KEY MESSAGES ON RUSSIA’S WAR AGAINST UKRAINE
As Of 9 June
(106th Day Of War)
1. WAR SITUATION
- We fight against the Russian aggressor, defending not only our state, but also democratic values and freedoms, and the right of nations to freely choose their own future. Ukraine’s victory will be a victory for the whole Europe, which will be much safer and secure when Russia’s military machine will be dismantled and Kremlin’s capacities to launch invasions against other countries will disappear. We have the full right to count on weapons supplies to assist us in reaching this scope. No appeasement strategy and no policy of fait accompli for occupation and attempted annexation should take place;
- Russia remains focused on war, not diplomacy. It is preparing for a long-term war, hoping for a “war fatigue” to weaken assistance provided to Ukraine. Ukraine, with the support of our partners, will fight as long as it is necessary to win: we will not agree to the “frozen” conflict. Our victory would mean restoring sovereignty and territorial integrity within the internationally recognized borders: this approach is shared by our partners. Nearly 20 percent of Ukraine’s territory with >2.600 settlements are occupied. 82% of Ukrainians would not agree to cede territories in exchange for peace. The ceasefire in itself cannot be an objective: we will strive for the withdrawal of Russian troops. Ukraine will liberate its territories based on the principle of maximum preservation of people’s lives (currently, up to 100 Ukrainian defenders are killed and several hundred more are wounded daily);
- Russia’s current objectives are to occupy the entire territory of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, secure the land corridor to Crimea and complete the occupation of southern Ukraine. The situation in Donbas, in which Russia has concentrated its forces, remains the most problematic. Ukraine’s coast of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov remains blocked. Russia continues launching missiles (~2600 as of 9 June) and air strikes on civilian and military infrastructure throughout Ukraine. Lukashenko’s regime in Belarus continues to provide logistical support to Russia and maintain military pressure on Ukraine (including by plans to increase the army from 45 to 80 thousand personnel) without directly going to war;
- Even though Russia has thrown all its resources against Ukraine, the war is not going as planned by Kremlin: none of the key objectives has been reached by it. Ukrainian defenders repelled attacks of the first weeks of the war and forced Russian troops to leave the Kyiv, Chernihiv and Sumy regions. Counterattacks regularly take place in the Kharkiv and Kherson regions. Russia suffers daily heavy losses in manpower (>31.700 as of 9 June) and military hardware, its resources (although still enormous) are depleting fast. Kremlin did not dare to declare a general mobilization and continues to replenish the losses with forced conscription (including in the temporarily occupied parts of Ukraine), raised maximum age for voluntary enlistment, mercenaries, and private military companies. The population of the Russia-controlled areas of Ukraine continues to fiercely resist the occupation;
- Given all the crimes committed by the Russian army in Ukraine, continuing negotiations with Russia is a challenging task. They must be based on restoration of territorial integrity and Russia’s compensations to Ukraine. No negotiations will take place until Russia leaves the territories occupied since 24 February 2022. We have proposed a new system of security guarantees, which is currently under discussion with possible guarantee states;
2. HUMANITARIAN SITUATION
- Russia’s public statements that its attacks are directed only at the military targets are fake: the Russian troops continue destroying Ukrainian cities with missile strikes and heavy artillery. In the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, they regularly resort to the scorched-earth tactics. Dozens of thousands of civilians lost their lives, many more were wounded. Nearly 220,000 people lost their homes. More than 18,000 civilian infrastructure facilities were destroyed and damaged, including roads and bridges, educational and medical institutions, water and electricity networks, cultural and religious sites (the numbers do not include the occupied territories to which we do not have access). Vast areas are mined;
- The worst humanitarian situation remains in the localities along the front line and in those occupied by Russia. The city of Mariupol was almost entirely destroyed by Russian attacks, with dozens of thousands of casualties and forceful deportations by the Russian occupiers. Looting, tortures, willful killings and abductions are widespread in the occupied areas;
- Almost 12 mln Ukrainian citizens became IDPs. To support them, the Government of Ukraine launched the assistance programs for accommodation, new jobs and financial support for the initial period after relocation. We would appreciate any contributions by our partners to resolving the problem of accommodation for IDPs: the Government of Ukraine cannot cover all needs on its own. Nearly 0.5 mln were deported by Russia to its territory or to the occupied parts of Donbas. Almost 300 000 Ukrainians were rescued through the humanitarian corridors;
- More than 5 mln (mostly women and children) Ukrainian citizens left abroad. We are grateful for warm hospitality demonstrated to our refugees in European countries and elsewhere. The number of Ukrainians returning home is exceeding those who are leaving as the Russian troops are pushed back and security situation improves.
