The Russian invasion of Ukraine has reached its fifth day and Kyiv remains under Ukrainian control. As the invasion has unfolded, the number of information sources has increased causing an immense news feed, in both traditional and social media, that is constantly being updated. Assessing different sources of information is therefore essential. Basic source criticism helps prevent the spreading of fake news and disinformation.
Although there have been reports of heavy military attacks in both Kyiv and Kharkiv, as well as indecisive news about an encirclement of Kyiv blocking all exits of the capital, Ukrainian resistance remains remarkably effective. The Russian operations especially on the Kyiv axis have been poorly coordinated and executed, leading to significant Russian failures, both in Kyiv and in Kharkiv.
The development in Ukraine has caused hundreds of thousands of refugees streaming out of Ukraine towards Western countries, including Poland, Slovak republic, Hungary, Romania, and Moldavia. The border crossings are reported to be stable, although there is information indicating ques of vehicles several kilometers in advance and waiting times up to 50 hours to cross the borders (see map below).
The situation clearly states that Russia has met stronger and more motivated opposition than expected. Unconfirmed sources report that Russian troops show weak fighting spirit and that several troops have been sent to Ukraine without understanding the reason behind the deployment; Russia is invading Ukraine.
The future of Ukraine will most likely become clearer during upcoming days. SRS assesses that the invasion and armed actions will continue. Putin can either chose to escalate the violence by sending more troops, call in support from Belarus or further ramp up the nuclear troops or he can continue the current path of prolonged lower intensity warfare. Regardless of the outcome, daring and expensive military adventures will likely, over time, decrease the Kremlin’s popularity. Heavy sanctions from Western countries takes its toll on Russian citizens and their worsened living conditions and not to forget that there are many Russian families with strong ties to Ukraine.
SRS have personnel stationed in the vicinity of the Ukrainian-Polish border. SRS can assist with on-site security coordination, as well as assistance with evacuation, planning and contact with Swedish authorities.
Situational Map and Border Crossings of Interest (last updated 2022-02-28). Source: SRS.
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.
If your business is in one of the impacted or neighbouring countries (e.g., Poland, Romania, Hungary, Lithuania or Latvia), SRS recommends to update 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.
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