The Russian invasion of Ukraine has reached its sixth day and Kyiv remains so far under Ukrainian control. Although there have been reports of heavy military attacks in both Kyiv and Kharkiv, Ukrainian resistance is reported to remain strong and united.
Satellite images released by Maxar Technologies on Monday evening showed a massive 65+ km long convoy of Russian military vehicles approaching the northwest of Kyiv. According to a statement by Russian news agencies on Tuesday afternoon, Russia will strike sites in Kyiv belonging to Ukraine’s security service and a special operations unit. The ministry also urged residents in Kyiv and those near the sites to leave the areas. What will happened later tonight or tomorrow remains uncertain, but it cannot be ruled out that Russia is serious about the warning in the near future.
SRS assesses that the invasion and armed actions will continue, and that the future of Ukraine will most likely be decided during the next 24 hours. Unlike yesterday, it seems like Putin has chosen the path to escalate the violence by amassing more troops closer to Kyiv, as well as gather support of Belarusian soldiers. Weeks prior to the invasion, Russia amasses its forces in Belarus, demonstrating their close ties to Russia. The military power shown on satellite photos could not have been amassed by the Russians without the permission, and assistance, of Belarus.
The Ukraine Armed Forces claim that Russia is planning to involve the Belarusian army in its invasion, and that Belarusian soldiers have been spotted on Ukrainian territory as of Tuesday morning. Belarus have denied the claim, stating that their armed forces act in accordance with their yearly training plan on the Belarusian side of the border with Ukraine. With this in mind, the final Belarusian involvement in Ukraine remains yet uncertain. However, several sources claim that the European Union is planning to impose sanctions on Belarus this week, suggesting that the Belarusian future and involvement in Ukraine will become clearer in the coming days.
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 kilometres in advance and waiting times up to 50 hours to cross the borders, especially at the Ukrainian-Polish border.
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.
SRS have personnel stationed in the city of Lviv as of lunchtime today. 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 2022-03-01). 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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