This initiative offers settlement options to conflict parties and those supporting them in the search for peace.

A settlement is possible

Draft Settlement 9

Settlement Options 9

Key Documents 9

Negotiation News 9

Additional Resources 9

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Key events and dates

17 December 2021

The Russian Federation presents two draft treaties to the United States, proposing the withdrawal of NATO forces from member states that joined the alliance after 1997 and an agreement not to accept new members.

January 2022

The US and NATO formally reply in January, rejecting these demands, while a large Russian military force assembles around Ukraine, on the eastern border with Russia and in Belarus.

21 February 2022

The Russian Federation recognizes Luhansk and Donetsk as independent states.

24 February 2022

President Vladimir Putin announces the ‘special military operation’ in Ukraine and offers a lengthy review of Russo-Ukraine relations.

28 February 2022

First round of direct negotiations in Belarus.

3 March 2022

Second round of direct negotiations in Belarus.

7 March 2022

Third round of direct negotiations in Belarus.

10 March 2022

Negotiations hosted by Turkey at the Antalya Diplomatic Forum at Foreign Minister level.

14-17 March 2022

Fourth round of negotiations (video conference).

21 March 2022

Fifth round of negotiations.

24 March 2022

The Russian Federation announces that it has reached most of the goals of the first phase of its military campaign and will now focus on eastern Ukraine.

29 March 2022

Sixth round of negotiations hosted by Turkey in Istanbul, initially leading to hopes for agreements among the sides.

30 March 2022

The Russian Federation asserts that its withdrawal from around Kyiv and areas of Northern Ukraine is a good-will gesture in response to progress in negotiations.

31 March 2022

Russian Federation plays down progress in negotiations.

3-5 April 2022

The withdrawal of Russian forces reveals strong evidence of massacres against the Ukrainian civilian population while under Russian control. The President of Ukraine asserts that this will make negotiations more difficult, but that it is necessary to persist with the dialogue.

7 April 2022

The Russian foreign Minister Lavrov claims that Ukraine is frustrating the negotiations and has backtracked from concessions. The Ukraine asserts that this is a manoeuvre to distract from the war crimes allegations.

15 April 2022

Nine humanitarian corridors confirmed by Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister.

17 April 2022

Ukraine states that negotiations are at risk from the situation in Mariupol and President Putin declares they are at a ‘dead end’ due to Ukrainian allegations of war crimes.

26 April 2022

UN Secretary-General meets with President Putin. President Putin agrees in principle with proposals for humanitarian assistance and ‘safe corridors’ and expresses willingness to engage in a diplomatic settlement.

22 July 2022

Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and the United Nations sign the Black Sea Grain Initiative.

21 September 2022

President Zelensky sets out a 5-point ‘formula’ for peace in a speech to the UN General Assembly.

30 September 2022

Russia annexes four occupied Ukrainian regions after claiming support from so-called ‘referendums’. President Putin warns of all necessary means to defend its territory and invites Ukraine to negotiate a ceasefire. In response, Ukraine announces an accelerated application to NATO and rejects negotiations while Putin is President.

12 October 2022

The UN General Assembly passes a resolution condemning the illegal annexation of Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson. 143 states voted in favour and 35 abstained.

14 November 2022

The UN General Assembly adopts a resolution to establish an international compensation mechanism for damage, loss and injury.

15 November 2022

President Zelensky outlines a 10-Point Proposal for Peace at the G20 Summit in Indonesia.

24 February 2023

China proposes a 12-point ‘peace plan’ urging both sides to resume talks on the basis that “the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all countries must be effectively upheld”. The document does not acknowledge “Russia’s violation of Ukrainian sovereignty”, but may signal a willingness for more countries to engage with a peace process. 

17 July 2023

Russia declines to extend the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which facilitated the export of agricultural products from Ukraine through the Black Sea. 

Positions of the sides

Ukraine

In a statement to the G20 Summit in Indonesia on 15 November 2022, President Zelensky outlined the following 10 proposals for peace:

    1. Radiation and nuclear safety.
    2. Food safety.
    3. Energy security.
    4. Release of all prisoners and deportees.
    5. Implementation of the UN charter and restoration of the territorial integrity of Ukraine and the world order.
    6. Withdrawal of Russian troops and cessation of hostilities.
    7. Restoring justice.
    8. Anti-ecocide.
    9. Prevention of escalation.
    10. Fixing the end of the war.

According to a news report, Ukraine’s position during the negotiations in March included:

    • Proposal 1: Ukraine proclaims itself a neutral state, promising to remain nonaligned with any blocs and refrain from developing nuclear weapons — in exchange for international legal guarantees. Possible guarantor states include Russia, Great Britain, China, the United States, France, Turkey, Germany, Canada, Italy, Poland, and Israel, and other states would also be welcome to join the treaty.
    • Proposal 2: These international security guarantees for Ukraine would not extend to Crimea, Sevastopol, or certain areas of the Donbas. The parties to the agreement would need to define the boundaries of these regions or agree that each party understands these boundaries differently.
    • Proposal 3: Ukraine vows not to join any military coalitions or host any foreign military bases or troop contingents. Any international military exercises would be possible only with the consent of the guarantor-states. For their part, these guarantors confirm their intention to promote Ukraine’s membership in the European Union.
    • Proposal 4: Ukraine and the guarantor-states agree that (in the event of aggression, any armed attack against Ukraine, or any military operation against Ukraine) each of the guarantor-states, after urgent and immediate mutual consultations (which must be held within three days) on the exercise of the right to individual or collective self-defense(as recognized by Article 51 of the UN Charter) will provide (in response to and on the basis of an official appeal by Ukraine) assistance to Ukraine, as a permanently neutral state under attack. This aid will be facilitated through the immediate implementation of such individual or joint actions as may be necessary, including the closure of Ukraine’s airspace, the provision of necessary weapons, the use of armed force with the goal of restoring and then maintaining Ukraine’s security as a permanently neutral state.
    • Proposal 5: Any such armed attack (any military operation at all) and all measures taken as a result will be reported immediately to the UN Security Council. Such measures will cease when the UNSC takes the measures needed to restore and maintain international peace and security.
    • Proposal 6: Implementing protections against possible provocations, the agreement will regulate the mechanism for fulfilling Ukraine’s security guarantees based on the results of consultations between Ukraine and the guarantor-states.
    • Proposal 7: The treaty provisionally applies from the date it is signed by Ukraine and all or most guarantor-states. The treaty enters force after (1) Ukraine’s permanently neutral status is approved in a nationwide referendum, (2) the introduction of the appropriate amendments in Ukraine’s Constitution, and (3) ratification in the parliaments of Ukraine and the guarantor-states.
    • Proposal 8: The parties’ desire to resolve issues related to Crimea and Sevastopol shall be committed to bilateral negotiations between Ukraine and Russia for a period of 15 years. Ukraine and Russia also pledge not to resolve these issues by military means and to continue diplomatic resolution efforts.
    • Proposal 9: The parties shall continue consultations (with the involvement of other guarantor-states) to prepare and agree on the provisions of a Treaty on Security Guarantees for Ukraine, ceasefire modalities, the withdrawal of troops and other paramilitary formations, and the opening and ensuring of safe-functioning humanitarian corridors on an ongoing basis, as well as the exchange of dead bodies and the release of prisoners of war and interned civilians.
    • Proposal 10: The parties consider it possible to hold a meeting between the presidents of Ukraine and Russia for the purpose of signing a treaty and/or adopting political decisions regarding other remaining unresolved issues.

