March 01, 2022
Ukraine Conflict Update 12
Institute for the Study of War, Russia Team
With the Critical Threats Project, AEI
CTP and ISW published its most recent Russian campaign assessment at 3:00 pm EST on March 1.
This daily synthetic product covers key events related to renewed Russian aggression against Ukraine.
Key Takeaways March 1
- [CORRECTION] Russian President Vladimir Putin likely moved Russia’s nuclear alert status to their highest peacetime level on February 27, the second of four possible levels.
- Russian forces are setting conditions to envelop Kyiv from the west and attempting to open a new axis of attack from the east that would let them encircle the capital. It is unclear if Russia has sufficient combat power to complete such an encirclement and hold it against Ukrainian counter-attacks.
- Russian forces will likely launch a renewed ground offensive to seize Kharkiv following the air/artillery/missile attack it has been conducting in the past 24 hours.
- Russian and Russian proxy forces will likely solidify the “land bridge” linking Rostov-on-Don with Crimea, allowing Russian forces to move more rapidly from Rostov to reinforce efforts further west.
- Russia’s successful seizure of Kherson city may allow Russian forces to resume their interrupted drive toward Mykolayiv and Odesa.
- Belarusian forces have likely entered the war on Russia’s side despite denials by the Belarusian president.
- The Kremlin admitted Russian casualties in Ukraine for the first time but announced an implausibly low number of killed or wounded.
- Ukraine combatted Russian information campaigns while the Kremlin continued censoring information in Russia.
- Anti-war protests in Russia continued on March 1 despite mass arrests and government censorship.
- European Union (EU) countries are set to expand SWIFT sanctions as more private companies suspend operations and services in Russia.
- NATO and EU countries continued providing military aid but reneged on promised fighter jets for Ukraine on March 1.
- Private companies and Western governments sanctioned Russian state-affiliated media to combat Russian disinformation and propaganda on March 1.
- European and Ukrainian leaders advanced efforts to quickly admit Ukraine to the EU on March 1.
Key Events February 28, 4:00 pm EST – March 1, 4:00 pm EST
Russian forces are completing the reinforcement and resupply of their troops north and west of Kyiv and launching an envelopment of the capital likely aimed at encircling and ultimately capturing it. This effort will likely accelerate in the next 24-48 hours. Russian operations against Kyiv are Moscow’s main effort. Russian troops are also undertaking three supporting efforts, one to seize Kharkiv, one to take Mariupol and secure the “land bridge” connecting Rostov-on-Don to Crimea, and one to secure Kherson and set conditions for a drive west toward Mykolayiv and Odesa. The three supporting operations are active, with the operation against Mariupol making the most progress in the last 24 hours.
Russian troops claim to have encircled Mariupol and have reportedly entered the city of Kherson in the south. Russian forces are receiving needed supplies and reinforcements that may facilitate much more rapid and effective operations in the coming 24-72 hours. The Russian effort around Kyiv remains poorly organized, however, with elements of many different battalions combined into what seem to be ad hoc groupings rather than operating under standing regiment or brigade headquarters. The initial errors in the Russian force composition and organization in Belarus and western Russia that ISW has previously reported on, which contributed to Russian logistical and operational failures around Kyiv, will be difficult to remedy quickly and will likely continue to cause friction and reduce the effectiveness of Russian operations even as supply issues are addressed and reinforcements come into the fight. It remains too early to evaluate the likely effective combat power the added Russian troops will bring.
Russian forces are engaged in four primary efforts at this time. The description of these efforts differs from previous reports’ discussion of axes because of the dynamic nature of the Russian military campaign
- Main effort—Kyiv;
- Supporting effort #1—Kharkiv;
- Supporting effort #2—Mariupol; and
- Supporting effort #3—Kherson and west.
1. Kyiv: The Russian attack on Kyiv likely consists of a main effort aimed at enveloping and ultimately encircling the city from the west and a supporting effort along the axes from Chernihiv and Sumy to encircle Kyiv from the east. The long Russian column of combat and logistics vehicles north of Kyiv is likely setting conditions for the envelopment to the west, although it could also support attacks directly into the city from the positions Russian forces maintain in Kyiv’s northwestern outskirts. Russian forces are more likely to pursue the envelopment/encirclement than a direct assault into the city.
