War in Ukraine. Daily update. Day 77 [10.00 am, 11.05.2022 πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡¦πŸ‡·πŸ‡ΈπŸ‡¬πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡¬πŸ‡§πŸ‡­πŸ‡·πŸ‡«πŸ‡·πŸ‡¨πŸ‡ΏπŸ‡±πŸ‡»]

Prepared by Sofia Oliynyk and Maryana Zaviyska 

Cities under attack. Russian forces shelled the bridge across the Dniester estuary for the fourth time in the Odesa region. The bridge is the only direct connection between the North and South of the region, disruption of which could lead to the isolation of the part of the region, as well as thwarting logistics within and beyond the region. Explosions took place in different parts of Shostka district, Sumy region. In Dnipropetrovsk region, Russian forces continue shelling of the communities at the border with Kherson region. Many explosions were heard in the Kherson region, however the most difficult situation remains in the settlements bordering Mykolayiv and Dnipropetrovsk regions. The active shelling continues there. There are forest fires in the region, but the Russian soldiers do not allow anyone to extinguish the fires. Dozens of villages and settlements are left without electricity and water. In Donetsk region, shelling continues – in Svitlodarsk Russian forces attacked with banned phosphorus bombs, and explosions in Slovyansk have been heard today in the morning. All settlements of the Luhansk region were constantly shelled during the day. The main gas pipeline in Severodonetsk was damaged – the city was left without electricity, water, and gas.

The Ukrainian military liberated 4 settlements in the Kharkiv region: Cherkasky Tyshky, Rusky Tyshky, Rubizhne, and Bayrak. The liberation comes after a successful counter-offensive of Ukrainian forces in the Kharkiv region. President Zelenskyi reports Ukrainian forces pushing Russian troops from the Kharkiv region back to the Russian border. 

Mariupol. The Governor of the Donetsk oblast says more than 100 civilians still remain trapped at the besieged Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol even after a series of evacuation missions. The shelling of the Azovstal steel plant continues, as the black smoke goes above the plant. The Azov battalion released photos of the soldiers who are fighting at the steel plant.  

Foreign policy. Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Denmark and Germany visited Ukraine. Dutch Foreign Minister Hoekstra visited Irpin, while Foreign Minister Baerbock visited Bucha. Denmark and Germany announced the further supply of 12 Howitzers to Ukraine and support in training on how to operate. During the press briefing, Foreign Minister Baerbock also mentioned that Ukraine could be granted β€˜candidate status’, but there will be β€˜no shortcuts’ in obtaining EU membership status. As a result of the visit the German Foreign also announced the reopening of the German embassy in the Ukrainian after its evacuation in February. Foreign Minister of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba congratulated and expressed gratitude to both Foreign Ministers on their visit to Kyiv. 

The Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania unanimously recognized Russia as a state supporting and carrying out terrorism and called its actions in Ukraine a genocide. The lawmakers called to proceed with the prosecution and the creation of an international court to prosecute Russian officials responsible for the war in Ukraine.

The Czech Republic officially joined the UN Human Rights Council. The Czech Republic was elected to fill the vacant place at the UN HRC, after Russia was expelled in April 2022. 

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a $40 billion military and humanitarian aid package for Ukraine. Among all, the package includes $6 billion for security assistance, including training, equipment, weapons and support; $8.7 billion to replenish stocks of U.S. equipment sent to Ukraine, and $3.9 billion for European Command operations. In addition, the aid package envisages humanitarian assistance – $5 billion to address food insecurity globally due to the conflict and nearly $9 billion for an economic support fund for Ukraine.

36 diplomatic institutions reopened once again in Kyiv. 

Belarus. Belarus has transferred β€˜units of special operations forces’ to the border with Ukraine as a second part of inspection of its military forces. Previously a week after Belarus started the inspection of its forces close to the Ukrainian, Polish, and Lithuanian border. β€˜In order to ensure the security of the Republic of Belarus in the southern direction, the forces of special operations force units are deployed in three tactical directions’, the Belarusian Defense Ministry said in a statement. According to Belarus officials, the Armed Forces of Ukraine allegedly formed groups in the Southern Operational Direction with a total number of 20,000 people. Also the U.S. and its allies pose a threat to the country as well as increase their presence at the Belarusian borders. Therefore, Belarus is forced to react in order to protect itself. 

