Fighting north-west of Kyiv remains ongoing with Russian forces failing to make any significant breakthroughs. As noted in previous updates, the Ukrainian forces are challenging the Russian troops and their advance. Ukrainian forces are challenging the extended Russian lines reaching from the city of Sumy, which Russian forces have not yet taken, to the eastern outskirts of Kyiv. Reports from yesterday claimed that Russia has now used all its forces it had concentrated in and around Ukraine. Today, a NATO military official concluded that Russia is still making very little progress, thus NATO’s current intelligence assessment suggest Moscow is unlikely to make much progress in the foreseeable future.
During the last days, protest have been held in several cities, especially in the Kherson Region, occupied by Russian forces. Russian soldiers fired warning shots into the air, which remained disregarded. Protests in occupied cities are likely to continue.
On Wednesday morning, the Ukrainian military has agreed to a 12-hour ceasefire, between 9 am to 9 pm local time, with Russia on Wednesday to allow civilians to escape through humanitarian corridors. As previously agreed, the humanitarian corridors are accepted in the areas of Kyiv, Chernihiv, Sumy, and Mariupol. Reports on Wednesday afternoon indicate civilians have only been able to escape some cities covered of the agreed ceasefire, while other cities have been blocked and reportedly under Russian shelling.
At noon today, EU member states have agreed on new sanctions against Russian, as well as the exclusion of three Belarusian banks from Swift. According to a cabinet resolution published by Ukraine’s government on Wednesday, the country has banned exports of rye, barley, buckwheat, millet, sugar, salt, and meat until the end of this year. It will put food security across Europe into sharp focus, leading to shortages of grain and price rises of staples including bread.
Warning of radiation risk, Ukraine says Russia has disconnected Chernobyl from the grid. Ukraine’s state-run nuclear company has warned that radioactive substances could be released from the country’s defunct Chernobyl nuclear power plant because it cannot cool spent nuclear fuel after its power connection was severed. Reparation and restoration of power has not been possible due to fighting in the area, according to the state-owned company Energoatom. Europe’s largest nuclear power plant Zaporizhzhia is already under Russian control, and information yesterday indicated that Russian troops in Mykolayiv would try to advance and encircle the South Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant. The continued Russian interest in nuclear power plants seem to prevail, thus SRS’s assessment of yesterday that future attempts to encircle and take control over Ukrainian nuclear power plants cannot be ruled out.
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 2022-03-09, 14:40 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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