2. Kharkiv: Russian forces remain unable to seize Kharkiv and have apparently concentrated on an air, missile, and artillery bombardment likely intended in part to enable a subsequent renewed ground offensive. The Russian military has continued using area-attack weapons in Kharkiv, dramatically increasing the damage to civilian infrastructure and civilian casualties. Russian forces have not reportedly attempted large-scale ground operations against Kharkiv in the last 24 hours but are likely instead using air, missile, and artillery bombardment to set conditions for a renewed ground attack sometime in the next 24-48 hours. Russian ground forces appear likely to conduct another frontal assault on Kharkiv from the northeast rather than attempt to envelop or encircle the city.
3. Mariupol: Russian forces claim to have completed the encirclement of Mariupol by land and sea on March 1. ISW assesses with low confidence that Russian forces have completed the encirclement of Mariupol and will seek to compel the Ukrainian defenders to surrender or attack to seize it within the coming 24 hours.
4. Kherson and west: Russian forces in the south appear to be holding their positions south of Zaprozhya, fighting to consolidate control of Kherson city, and encircling Mariupol to set conditions to seize it. Russian operations in the south do not appear to pose an imminent danger to Odesa within the next 24 hours. A Russian drive north through or near Zaprozhya to cut off Ukrainian forces fighting along the line of contact also appears very unlikely in the next 24-72 hours. Russian forces have likely secured control of Kherson city and are consolidating there before continuing their advance to the west.
Kremlin officials denied conducting a war and blamed the West for escalating the situation in Ukraine on February 28 and March 1. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov reiterated the Kremlin’s claims that the West triggered escalations in Ukraine in a virtual address to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHCR) on March 1. Lavrov claimed that Russia does not welcome the presence of US nuclear weapons in Europe. Over 100 delegates from 40 nations walked out of the UNHCR meeting in support of Ukraine during Lavrov’s speech. Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova claimed that Estonia and Poland refused to let the Russian delegation fly through their airspace to attend the UNHCR meeting in Geneva and called the boycotting delegates “hypocrites and bigots.” Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu announced on March 1 that Russia will hold the first International Anti-Fascist Congress as part of the Army-2022 forum in August 2022 to “unite the international community” against “Nazi ideology.” Shoigu’s comment furthers the Russian attempt to falsely paint the Ukrainian government as Nazis.
The Kremlin has admitted that Russian soldiers are dying in Ukraine but is severely underreporting the casualties on March 1. Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu announced that Russia will allocate five billion rubles to veterans of the Russian military operation in Ukraine and will pay 11,000 rubles (around $104) to the families of the deceased. Chechen Republic head Ramzan Kadyrov claimed that two Chechen servicemembers have died during the operation in Ukraine as of March 1. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov claimed on March 1 that Russian officials do not have data on Russian casualties in Ukraine despite noting that Russian President Vladimir Putin has “complete information” about the operation.
The Russian Defense Ministry (MoD) conducted kinetic and informational operations to disrupt Ukrainian communications and defend against accusations that Russia is committing war crimes. The MoD announced that it would strike the Ukrainian Security Service technological facilities and the 72nd Center for Information and Psychological Operations in Kyiv with high-precision weapons and urged Kyiv civilians “engaged in provocations” to evacuate. Russian Armed Forces struck a TV tower in Kyiv shortly thereafter, killing five civilians. Kremlin-sponsored TV defended the attack by claiming that the MoD warned civilians ahead of time. Russian TV said that Russia aims to combat “unprovoked [Ukrainian] information campaigns” such as cyberattacks. Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov denied Ukrainian accusations of Russian war crimes and claimed Ukrainian nationalists are using Ukrainian citizens as human shields on February 28. Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu claimed on March 1 that Ukrainian forces are placing large-caliber mortars and multiple-launch rocket systems in Ukrainian residential areas near courtyards and schools. Shoigu likely intended to defend Russian attacks on civilian areas and urban centers as justified military operations. Shoigu reiterated that the operation in Ukraine will continue until Russian forces achieve all their goals, of which “the main task is protect the Russian Federation from the threat posed by Western countries.” Russian forces also targeted Ukrainian civilian neighborhoods in Kharkiv on March 1. The UN Human Rights Office reported that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has caused at least 100 confirmed civilian deaths and at least 400 civilian injuries as of March 1. Peskov also claimed that the Kremlin will not be involved in “potential Ukrainian elections” in the future because Ukraine “is a different country.”