Russian Federation

According to a BBC interview with Turkish facilitators, President Putin raised the following key points in a telephone conversation with President Erdogan:

    • Permanent neutrality of Ukraine that excludes NATO membership;
    • Disarmament of Ukraine to the point that it poses no threat to the Russian Federation;
    • Better provision for Russian-language speakers in Ukraine
    • De-nazification;
    • Addressing Luhansk and Donetsk (presumably recognition of their independence);
    • Acceptance that Crimea is part of the Russian Federation.

Narrative chronology

24 February 2022

28 February 2022

  • Ukrainian and Russian officials agreed to meet for talks at a venue on the Belarusian border with Ukraine, which was coordinated in a call by President Alexander Lukashenko to President Zelensky on 27 February.
  • The office of President Zelensky reported in the morning that: “The delegation included Head of the Servant of the People faction Davyd Arakhamia, Minister of Defense of Ukraine Oleksiy Reznikov, Adviser to the Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Mykhailo Podoliak, First Deputy Head of the Ukrainian Delegation to the TCG Andriy Kostin, MP Rustem Umerov and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Mykola Tochytskyi.” According to Zelensky’s office, “The key issue of the talks is an immediate ceasefire and the withdrawal of troops from Ukraine”.
  • The talks concluded without resolution of the conflict, but “[a] decision was made to immediately hold additional consultations in the capitals of the states. After that, the second round of negotiations of Ukrainian and Russian parties is to take place in the near future”.
  • Later the same day, Zelensky appealed to the EU for immediate accession and signed Ukraine’s application for EU membership
  • In a speech, Zelesky stated: “Europeans are aware that our soldiers are fighting for our country and, consequently, for the whole of Europe. For peace for all European countries, for the lives of children, for equality, for democracy. And this gives us the full right to do the following. We appeal to the European Union for Ukraine’s immediate accession under a new special procedure…I am confident that is fair. I am confident we deserve it. I am confident that all this is possible.”
  • Regarding the prospect of subsequent talks, Zelensky said: “I do not yet feel the specifics from this composition and this first meeting. The only thing is that there is one percent that they will be able to meet again and talk about certain steps forward.” The President stressed the need for ‘a complete ceasefire’ before entering into a dialogue, saying, “But to take steps forward, someone needs to take steps towards each other.”

3 March 2022

  • Agreement was reached as to the “joint provision of humanitarian corridors for the evacuation of civilians, as well as for the delivery of medicines and food to the places of the fiercest fighting with the possibility of temporary ceasefire for the period of evacuation in the sectors where it takes place. Not everywhere, but only in those places where there are humanitarian corridors, there may be a ceasefire during the evacuation”, per the Ukrainian President’s Office.
  • Simultaneously, President Putin told French President Emmanuel Macron that the “tasks of the special military operation will be fulfilled in any event”, according to a Kremlin translation reported by Reuters.
  • Talks concluded with expectation of a third round of talks to follow.

7 March 2022

  • During the third round of talks in Belarus, the delegations “clarified the details of the functioning of humanitarian corridors to provide more effective assistance to people in the cities most affected by the Russian shelling”, per the Ukrainian President’s Office.
  • “We have received some positive results in terms of logistics of humanitarian corridors. They will be amended, and we will receive more effective assistance to people who are currently suffering from the aggression of the Russian Federation”, said Mykhailo Podoliak, Adviser to the Head of the President’s Office.
  • Intensive consultations will be continued on the basic, political bloc of settlement, in particular on the ceasefire and security guarantees.
  • Reuters reported on 11 March that Russian officials, including President Putin, believed that ‘some progress’ had been made on peace talks:
    • Putin said: “There are certain positive shifts, negotiators on our side tell me”.
    • Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov said: “The Kremlin said on Friday the conflict in Ukraine would end when the West took action over Russia’s repeatedly raised concerns about the killing of civilians in eastern Ukraine and NATO enlargement eastwards. ‘We need to find a resolution to these two questions. Russia formulated concrete demands to Ukraine to resolve those questions.”

14 March 2022

  • As a result of the fourth round of talks, “In Ukraine, 10 humanitarian corridors will be opened on March 14 at 9:00 am to evacuate people from settlements affected by shelling by the Russian army”. This was announced by Deputy Prime Minister.

21 March 2022

  • For the fifth round of talks, Ukraine aimed to reach an agreement to end the armed aggression and for withdrawal of Russian troops, according to the Head of the President’s Office Andriy Yermak during a video meeting at the Royal Institute of International Affairs Chatham House (UK). Yermak said: “I hope that these agreements will primarily provide for a ceasefire, withdrawal of Russian troops to the territory of February 23, 2022, as well as consultations and talks on other issues on the return of our territories, the return of full control over the territories within the internationally recognized borders to the Ukrainian authorities.”

29 March 2022

  • In advance of the sixth round of talks, Russia announced that: “a draft presidential decree is being developed on retaliatory visa measures in connection with the unfriendly actions of a number of foreign states”, per Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. “This act will introduce a number of restrictions on entry into the territory of Russia. And at the same time, in order to prevent a threat to the life and health of citizens of third countries and stateless persons who ended up on the territory of Ukraine, the procedure for entering and staying on the territory of Russia was facilitated for them to safely return to their countries of citizenship.”
  • Also leading up to this round of talks, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said he had instructed his deputy for humanitarian affairs, Martin Griffiths, to explore the possibility of a ceasefire in Ukraine to provide humanitarian assistance.
  • In a speech concurrent to negotiations, President Zelensky said: “The situation has not become easier. The scale of the challenges has not diminished. The Russian army still has significant potential to continue attacks against our state. They still have a lot of equipment and enough people completely deprived of rights whom they can send to the cauldron of war. Therefore, we stay alert and do not reduce our defense efforts…It is on this basis that I consider the messages on the negotiation process, which is underway at various levels with representatives of the Russian Federation. The enemy is still in our territory. The shelling of our cities continues. Mariupol is blocked. Missile and air strikes do not stop. This is the reality. These are the facts.” He continued: “Yes, we can call positive the signals we hear from the negotiating platform. But these signals do not silence the explosion of Russian shells…Of course, Ukraine is willing to negotiate and will continue the negotiation process. To the extent that really depends on us. We expect to get the result. There must be real security for us, for our state, for sovereignty, for our people. Russian troops must leave the occupied territories. Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity must be guaranteed. There can be no compromise on sovereignty and our territorial integrity. And there will not be any.”
  • NYT reported of these talks that:
    • “Ukrainian officials said their country was ready to declare itself permanently neutral — forsaking the prospect of joining NATO, a key Russian demand — and discuss Russian territorial claims in exchange for ‘security guarantees’ from a group of other nations. An aide to Ukraine’s president called the Russian delegation ‘constructive’, while Russia said it would ‘drastically’ scale back its military activity around Kyiv to ‘increase mutual trust'”.
    • “Russian officials said, the goal will be to take more territory in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region, where Russia has installed two separatist statelets that President Vladimir V. Putin recognized last month as independent, but that no other nation has formally acknowledged”.
    • President Biden said he would not draw any conclusions about Russia’s intentions “until I see what their actions are”. Speaking after a White House meeting with the Prime Minister of Singapore, Mr. Biden added, “We’ll see if they follow through with what they are suggesting…In the meantime…we’re going to continue to keep strong the sanctions and will continue to provide the Ukrainian military with the capacity to defend themselves.”

