(Last updated 28 Feb 22 20:50 CET: added access to UN General Assembly Live)
At 3:00 GMT Russia launched an attack on Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin dubbed it a “special military operation”. Immediately, part of the international community condemned this attack.
What is happening on the ground? How are events unfolding? How is the war evolving? What are the facts?
What most commentators seem to miss is that to understand what is happening and to anticipate what will happen, one needs:
- To consider sources that must be as diverse as possible, and to know where information comes from, what news and statements mean, etc.
- To take into account all actors and to look precisely at the chronology of interactions.
Then to be able to understand what is said or written, to comprehend the dynamics is part of the knowledge, skill and intelligence of the analyst.
To rely blindly on only one source of information and to rehash ad nauseam the same discourse is a recipe for disaster and self-fulfilling prophecies.
Here are a couple of resources (far from being exhaustive – we shall add new sources progressively), which will contribute to help you following events as seen and perceived from various side (with an effort to consider non-Western sources, as is at the core of a “red team” approach).
WATCH LIVE (28 February 2022): United Nations General Assembly meets to debate Russia’s attack on Ukraine (by PBS on Youtube)
- Reuters – Less neutral than it used to be. Tends to be American-centric. Some very interesting investigative journalism though. For example read NATO leaves Black Sea exposed as Russia invades Ukraine By John Irish, Robin Emmott and Jonathan Saul.
Maps and positions
- LiveUAmap Ukraine (down at time of publishing) – Available as an app for smartphones (see FB page). Turn on notifications for being warned about each development gathered mainly from twitter or facebook. Check sources quality nonetheless, as pieces of information are automatically included.
- MilitaryMaps (on VK) – A crowdsourced initiative – Probably pro Russia / Ukrainian separatist Republics
Here are the terms used by President Putin (in a very long and interesting speech) to qualify the action in Ukraine:
“In this context, in accordance with Article 51 (Chapter VII) of the UN Charter, with permission of Russia’s Federation Council, and in execution of the treaties of friendship and mutual assistance with the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Lugansk People’s Republic, ratified by the Federal Assembly on February 22, I made a decision to carry out a special military operation.Address by the President of the Russian Federation, February 24, 2022, 06:00
The purpose of this operation is to protect people who, for eight years now, have been facing humiliation and genocide perpetrated by the Kiev regime. To this end, we will seek to demilitarise and denazify Ukraine, as well as bring to trial those who perpetrated numerous bloody crimes against civilians, including against citizens of the Russian Federation.
It is not our plan to occupy the Ukrainian territory….”
The Kremlin, Moscow
- TASS – Russian News Agency
- Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation
Website – News (down since the start of the offensive against Ukraine)
Twitter: Министерство обороны Российской Федерации | Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation @mod_russia
Facebook – Минобороны России @mod.mil.rus · Organisme gouvernemental
Briefing by Russian Defence Ministry spokesperson – 25 Feb 15:30 CET – For the text of the briefing, see directly the FB page
- Ministry of defence of Ukraine – news
Today, on 24 of February, at 5.00 AM the armed forces of the Russian Federation launched an intensive shelling of our units on east, delivered missile/bomb strikes on airfields in Boryspil, Ozerne, Kulbakino, Chuhuiv, Kramatorsk, Chornobaivka, as well as on military infrastructure of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. At the same time the aggressor started artillery shelling of the areas and settlements along the state border and administrative boundary with temporarily occupied territory of Crimea.
National Defence Forces, using the right for self-defence according to the article 51 of the United Nations Charter are countering with dignity the enemy`s attempts to break through the state border. Situation is controlled. The Russian troops are suffering losses.
In the Joined Forces Operation area 5 aircraft and 2 helicopters of Russian Aerospace Forces were shot, two tanks were damaged, several trucks of the armed forces of the Russian Federation were destroyed.
The Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine gave orders to inflict the maximum losses to the aggressor.
There are no losses among the defenders of Ukraine.
We are on our land and we will not give it up!
Together to the Victory!Address by the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Lieutenant General Valery Zaluzhnyi, 2022-02-24 10:17:00 | ID: 66662
- President of Ukraine – Website
- CCTV – Explosions heard in many cities of Ukraine – CCTV.com 24-02-22 05:52 Updated BJT
- China Foreign Ministry – Spokesperson’s remarks
GLOBALink | Latest footages taken by Chinese in Ukraine
U.S. and NATO
The prayers of the entire world are with the people of Ukraine tonight as they suffer an unprovoked and unjustified attack by Russian military forces….Statement by President Biden on Russia’s Unprovoked and Unjustified Attack on Ukraine, FEBRUARY 23, 2022 – nd
I will be monitoring the situation from the White House this evening and will continue to get regular updates from my national security team. Tomorrow, I will meet with my G7 counterparts in the morning and then speak to the American people to announce the further consequences the United States and our Allies and partners will impose on Russia for this needless act of aggression against Ukraine and global peace and security. We will also coordinate with our NATO Allies to ensure a strong, united response that deters any aggression against the Alliance. Tonight, Jill and I are praying for the brave and proud people of Ukraine.
Nota: If we use the source of the message, we obtain the exact date and time: datetime=”2022-02-23T21:57:29-05:00″. An exactly similar information is not available on the Russian side, but the time given by the Russians is 6:00 Moscow Time, i.e. 3:00 GMT).
Hence, interestingly, President Biden statement was published 2,5 minutes before President Putin speech.
FACT SHEET: Joined by Allies and Partners, the United States Imposes Devastating Costs on Russia – 24 February 2022
I strongly condemn Russia’s reckless and unprovoked attack on Ukraine, which puts at risk countless civilian lives. Once again, despite our repeated warnings and tireless efforts to engage in diplomacy, Russia has chosen the path of aggression against a sovereign and independent country.
This is a grave breach of international law, and a serious threat to Euro-Atlantic security. I call on Russia to cease its military action immediately and respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. NATO Allies will meet to address the consequences of Russia’s aggressive actions. We stand with the people of Ukraine at this terrible time. NATO will do all it takes to protect and defend all Allies.NATO Secretary General statement on Russia’s unprovoked attack on Ukraine
24 Feb. 2022 – Last updated: 24 Feb. 2022 04:42
- Ministry of Defence (MOD) of the United Kingdom
Facebook Page with regular updates on Ukraine situation
- EU – EU restrictive measures in response to the crisis in Ukraine – EU sanctions map – Timeline of sanctions
- US – OFAC
OFAC has also issued several general licenses in connection with these actions. In particular, payments for energy are from production to consumption. The sanctions and license package has been constructed to account for the challenges high energy prices pose to average citizens and doesn’t prevent banks from processing payments for them.
Specifically, OFAC issued eight general licenses authorizing certain transactions related to:
international organizations and entities;
agricultural and medical commodities and the COVID-19 pandemic;
overflight and emergency landings;
dealings in certain debt or equity;
the wind down of transactions involving certain blocked persons; and
the rejection of transactions involving certain blocked persons.
See the various ministries and presidencies of each member state.