Russian banks and politicians continued to attempt to stem the fallout from Western economic pressures on March 1. Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin announced on March 1 that the Russian government had “temporarily” instituted capital controls to ban foreign businesses from exiting Russian assets to ensure they are not “making decisions under political pressure.” Russia’s National Wealth Fund allocated 1 trillion rubles ($10.3 billion) to buy shares of Russian companies to further minimize sanctions fallout on March 1. Stock and derivative trading remained closed on March 1, while money markets remained open. The ruble traded at 101 rubles per dollar on March 1, a marked depreciation from the 81 rubles-per-dollar exchange rate on February 23. The Russian Central Bank backtracked on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s February 28 ban on Russians paying off foreign debts, stating that Russian residents and companies will still be able to pay off foreign debt. The Central Bank clarified that Putin only banned loans made by Russian residents to non-residents but does not ban Russian residents’ payments on foreign loans.
Western sanctions are beginning to hit Russian consumers directly beyond the currency fall and expanding inflation; Google Pay and Apple Pay ceased working with Russian banks, causing long lines on Moscow’s metro on March 1 as commuters scrambled to pay fares with cash. Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov criticized Western sanctions for affecting non-economic spheres on March 1. The Russian Ministry of Agriculture, Federal Antimonopoly Service, Ministry of Retail and Trade, and various retailers agreed on voluntary parameters to minimize trade margins on necessary consumer goods such as dairy, baked goods, sugar, and vegetables to maintain supply.
Russian state-owned gas company Gazprom announced that it will continue to send normal amounts of gas through Ukraine to meet continuing European demand. Gazprom is likely setting conditions to claim that it is meeting its international contractual obligations despite what the Kremlin calls “illegal” Western sanctions against Russian companies.
Anti-war protests in Russia continued on March 1 despite a massive government crackdown on anti-war activity. Independent Russian human rights group OVD-Info reported that 6,830 people have been detained during anti-war protests since February 24, with 590 arrests made in 16 cities on March 1. On February 27 alone, 2,802 people were detained in 56 cities. The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) threatened criminal charges and up to 20 years imprisonment for any Russian citizen who passes information to Ukrainian intelligence services, expanding the February 27 announcement that any Russian citizen who is caught providing assistance to foreign states will be charged with treason. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) human rights body (ODIHR) condemned the crackdown on anti-war protests in Russia and Belarus as ”a grave violation of the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, core principles of democracy.”
Opposition to the war in the international Russian-language community persists. A Russian-language Change.org petition against the invasion has received over one million signatures, and members of Russian professional organizations have signed similar petitions. One hundred sixteen Belarusian jurists and lawyers wrote a letter calling for the immediate cessation of hostilities in Ukraine and cited numerous violations of both international and Belarusian domestic law.
[Correction] Russian President Vladimir Putin likely moved Russia’s nuclear alert level to the highest used in peacetime, the second of four possible alert levels, on February 27. ISW and various media outlets previously incorrectly reported that Putin raised Russia’s nuclear alert to its highest possible level. Putin likely moved Russian nuclear forces from their lowest alert level (“constant”) to their next-highest (“elevated”), although the Kremlin’s language was likely intentionally vague. Putin likely intended his order and subsequently vague rhetoric to accomplish two objectives: first, to alarm Western audiences with the risk of nuclear war and, second, to signal to the United States and other nuclear powers that Putin was not carrying out a dramatic nuclear escalation. Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov emphasized on February 28 that Russian troops are simply following Putin’s orders and that their actions “hold no dual meanings.” Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu told Russian President Vladimir Putin that the Strategic Missile Forces, the Northern and Pacific Fleets, and long-range aviation began combat duty per the president’s order on February 28. International Committee of the Russian Federation Council First Deputy Chairman Vladimir Dzhaborov stated on February 28 that the shift was not a threat of nuclear war but was instead a warning that all enemies should carefully consider actions against Russia. Russian Permanent Ambassador to the UN Vasily Nebeznya claimed Russia is exercising “self-defense” against what Russia has repeatedly and falsely purported to be Ukraine’s goal “to restore access to nuclear weapons.”
