with Alexander Lukashenko.
Ninth package of sanctions for Russia from the EU
The EU has agreed to adopt a ninth package of sanctions against Russia for its acts of aggression against Ukraine. This new package, proposed by the European Commission, included individual officers and defense industrial companies, as well as the Russian armed forces, members of the State duma and federation council, ministers, governors, and political parties – altogether comprising of 200 individuals and entities. In addition, severe export restrictions have been extended to 168 Russian entities with close links to the Russian military.
Support for rehabilitation of schools in Ukraine
The European Commission and the Government of Ukraine have signed a €100 million support package for the rehabilitation of schools damaged by the ongoing war. The package includes €34 million, of which €20 million will be delivered through the United Nations Office for Project Services and €14 million through the United Nations Development program. The rest of the €66 million will be provided directly to the Ukrainian government in the form of budget support.
Deadly attacks on Kherson leaves city without power
One of the biggest setbacks to the Russian invasion came in November when the Russian army began to retreat from the Kherson region due to the incredible strength of the Ukrainian forces. This retreat led to Russia’s continuous strikes onto the cities and port, where critical energy infrastructures were located to cause blackouts.
Ukraine could be receiving extra military aid from the US
The US is continually demonstrating its support for the Ukrainian military through the intention of sending Patriot air defence missiles. The announcement for this support is set to take place sometime this week.
G-7 leaders and EU discuss support for Ukraine
Recently, a joint statement was made by the G7 leaders in which they condemned Russia for the invasion and the provocation of nuclear weaponry. They have also stated that there would be less of a reliance on oil and gas from Russia, while pledging for the continuous backing of Ukraine.
Port in Odesa reopens after strikes on its energy network
When Russia began using Iranian-made drones, they attacked the Black Sea Port of Odesa, damaging the energy infrastructure. This left approximately 1.5 million people without power, as well as a variety of non-critical infrastructures without energy. This port is important for Ukraine because it allows for the exportation of grain.
Erdogan discusses with Putin and Zelensky about grain, and the current war
The President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, recently talked about the War in Ukraine and disclosed the issues of energy and grain through phone calls with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Vlodomir Zelenskyy.
Current Russian strikes greatly damage Ukrainian cities
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has stated that Bakhmut, a city in eastern Ukraine, has been “destroyed” by the large number of Russian missile strikes. There have also been a large number of strikes on other parts of the country.
Jens Stoltenberg, chief of NATO, worries about the extension of the war
The chief of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, has recently commented on the war in Ukraine where his views on the war are that it could result in an all-out clash between NATO and Russia. Although the chief of NATO views the war in such a way, Russia has already condemned NATO for being part of the conflict since they provide Ukraine with weapons, intelligence and training of Ukraines troops.
Ukraine officials say that Russia has struck the eastern front
New attacks from Russia have hit the eastern front, primarily the Donetsk region. These attacks come with the understanding that the Russian army is trying to hold its current captured positions away from the Ukrainian forces. The towns which see the most intense fighting are both Avdiivka and Bakhmut.
Russian President warns of possible nuclear strikes if Ukraine strikes Russia
President Vladimir Putin has stated that the overall threat of nuclear war has increased. However, he states that Russia will not be the first ones to use nuclear weapons. If Russia uses weapons, per Vladimir Putin, it would be a response, rather than an instigation.
Hungary denies EU aid intended for Ukraine
During a recent gathering of the European Union states, Hungary vetoed a loan worth 18 billion euros to Ukraine. This comes after Hungary did not receive EU funds. Though it opposed the loan, Hungary officials have stated that it would support Ukraine through bilateral help.
Investigations are conducted under suspicion of Russian war crimes by Ukraine officials
With areas being recaptured by Ukrainian forces, investigations are underway to evaluate and understand what atrocities have transpired.
G7 set price cap on Russian oil
The recent G7 meeting, including Australia, have agreed to put a necessary price cap on the crude oil exported by Russia. The price cap is set at 60$ per barrel. This comes after the stalling of Poland on such a deal.
Russian nuclear-capable missiles fired into Ukraine are revealed to be dummy’s
Recent missile attacks that seem to be nuclear-capable turn out to be non-explosive. It is suspected that Russia is doing this to deplete Ukraine’s air defences so that Russia would be able to send more missiles that would not be hindered by the anti-air defence, and therefore provide more damage to critical infrastructure.
