In early 2022, Russia moved to invade Ukraine following massive troop build-ups on the border in the preceding months. It was a huge escalation of tensions that had been simmering since 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea and started backing separatists in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine. Western states to which Kyiv looks for support condemned Moscow’s action as a major international crisis developed. Leveraging contacts on all sides and engaging local and foreign actors, including in the West, Crisis Group reports on the war, assesses its human costs, gauges the larger threats to Ukrainian and European security, and encourages actions that can bring fighting to an end. Our advocacy, written products and visual explainer describe the conflict’s evolving dynamics and identify ways to facilitate prospects for peace and a reunified Ukraine.
The G20 countries’ positions on the war in Ukraine contrast starkly, yet the conflict raises issues of global concern – economic shocks and nuclear risks – that the leaders cannot pass over in silence.
Ukrainian forces sustained counteroffensive in east and south, recapturing Kherson city; Russian airstrikes on energy infrastructure left millions without electricity.
Russian forces retreated from Kherson city amid Ukrainian counteroffensive. Ukrainian forces’ counteroffensive advanced further in southern Kherson region as they closed in on Kherson city and surrounding area on right bank of Dnipro River. Russian authorities 9 Nov announced retreat from Kherson city to more defensible positions along river’s left bank; Ukrainian troops 11 Nov took back control, marking strategic and symbolic victory as Kherson constituted only regional capital Russian troops occupied since Feb invasion. In east, Ukraine’s counteroffensive ground on slowly amid reports of heavy losses on both sides; fierce fighting notably reported around Kreminna and Rubizhne cities in Luhansk region, and around Bakhmut city in Donetsk region. President Zelenskyy 20 Nov accused Russian forces of launching “almost 400 artillery strikes in the east” in one day. In Zaporizhzhia region, Moscow and Kyiv 21 Nov traded blame for shelling at nuclear power plant.
Russian strikes on energy infrastructure aggravated humanitarian crisis. Zelenskyy 1 Nov announce that Russian air strikes had damaged around 40% of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, as strikes on energy systems continued unabated throughout month. Notably, Russia 15 Nov fired over 90 missiles and drones into country; during raid, missile struck village in NATO member Poland, killing two and fuelling fears of escalation; however, Polish officials and NATO Sec Gen Jens Stoltenberg next day said Ukrainian missile had likely fallen in Poland accidentally while intercepting Russian missiles. Attacks during month left millions without electricity, water or heating as temperatures fell below zero, bringing country to brink of winter crisis and prompting Kyiv 21 Nov to advise civilians from Kherson and Mykolaiv regions to evacuate.
In other important developments. Following Russia’s withdrawal late Oct from UN-brokered Black Sea Grain Deal, Russia and Ukraine 17 Nov agreed to extend deal for 120 days. UN General Assembly 14 Nov adopted resolution calling for Russian war reparations to Ukraine; 94 countries voted for resolution, 14 voted against and 73 abstained.
I think Russia's plan right now is to capture Donbas [in Ukraine] and to see what they can do next.
There is a real premium [for the G7 leaders] on conveying unity and a credible response because this war [in Ukraine] is not going to be short-lived.
Given the personnel shortages, given the equipment shortages on both sides [to the war in Ukraine], but especially on the Russian side, I do wonder how long they can actu...
Few if any wars have been launched with as much nuclear posturing as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. I think the bottom line is that Russia's doctrine allows nuclear use in...
Having watched how the Russians fight wars over the years, this is nowhere close to all they can do.
[The UN resolution] isn’t going to stop Russian forces in their stride, but it’s a pretty enormous diplomatic win for the Ukrainians and the US, and everyone who has got ...
This week on Hold Your Fire!, Richard Atwood speaks with Olga Oliker, Crisis Group’s Europe-Central Asia director, about the war in Ukraine, what the winter months might hold, prospects for diplomacy and NATO policy.
Relentless attacks are cutting off power, heat and water. Civilians will need the west’s help to survive the winter
This week on War & Peace, Olga Oliker and Elissa Jobson talk with Brian Milakovsky, an expert on economic development in eastern Ukraine, to take a closer look at Russia’s occupation of territories in the Donbas and what’s next for residents of areas now liberated by Ukraine.
This week on Hold Your Fire!, Richard Atwood talks with Olga Oliker, Crisis Group’s Europe and Central Asia director, about the latest escalation in Ukraine, as Russian airstrikes batter multiple Ukrainian cities.
The war in Ukraine has entered a new phase. In this excerpt from the Watch List 2022 – Autumn Update, Crisis Group urges the EU and its member states to keep balancing support for Kyiv with the imperative of avoiding a direct clash with Moscow.
This week on War & Peace, Olga Oliker and Elissa Jobson talk with RAND Senior Policy Researcher Dara Massicot about the latest military developments in Ukraine amid Russia’s decision to declare a partial mobilisation.
Some seven million people are displaced inside Ukraine, many of them with no home to return to. The grassroots effort organised to help them is not sustainable. Donors should keep channelling aid to civil society but lay the groundwork for the state to step in.
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