President Zelenskyi made a virtual speech in the EU Parliament calling upon the parliamentarians to support Ukraine in joining the EU. The EU Parliament supported the resolution to provide Ukraine with a candidate-state status. President Zelenskyi’s speech received standing ovations, in contrast to Russian MFA Lavrov’s speech that caused the UN diplomats to leave the room. In his virtual interview to Reuters, Zelenskyi urged to develop common security guarantees for Ukraine if NATO is not ready to accept Ukraine. Also, he named the precondition for the next round of the negotiations – Russia has to stop the bombings.
Belarus. On March 1, self-declared president Lukashenko stated that he will not intervene in the Russian war against Ukraine. However, his first troops were deployed in the Chernigiv region right away. Today the Belarusian troops are combat ready and are concentrated as close as possible to the state border of Ukraine. A significant activity of aircraft and the movement of convoys with food and ammunition in the area near Baranovichi, Lyakhovichi, and Pinsk were noticed.
Shellings continue. The presidents’ office said that Russians are relentlessly shelling and bombing large cities to cause mass casualties and panic. Missile attacks continued in Kharkiv targetting civilian infrastructures, hospitals; this morning, the missiles hit buildings of the Security Service Bureau, the National Police Department in Kharkiv region and the VN Karazin Kharkiv National University. Within a day, 21 people were killed and 112 injured. In Zhytomyr, Russian occupation forces launched a massive missile strike on a military base and residential neighbourhoods. 10 houses and a hospital were destroyed, killing 2 people and wounding 12, 6 kids among them. In Kherson, Russian forces were driving around and taking civilians captive. Currently the Russian military occupies the local railway station and the port. Russian Federation’s military equipment is kept at the front of the regional state administration building. In Melitopol, Zaporizhzhia region, 31 civilian houses were destroyed and parts of the surrounding territories remain without electricity. In Kalynivka in the Kyiv region, the Russians completely destroyed a house. Trostyanets, Sumy region, is occupied by Russian troops. They throw civilians out of the basements, taking their place, to hide themselves from Ukrainian artillery and air strikes at civilian cost.
History repeats. Russian troops launched two missiles at the Kyiv television and radio tower, destroying its hardware. The TV tower is the highest structure in the Ukraine territory. 5 people were killed and 5 injured. The missile that targeted the tower also hit Babyn Yar, a Holocaust memorial site, where 30,000 jews and Ukrainians were killed in 1941. This act has already been condemned by the UA officials and Israel.
Humanitarian crises. In the East of the country, about 40,000 people are without electricity and food – Russian troops limit civilian evacuation (Volnovakha, Sartana, Talanivka). On March 1, 346 people were evacuated from Volnovakha, as there is no water, electricity or gas in the city. People are hiding in the basements. Local authorities call for the green humanitarian corridor and a ceasefire to evacuate people. A similar situation is in the city of Bucha, villages Zdvyzhivka, Gavrylivka, Syniak, Babyntsi, Kyiv region, where people, including a vast number of children, have been hiding in shelters for the last 6 days.
Energy. Nord Stream 2 AG, the operator of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, has filed for bankruptcy. Prior to this, they had fired 140 employees after Germany put the development of the Nordstream pipeline on hold.
Chornobyl. Russian troops are experiencing significant radiation exposure in the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone. By disturbing the top layers of contaminated soil and dust in the prohibited areas, they increased the radiation levels in the exclusion zone, as shown by the recorded data from the automated radiation monitoring system that the Ukrainian side managed to receive before the Internet was cut off.
Disinformation. Russia shut down independent media, like Ekho Moskvy, television channel Rain and is pressuring independent media outlets to do so, including Novaya Gazeta. In Russia-controlled media, they accuse Ukraine of fictional crimes. They say that Ukrainian military mined ammonia depots in Severodonetsk. In Horlivka, according to them, Ukrainians deployed munitions with toxic phosphorus. Russia claims that the shelling in Kharkiv, particularly in the main square, was carried out by the Ukrainian military. At the same time, Russian media acknowledged that the attack on the TV tower in Kyiv was carried out by their army. They explain this by the fact that they were forced to do this to stop fakes and misinformation. “This is a strike to the lair of lies,” said the TV presenter of Russia 24.
Culture under attack. The UA Minister of Culture warns about the threat of a possible attack on Saint Sophia Cathedral, an architectural monument included in the List of World Heritage Sites. The Cathedral is one of the main city landmarks and is located in the downtown area. Dating back as far as the 11th century, St. Sophia Cathedral preserves one of the world’s largest ensembles of unique mosaics and frescoes of the first quarter of that century. The Minister called upon UNESCO to intervene and help to protect it. The building of the Museum of History and Local Lore burned down in Ivankiv (Kyiv region) on Sunday, February 27. This museum’s collection included works of the famous Ukrainian Artist Maria Pryimachenko. Fortunately, most of Pryimachenko’s works were saved. During this time, all the museum art collections were packed and moved to safe places as per safety instructions. But what about the things that cannot be transported? Russian troops launched a missile strike on Chernihiv on February 27, destroying the historical building and architectural monument of the Regional Youth Center (earlier: the House of Cinema). In Kharkiv, the University building and the Art Museum were destroyed by a heavy missile strike.
Art in times of war: Maria Foya, a Ukrainian artist, depicts her reality and shares it with the public. Other Ukrainian artists launched an online museum of resistance, where artists can publish their works to express their gratitude to the Joint Armed Forces. Some of the works can be found here.
International support. 37 countries have already closed their airspace to Russian airlines and flights, including the USA, Canada, South American countries, and almost the whole Europe. The US State Department made an open statement calling on the UN Court in The Hague to respond to Ukraine’s request for persecuting Russian aggressors as soon as possible. The EU ambassadors agreed to disconnect seven Russian banks from SWIFT: VTB, Russia, Otkrytie, Novikombank, Promsvyazbank, Sovkombank and VEB.RF.
- More than 660,000 people fled from Ukraine in 6 days, according to the UN.
- 80,000 people returned back to Ukraine, most of them men.
- General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine announced the total estimated losses of the Russian military as of 6 a.m., March 2, 2022 (The calculation is complicated due to the high intensity of hostilities. Casualties increase by the minute): Personnel — over 5840; Tanks — 211; Armored fighting carriers — 862; Cannons — 85; Grads — 40; Air defense systems — 9; Aircraft — 30; Helicopters — 31; Vehicles — 355; Multiple launch rocket system — 40; Ships/boats — 2; Tankers — 60; UAV (unmanned aircraft) — 3.
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Slava Ukraini! Glory to Ukraine!
Update prepared by representatives of Ukrainian NGOs and experts in human security and democracy, who are in cities all over Ukraine right now. NGOs: Institute for political and information research NGO, World of Communities, Kyiv educational center Tolerspace, U-Cycle NGO (Kyiv Cyclists Association), OpenSpace.Works Cooperative. Experts: Sofia Oliynyk, Maryana Zaviyska, Sofia Bela (culture heritage block), Taras Tymchuk, Marianna Semenyshyn, Uliana Movchan (Disinformation block).