- NOVEMBER 2022
Repercussion of War felt in Moldovas bracing due to loss of power
The Russian strikes on the energy infrastructure of Ukraine begin to show its impact on neighboring countries, such as Moldova. Moldova has been feeling the effects of the power outages in its country because of the manner in which the Soviet Union built its energy infrastructure. This infrastructure is heavily connected with Ukraine, which means any damage dealt to Ukraine’s energy facilities, Moldovan ones could potentially also receive the effects.
Pledge from NATO to fix power grid and provide more weapons
Recent discussions between NATO and Ukraine show that the organization is pledging to aid in repairing the damaged energy facilities caused by Russian strikes. NATO-has also pledged to provide more weaponry to the Ukrainian army in order to help with pushing back the invader.
Ukraine views the attacks on the power grid from Russia as a form of genocide
Due to the constant barrage of missiles on to Ukraines energy facilities, the Ukrainian officials begin to deem the acts as a form of genocide. The term genocide has been used a variety of times since the start of the war, and the way in which the Russian army is targeting energy facilites as winter begins can surely give reason as to why the Ukrainian officials view these attacks as genocide.
A reported six million have been left without power due to Russian strikes
With the continued strikes on Ukrainian energy facilities, a reported six million Ukrainians are left without adequate energy supplies. Though the number is reducing due to the great work of the Ukrainian people, millions are still left with power or water as winter draws near.
Majority of Kyiv without power after latest Russian strikes
New reports demonstrate that after the latest strikes from Russia, 70% of Ukrainians in Kyiv are waking up with no energy. Though many strikes are occuring, Ukraine is doing its best to restore power and its water supply.
The WHO sees Ukrainian lives under threat in the coming winter
Due to the constant Russian missile barrages on the energy infrastructure of Ukraine, the World Health Organization has stated that millions of Ukrainian lives are at risk. The WHO believes that without power, and the onset of winter, many Ukrainians are going to freeze under extreme low temperatures, with certain areas expecting up to -20C.
Ukraine nuclear plant shelled, U.N. warns: ‘You’re playing with fire!’
Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which is under Russian control, was rocked by shelling on Sunday, drawing condemnation from the U.N. nuclear watchdog which said such attacks risked a major disaster.
Estimated 10 million Ukrainians left without power after Russian strikes
Russian strikes on the energy infrastructure caused around 10 million Ukrainians to be left without power. Due to these strikes, a reported seven people have sadly passed.
Liberation of Kherson leads to uncovering of Russian atrocities
After the liberation of Kherson, there has been a discovery of 63 civilians who have sadly passed away. They showed signs of torture, which indicates at the atrocities committed by Russian soldiers who occupied the area prior to its retaking by the Ukrainian forces.
NATO says Poland blast likely caused by Ukrainian missile, but Moscow bears responsibility
NATO’s secretary-general said Tuesday’s blast in Poland was likely caused by a Ukrainian air defence missile but that Russia was ultimately responsible because it started the war.
Calls from UN for reparations from Russia, met with anger from Russian officials
Due to the invasion being caused by the Russian state, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution which states the reparations need to be paid by Russia, and that the state needs to face repercussions for its invasion. This resolution has been met with anger from Russia.
Zelensky states that Russia has committed war crimes
Ever since Ukraine took control of Kherson on November 11th, 2022, there have been a number of investigations conducted on the area. That is when over 400 war crimes have been discovered by investigators, and President Zelensky stated that bodies of both civilians and soldiers were discovered.
Kyiv celebrates the liberation of Kherson
After the announcement from President Vladimir Putin, a few days ago, that the Russian army is retreating from Kherson, the Ukrainian forces were finally able to take the city back. With this victorious accomplishment, the Ukrainian people in Kyiv on Saturday were celebrating across the city, with Maidan Square becoming a popular place to go and wave the Ukrainian flag and sing patriotic songs.
Ukraine does not want to negotiate with Russia
During recent discussions with a Ukrainian official, Andriy Kostin, it was stated that the Ukrainian leadership is not willing to consider negotiations at this time. During this time, the American leadership has been asking for Ukraine to tone down its stance against Russia, in order for negotiations to occur.
Kherson locals still ready for the worst during Russian retreat
Russia has declared that its army is retreating from Kherson, an area that was invaded back in March of this year. With the retreat in mind, many locals fear the repercussions that they will face from the retreating Russian army. It is unclear what could happen to the current residents, but many fear that it would be negative.
