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Crimes involved in Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine

May 21, 2022

The current war in Ukraine began with Russia's invasion on February 24th, 2022. This act is widely regarded as violating the Ukrainian people's right to self-determination. It has also been regarded as an attempt to re-colonise Ukraine and to re-establish a Russian empire in Eastern Europe.This report will focus on Russia's alleged crimes in the war in Ukraine for the purposes of cohesion and to illustrate the multifaceted nature of the alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Russian forces. The invasion has already culminated in one of the harsher humanitarian crises of the century, where massive violations of human rights and international humanitarian law are at the core of the conflict. There have, however, also been reports of Ukraine's military violating the terms of the third Geneva Convention. Notably, a video emerged in which a Ukrainian soldier appears to kill a Russian soldier who had surrendered. The report will examine tactics reportedly used by Russia's military forces in its assault which violate Ukrainians' rights and are used to exert fear and submission. These include the targeting of civilian areas and infrastructure, the use of torture, rape, and the potential use of chemical weapons. 

The Ukraine Support Tracker: Which countries help Ukraine and how?

May 20, 2022

This paper presents the "Ukraine Support Tracker", which lists and quantifies military, financial and humanitarian aid to Ukraine in the context of the Russia-Ukraine war. This third version covers government commitments between January 24 and May 10, 2022. We now track support by 37 governments, including all G7 and European Union member countries, plus the support by EU institutions (thus including 38 donors). We also added a section estimating government cost of hosting Ukrainian refugees. Private donations and aid through non-governmental organizations are still not included due to a lack of systematic data. To value in-kind support like military equipment or weapons, we rely on government statements as well as own calculations using market prices. We find significant differences in the scale of support across countries, both in absolute terms and as percent of donor country GDP. In billions of Euros, by far the largest bilateral supporter of Ukraine is the United States, followed by Poland, the United Kingdom, and the EU institutions. In percent of donor GDP, Eastern European countries stand out as particularly generous, and this is even more so once we account for refugee costs.

Evidence of Widespread and Systematic Bombardment of Ukrainian Healthcare Facilities

May 17, 2022

The Yale Humanitarian Research Lab (HRL) has identified 22 healthcare facilities in Ukraine that sustained damage from apparent Russia-aligned bombardment between 24 February and 29 March 2022. The HRL verified damage through cross-corroboration of very high resolution satellite imagery and open source information. Based on a review of nearly 300 facilities across five cities and regions, the HRL has concluded that Russia-aligned forces have engaged in widespread and systematic bombardment of Ukrainian healthcare facilities.The HRL's full report was provided to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe's (OSCE) Moscow Mechanism mission of experts. The following summary presents the key findings of the full report, including a more detailed explanation of the methodology used by HRL and a geographic breakdown of where apparently damaged facilities have been identified. Only the summary is being released due to the highly sensitive nature of the location data contained within the full report transmitted to the OSCE.

China’s Role in the Russia-Ukraine Conflict

May 14, 2022

On the 24th of February 2022, the Russian Federation began the military invasion of Ukraine after recognizing and assuring the security of the people republics of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions in the east of Ukraine. The following images of Russian troops invading the country combined with Putin's political rhetoric on removing the 'neo-Nazis' in Kyiv and the acute need to bring order and de-nazify the country have been a shock to Europe and the international system. The ongoing conflict is the latest manifestation of Russia's increasingly revisionist ambitions towards the current American-led international order, an order that academic scholars increasingly argue is under threat by both revisionist and emerging powers. One of which is the People's Republic of China, a state that not only historically has enjoyed strong political ties with Russia, but also possesses territorial ambitions that parallel the current situation in Ukraine. An observation that is increasingly made by western media and academics has been drawing the parallel towards China's calculated nature as a selectively revisionist state but its ongoing territorial disputes in the region of the South China Sea has been the subject of increasing attention. Specifically, the People's Republic of China's tenuous relationship with Taiwan is perceived to be the next area of confrontation and revisionist efforts toward the rules-based international order. This observation has only been strengthened as the Beijing has failed to take a clear position towards the conflict, intentionally leaving its position ambiguous: the absence of recognizing the conflict in Ukraine as an aggressive war led by Russia in combination with recently abstaining on a vote condemning the conflict in the United Nations has only served to fuel fears and heighten tensions.To that extent, this report seeks to determine and understand the plan and potential policy direction that Beijing may pursue while examining the restrictions and considerations that may dictate its future decisions. China's position and role as one of the largest economies in the global market and in proximity to vital economic routes and sea lanes of communication ensure that any conflict in the region would have wide-ranging and damaging implications and consequences. Concretely, the objective of this article is to examine and determine the manner and impact in which the Russo-Ukrainian war will have on Chinese foreign policy and what limitations and opportunities do the regime face in either constructively engaging in advocating for a de-escalation of the violence or utilizing the conflict as a road map for its ambitions. The report systematically examines the economic and political incentives and relations China possesses with both the Ukraine and Russia before examining parallels between Taiwan and Ukraine and determining if China possesses the capabilities and political motivation to become a mediator to bring about an end to the conflict. 