3 April 2022

  • Despite periodic talks between Russia and Ukraine, their positions on the status of Crimea and Eastern Donbas regions remain unchanged. According to Reuters, Russia’s chief negotiator, Valdimir Medinsky, asserted that Ukraine had agreed it would be neutral, not have nuclear weapons, not join a military bloc and refuse to host military bases. However, the two were still split on the question of territory.

4 April 2022

  • President Zelensky stated during a conversation in Bucha with Ukrainian and international journalists that “peace in Ukraine is impossible without victory, and victory can be achieved through diplomacy in parallel with the fighting of the Ukrainian army.” He continued: “Every day, when our troops come in and deoccupy certain territories, you see what is happening. It’s very difficult to talk when you see what they’ve done here. Every day people are found there in barrels, in cellars, strangled, tortured. Therefore, we believe that if they have something to think with, they need to think faster…We strive for peace, we deserve it. And these people showed it, and the Armed Forces showed it. Peace is impossible without victory. Victory can be achieved in a diplomatic format in parallel with the fighting steps of our army. Our army demonstrates its fighting steps on a daily basis, but it is not easy. We do not want to lose millions of people. That is why there should be dialogue.”

12 April 2022

  • There has been little progress in peace talks since the face-to-face meetings in Istanbul. Putin stated that they were at a “dead end” following Ukraine’s allegations of war crimes. In a report from Bloomberg, Ukraine is yet to receive an official response from Russia on its proposals at the peace talks in Istanbul.

15 April 2022

  • Nine humanitarian corridors allowing for the evacuation of civilians, including a route from the city of Mariupol, have been confirmed by Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister, Iryna Vereshchuk.

17 April 2022

  • The situation in Mariupol could lead to peace talks being scrapped according to the Ukrainian President. In a video address he stated, “The elimination of our troops, of our men [in Mariupol] will put an end to any negotiations.” The Ukrainian Foreign Minister, Dmytro Kuleba, echoed the sentiment in an interview with CBS.
  • Roman Abramovich travelled to Kyiv in an attempt to revive peace talks between Russia and Ukraine. The Russian billionaire, with longstanding ties to the Russian President, has been acting as an informal mediator since the war began following a request for his involvement by the Ukrainian President.

21 April 2022

  • Ukraine has repeatedly asserted its willingness to negotiate with the Russians in Mariupol, offering the exchange of Russian prisoners for the safe passage of troops and civilians from the region. Ukrainian negotiator, Mykhalio Podolyak, stated that Ukraine would conduct these talks “without any conditions,” in a bid to “save our guys.” Ukrainian officials say that evacuations from Mariupol through agreed humanitarian corridors have been halted due to Russian shelling. President Zelensky says that 120,000 civilians are trapped in Mariupol.
  • Putin ordered the Russian military to cancel its plans to take over the Mariupol Steel Plant where the last remaining Ukrainian troops are based.
  • While the two sides announced an intention to exchange draft peace proposals in March, the Ukrainian President denies receiving any draft of a peace proposal from the Kremlin. Talks appear to have stalled.

22 April 2022

25 April 2022

  • In an interview with Russia Channel 1 TV, Lavrov warns the West not to underestimate the risk of nuclear conflict over Ukraine. He asserts that NATO is, “in essence,” engaged in a proxy war with Russia by supplying Ukraine with weaponry. Russia’s Foreign Minister reinforced that negotiations with Ukraine would continue despite their belief that “the Kyiv government’s position is set in Washington and other Western capitals.”

26 April 2022

  • António Guterres meets directly with Vladimir Putin and Sergey Lavrov to discuss proposals for humanitarian assistance and the opening of ‘safe corridors’ to facilitate evacuations conflict zones, particularly Mariupol. Russia agrees ‘in principle.’ This would take the form of a Humanitarian Contact Group, comprising Russia, Ukraine, and the UN “with local cessations of hostilities, and to guarantee that they are actually effective.”
  • Following the meeting Guterres reported that, “it is clear that there are two different positions on what is happening in Ukraine.” He reinforced UN calls for political dialogue towards a solution but acknowledged that this has so far not happened.
  • Putin expresses willingness to engage in a diplomatic settlement: “I would like to inform you that although the military operation is underway, we are still hoping to reach an agreement on the diplomatic track. We are conducting talks. We have not abandoned them.” A full statement of the President’s address to Guterres can be read here.
  • Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, holds a call with Putin emphasizing the importance of Russia and Ukraine continuing high-level talks like those hosted in Istanbul a month earlier. He proposes that the next talks be held at the “leader level,” between Putin and Zelensky directly.

27 April 2022

  • UK Foreign Secretary, Liz Truss, calls for further support from Western allies for Ukraine’s war effort in order to ‘push Russia out of the whole of Ukraine’.

28 April 2022

  • UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, visits Kyiv, condemning the ‘evil’ war and urging Russia to cooperate with the ICC investigation. Heavy Russian bombardment continues during Guterres’ visit. Hailed by Time as the ‘the boldest attack on the capital since Moscow’s forces retreated weeks ago.’
  • Karim Khan, Chief Prosecutor at the ICC, states that he favours neither Russia nor Ukraine in the search for the truth.

2 May 2022

  • There is growing speculation amongst US and Western officials that Russia could formally declare war on Ukraine on 9 May, drawing on the national significance of the day to facilitate a mass mobilisation. The Kremlin has dismissed these suggestions as ‘nonsense’, and continues to refer to the offensive as a ‘special military operation’ aimed at ‘denazification’.

3 May 2022

  • In a speech delivered to the Ukrainian Parliament, the UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, stated that there should be no peace settlement against the will of the Ukrainian people and gave support to the view that Ukraine could aim to win the war.

6 May 2022

  • The evacuation of civilians from the Azvostal Steel Works continues as Russia agrees to implement a three-day ceasefire. However, Ukraine claims that Russian forces have breached the perimeter of the budling, which has become the epicentre of the battle for Mariupol.
  • Speaking at an online forum for Chatham House, Volodymyr Zelensky says that not all diplomatic bridges are broken between the two countries. He asserts that Russia must first fall back to the territory it held before 23 February if peace talks are to succeed.

