During the last 24 hours, Russian troops have not launched any major ground offensive operations against Kyiv, Kharkiv, or Mykolayiv (north-west of Kherson). Ukrainian forces near Kharkiv, on the other hand, conducted a counter-offensive that reportedly penetrated the Ukrainian-Russian border.
The Russian invasion has reached its eleventh day, 1.3 million people have crossed international borders since the military offensive began on February 24. Voices have been raised among world leaders and analysts that the Ukraine conflict can last months, if not years. Consequently, Western efforts and sanctions need to show patience and “strategic stamina” to ensure Russian President Vladimir Putin fails.
The planned humanitarian corridors and evacuation of citizens in the Ukrainian cities of Mariupol and Volnovakha got cancelled and postponed yesterday due to reports of Russian violation of the ceasefire. A new attempt was planned today between 12 am and 9 pm local time. Nonetheless, the second attempt was halted according to reports on Sunday afternoon. Pro-Russian separatists and Ukraine’s National Guard accused each other of failing to establish the necessary humanitarian corridor.
The continued pursuit of objectives along three diverging axes by the same group of forces in Crimea has hindered the Russian military’s ability to generate decisive effects on any of the three. Russian forces have met strong Ukrainian resistance slowing down their advance. Information on Sunday indicates that Russia is targeting populated areas, in multiple locations, including Kharkiv, Chernihiv, and Mariupol as an effort to break the Ukrainian morale. Similar tactics that are being used in Ukraine has previously been used in e.g., Chechnya in 1999 and Syria in 2016, employing both air and ground-based munitions. SRS thus assesses that the number of civilian casualties is likely to increase in the coming days as Russian forces target densely populated areas.
Moldovan Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilita has declared that the country wishes to join the European Union, partly due to the influx of refugees from Ukraine. The Russia-backed breakaway Transnistria region, bordering both Moldova and Ukraine, announced on Saturday in a press release that they disagree with Moldova’s request to join the European Union. They also demanded the recognition of Transnistria’s independence in the same press release. The outcome of Transnistria’s demands remains unclear. Although if they succeed, as well as get recognised by Putin, it could mean that Russian troops can be deployed there. If so, the western border of Ukraine, would no longer be considered safe.
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.
Situational Map and Border Crossings of Interest (last updated 2022-03-06, 14:50 CET). Source: SRS/Reuters.
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.
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