UK Defense Minister Ben Wallace dismissed the change as rhetorical on February 28. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on March 1 that NATO saw “no need” to change its nuclear alert level. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on February 28 that the United States “sees no reason to change” US nuclear alert levels in response but emphasized that the United States must not underestimate Putin’s threats. However, a leaked draft of an International Atomic Energy Agency statement for its planned March 2 meeting condemned Russian aggression as ”significantly raising the risk of a nuclear accident or incident.”
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko likely committed Belarusian troops to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine despite Lukashenko's vocal denials on March 1. Ukrainian Territorial Defense authorities claimed that Belarusian elements from Grodno (likely of Belarus’ 6th Mechanized Brigade) deployed to Chernihiv Oblast in support of the Russian offensive on March 1. Lukashenko acknowledged that he deployed five Belarusian battalions to an unspecified location on Belarus's western border but denied planning to participate in Russian combat operations in Ukraine on March 1. Belarusian elements are likely also positioned to open a new axis of attack against Western Ukraine, as ISW previously warned. Ukraine’s Military Intelligence Directorate warned on March 1 that Russia will likely stage a provocation to justify deploying 300 Belarusian tanks stationed approximately 30 kilometers from the Ukrainian-Belarusian border near Rivne and Lutsk oblasts in western Ukraine. A Belarusian lieutenant colonel called on Belarusian soldiers to disobey any orders to attack Ukraine on February 27.
Lukashenko is likely setting information conditions to support Belarusian forces’ participation in combat operations against Ukraine. Lukashenko presided over an expanded Belarusian Security Council meeting during which he showed a map of Ukraine partitioned into four sectors and Ukrainian military facilities destroyed by missile strikes from Belarusian territory on March 1. Lukashenko alleged that Western-backed Ukrainian nationalists have promoted anti-Belarusian rhetoric and economic policies since 2014, that Belarus stopped a Ukrainian coup attempt in Belarus, and that Belarus blocked 12 Ukrainian special services personnel seeking to destabilize Belarus since 2019. Lukashenko additionally stated that Belarusian air defense systems are on “high alert” to prevent attacks “in the back of Russian troops and that he asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to deploy S-400 air defense systems west of Minsk.
Ukraine intensified its efforts to combat Russian misinformation campaigns as Russia continued to censor media coverage of the war on March 1. Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov announced that Russia is preparing an information operation to falsely claim that Ukraine surrendered to Russia. Reznikov stated that Russia will falsify documents and create fake videos to misinform Ukrainians about the war, likely to demoralize the population or trigger a Ukrainian coup against the government. Reznikov emphasized that Ukraine will not capitulate. Ukrainian regional officials created Telegram channels on March 1 to counteract Russian disinformation campaigns, ensuring direct communication with residents online. Ukraine’s Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov stated that Elon Musk’s Starlink internet terminals arrived in Ukraine and will provide internet coverage throughout the country if Russia strikes Ukrainian communication infrastructure.
The Kremlin blocked several independent media websites for unfavorably covering the Russian invasion on February 28. The Russian General Prosecutors’ Office took off the air a liberal radio station, Echo Moskvy, popular among city dwellers on March 1, indicating the Kremlin’s willingness to openly censor mainstream outlets. The Prosecutor‘s Office also called for restriction of Russian liberal online outlet Dozhd for anti-Russian content. The United Russia Party called on Russian Internet platforms to remove videos and images of the Russian war in Ukraine on March 1. Russian State Duma Vice Speaker Anna Kuznetsova claimed that graphic videos of Russian military operation in Ukraine appear in children's content. The Kremlin will likely implement additional age restrictions on online outlets or justify the censorship of the Russian internet. Russian social media users also reported inconsistent access to Facebook and Instagram throughout March 1. Russian technology and communications regulator Roskomnadzor reinstated slower loading speeds for Twitter users and refused to authorize Facebook’s independent fact-checking service.