A War in a Pandemic: Implications of the Ukraine crisis and COVID-19 on global governance of migration and remittance flows

May 13, 2022

This Migration and Development Brief (number 36 in the series) discusses the anticipated effects of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on migration and remittance flows. And ahead of the International Migration Review Forum to be held in May 2022, the brief indicates how the global governance of migration can be strengthened and cross-border remittance flows facilitated. Developments concerning migration-related Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) indicators for which the World Bank is a custodian--increasing the volume of remittances as a percentage of gross domestic product (SDG indicator 17.3.2) and reducing remittance costs (SDG indicator 10.c.1)--are also discussed.

Interim security insights and implications from the first two months of the Russia-Ukraine war

May 12, 2022

Russia's ongoing struggles during its invasion of Ukraine have led some to suggest that the Russian military lacks the capability to credibly threaten the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and its member states. However, narrowly focusing on Russia's tactical and operational struggles, while omitting the flawed Russian strategic decisionmaking which underpinned the invasion, is a dangerous approach. While Russia's significant losses in this war will clearly degrade its ability to conduct large scale offensive operations against NATO in the short term, it is too soon to write off the medium to long-term threat posed by Russia. Therefore, as the Russian invasion enters a new phase, it is useful to determine what lessons should and should not be derived from this conflict. In our subsequent analysis, we analyze these initial insights and provide policy recommendations for NATO to enhance its conventional capability and strengthen its ability to credibly deter future Russian aggression.

International Medical Corps Situation Update: Report #14

May 12, 2022

The Russian invasion of Ukraine that began on February 24 has led to Europe's largest refugee crisis since World War II, with more than 14 million people forcibly displaced. In addition, since the war began, at least 7,256 civilian casualties have been reported in the country, including 3,496 killed. The United Nations says the actual numbers are likely much higher.In Ukraine, conflict remains concentrated in eastern and southern regions. According to OCHA, before 2022 eastern Ukraine was among the most minecontaminated regions in the world. Since the invasion, the State Emergency Service (SES) of Ukraine has disposed of more than 102,000 explosive devices and more than 1,900 aerial bombs. The Interior Minister announced the launch of the International Coordination Centre for Humanitarian Demining, which SES will work in collaboration with, to reduce casualties from explosive remnants of war.Since the invasion, almost 6 million people have fled Ukraine. As of May 12, at least 3,251,955 people had crossed the border from Ukraine into Poland, 889,674 had entered Romania, 458,242 had entered Moldova, 577,820 had entered Hungary and 406,833 had entered Slovakia, while 772,121 had entered Russia and 27,108 had entered Belarus. According to Poland's Office for Foreigners, more than 1 million Ukrainian nationals--47% of whom are children--have registered for a national PESEL number, allowing them to access services such as health and social support.