9 May 2022

  • During Victory Day celebrations in Russia, President Putin defends the decision to send Russian forces into Ukraine but makes no new announcements on the conduct of the conflict.
  • In his speech on Europe Day, French President, Emmanuel Macron, states that it will take decades for Ukraine to join the European Union and proposes an alternative plan for a closer relationship with the European short of full membership based on a new ‘European Political Community’.

11 May 2022

  • UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, agrees to mutual security guarantees with Finland and Sweden, committing the United Kingdom to offer military assistance in the event of an invasion.

12 May 2022

16 May 2022

  • President Putin warns that Russia would respond if Sweden and Finland pursue NATO membership. Speaking to a summit of leaders in the Kremlin, he stated that “the expansion of military infrastructure to this territory will produce our response.”

17 May 2022

  • The ICC Prosecutor announces the largest field deployment of forensics and investigative teams to Ukraine.

18 May 2022

  • Final surrender of Ukrainians at the Azvostal steel plant marks the fall of Mariupol to Russian troops. Ukraine is keen to conduct a prisoner exchange for those captured.
  • Finland and Sweden formally submit a joint bid for membership of NATO, breaking their historical neutrality. This marks a significant shift in Europe’s security balance, particularly since Finland shares a border with Russia.
  • On peace talks, both Ukrainian and Russian officials appear to indicate that they have stagnated. The Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Andrei Rudenko, states that Kyiv has “practically withdrawn from the negotiation process.” The presidential advisor in Ukraine, Mykhailio Podolyak, asserted that talks were “on hold”.

20 May 2022

  • Italy presents a four-point peace plan for the end of the conflict in Ukraine to the UN Secretary General:
    • Point one refers to a ceasefire and the demilitarisation of the front lines
    • Point two is that Ukraine would be a neutral country, with security to be determined via a peace conference.
    • Point three is a bilateral agreement between Russia and the Ukraine to clarify the territorial aspects of contention, Crimea and Donbas, as well as dealing with cultural and language rights and guaranteeing free movement of people, goods and capital. It suggests that these regions have near-complete autonomy but as a part of Ukraine.
    • Point four proposes a multilateral peace agreement between the European Union and Russia, whereby the withdrawal of Russian troops

21 May 2022

  • President Zelensky asserts that the war with Russia can only be definitively resolved through “diplomacy” at the negotiating table.

22 May 2022

  • The Ukrainian government hardens its position and asserts that it will not accept a ceasefire deal with Russia that involves giving up territory. According to Ukrainian Presidential adviser, Mykhaylo Podolyak, such concessions would enable Moscow to commence a larger and bloodier offensive in the long term.

25 May 2022

  • President Zelensky gives a strongly-worded online address rejecting any suggestion that Ukraine should offer territorial concessions to end the war with Russia. This is partly in response to the suggestion by Henry Kissinger at the World Economic Forum in Davos that Ukraine should let Russia keep Crimea, following its annexation in 2014.

26 May 2022

  • Sergei Lavrov dismisses the peace plan proposed by Italy, with a spokeswoman for the Russian foreign ministry deeming it a ‘fantasy’. Maria Zakharova said, “You can’t supply Ukraine with weapons with one hand and come up with plans for a peaceful resolution of the situation with the other.”

28 May 2022

  • In a conversation with Vladimir Putin, Emmanuel Macron and Olaf Scholz urged that Russia holds “direct serious negotiations” with Zelensky. However, the Russian leader warned that the continued delivery of western weapons to Ukraine threatened these negotiations and “risked further destabilization of the situation”.
  • Hopes for diplomacy have waned in recent weeks as a sentiment emerges amongst Ukrainians that agreeing to a negotiated settlement would give time to Russia to regroup ahead of further attacks.

4 June 2022

  • David Arakhamia, a Ukrainian negotiator, stated that negotiations with Russia can only continue once Ukraine’s position is “strengthened” by the supply of advanced weaponry from Western allies. He describes the current state of peace talks with Russia as a case of “one step forward, two steps back.”

7 June 2022

  • Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov arrives in Turkey for talks to unblock grain exports from Ukraine amid a pending global food crisis. The negotiations, mediated by Turkey, seek the opening of a security corridor to ship Ukrainian grain.
  • The Russian Parliament votes to exit the European Court of Human Rights.
  • The Associated Press reports that in a news conference on Monday, Zelensky stated that peace talks with Russia were currently at ‘level zero’.

8 June 2022

  • Turkish and Russian foreign ministers fail to reach a breakthrough in talks on the shipping of grain and seed stuck in Ukraine’s Black Sea ports. UN Secretary General, António Guterres, stated that the UN is pursuing a deal that would allow grain exports from Ukraine through the Black Sea and unimpeded access to world markets.
  • The remains of 50 dead soldiers were exchanged by both sides, making a total of 210 exchanged since the beginning of June 2022.

9 June 2022

  • Two UK citizens and a Morrocan citizen were sentenced to death by a court in the self-proclaimed republic of Donetsk for being mercenaries.

10 June 2022

  • Representatives of the UK Government and the United Nations condemn the death sentences imposed on UK citizens for being mercenaries by a court in Donetsk.

11 June 2022

  • In an unannounced visit to Kyiv, European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, praised the progress made on Ukraine’s bid to join the European Union and discussed funding for reconstruction of Ukraine. She stated that her executive would finalise its opinion “by the end of next week” on whether Ukraine should be a candidate country to join the EU.

13 June 2022

  • Amnesty International releases a report on indiscriminate attacks by Russian forces, calling for justice processes to be as comprehensive as possible.

14 June 2022

  • The remains of 64 Ukrainian soldiers who died in the Mariupol steel plant and of 56 Russian soldiers have been repatriated in a third exchange of bodies between the parties.

16 June 2022

  • The leaders of France, Germany and Italy held meetings in Kiev with President Zelensky to smooth tensions over what the Ukrainian President has called ‘lukewarm support’ for the defence of Ukraine
  • In an interview with the BBC, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov addressed the reasons for Russia’s ‘special military operation’ in Ukraine stating that: “We declared a special military operation because we had absolutely no other way of explaining to the West that dragging Ukraine into NATO was a criminal act”. The full interview and an edited transcript are available. In another interview with TASS, Lavrov stated that Russia was satisfied with Ukraine’s negotiating position in late March ‘as a basis for further work’.

17 June 2022

  • The European Commission endorsed Ukraine’s bid to become a candidate for membership in the EU. EC President, Ursula von der Leyen, noted that further work needs to be done including reforms on rule of law, oligarchs, human rights and tackling corruption. The Commission also recommended Moldova, while making Georgia’s candidacy subject to a number of priority reforms.
  • UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, made a surprise visit to Ukraine to express the UK’s continued support for the Ukrainian war effort and to commit to further military aid. His statement at the press conference is available on the government website.
  • During an interview, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz stated that it is absolutely necessary to continue talking to President Putin and to maintain that “there will be no dictate(d) peace” and that withdrawal of troops from Ukrainian territory is a necessary condition.