US, NATO, and EU Activity
The European Union (EU) is set to delist more Russian banks from the SWIFT financial network as more states join the sanctions campaign against Russia and Belarus. A growing number of private companies are also suspending operations and services in Russia.
- Anonymous Swiss officials told radio station SRF that Nord Stream 2 laid off all its employees and filed for bankruptcy on March 1 due to international sanctions. Two unidentified sources told Reuters earlier in the day that Nord Stream 2 began working with financial advisers to clear some of its liabilities and may formally begin the bankruptcy process as soon as the week of February 28. Nord Stream 2 AG stated in an email sent earlier on March 1 that it terminated an unspecified number of employee contracts because of US sanctions.
- Two unidentified diplomats told The Wall Street Journal on March 1 that the EU will delist several more Russian banks from the SWIFT financial network, including VTB, VEB, Bank Rossiya, and Bank Otkritie. SWIFT’s board must formally vote to approve the EU’s decision.
- Taiwanese Premier Su Tseng-chang stated Taiwan will block some Russian banks from the SWIFT international payments system in conjunction with Western countries. Taiwan banned certain exports to Russia including weapons, dual-use goods, and other technologies “unless there are legitimate reasons.”
- France created a task force on March 1 to identify wealthy Russians tied to Russian President Putin with assets in France and to seize those assets. French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire said the task force is a part of a broader strategy to “cause the collapse of the Russian economy.” French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire stated on March 1 that “[France] is waging an all-out economic and financial war on Russia” that will cause the Russian economy to collapse before clarifying that France was not “at war” and did not wish to harm the Russian people.
- US payment card firms Visa Inc. and Mastercard Inc. blocked multiple Russian financial institutions from their networks on March 1. Visa announced it was taking “prompt action to ensure compliance” with US sanctions. Cards of banks disconnected from the Visa and Mastercard systems will not work abroad or with online foreign stores.
- More private international companies suspended operations and services in Russia. Apple suspended all product sales and support for Apple Pay. The world’s two largest container shipping companies, Maersk and Mediterranean Shipping Company, suspended all non-humanitarian operations. UPS, Delta, and American Airlines halted all overflights. Disney and Sony paused all film showings, Warner Brothers suspended the release of the upcoming Batman film, and the Russian government could soon ban Netflix after the streaming company refused to comply with new rules mandating the showing of 20 state-backed government channels.
- UK Foreign Minister Liz Truss announced new sanctions targeting four senior Belarusian defense officials and two Belarusian military entities as Western intelligence officials warned of possible Belarusian participation in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
- The International Energy Agency (IEA) decided to release 60 million barrels of oil from its emergency reserves, likely to counter the effect of Western sanctions on global oil prices. The US energy secretary branded the move as an effort to reduce dependence on Russian oil following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
NATO and European Union (EU) countries continued providing Ukraine with military and financial assistance but reneged on supplying promised fighter jets on March 1.
- NATO countries Poland, Bulgaria, and Slovakia reversed their previous decisions to supply Ukraine with Russian-made fighter jets on March 1, citing that they provided other forms of humanitarian and financial aid, lack the resources, or are wary of military interference in Ukraine due to a possible “nuclear confrontation with Moscow.” However, those states and other NATO and EU countries will continue to provide defense aid to Ukraine, including air-defense missiles, anti-tank weapons, ammunition, field rations, small arms, and other materials.
- Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on March 1 that Australia and NATO will provide $50 million-worth of lethal and nonlethal military assistance to Ukraine. Australia will primarily provide anti-tank weapons, ammunition, and humanitarian aid.
- US senators called for additional monetary and logistical assistance to Ukraine on February 28.
NATO and European Union (EU) countries and private companies sanctioned and limited Russian state-affiliated media to combat Russian disinformation and propaganda.
- EU industry chief Thierry Breton said on March 1 that the European Commission is seeking EU approval of sanctions to prohibit EU operators from broadcasting any Russian state-affiliated media.
- NATO and EU countries pressured tech giants Facebook, Google, and Twitter to do more to combat Russian disinformation on February 28, including suspending Russia state-affiliated accounts, labeling Russian state-affiliated tweets, and increasing fact-checking.