Amount of Mariupol graves sites grow
Since the invasion, the knowledge of Russian atrocities occurring to Ukraines has been widely reported. Recently, satellite imaging from the BBC news has detected a new mass burial site of 1,500 new graves near the city of Mariupol. The site is located approximately north-west of the city where many Ukrainians suspect thousands of bodies to be buried.
Accusations towards Iran are pushed by Zelensky for providing arms to Russia
Recently, it has been discovered that the drones that are attacking Ukraine were made in Iran. President Zelensky condemned Iran for supplying Russia military weapons, while also failing to state that they were provided in the first place. Iran has stated that they were given to Russia prior to the invasion.
New Russian conscripts for the invasion of Ukraine are prisoners
Recently, President Vladimir Putin has announced a new law that forces convicted criminals to be conscripted. These convicted criminals are being forced to the front lines to fight alongside the invading Russian army, against the defending Ukrainian army.
Russia accused of ‘energy terrorism’ by Zelensky
During the recent drone and missile attacks on the Kyiv energy infrastructure, the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, accuses Russia of conducting ‘energy terrorism’. These attacks leave around 4.5 million people without appropriate energy resources.
Water supply in Kyiv restored but blackouts persist
After the recent attacks on Kyiv, the water and energy supplies have been restored. This comes after the Mayor of Kyiv, Vitaliy Klitschko, stated to the public that regardless of the restoration in water and energy supplies, that power outages across the capital will continue to preserve as much electricity as possible.
- OCTOBER 2022
Ukrainian grain ships leave port after deal blockade from Russia
After Russia pulled out from the internationally-brokered deal a couple of days ago, they halted the exportation of Ukrainian grain. However it is reported that today Ukraine was able to have 12 of its ships leave the Black Sea port, which is important for many of the countries to receive, like Ethiopia.
Attack on Russian black sea fleet forces them to stop grain deal with Ukraine
The internationally-brokered deal, which allowed for Ukraine to ship its grain, has been halted by Russia. The reasoning coming from Russia is because of the recent attacks that the Black Sea fleet had suffered. Russia is blaming the attack on Ukraine, and with this gives its reason as to suspend the previously agreed upon deal.
Kyiv is going to experience blackouts due to Russian strikes
With the war’s progression, Russia has been setting its sights on the energy infrastructure of Ukraine. Because of this, the Ukrainian authorities are cautioning people in Kyiv that there will be power outages that last for multiple hours. The attacks on Kyiv are nothing new since the start of the war, but the strategy to attack their energy infrastructure is something to worry about, especially in the coming months.
Tactics to take Bakhmut deemed crazy by Zelensky
Bakhmut has been experiencing a great deal of fighting from both the invading Russian forces and the Ukrainian counter-offensive forces. During this long battle between the two forces, Zelensky has been criticizing the Russian army and their ludicrous efforts at taking control of the city. Pre-war, the city of Bakhmut had a population of around 70,000 people.
Ukraine denies Russia’s ‘dirty bomb’ accusation
Ukraine is denying claims from Russia that it is about to launch a radioactive ‘dirty bomb’ attack, a claim Western allies have also dismissed. United Nations inspectors will be heading to the country at Kyiv’s request to debunk the accusation.
‘Dirty bomb’ speculation rises while Russia defends Kherson from Ukrainian forces
Russia is bringing in reinforcements into Kherson rather than evacuating them. These reinforcements bring on the speculation that Russia could be transporting a ‘dirty bomb’ which would be used to attack the Ukrainian forces. The ‘dirty bomb’ in question is referring to nuclear capable missiles.
Millions without power across Ukraine Russia has been attacking Ukraine’s energy system for two weeks
On October 22, Russia again attacked a number of energy infrastructure targets throughout Ukraine, leaving at least 1.5 million without power. Ukrenergo, the state energy company, says today’s attacks caused damaged comparable to, and possibly exceeding, the damage from Russian attacks in the days after the explosion on the Crimean Bridge.
EU discusses giving funds to Ukraine to support basic needs
The European Union is discussing plans to provide Ukraine with 1.5 billion euros per month to help with basic needs such as energy, food and water
Putin announces he is imposing martial law in four occupied Ukrainian territories (Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia)
Marital law grants Russia’s authorities huge powers over the civilian population in the regions it is imposed. Martial law is set to go into effect on Thursday.