3. ECONOMIC SITUATION
- One of Russia’s key goals in the war it has launched is to destroy Ukraine’s economy, to make us a “failed state”, which would not be able to resist Russia’s pressure and influence. As a result of armed hostilities, destruction of infrastructure, and interrupted logistical chains (most critically, blocked Ukrainian ports), a major part of economic activity has stalled in Ukraine. Every next day of the war makes the situation even worse, so we need to defeat Russia and liberate our territories as soon as possible;
- As of 1 June, the GDP of Ukraine dropped by 35%. The monthly budget deficit caused by war is nearly 5 bln USD. Russia’s invasion has damaged or destroyed up to 30% of Ukraine’s infrastructure at a cost of 100 bln USD. The overall infrastructure and economic losses have already exceeded 600 bln USD;
- The unravelling global food crisis provoked by Russia’s war against Ukraine can still be avoided if Ukrainian ports are unblocked. Ukraine is ready to resume exports from the port of Odesa, given that Russia doesn’t abuse the trade route to attack the city of Odesa. No assurances by Russia will do: we need to find the solution on guarantees together with the UN and partners. Meanwhile, as Russian occupiers continue stealing grain, we expect all countries to refrain from buying it;
- The Government of Ukraine is making every effort to keep Ukraine’s economy afloat (such as supporting relocation from the war zone, cutting red tape and launching lending programs). In the liberated areas, critical infrastructure and residential areas are restored;
- The generous financial and technical international assistance is warmly welcomed. This is a contribution of our partners to their own security, as defending Ukraine prevents Russia from bringing new wars and crises. Grants are a priority, as Ukraine should not bear the increased debt burden being in defensive war. We expect the international companies which had been working in Ukraine until 24 February to resume their activities in the liberated areas. Those companies which left Russia are invited to open regional offices in Kyiv;
- Restoring and increasing Ukraine’s export is a critical element of post-war recovery. We appreciate the opportunities provided by the recent decisions and announcements by the EU, UK and Canada to remove duties and quotas on Ukrainian exports, as well as the US decision to temporarily suspend a part of tariffs on Ukrainian steel.
4. RUSSIA’S RESPONSIBILITY
- During their invasion into Ukraine, the Russian troops systematically violate the norms of international humanitarian law and international human rights law: deliberate and indiscriminate attacks on civilians; their use as hostages and human shield; execution and rapes; forceful conscription and kidnapping; attacks on medical personnel and facilities; use of banned weapons etc. Ukrainian law enforcement agencies launched investigations into >16.000 war crimes and crimes of aggression committed since 24 February;
- Russia flagrantly violates international law (including by attacking civil ships, Ukraine’s environment and cultural heritage) and Ukraine’s sovereignty (by introducing its laws, passports, currency, education and phone codes in the occupied territories of Ukraine);
- President Putin and his proxies responsible for the war against Ukraine have to be sentenced as war criminals. The war launched by Kremlin is widely supported by the Russian society, which shares responsibility for it. Russia must be recognized as a state – sponsor of terrorism, and the Russian Armed Forces must be recognized as a terrorist organization;
- We welcome all steps made by the international institutions to bring Russia to justice, as well as statements made by the heads of state and government throughout the world, on Russia’s responsibility for war crimes. All cases of violation of the provisions of international and international humanitarian law must be registered by the international bodies;
- A separate investigation into the crime of genocide is being conducted. The International Criminal Court opened its own full-fledged investigation at the request of 42 countries and joined the joint investigation team of Ukraine, Lithuania and Poland. The EU, US and UK have initiated creation of the Atrocity Crimes Advisory Group, which will provide assistance to the Ukraine`s Prosecutor General Office in investigation of the Russian crimes in Ukraine;
- Russia’s diplomatic and political isolation must continue: the international organizations need in particular to consider banning Russia’s membership for violations of international law and dismissing Russian citizens from their Secretariats to eliminate Russia’s influence.
5. FURTHER ACTIONS BY THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY
- We need modern NATO arms and ammunition (MLRS and artillery systems, air defense and UAVs, tanks and armored vehicles, combat aircraft, anti-ship missiles) supplied under the simplified and expedited procedures, to be able not only to defend ourselves, but to liberate the Russia-occupied territories. We appreciate the decisions taken on HIMARS and M270 MLRS. The faster we receive them, the sooner the war will end and the less casualties will take place. The EU could establish a Trust Fund for those Member States which are ready to support Ukraine, but do not have necessary arms;
- Russia’s military machine can be stopped if Kremlin loses revenues from selling fossil fuels. The EU would also benefit from energy and political independence from aggressive Russia. Strengthening sanctions remains a critical tool in this regard. We appreciate the EU sixth package of sanctions covering crude oil and petroleum products (albeit with a temporary exception for crude oil delivered by pipeline). The work on the seventh one should start immediately. Sanctions work: in 2022, Russia’s GDP has moved from 5.6% growth in January to 3% decrease in April. Any lifting of sanctions has to be agreed with Ukraine. The legal way to confiscate Russia’s frozen foreign exchange reserves and assets abroad to be further used for compensations to Ukraine and Ukrainian citizens has to be found;
- We strive for a full-fledged EU membership: no alternative options would be appropriate. Support for Ukraine’s accession to the EU constitutes a record 91%. As a first step, Ukraine deserves to be granted EU candidate status this June based on an individual and merit-based assessment. In its Resolution of 8 June, the European Parliament recommended to grant such status. This would demonstrate the EU unity and provide additional motivation to Ukraine. Our accelerated accession does not contradict the parallel efforts by the Western Balkan states. European integration must be an integral part of Ukraine’s economic recovery. Trade and transport between Ukraine and the EU should be liberalized as fast as possible;
- Russia must be economically and politically isolated from the world, losing its levers and capacities to influence decision-making in other countries (withdrawal of private business, banning Russian propaganda channels, ending Russia’s influence in politics, diplomacy, business, sports, culture, research and other spheres, introducing visa regime, expelling from international financial institutions etc).