18 June 2022

  • Five Ukrainian civilians were exchanged in an agreed swap for five Russians.
  • Kyiv’s chief negotiator, David Arakhamia, stated in an interview with Voice of America that Ukraine plans to resume peace talks with Russia by August when it will be in a better position to negotiate.

20 June 2022

  • President Zelenskiy stated that Ukraine was engaged in ‘complex negotiations’ to free ports from a Russian blockade that continues to block grain exports. Josep Borrell, the EU’s foreign policy chief, described the blockade as a ‘real war crime’. Russia denies responsibility for the food crisis and blames Western sanctions.

21 June 2022

  • On a visit to Ukraine, US Attorney-General Merrick Garland announced the launch of a War Crimes Accountability Team, led by Eli Rosenbaum, to “centralize and strengthen the Justice Department’s ongoing work to hold accountable those who have committed war crimes and other atrocities in Ukraine” and to “play an integral role in the Department’s ongoing investigation of potential war crimes over which the U.S. possesses jurisdiction”.

23 June 2022

  • In an expedited process, EU leaders approved Ukraine’s candidate status for joining the European Union along with Moldova.

26 June 2022

  • Canadian legislation has been passed that grants new powers to seize and sell off frozen assets owned by individuals and entities on the Canadian sanctions list. The current policy is to use the seized assets to assist victims of the conflict.

27 June 2022

28 June 2022

  • Turkey agrees to lift objections to Finland and Sweden joining NATO in return for commitments on arms exports, fighting terrorism and extradition requests.
  • G7 Leaders issue a final communique of its June 2022 Summit that reiterates its support for Ukraine, and sets out commitments to boost military aid and introduce measures to counteract the effects of the Ukraine conflict.

29 June 2022

  • US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, in an interview with NPR states that Putin has been unwilling to engage in Ukraine talks. He stated that: “When a negotiating table does emerge, which at some point it will, they [Ukraine] have the strongest possible hand to play at the negotiating table”
  • NATO unveils a new Strategic Concept that identifies Russia as its most significant and direct threat and an independent Ukraine as vital for the stability of the Euro-Atlantic area. China is also identified for its coercive policies and partnership with Russia as a challenge to NATO interests and values. In the Madrid Statement, NATO also sets out its commitment to “step up political and practical support to our close partner Ukraine”.
  • Ukraine announces agreement of the largest prisoner exchange of the conflict so far, including 144 soldiers, dozens of whom had defended Mariupol.

30 June 2022

  • The Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that it has severed diplomatic relations with Syria following the country’s official recognition of the separatist Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics within Ukraine’s borders.
  • The European Court of Human Rights has issued interim measures instructing Russia to hold off from carrying out the capital punishment imposed against two British citizens for alleged mercenary activity.

2 July 2022

  • Ukraine chief negotiator, Mykhailo Podolyak claims that recent Russian attacks on residential areas are part of a deliberate strategy by Russia to force Ukraine to the negotiating table.

5 July 2022

  • NATO formally begins the process for Sweden and Finland to join the alliance, with members signing the protocols of accession.

8 July 2022

  • President Vladimir Putin stated that Russia had barely started its military campaign in Ukraine. He insisted that, “at the same time, we don’t reject peace talks. But those who reject them should know that the further it goes, the harder it will be for them to negotiate with us.”

9 July 2022

  • In an interview with CNN, Zelensky stated that Ukraine will not cede territory for peace with Russia.

11 July 2022

  • European countries are concerned that the upcoming outage of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline for annual maintenance will be extended due to the conflict. If Russia uses the opportunity to completely cut off gas supply, this may spark rationing and chaos across the Continent. Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, dismissed claims that Russia would use oil and gas to exert political pressure.

13 July 2022

  • Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine’s foreign minister, stated that “there is nothing to discuss” on the subject of peace talks with Russia: “Currently, there are no talks between Russia and Ukraine, because of the position of Russia and its continued aggression against our country.” He added: “The objective of Ukraine in this war … is to liberate our territories, restore our territorial sovereignty in the east and south of Ukraine … this is the end point of our negotiating position.”

14 July 2022

  • Turkey has announced a deal, to be signed next week, for Ukraine to recommence the export of grain through Black Sea ports after talks between Ukraine, Russia, Turkey, and the UN. Antonio Guterres said the talks amounted to a “critical step forward.”
  • 45 countries signed a political declaration at The Hague to coordinate investigations into alleged war crimes in Ukraine.

15 July 2022

  • A senior Russian official said Moscow would respond positively if Kyiv is ready to resume peace negotiations, but Ukraine must accept “territorial realities”.
  • Mykhailo Podolyak, head of Ukraine’s negotiating team, said that Russian forces were attacking Ukrainian cities to enforce “peace at any price”.

22 July 2022

1 August 2022

  • The Black Sea Grain Initiative facilitates the departure of the first commercial ship to leave Odessa since 26 February 2022. Implementation of the agreement is being coordinated and monitored by the Joint Coordination Centre (JCC).

7 August 2022

  • President Zelensky warns Russia that Ukraine will rule out peace talks if referendums are held in separatist-held territories in the Donbas region.

19 August 2022

  • In a statement, President Putin announces that he has agreed to provide UN investigators with “the necessary assistance” to access the Zaporizhzhia nuclear site. However, Russia continues to reject calls for demilitarisation of the site.

22 August 2022

  • Russia’s permanent representative to the UN in Geneva, Gennady Gatilov, stated that, while the two sides were ‘very close’ to reaching an agreement in April 2022, the United States and NATO pushed Ukraine to reject the deal. Now, Gatilov does “not see any possibility for diplomatic contacts” and “the more the conflict goes on, the more difficult it will be to have a diplomatic solution”.

23 August 2022

  • A Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights expressed concern at “reports that the Russian Federation and affiliated armed groups in Donetsk are planning – possibly in the coming days – to try Ukrainian prisoners of war in what is being labelled an ‘international tribunal’ in Mariupol”.

27 August 2022

  • Former Russian President, Dmitry Medvedev, stated that Moscow would not stop its military campaign in Ukraine even if Kyiv formally renounced its aspirations to join NATO.

1 September 2022

  • A technical mission of the International Atomic Energy Agency made its first inspection of the Russian-held Zaporizhzhia power plant in Ukraine and will maintain a presence at the site.

6 September 2022

  • According to Ukrainian officials, while Ukraine is seeking to establish a criminal tribunal to try President Putin and his ‘inner circle’ for the crime of aggression, its allies remain reluctant to support such a venture with a view to future diplomatic relations with Russia.

7 September 2022

  • The UN Secretary-General has called for a demilitarised zone around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant. It would involve the withdrawal of Russian troops and a commitment by Ukraine to keep its forces outside the zone. President Zelensky offered qualified support and suggested a UN peacekeeping force.
  • President Putin threatened to withdraw from the Black Sea Grain Deal because “grain leaving Ukraine was being exported not to poor countries, but instead to the EU”.

14 September 2022

  • Reports have emerged that, prior to the ‘special military operation’ in Ukraine, President Putin rejected a potential deal with Ukraine “to satisfy Russia’s demand that Ukraine stay out of NATO” with a view towards achieving territorial annexations. Kremlin officials have denied this.