Russia targets energy infrastructure across Ukraine
A power plant on the left bank of Kyiv was hit, as well as energy infrastructure in Zhytomyr and Dnipro. Eight Russian missiles were launched on Kharkiv, which hit several districts of the city, and Russian drones attacked Zaporizhzhia.
Russian fighter jet crashes into a residential area in Yeysk, Russia
Thirteen people were killed in a fire after the fighter jet crashed.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announces NATO will send Ukraine anti-drone systems
Multiple explosions from drone strikes in Kyiv
NATO allies announce additional support for Ukraine
Canada said it is planning $47 million Canadian dollars more in military aid in the coming weeks; the British government, France and the Netherlands also announced they would provide more military aid (missiles, radars, aerial drones).
Russian authorities announce 8 arrests in Crimea bridge explosion
According to the FSB (the Federal Security Service of Russia), five of them are Russian citizens, while the three others are Ukrainian and Armenian.
The UN condemns Russia’s annexation attempts of the four Ukrainian regions
The UN General Assembly voted for a resolution that rejects Russia’s attempted annexations; 143 countries voted in favor of the resolution, 35 abstained and five countries voted against the measure (Russia, Syria, North Korea, Belarus and Nicaragua).
Virtual G-7 meeting with president Zelensky
G-7 leaders condemn Russian attacks on civilians in the strongest possible terms and vowed to continue financial, humanitarian, military, diplomatic and legal support to Ukraine.
Russian missiles aimed at Ukraine cross through Moldovan airspace
Russian missile attacks on civilian infrastructure in Kiev, Zaporizhzhia, Lviv, Dnipro, Kharkiv, Odesa, Ternopil, Kremenchuk
Kerch bridge which connects the Crimean Peninsula to the Russian mainland hit by an explosion
A section of the bridge is destroyed by the blast.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) announces that it will provide $1.3 billion in emergency aid to Ukraine
- SEPTEMBER 2022
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the illegal Russian annexation of four Ukrainian territories on September 30 without clearly defining the borders of those claimed territories. Russian authorities are continuing to deploy mobilized personnel to Ukraine without adequate training or equipment, and personnel are unlikely to be able to afford to provide their own supplies
Canada further amends the Special Economic Measures (Russia) Regulations
Russian authorities in occupied parts of Ukraine’s Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk, and Luhansk oblasts completed their falsified annexation “referenda.”
They claimed that each referendum received between 87 and 99% approval from Ukrainian residents. President Vladimir Putin will likely announce the Russian annexation of occupied Ukrainian territory on September 30
Leaks are discovered in the underwater Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines in the Baltic Sea
The Kremlin is openly not adhering to its promised conditions for partial mobilization just 24 hours after its September 21 declaration
Kremlin quotas will likely force local officials to mobilize any men, regardless of their military status, to meet quota numbers. The Kremlin’s heavy-handed approach to mobilization is prompting public anger and distrust across Russia.
President Putin announces a partial mobilization.
This is an order to mobilize part of Russia’s “trained” reserve (individuals who have completed their mandatory conscript service); 300,000 men.
Referenda in Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia Russian-appointed occupation officials in Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia oblasts announce that they will hold a “referendum” on acceding to Russia, with a vote taking place from September 23-27.
All units of the Zaporizhzhia NPP in cold shutdown
The last operating reactor at the Russian-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine has been put into what is known as a cold shutdown after an external power line was restored, making it possible to shut it down more safely.
EU suspends visa facilitation agreement with Russia
The Council adopted a decision that fully suspends the visa facilitation agreement between the EU and Russia. Consequently, the general rules of the visa code will apply to Russian citizens.
This will result in an increase in the visa application fee from €35 to €80, the need to present additional documentary evidence, increased visa processing times and more restrictive rules for the issuance of multiple-entry visas. The decision will enter into force on the day of its adoption and will apply as of 12 September 2022.
A team of inspectors from the IAEA arrived at the Zaporizhzhia plant
The IAEA assessed the physical damage to facilities, determined the functionality of the main and backup safety and security systems, evaluated the working conditions of the control room staff, and undertook safeguards activities. The IAEA planned to keep a permanent presence of two staff at the plant.
