Dear Colleagues,

Please find below an update on the situation in Ukraine

Today, a new war, a full-scale armed conflict in the very heart of Europe was launched by Russia.

Aggressor state crossed borders, launched missiles on cities, attacked with aviation, tanks and artillery. Russia simultaneously attacks Ukraine from the East, South, North and by air.

At 5.00 AM the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation launched an intensive shelling of Ukrainian military units in the 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.

Artillery shelling of the areas and settlements continued along the state border and administrative boundary with the temporarily occupied territory of Crimea.

As a result of Russia's attacks, 40 Ukrainian servicemen and dozens of civilians were killed, several dozens of Ukrainian military wounded, and infrastructure ruined. Those are results of only the first several hours of war, unleashed by Kremlin regime after months of saber rattling and blackmailing.

The last time we saw such actions was the Second World War, when another totalitarian ruler decided he had the right to re-draw borders of the sovereign states in Europe and bring death and misery to millions of people only to realize his perverted wishes.

History repeats itself. That is what we know from the schoolbooks. We can not let this happen again. Lessons of the past need to be recalled. If the world does not stop Putin, the world will suffer.

Since yesterday, the web-sites of the governmental institutions of Ukraine suffer from cyber attacks.

In response, Ukraine has activated its right for self-defence according to the article 51 of the United Nations Charter. We will defend our soil.

The Russian troops are suffering losses. Ukrainian Army shot down 7 aircraft and 2 helicopters of Russian Aerospace Forces, 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.

On 24 February 2022, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine approved President’s decision to impose the martial law on the entire territory of Ukraine for a period of 30 days with the aim to ensure Ukraine's defense, public safety and state interests.

Due to this, some constitutional rights and fundamental freedoms may be temporarily restricted (Articles 30-34, 38, 39, 41-44, 53 of the Constitution of Ukraine: inviolability of dwelling place, privacy of correspondence, interference in personal life, freedom of movement, freedom of thought and speech, freedom of views and beliefs, elections, peaceful assemblies, right to property, right to entrepreneurial activity, right for labor activity, right to strike, right to education). The temporary restrictions on the rights and legitimate interests of legal entities will also be imposed.

Regional, Kyiv city state administrations and local self-government bodies must establish defense councils and provide assistance to the military command in introducing and implementing measures of the martial law.

Ukraine has cut off diplomatic relations with Russia.

We invite our partners to follow our example. We deem it unacceptable to maintain diplomatic relations with the aggressor state, which openly attacks its neighbor without any reason. The international organizations must consider banning Russia’s membership for flagrant violations of international law.

Those expressing support to Russia's actions in Ukraine we consider aggressors as well.

We urge the international community to show solidarity with Ukraine by:

-  imposing immediately the massive coordinated sanctions against Russia which must include cutting off Russia from SWIFT.

-  isolating Russia in all possible international fora.

-  supporting Ukraine with weapons, protective equipment, fuel, and whatever necessary to counter the biggest army in the continent.

We call on the international organizations to provide us with humanitarian assistance and register all cases of violation of the norms of international and international humanitarian law.

We count upon the proper reaction.

We hope a wide Ukrainian community abroad would join the Government of Ukraine in delivering truth on Russia’s war in Europe.

Ukraine has initiated urgent meetings of the international organizations including the UN Security Council. Today, a number of highest level EU and NATO meetings is taking place. A number of countries convened the extraordinary meetings of the governments.

Attack on Ukraine is an attack on the entire Europe. We need to act together and in coordinated manner.

The situation is changing very fast. We will continue to inform you.