16 September 2022

  • While attending a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Uzbekistan, President Putin vows to “press his attack on Ukraine” despite the recent success of Ukrainian counterattacks. He maintains that “the ‘liberation’ of Ukraine’s entire eastern Donbas region remained Russia’s main military goal and that he sees no need to revise it”.
  • During the SCO summit, India and China expressed concerns to President Putin about the ongoing conflict. This was the first in-person meeting between Presidents Putin and Xi Jinping since the invasion.

20 September 2022

  • Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, stated that his impression from recent talks with President Putin was that “he wanted to end this as soon as possible”. President Erdogan continues to call for a peaceful settlement of the conflict and pointed to an agreement between Russia and Ukraine to exchange around 200 hostages as a ‘significant step’.
  • Four occupied separatist territories within Ukraine announce plans to hold urgent referendums on joining Russia. The Ukrainian foreign minister stated that these “sham ‘referendums’ will not change anything” and the President’s office suggested that they would destroy the possibility of peace talks. Western states have responded by dismissing these plans as ‘illegitimate’.

21 September 2022

  • President Putin ordered a partial military mobilisation of reservists to bolster Russian forces in Ukraine and threatened to “use all available means at his disposal” to protect Russia.
  • European countries, except for Hungary, have requested the UN Human Rights Council to appoint a “special rapporteur or independent monitor to ‘collect, examine and assess’ information on the situation within Russia and produce a report for the council in a year”.

22 September 2022

  • After Putin’s threats to “use all available means”, the UN Secretary-General has stated that consideration of nuclear conflict is ‘totally unacceptable’ and expressed deep concerns over plans to organise ‘referendums’ in occupied areas of Ukraine. He reiterated that: “Any annexation of a State’s territory by another State resulting from the threat or use of force is a violation of the United Nations Charter and of international law”.

23 September 2022

  • Voting began in four occupied regions to decide on whether to join the Russian Federation. There are allegations of coercion. In a statement, G7 Leaders have “strongly condemn[ed] the sham referenda”.

27 September 2022

  • Russia has claimed that the results of the so-called ‘referendums’ held in four occupied Ukrainian regions support Russian annexation.
  • States supporting the Ukraine’s war effort have made statements condemning the ‘sham referendums’. A spokesman for the Foreign Ministry of Kazakhstan, a close ally of the Russian Federation, has also stated that his country will not recognize the results. The Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, warned that the referendums complicate efforts at a diplomatic solution.
  • The United States has proposed a resolution to the UN Security Council condemning Russia over the so-called referendums. The US Ambassador to the United Nations said that the US would bring the vote to the UN General Assembly if Russia “chooses to shield itself from accountability”.

30 September 2022

  • Russia vetoes a UN Security Council resolution condemning its annexation of four Ukrainian regions after ‘sham referendums’. Brazil, China, Gabon and India abstained from voting.
  • In response to the annexation, President Zelensky announced that the Ukraine will submit an accelerated application to join NATO. He has also stated that “Ukraine will not conduct any negotiations with Russia as long as Putin is the president of the Russian Federation”.
  • President Putin has signed an accord that annexes four occupied regions of Ukraine in response to alleged ‘referendum’ results. Putin also vowed to “protect out lands using all available means” and invited the Ukraine back to negotiations to agree a ceasefire.

4 October 2022

  • President Zelensky signed a decree that leaves room for peace talks in the future, but states that negotiations with the Kremlin, while President Putin remains in office, are ‘impossible’.

7 October 2022

  • The UN Human Rights Council has voted to appoint a special rapporteur to investigate alleged human rights abuses in the Russian Federation. This is the first time that the Human Rights Council has mandated a special rapporteur to investigate a permanent member of the UN Security Council.

10 October 2022

  • Following the sabotage attack on the Kerch Bridge in Crimea, Belarus has agreed to form a joint military task force with the Russian Federation to be deployed on the Belarussian border with Ukraine. President Lukashenko stated that this was in response to “planned strikes on the territory of Belarus” by Ukraine. The force poses a direct threat to the Ukrainian capital, Kiev.

11 October 2022

  • At a G7 Summit, President Zelensky stated that there were no plans to mount attacks against the territory of Belarus. To “completely remove this provocation”, Zelensky offered to establish a “mission of international observers” to monitor security situation at the border.

12 October 2022

  • The UN General Assembly voted overwhelming to pass a resolution condemning the illegal annexation of the eastern Ukrainian regions of Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson. 143 countries voted in favour of the resolution and 35 states abstained, including China and India.

19 October 2022

  • President Putin signed an order imposing martial law in the recently annexed regions of Ukraine, granting the governors of those regions emergency powers.

20 October 2022

  • The Black Sea Grain Deal is due to expire in a month and negotiations on its extension are ongoing. Russia’s Ambassador to the UN, Gennady Gatilov, stated that “I wouldn’t say that much has been achieved as a result of the latest consultations. The dialogue is continuing”. Russia is concerned that Western sanctions are “hamstringing its own exports of grain and fertilizer, even to poor countries that need the supplies”.

25 October 2022

  • The Progressive Caucus of the Democratic Party has withdrawn a letter to the White House that ‘questions President Biden’s Ukraine policy’ and urges contact with Russia to help initiate settlement negotiations.

29 October 2022

  • Russia has officially suspended its participation in the Black Sea Grain Deal after accusing Ukraine of launching a massive drone attack on its naval fleet in the Crimea, with the alleged involvement of British troops.

2 November 2022

  • Russia has resumed participation in the Black Sea Grain Deal, allowing the export of grain from Ukraine through a humanitarian corridor in the Black Sea.
  • The UN Security Council has overwhelmingly rejected a draft Russian resolution to establish a commission of inquiry into “claims that Ukraine and the United States are carrying out ‘military biological’ activities that violate the convention prohibiting the use of biological weapons”.

6 November 2022

  • According to unnamed sources, the Washington Post reported that the US is privately encouraging Ukraine to be open to peace talks.

7 November 2022

  • Top security advisor to the United States, Jake Sullivan, has been engaged in confidential discussions with Russian counterparts concerning the containment of the war, and against the use of weapons of mass destruction.

8 November 2022

  • President Zelensky has softened the Ukraine’s stance on negotiation with Russia stating that he is open to peace talks on Ukraine’s terms. His conditions for dialogue included the return of all occupied territories, compensation for war damage and prosecution of war crimes.

10 November 2022

  • Amnesty International accuses Russia of committing war crimes and potentially crimes against humanity by forcibly transferring and deporting civilians from Ukraine.

12 November 2022

  • Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Sergei Vershinin, stated that negotiations on extension of the Black Sea Grain Deal will need to continue. Russia insists on unhindered access of its food and fertilizer products to world markets. The deal is due to expire on 19 November.

13 November 2022

  • In an interview at the G20 Summit in Indonesia, US Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen, has said that it is likely that some sanctions against Russia would remain in place after any potential cessation of hostilities. “I suppose in the context of some peace agreement”, she said, “adjustment of sanctions is possible and could be appropriate”.