- AUGUST 2022
Canada further amends the Special Economic Measures (Russia) Regulations
Shelling reportedly damaged the Zaporizhzhia plant’s external power supply system
This triggered the emergency protection system of one of the three reactors (unit 4) operating at the time. Ukraine informed the IAEA on 6 August that there had been no damage to the reactors themselves, no radiological release and no reports of injuries, and that two external power lines remained operational.
EU imposes restrictive measures on Viktor and Oleksandr Yanukovych
The Council decided to impose restrictive measures on two additional individuals: Viktor Fedorovych Yanukovych: pro-Russian former President of Ukraine, for his role in undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine and the state’s stability and security, and Oleksandr Viktorovych Yanukovych (Viktor’s son): for also conducting transactions with the separatist groups in the Donbas region of Ukraine.
- JULY 2022
New package of measures in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
New measures intended to tighten existing economic sanctions targeting Russia, perfect their implementation and strengthen their effectiveness.
The “maintenance and alignment” package introduces a new prohibition to purchase, import or transfer Russian-origin gold, including jewellery;
reinforces export controls of dual use goods; extends the existing port access ban to locks; clarifies existing measures, for instance in the field of public procurement, aviation and justice; sanctions an additional 54 individuals and 10 entities, including the mayor of Moscow and Sberbank, a major financial institution.
New measures, just like earlier sanctions, do not target Russia’s exports of food, grain or fertilisers.
Moldovan agricultural products – Council adopts temporary trade liberalisation measures
The Council today adopted a regulation temporarily liberalising trade in the seven Moldovan agricultural products that are not already fully liberalised: tomatoes, garlic, table grapes, apples, cherries, plums and grape juice.
This means that Moldova can at least double its exports of these products – for a period of one year – to the European Union without any tariffs.
Canada further amends the Special Economic Measures (Russia) Regulations
On 7 July, 14 July and 29 July.
- JUNE 2022
Canada further amends the Special Economic Measures (Russia) Regulations
On 7 June and 27 June.
Council to add the violation of sanctions to the list of EU crimes
The EU has adopted several restrictive measures in the context of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine and it is essential that these measures are fully implemented. Currently member states have very different definitions of what constitutes a violation of restrictive measures and what penalties should be applied in the event of violation.
A decision to add the violation of sanctions to the list of ‘EU crimes’ will allow, as a second step, the adoption of a set of minimum rules concerning the definition of criminal offences and penalties for the violation of EU restrictive measures. This will ensure a similar degree of sanctions enforcement throughout the EU and will dissuade attempts to circumvent or violate EU measures.
NATO Summit in Madrid
Support to Ukraine and other partners at risk; a strengthened Comprehensive Assistance Package for Ukraine, including support in areas like secure communications, anti-drone systems and fuel; long-term help for Ukraine to transition from Soviet-era military equipment to modern NATO equipment; new support packages for other partners at risk, including Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, and the Republic of Moldova; Official invitation to Finland and Sweden to become NATO members; reaffirmed commitment to NATO’s Open-Door policy for aspiring members
Council adopts statement on the protection of children from Ukraine
The Council encouraged member states to provide free legal aid and free access to health care services to displaced Ukrainian children; inform unaccompanied and separated children travelling from Ukraine of their rights
take all possible measures to ensure high-quality reception for the children;
ensure that all unaccompanied and separated children are fully integrated into national child protection systems; support access to quality education and care.
Energy Council adopts regulation on gas storage.
The Energy Council adopted new rules on gas storage which aim to ensure that gas storage capacities in the EU are filled before the winter season and can be shared between member states in a spirit of solidarity, despite the disruptions in the gas market. The new rules represent an important step in strengthening the security of the EU’s energy supply in the context of the war in Ukraine.
During the meeting, EU ministers also discussed the situation of the energy market. In this context, the ministers welcomed the REPowerEU plan, presented by the Commission in May 2022.
European Council grants EU candidate status to Ukraine
During the European Council on 23 June 2022, EU leaders granted EU candidate status to Ukraine. In this context, they invited the European Commission to report to the Council on the fulfilment of the conditions specified in the Commission’s opinion on Ukraine’s membership application.
EU leaders reiterated that they are strongly committed to providing continued EU support to Ukraine, including military, financial, humanitarian and political support.