Intense and Lasting Harm: Cluster Munition Attacks in Ukraine

May 11, 2022

Intense and Lasting Harm reviews the use of cluster munitions in the international armed conflict in Ukraine since Russia's invasion on February 24, 2022. Russian armed forces have used at least six types of cluster munitions in hundreds of attacks that have caused hundreds of civilian casualties and damaged civilian objects, including homes, hospitals and schools. Ukrainian forces have appeared to use cluster munitions in at least one attack.The report charts civilian harm caused by the cluster munition attacks and the long-term dangers posed by unexploded submunitions. Many countries have already condemned the use of cluster munitions in Ukraine, demonstrating the growing stigma against these weapons.The report urges both Russia and Ukraine to immediately stop using cluster munitions. It also calls on them to join the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions, which bans all use of the weapon and requires destruction of stockpiles, clearance of areas contaminated by cluster munitions remnants, and assistance to victims.

Americans’ Concerns About War in Ukraine: Wider Conflict, Possible U.S.-Russia Clash

May 10, 2022

Pew Research Center conducted this study to better understand Americans' attitudes about the Russian invasion of Ukraine as well as the Biden administration's response to the invasion. For this analysis, we surveyed 5,074 U.S. adults in May 2022. Everyone who took part in this survey is a member of the Center's American Trends Panel (ATP), an online survey panel that is recruited through national, random sampling of residential addresses. This way nearly all U.S. adults have a chance of selection. The survey is weighted to be representative of the U.S. adult population by gender, race, ethnicity, partisan affiliation, education and other categories.

EVERYTHING COUNTS: Building a Control Regime for Nonstrategic Nuclear Warheads in Europe

May 10, 2022

Before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Biden administration insisted in arms control talks with Russia that a follow-on agreement to the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) should cover all nuclear weapons and that such an agreement should focus on the nuclear warheads themselves. This would represent a significant change from previous agreements, which focused on delivery vehicles, such as missiles. The United States has been particularly interested in potential limits on nonstrategic nuclear warheads (NSNW). Such weapons have never been subject to an arms control agreement. Because Russia possesses an advantage in the number of such weapons, the US Senate has insisted that negotiators include them in a future agreement, making their inclusion necessary if such an accord is to win Senate approval and ultimately be ratified by Washington. In the wake of Russian nuclear threats in the Ukraine conflict, such demands can only be expected to grow if and when US and Russian negotiators return to the negotiating table.

Another Perfect Storm?

May 6, 2022

With the invasion of Ukraine sparking a third food price crisis in 15 years, a new IPES-Food special report, 'Another Perfect Storm?' takes stock of the critical factors fanning the flames of global hunger - and what can be done about them. World food prices continued to see record-breaking highs in April 2022, hitting food insecure countries and populations hard. Numbers of undernourished people could increase by 13 million this year. The special report blames fundamental flaws in global food systems - such as heavy reliance on food imports and excessive commodity speculation - for escalating food insecurity sparked by the Ukraine invasion. These flaws were exposed, but not corrected, after previous food price spikes in 2007-8. 

Seven Actions to Limit the Impact of War in Ukraine on Food Security

May 5, 2022

2021 and 2022 have experienced sharply rising and increasingly volatile food prices. Even before the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, FAO's international food price index had already reached an all-time high. Wheat prices have been highly volatile for more than six months, spiking with the invasion of Ukraine, as shown by IFPRI's excessive food price variability index. With steep declines in exports from Ukraine and Russia, global wheat shortages are expected to occur soon, likely intensifying the crisis. A major reduction in chemical fertilizer exports could devastate not only upcoming harvests of wheat, but also those of other grains. In 2020, Russia provided 14 percent of globally traded supplies of nitrogenous fertilizers, 11 percent of phosphorous-based fertilizers, and, together with Belarus, 41 percent of potash-based fertilizers (Hebebrand and Laborde 2022). Combined, these factors are putting the food and nutrition security of millions of people at risk.CGIAR researchers have conducted comprehensive analyses to identify seven priority actions that could be considered by policymakers and other key decisionmakers to mitigate supply and price shocks and to improve resilience to future crises. These analyses draw not only from past crises, such as the 2007–2008 food price crisis, but also an array of groundbreaking research being conducted through CGIAR's new research portfolio.