14 November 2022

  • The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on establishing an international compensation mechanism for damage, loss, and injury arising from the conflict, as well as a registry to document evidence and claims. 94 countries voted in favour, 14 were against, and 73 abstained.

15 November 2022

  • In a statement to the G20 Summit in Indonesia, President Zelensky outlined Ukraine’s 10-point proposal for peace. He stated: “It is not worth offering Ukraine compromises with conscience, sovereignty, territory and independence …. We will not allow Russia to wait, build up its forces, and then start a new series of terror and global destabilisation. There will be no Minsk-3, which Russia will violate immediately after the agreement.”
  • In response to President Zelensky’s 10-point proposal, Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, stated that “all the problems are on the Ukrainian side, which categorically refuses any negotiations and puts forward terms that are obviously unrealistic and inadequate.”

16 November 2022

  • The G20 Summit Leaders have agreed a joint declaration stating that “most members strongly condemns the war in Ukraine”, and reiterating UNGA Resolution ES-11/1 which “deplores in the strongest terms the aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine and demands its complete and unconditional withdrawal”.

23 November 2022

  • European Parliament has declared Russia a state sponsor of terrorism for committing war crimes and using means of terrorism. While it cannot officially make the designation, the Parliament calls on the EU and member states to set up appropriate legal frameworks to do so in order to further isolate Russia internationally, and to lay the groundwork for further sanctions.

30 November 2022

  • European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, stated that the EU would seek to establish a “specialised court, backed by the United Nations, to investigate and prosecute Russia’s crime of aggression”.

2 December 2022

  • Responding to President Biden’s statement that the West remains open to a diplomatic solution if Russia withdraws from Ukraine, the Kremlin stated that it remains open to negotiations on condition that the West recognises its recent annexations.

14 December 2022

  • The Kremlin has stated that it had not received any proposals for a Christmas ceasefire in Ukraine.

21 December 2022

  • President Putin announced a plan to expand and strengthen the Russian military “to bolster the forces that have lost momentum and many soldiers in the war in Ukraine”.

22 December 2022

  • In a surprise visit to the United States, President Zelensky met with President Biden in the White House as a sign of solidarity. In an historic address to a joint sitting of the US Congress, President Zelensky appealed for a strengthening of the alliance and further military aid, and reiterated his commitment to the 10-point peace proposal announced at the G20 Summit. During the visit, President Biden announced a new US$1.8 billion military aid package which would include the Patriot air defence system.
  • According to a Wall Street Journal report, President Zelensky is expected to unveil a more detailed peace plan in February 2023 based on the 10-point proposals from his G20 address.
  • In response to President Zelensky’s visit to the US, the Kremlin has warned that increased military aid to the Ukraine would simply aggravate and prolong the conflict. President Putin also stated that “Russia wants an end to the war in Ukraine and that this would inevitably involve a diplomatic solution”, and he blamed Ukraine for refusing to engage in serious negotiations. President Putin used the term ‘war’, perhaps marking a departure from his ‘special military operation’ language.

27 December 2022

  • Peace talks remain unlikely in the near future according to a CNN report, despite statements by both sides that they remain open to negotiations. The Institute for the Study of War argues that “Putin’s discussions of negotiations have focused on putative discussions with the West rather than with Ukraine, and reflect his continual accusations that Ukraine is merely a Western pawn with no real agency’; and that Russia has ‘a deliberate information campaign aimed at misleading the West to push Ukraine into making preliminary concessions”.

28 December 2022

  • Reuters has issued an explainer on President Zelensky’s 10-point peace plan.

5 January 2023

  • Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, called for both sides to observe a Christmas truce. Seemingly in response, President Putin has ordered that a 36-hour ceasefire be implemented along the Ukrainian front line for Orthodox Christmas, but Ukraine remains sceptical and has refused to take part.
  • In a call with President Putin, President Erdogan of Turkey stated that peace efforts should be supported by a unilateral ceasefire and “a vision for a fair solution”.

6 January 2023

  • The Christmas truce declared by President Putin has been broken by exchange of artillery fire.

19 January 2023

20 January 2023

  • In the lead up to the second meeting of Western defence ministers at Germany’s Ramstein Airbase since the start of the war, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has joined other calls for a significant increase in arms supply, and particularly tanks, in support of Ukraine’s war effort, and the threat of renewed Russian offensives in the near future. Speaking on the side-lines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, he stated: “If we want a negotiated peaceful solution tomorrow we need to provide more weapons today.”
  • While agreement was reached at the Ramstein meeting of defence ministers for an enhanced package of arms supply to Ukraine, there was a failure to reach an agreement on the supply of tanks, particularly due to German resistance to the supply of German-made Leopard 2 battle tanks.

25 January 2023

  • An impasse on the supply of tanks has been resolved, with Germany announcing its intention to supply Leopard 2 battle tanks, and the United States announcing the supply of Abrams tanks after an initial refusal due to operational difficulty.

30 January 2023

  • Turkish Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, has suggested that Finland’s NATO bid may be approved before that of Sweden. Turkey accuses Sweden of failing to do enough to crack down on groups it considers to be ‘terrorist’, and President Erdogan has warned Sweden not to expect support after the burning of a copy of the Quran in protests outside the Turkish embassy in Sweden.

2 February 2023

  • The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, announced that a new International Center for the Prosecution of the Crime of Aggression in Ukraine would be established to collect evidence and would be embedded within the joint investigative team established last year by Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine.

3 February 2023

  • After the 24th Joint EU-Ukraine Summit, the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and President Zelensky released a joint statement reiterating the EU’s solidarity with Ukraine, and outlining steps to progress Ukraine’s candidacy for EU accession. While commending Ukraine’s progress to meet reform conditions, no fast track for membership was offered.

4 February 2023

  • Ukraine and Russia agreed another prisoner swap, which included 116 Ukrainians, as well as 63 Russians with certain special category prisoners, whose release was mediated by the United Arab Emirates.

6 February 2023

  • Former Israeli Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett, has remarked that he was involved in mediation attempts in the first weeks of the conflict and secured a promise from President Putin that he would not kill President Zelensky.

7 February 2023

  • nationwide survey by the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation suggests there is now widespread opposition to any negotiated peace settlement with President Putin. Only 8% of the Ukrainian population would be prepared to accept the ongoing Russian occupation of Crimea to end the war, and only 8.5% are still in favour of geopolitical neutrality for Ukraine.

20 February 2023

  • In a surprise visit to Ukraine on the eve of the anniversary of Russia’s invasion, US President Biden expressed “unwavering support” for Ukraine’s war effort. The White House released a statement to mark the occasion.

23 February 2023

  • On the eve of the anniversary of Russia’s invasion, the UN General Assembly has passed another resolution (141 in favour, 32 abstaining, 7 against) condemning Russia’s actions, demanding “that the Russian Federation immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw all of its military forces from the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders”, and calling “for a cessation of hostilities”.