Council highlights the need to protect children facing armed conflicts
Against the background of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, the Council noted the need to protect children facing armed conflicts and their consequences, from recruitment by armed forces; trafficking in human beings;
illegal adoption; sexual exploitation; separation from their families.
Head of UN nuclear watchdog Rafael Grossi says he is determined to send an IAEA expert mission to Zaporizhzhia NPP to assess the safety of operation and working conditions.
- MAY 2022
Canada further amends the Special Economic Measures (Russia) Regulations
On 3 May, 6 May, 18 May and 27 May.
European Council agrees on the sixth sanctions package
The package covers crude oil and petroleum products, delivered from Russia to member states; a SWIFT ban for an additional three Russian bank and one Belarusian bank; suspension of broadcasting in the EU for three more Russian state-owned outlets. A temporary exception for crude oil delivered by pipeline will be introduced.
The EU also adopted sanctions against an additional 65 individuals and 18 entities. These include individuals responsible for the atrocities committed in Bucha and Mariupol.
Other topics discussed during the summit: safety of civilians, prosecution of war crimes, EU support to Ukraine – including humanitarian, financial, military and political support – and EU support to neighbouring countries. The EU leaders also stressed the importance of resolutely implementing the Strategic Compass and increasing the EU’s security and defence capacity.
Eurojust to preserve evidence of war crimes
The Council adopted new rules to allow Eurojust to store and preserve evidence relating to war crimes, including satellite images, photographs, videos, audio recordings, DNA profiles and fingerprints; process and analyse this evidence, in close cooperation with Europol, and share the information with the relevant national and international authorities, including the International Criminal Court.
There is a reasonable basis to believe that crimes against humanity and war crimes have been and are being committed in Ukraine.
EU adopts temporary trade liberalisation with Ukraine
The decision will apply for a period of one year and will suspend all those tariffs under Title IV of the Association Agreement between the EU and Ukraine, the collection of anti-dumping duties on imports originating in Ukraine, the application of the common rules for imports with respect of imports originating in Ukraine.
EU Member states to collaborate to store and share gas supplies
The proposed regulation aims to ensure that storage capacities in the EU are filled before the winter season and can be shared between member states in a spirit of solidarity. Underground gas storage on member states’ territory should be filled to at least 80% of their capacity before the winter of 2022/2023 and to 90% before the following winter periods. The EU will attempt collectively to fill 85% of the underground gas storage capacity in 2022.
Azovstal and the fall of Mariupol
Ukrainian soldiers and civilians ended their defense of the Azovstal Iron and Steel Works Plant. On May 16, the Ukrainians negotiated with Russian forces to leave this plant, ending the Azovstal Battle, which brought most of Mariupol under Russian control.
EU Energy ministers recall solidarity to Ukraine and discuss gas supply challenges
EU energy ministers met in an extraordinary Council meeting to exchange views on possible measures to be undertaken in the event of an energy supply crisis, following the suspension by Gazprom of gas deliveries to some EU member states.
- APRIL 2022
Canada further amends the Special Economic Measures (Russia) Regulations
On 5 April, 8 April and 19 April.
Two guided missiles hit the city of Zaporizhzhia, less than 40 miles northeast of Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant
This is one of multiple local reports of hostilities in the vicinity of the plant.
Fifth package of sanctions in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
The package includes a ban on imports from Russia of coal and other solid fossil fuels, all Russian vessels from accessing EU ports, all Russian and Belarusian road transport operators from entering the EU, import of other goods such as wood, cement, seafood and liquor, exports to Russia of jet fuel and other goods, deposit to crypto wallets.
The EU also adopts restrictive measurements against an additional 217 individuals and 18 entities.
Council adopts €150 million assistance to the Republic of Moldova
The assistance shall contribute to strengthening Moldova’s resilience in the current geopolitical context and covering Moldova’s balance of payments needs as identified in the IMF program.
Russia withdraws from Kyiv Area / Bucha Massacre
Following peace talks in Istanbul on March 29th, Russia begins withdrawal from the Kyiv region, to shift focus on the Donbass region. Following the withdrawal, disturbing reports and images surfaced of mass civilian casualties in the suburb of Kyiv, Bucha.
- MARCH 2022
Canada further amends the Special Economic Measures (Russia) Regulations
On 4 March, 6 March, 10 March, 14 March, 23 March and 24 March.