- Google, Facebook, and TikTok banned Russian state-affiliated media in Europe to limit the Kremlin’s reach on March 1, triggering Russian accusations of Western censorship. Twitter stated it will label Russian state-affiliated media tweets and will disrupt Russian propaganda algorithms to reduce visibility on the platform. Google blocked the Russian state-affiliated RT and Sputnik YouTube channels in Europe.
- DirectTV prohibited the broadcast of RT America on March 1.
- Lithuania asked Apple and Android to remove the Uber-like Russian Yandex taxi service application from their platforms within the country on February 28.
- The hacking group Anonymous hacked more than 300 Russian and Belarusian government websites to display anti-war and anti-Putin messaging on February 28.
European and Ukrainian leaders advanced efforts to admit Ukraine to the EU on March 1.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Ukrainians are “fighting to be equal members of Europe” and called for Europe to “show it is with Ukraine” by admitting Ukraine as an EU member while addressing the European Parliament on March 1.
- The European Parliament officially accepted Ukraine’s request for candidate status on March 1.
- Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said Ukraine’s EU application “must be considered differently” since the EU is not a military bloc, indicating Russia’s potential openness to Ukrainian membership in the EU.
Other International Organization Activity
International organizations and several countries announced additional humanitarian aid to Ukraine on March 1 and prepared for millions of Ukrainian refugees to enter the EU.
- The European Commission Vice President said the EU is planning to announce blanket protection status for all those fleeing Ukraine. This measure will give refugees automatic access to the EU’s health, education, and housing facilities.
- UN humanitarian agencies launched appeals for $1.7 billion in emergency aid to address the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine on March 1. The UN estimates that 12 million people inside Ukraine and over 4 million Ukrainian refugees will need assistance in the coming months.
- The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said on March 1 that over 660,000 people have fled Ukraine since February 24 and UNHCR Chief Filippo Grandi warned that Europe could be facing its worst refugee crisis in the last century.
- The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) appealed for $163 million for their 2022 operations in Ukraine and neighboring countries on March 1. The IFRC also appealed for $109 million from the national level Red Cross societies to assist an initial two million people in Ukraine.
- UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on March 1 that the UK would relax visa rules for Ukrainians moving to the UK to live with relatives. Johnson stated that he expects more than 200,000 Ukrainians to move in with relatives in the UK.
- France announced on March 1 it will donate an additional $111 million in financial and humanitarian aid to Ukraine. France also delivered 33 tons of emergency aid to Ukraine via Poland on February 28. 
- Taiwan sent 27 tons of medical supplies to Ukraine on February 28.
Individual Western Allies’ Activity
Other International Activity
China, Turkey, Israel, and India are attempting to maintain relations with both Russia and Ukraine by taking a neutral position and encouraging negotiations. Unlike China, Israel, and India, however, Turkey has openly criticized the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
- China has avoided condemning Russia’s military actions in Ukraine and maintains that Russia has legitimate security concerns. China has called for negotiations and restraint on both sides. Chinese officials abstained from voting on a UN Security Council resolution condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 25. Chinese President Xi Jinping told Russian President Vladimir Putin during a February 25 phone call that China supports negotiations between Ukraine and Russia. The Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said that China would play a “constructive role” in easing Ukraine’s humanitarian situation. 
- Turkey has voiced support for Ukraine but has also worked with Russian officials to negotiate a ceasefire. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for NATO and EU enlargement to include Ukraine on March 1, rebuking Russian demands that NATO refuse entry to Ukraine. Erdogan and Defense Minister Hulusi Akar continued attempting to negotiate a ceasefire in phone conversations with Ukraine on February 26 and Russia and Belarus on February 28.
- Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett offered to mediate a Russian-Ukrainian ceasefire on February 27 during a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Israel did not co-sponsor a UN Security Council resolution on February 25 condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Israel has accepted Ukrainian Jewish refugees and sent humanitarian aid to Ukraine during the crisis but refused to offer military aid.
- India has avoided taking a public stance on the invasion. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged an end to all violence during a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin on February 24. India abstained from the February 25 UN Security Council resolution condemning the Russian invasion. The Indian Foreign Ministry summoned the Russian and Ukrainian ambassadors to India to call for “urgent safe passage for Indian nationals” in Ukraine after Russian shelling killed an Indian national in Kharkiv on March 1.
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