Economic security.  EBRD in its latest report is predicting a greater economic slowdown in Ukraine as a result of Russia’s full-scale invasion. According to the forecast, Ukraine’s economy will face negative growth of 20%  in 2022. The number deteriorated after previously predicted 20% as of the end of March. An estimated 30-50% of businesses will be forced to shut down their operations. The impact of the war will not be limited to Ukraine only, but will also affect the region overall. 

Sanctions. WHO will suspend all activities in Russia and will also consider closing its office in Moscow. WHO supported the resolution prepared by Ukraine, and the members of the Regional Committee for Europe. The organization will stop holding all events (conferences, seminars, meetings) in the Russian Federation under the auspices of WHO. They will also consider moving the WHO European Office for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases outside the Russian Federation.

Health security. The World Health Organization reports at least 3000 people with chronic diseases have died since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. β€˜40% of Ukrainian families have at least one member in need of chronic treatment that they can no longer find, which is estimated to have led to at least 3,000 avoidable premature deaths,’ said Hans Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe. Meanwhile, the reports from the activists remaining in the occupied territories, for example in the Kherson region, indicate a critical lack of medical supplies. In Mariupol, by the end of the year, more than 10 000 people could die from diseases and intolerable conditions due to the lack of medical supplies and services, says the city’s mayor. 

Food security. Russia continues taking away the grain from Ukraine. The stolen grain has been reported to be taken to Syria. Previously, Russian authorities aimed to deliver it to Egypt, but the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry blocked the bargain. It is also reported that in addition to grain, the Russian army is stealing stocks of beets, potatoes, and cabbage. Parts of Africa are reported to already feel the tip of the Impact of the disrupted food supply chains caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

Energy security. Ukraine is forced to partially halt supply of Russian gas through its territory. Ukraine won’t be able to accept gas at Sokhranivka, one of two cross-border points handling Russian flows, from 7 a.m. local time Wednesday after occupying forces disrupted operation at the compressor station, reports Bloomberg. Therefore, the Ukrainian supplier is expected to redirect the gas supply via distribution points located at the Ukraine-controlled areas. 

President Zelenskyi in his daily address informed that a special group of international experts chaired by Michael McFaul and Andriy Yermak proposed a roadmap for energy sanctions. This is a detailed document that describes what needs to be done to make it really difficult for Russia to finance this war, but at the same time – in a way that the global economy does not suffer losses due to restrictions on Russian energy resources.

Culture. Ukrainian band Kalush Orchestra goes to the final of Eurovision 2022. Russia and Belarus do not participate in the competition and do not have the opportunity to vote.

Decolonisation reading. In the light of the Russian war in Ukraine, Finland and Sweden reconsidered their security policy. Both countries expressed their readiness to consider joining NATO after years of neutrality. In the case of Finland, directly bordering Russia, the current events in Ukraine bring back memories of the Winter War between USSR and Finland. Back then Finland addressed the League of Nations and international partners for support. However, concerns about the unanimity of the decision appeared. What we observe in Ukraine has much in common with how the USSR attacked Finland in 1939 and how Russia attacked Ukraine in 2022. Read more in the recent article β€˜War for the sake of peace’ by Oleksandra Kotliar, historian of American history, Illia Levchenko, art historian.

Reading corner. 

Statistics.

  • 70 % of global GDP belongs to countries supporting the West’s position, with 61% of the world’s GDP and 16 % of its population belonging to countries actively condemning Russia, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit.  
  • 400 religious buildings were destroyed due to the Russian shelling. 
  • 3381 civilians have been killed and 3680 more injured across the country since the beginning of Russia’s war against Ukraine, says the UN. The real toll is considerably higher.
  • General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine announced the total estimated losses of the Russian military as of 10 a.m., May 11, 2022: personnel – around 26 350, tanks β€’ 1187, APV β€’ 2856, artillery systems – 528, MLRS – 185, anti-aircraft warfare systems – 87, fixed-wing aircraft – 199, helicopters – 158, soft-skinned vehicles and fuel tankers – 1997, boats and light speed boats – 12, operational-tactical level UAV – 310, special equipment – 41, cruise missiles – 94. Also, follow the interactive counter of Russian losses. 

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Thank you for supporting Ukraine! Slava Ukraini! Glory to Ukraine!