Zelensky urges Western nations to enforce a no-fly zone over Ukraine
NATO’s secretary General rejects no-fly zone over Ukraine.
Control of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant is returned to Ukrainian personnel
EU leaders agree to set up a Ukraine Solidarity Trust Fund
At the European Council, EU leaders agreed to provide support for the reconstruction of a democratic Ukraine, including by setting up a Ukraine Solidarity Trust Fund. The EU leaders also discussed safety of civilians, rapid mobilization of funding for refugees and host countries, development of contingency plans, energy and nuclear facilities. They also discussed measures to mitigate the impact of high energy prices and to secure the supply of energy in the EU member states.
Moldova officially applies for EU Membership
However, presence of Russian troops in Transnistria prevents Moldova from fully controlling its own borders. Without border and territorial control, Moldova cannot join the EU, as this is one of the conditions for EU membership.
Council discusses food situation with Ukrainian agriculture minister
They discussed measures that could be taken not only to continue to safeguard food supplies in the short term, but also to enhance the EU’s food security and food sovereignty in the medium and long term. The discussion also touched upon the potential impact of the crisis on the food security of non-EU countries.
Council agrees on Frontex operational support for Moldova
Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine over 300 000 refugees have entered Moldova and the number continues to grow. The EU signed a status agreement with the Republic of Moldova regarding operational activities carried out by Frontex. This will help Moldovan border management authorities to face the challenge of regulating this influx of refugees while monitoring a border with an active war zone.
The Council endorsed a legislative proposal on Cohesion’s Action for Refugees in Europe (CARE)
The proposal will allow a swift release of cohesion policy funding and will help EU countries and regions provide emergency support to people fleeing Russia’s military aggression.
Ukraine and Moldova’s electricity networks were connected to the continental European grid on a trial basis
Russia ceases to be a member of the Council of Europe
The Committee of Ministers decided, in the context of the procedure launched under Article 8 of the Statute of the Council of Europe, that the Russian Federation ceases to be a member of the Council of Europe after 26 years of membership
Zelensky acknowledges that it would not be possible for Ukraine to join NATO
EU adopts fourth package of sanctions against Russia
The new measures include a ban on all transactions with certain state-owned enterprises; the provision of credit rating services to any Russian person or entity; new investments in the Russian energy sector; trade restrictions for iron, steel and luxury goods; sanctions on an additional 15 individuals and 9 entities.
EU Ministers discuss financial support for the reception of refugees
During the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council, ministers had an exchange of views on the war in Ukraine. People displaced by the conflict in Ukraine must be given assistance for their reception and support; access to the labor market; housing; social assistance.
10-11 March: EU leaders’ declaration on the situation in Ukraine
EU heads of state and government adopted a declaration on the Russian aggression against Ukraine. Leaders pledged to boost ties with Ukraine and support it along the European path; welcomed the decision of the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to open an investigation; called for the safety and security of Ukraine’s nuclear facilities to be ensured immediately; confirmed their readiness to move quickly with further sanctions; stated that the EU and its member states would continue to provide coordinated political, financial, material and humanitarian support; committed to show solidarity and provide support to the refugees and the countries hosting them.
EU agrees on new measures targeting the Belarusian financial sector
The agreed measures restrict the provision of specialized financial messaging services (SWIFT) to three Belarusian banks, prohibit transactions with the Central Bank of Belarus, prohibit the listing and provision of services in relation to shares of Belarusian state-owned entities on EU trading venues, significantly limit the financial inflows from Belarus to the EU, prohibit the provision of euro-denominated banknotes to Belarus. Further restrictive measures regarding the export of maritime navigation goods and radio communication technology to Russia.
NATO Secretary General welcomes Canada’s leading role in the response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg spoke at the Ottawa Conference on Security and Defence organised by the Conference of Defence Associations. Secretary General Stoltenberg highlighted Canada’s continued support to Ukraine.
The UN and Ukrainian nuclear regulators lose lines of reliable communication with the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant’s workers
Russia switched off some mobile networks and the internet at the plant.
Russian troops take control of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant (NPP)
According to Ukrainian nuclear officials, operators of the NPP are working at “gunpoint”. The UN’s nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), condemns the move.
EU adopts temporary protection scheme for persons fleeing the war in Ukraine
Objective: alleviating pressure on national asylum systems and allowing displaced persons to enjoy harmonized rights across the EU (residence, access to the labor market and housing, medical assistance, access to education for children)
EU Ministers: Extraordinary Council
Ministers called for a humanitarian corridor and agreed to further reduce the EU’s energy dependency from Russia.
