War in Ukraine Update #1

A map of Ukraine, marking the cities some AUBG students come from. Illustration made by Vera Arzumanyan.

Two weeks since the war began in Ukraine, the Russian oligarchs, economy, and people have been isolated and sanctioned by the outside world.


Despite the fact that nearly 100% of the Russian forces that were staged on the border are now present in Ukraine, a vast majority of cities are still controlled by Ukrainians. Russia’s largest gains have been in the south, taking Melitopol, Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant, Kherson, and have fully surrounded Mariupol. The front line remains on the outskirts of Kyiv, Kharkiv, Sumy, and Chernihiv. 


Ukraine is stalling Russian forces and fighting back fiercely.


Negotiations began between Russia and Ukraine along the Belarussian border, and attempts have been made to set up humanitarian corridors to allow civilians to evacuate. However, Russian forces have shelled these routes which led to the suspension of most evacuation attempts. 


Over two million refugees have fled Ukraine, mostly to Poland, Moldova, Romania, Slovakia, and Hungary. Around 100,000 fled to Russia, mainly from the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Under 500 people sought refuge in Belarus. 


The Kremlin has said they will end the war if two demands are met: recognition of Crimea as a Russian region and the recognition that Donetsk and Luhansk are independent republics. Zelensky has shown a willingness to compromise. 


Zelensky has pushed to create a fast-track system to join the EU. Since the emotional appeal by Zelensky to the Parliament, Georgia and Moldova have sent their bids to join the EU too. 


It doesn’t mean Ukraine, Moldova or Georgia will become part of the EU within the next few months, but it carries a large symbolic value. The EU is considering their bids this week and there is a possibility for the EU to open their customs union to Ukraine or create other special agreements. 


The EU, Canada, and US airspace have been closed off to Russian aircraft which led to S7 and Aeroflot suspending all international flights. Non-Russian airlines which use Russian airspace have been avoiding it.


U.S. President Biden has officially banned Russian imported oil. The US Congress had been setting up a bipartisan plan to stop Russian oil imports, a move President Biden had warned against to keep gas prices stable. The US previously spent about $40-50 million per day to import Russian oil, which only accounts for 3% of imported oil


President Biden has worked closely with NATO, the EU, and its Asia-Pacific allies to work on a coordinated isolation of Russia

SWIFT has cut off some Russian banks from using its platform, a move that is more symbolic than it is impactful.


This is not a comprehensive list of everything that has happened, just key highlights. As we are covering the war in real-time, some information may not be accurate by the time of reading and other events may have already happened. 


Please reference AUBG Daily’s Ukraine Sources Page to dive deeper. AUBG Daily will be providing biweekly updates on the war. 

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