SUMMARY UKRAINE– WEEK 14
Russian troops completely retreat from northern Ukraine and shift focus towards the east and southeast. Russian forces are regrouping and relocating towards the east and southeast of Ukraine, to seize control of the Donbas region. However, Russia will need to significantly reequip its forces before redeploying in eastern Ukraine. Furthermore, the Russian troops continue to suffer from a lack of command structures, morale issues, challenges in replacement and reserve troops, as well as supply problems. Russia has likewise admitted heavy losses in military personnel.
Russian troops are accused of war crimes in the city of Bucha and beyond. Images and reports from the city of Bucha, northwest of Kyiv, suggest a deliberate targeting of civilians. Bodies have been found dead in the streets, some with their hands tied and bullet holes in their heads. There are likewise reports of mass graves and use of sexual violence. Russia has denied the allegations, stating that it is a smearing campaign. Furthermore, president Zelensky has warned that the situation in the suburb of Borodianka is worse than Bucha. According to Der Spiegel, German intelligence has intercepted Russian communication in which troops discuss interrogation and execution of civilians.
The Ukraine Ministry of Defence publishes a list of 1600 possible war criminals in the Russian armed forces. The 64th Motorized Rifle Brigade has been singled out, by the Ministry, as the main culprit of the alleged war crimes in Bucha. Nonetheless, other Russian regiments were present in Bucha, along with Chechen leader Kadyrov’s national guard, the so-called Kadyrovites.
Mariupol: Heavy fighting and Russian airstrikes continue in the encircled city. The humanitarian situation is getting increasingly worse in Mariupol. 160.000 citizens are without light, proper communication, medicine, heat and water. Furthermore, Russian forces are accused of preventing humanitarian aid, while president Zelensky warns that the situation in Mariupol is akin to the one in Bucha.
NATO held a high stakes meeting during Wednesday. During the meeting, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg warned that the war could stretch on for years since Russia wishes to conquer the whole of Ukraine. Furthermore, UK foreign secretary Liz Truss stated that the age of engagement with Russia is over.
The US and UK successfully request removal of Russia from the UN Human Rights Council. On Friday, the UN reported that Russia has been removed from the UN Human Rights Council, following the news of war crimes in Bucha.
Sweden expels three Russian diplomats. The opposition and commentators state that the effort is too little and too late, when compared to the efforts of other countries. For example, Denmark has expelled 15 Russian diplomats.
European Commission Chief en route to Kyiv. European Commission chief, Ursula von der Leyen, and top diplomat Josep Borrell are en route to the Ukraine capital Kyiv.
SRS has personnel stationed in the city of Lviv. SRS can assist with on-site security coordination, as well as assistance with evacuation, planning and contact with Swedish authorities.
For more information, contact SRS via email@example.com or +46 (0)8 440 90 70.
Situational Map and Border Crossings of Interest
Situational Map (last updated 2022-04-08, 11:57 CET). Source: UK Ministry of Defence.
- Due to recent military development and the economic sanctions imposed on Russia by Western countries, SRS recommends that expat staff and their families in Russia or in countries aligned with Russia in this conflict to i) register with the Swedish Embassy at se or ii) evacuate to an EU-member state.
COMPANIES AND ORGANISATIONS
- If your business is in one of the impacted or neighbouring countries (e.g., Poland, Romania, Hungary, Lithuania or Latvia), SRS recommends updating emergency response plans and security instructions. Prepare evacuation of staff, secure and/or shred sensitive documents and back-up of key information and IT-systems.
- Be aware of false information and news sources. Learn more about source criticism at se.
- SRS also recommends visiting the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB) website (msb.se) to learn more about recommendations and safety precautions in times of crisis.