EU imposes sanction on Russian state-owned outlets Russia Today and Sputnik
EU approved the suspension of the broadcasting activities in the EU of Sputnik and Russia Today until the aggression against Ukraine is ended and Russia and its associated outlets cease conducting disinformation and information manipulation actions against the EU and its member states.
SWIFT ban for certain Russian banks (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication)
The EU has excluded seven Russian banks from SWIFT. This will ensure that these banks are disconnected from the international financial system and harm their ability to operate globally (Bank Otkritie, Novikombank, Promsvyazbank, Rossiya Bank, Sovcombank, Vnesheconombank (VEB), and VTB Bank)
EU imposes new sanctions in response to Belarus’ involvement in Ukraine’s military invasion
The EU condemns Belarus’ involvement in Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine. The EU has issued a package of individual and economic sanctions targeting 22 high ranked members of the Belarusian military personnel and further restrictions on trade.
- FEBRUARY 2022
EU adopts new measures in response to Russia’s invasion
These include a ban on transactions with the Russian Central Bank, € 500 million support package to finance equipment and supplies to the Ukrainian armed forces, a ban on the overflight of EU airspace and on access to EU airports by Russian carriers, new sanctions on additional 26 persons and one entity
Canada further amends the Special Economic Measures (Russia) Regulations
NATO Allies boost support to Ukraine
NATO Allies boost their political and military support to Ukraine as it continues to defend itself against Russia’s full-scale invasion. Anti-tank weapons, air-defence missiles and small arms and ammunition stocks are being sent to Ukraine. Allies also provide financial assistance and humanitarian aid, including medical supplies to help Ukrainian forces.
EU imposes sanctions against Vladimir Putin (President of the Russian Federation) and Sergey Lavrov (Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation)
Russia invades Ukraine
Putin announces a so-called “Special Military Operation” with the proclaimed aim of “demilitarization and denazification” of Ukraine. Within minutes following the announcements, explosions were reported in Kyiv, Kharkiv, Odessa, and the Donbass.
Special meeting of the European Council
The European Council condemns Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified military aggression against Ukraine, and demands that Russia immediately ceases its military actions, withdraws all forces and military equipment from Ukraine, respects Ukraine’s territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence, respects international law and stops their disinformation campaign and cyber-attacks. The EU leaders agree on further sanctions against Russia that target the financial sector, energy and transport sectors, dual-use goods, export control and export financing, visa policy, additional sanctions against Russian individuals.
NATO Secretary General issues a statement on Russia’s unprovoked attack on Ukraine
Ukraine informs the IAEA that Russian forces had taken control of all facilities of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant
Canada further amends the Special Economic Measures (Russia) Regulations amendments were made in response to the Russian recognition of the independence and sovereignty of Ukraine’s Donetsk so called people’s Republic (DNR) and Luhansk people’s Republic (LNR) regions, and amendments were made in response to the Russian military attack against Ukraine’s territory in the so called DNR and LNR regions.
The Council of Europe agrees on a new package of sanctions against Russia
In response to the decision by the Russian Federation to proceed with the recognition of the non-government-controlled areas of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts in Ukraine as independent entities.
Sanctions include targeted sanctions against all members of the Russian State Duma (and 27 additional individuals), restrictions on economic relations with the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts and restrictions on Russia’s access to the EU’s capital, financial markets and services.
The NATO-Ukraine Commission met in Brussels for an extraordinary meeting to address the security situation in and around Ukraine
Russia formally recognizes DNR/LNR
Following an escalation of shell firing along the Russia-Ukraine frontline and false-flag operations undertaken by the Russian military to accuse Ukraine and serve as a casus belli, Russia takes steps to formally recognize the Donetsk and Luhansk Peoples’ Republics.
Ukraine requests international assistance for large-scale emergencies of various nature.
Russia launches largest military exercise joint with Belarus since Cold War.
- JANUARY 2022
US places troops on heightened alert to deploy to Europe
NATO puts forces on stand-by as well and reinforces Eastern Europe with military equipment
NATO-Russia Council meets in Brussels
30 NATO Allies and Russia discuss the situation in and around Ukraine, and implications for European Security.
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