24 February 2023

  • On the anniversary of Russia’s invasion, China has proposed a 12-point ‘peace plan’ which sets out China’s position on the ‘Ukraine crisis’. The document urges both sides to resume peace talks on the basis that “the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all countries must be effectively upheld”. However, it does not acknowledge “Russia’s violation of Ukrainian sovereignty”, and so fails to address the details of key issues relating to territory and withdrawal. Nevertheless, China’s position paper may signal a willingness for more countries to engage with a peace process in the second year of the conflict.
  • President Zelensky stated that he is open to China’s peace proposal and plans to meet with President Xi Jinping. “As far as I know, China respects historical integrity,” he said, adding: “Let’s work China on this point. Why not?” Nevertheless, he remains sceptical of negotiations with President Putin.
  • A spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry stated that Russia welcomes the peace plan and remains open to peace negotiations.

26 February 2023

  • In a press statement, the US State Department has reaffirmed that: “the United States does not and never will recognize Russia’s purported annexation of the peninsula. Crimea is Ukraine”. US National Security Adviser, Jake Sullivan, also stated that it was up to Ukraine to define the terms of any victory: “The critical thing right now is that they need to take back the territory in the South and the East that they are currently focused on, and we need to give them the tools to be able to do that.” Beyond that immediate goal, “[t]he question of Crimea, and the question of what happens down the road, is something that we will come to.”

28 February 2023

  • In a visit to Helsinki, NATO Secretary-General, Jens Stoltenberg, stated that Ukraine would join NATO in the long-term, but that the immediate goal was to ensure Ukraine’s independence.

4 March 2023

  • European Commission President, von der Leyen, announced the signing of a new agreement to establish the International Centre for the Prosecution of Crimes of Aggression against Ukraine through Eurojust.

13 March 2023

  • Russia has agreed to allow a short-term extension of the Black Sea Grain Deal for only 60 days. The Russian delegation continues to object to restrictions on Russian agricultural products.
  • The ICC is to issue its first arrest warrants in connection with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It will formally open to war crimes cases against Russian citizens accused of the mass abduction and deportation of Ukrainian children

15 March 2023

  • The Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine, set up at the request of the UN Human Rights Council, has released a report that sets out details of a “wide range” of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Russian troops, including indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks on civilian infrastructure, use of explosive weapons in populated areas, wilful killings of civilians, unlawful confinements, torture, rape, and unlawful transfers and deportations of children. The report also notes a “small number” of apparent violations by Ukrainian forces.

18 March 2023

  • The ICC has issued an arrest warrant for President Putin for his alleged responsibility in the abductions of children from Ukraine. This is the first time that an arrest warrant has been issued for a political leader of one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council.
  • The Black Sea Grain Deal has been extended, but there was initial uncertainty over the length of the extension period. Russia subsequently notified all parties that the extension is only for 60 days and that it will not consider another extension if its concerns over the export of Russian agricultural products are addressed.

20 March 2023

  • Chinese President, Xi Jinping, arrived in Moscow for a three-day state visit with President Putin to discuss China’s ‘position paper’ on Ukraine and to sign further agreements strengthening bilateral cooperation. The Chinese have also reached out to the Ukrainian Foreign Minister to urge talks on a political solution.

21 March 2023

  • According to President Zelenskiy, Kyiv suggested to China that it join the Ukrainian peace formula to end Russia’s war, but is still waiting on a response.

23 March 2023

  • A new joint needs assessment by the Ukraine Government, World Bank, European Commission, and United Nations, estimates reconstruction and recovery costs for Ukraine have increased to US $411 billion (equivalent of €383 billion).
  • Finland has signed off legislation that formalises its entry into NATO. Finland’s membership is expected to be ratified by Hungary and Turkey – while both remain obstacles to Sweden joining the alliance.

24 March 2023

  • Deputy Head of Russia’s Security Council, Dmitry Medvedev, stated that Russia wants to create demilitarised buffer zones around annexed territories, and that it may be necessary to capture more territory if these zones cannot be established.

25 March 2023

  • President Putin stated that Russia has agreed with Belarus to station nuclear weapons in its territory. He claimed that this was not contrary to nuclear non-proliferation treaties.

2 April 2023

  • As part of a counter-offensive plan, Oleksiy Danilov, the Secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defence Council, has set out the steps to be taken for Crimea, once it has been reclaimed from Russia.

4 April 2023

6 April 2023

  • In meeting with French President Macron and EC President von der Leyen, President Xi Jinping has stated that China’s top priority is to push for a ceasefire and to end the conflict in Ukraine, and that he is ready to speak with President Zelensky at the right moment.

8 April 2023

  • Brazilian President, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, has suggested that Ukraine should be willing to negotiate over Crimea for the sake of peace. Ukraine rejected this suggestion.

13 April 2023

  • Romania, Ukraine, and Moldova have signed cooperation agreements after a trilateral meeting in Bucharest on ways to strengthen security in the Black Sea region to counter threats posed by Russian aggression.
  • The Russian Foreign Ministry has stated that the Black Sea Grain Deal may be nearly over unless progress can be made to lift barriers ‘on payments, logistics and insurance’ for the shipment of Russian food and fertilizer exports.

15 April 2023

  • During a visit to China in which he is seeking to bring together a group of countries willing to broker peace in Ukraine, Brazilian President Lula told reporters in Beijing that ‘[t]he United States needs to stop encouraging war and start talking about peace; the European Union needs to start talking about peace so that we can convince Putin and Zelensky that peace is in the interest of everyone and that war is only interesting, for now, to the two of them’. In response, the White House criticised Brazil for parroting Russian and Chinese propaganda.

16 April 2023

  • In the lead up to Ukraine’s participation in the next NATO conference in July, President Zelensky has called for effective security guarantees for Ukraine from Western nations.

19 April 2023

  • Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, praised the framework proposed by China and endorsed by Brazil for ending the conflict in Ukraine. Lavrov stated that Russia is interested in ending the conflict as soon as possible, but he blamed the West for the lack of progress because it cannot accept the full integration of Crimea into Russian territory. The Ukraine foreign ministry criticised the Brazilian peace efforts for giving equal weight to the victim and the aggressor.

21 April 2023

  • After an historic visit to Kyiv, the first since the Russian invasion, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg invited Ukraine to the NATO summit in July and stated to reporters that all NATO members agree that Ukraine will eventually join the alliance. He did not offer a timeline, but said the focus now is on ensuring victory. President Zelensky described the visit as a ‘new chapter’ in Ukraine’s relations with NATO and said it was important that Ukraine receive a formal invitation to join and a timeline.

24 April 2023

  • After the Chinese Ambassador to France, Lu Shaye, made comments that cast doubt on sovereignty of former Soviet states, the Chinese foreign ministry clarified that “China respects the status of the former Soviet republics as sovereign countries after the Soviet Union’s dissolution.”
  • In a letter to President Putin, UN Secretary-General Guterres proposed a “way forward aimed at the improvement, extension and expansion” of the Black Sea Grain Deal. Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, stated that negotiations over the deal were at a deadlock.

26 April 2023

  • Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke to President Zelensky over the telephone for the first time since the invasion. According to the Chinese foreign ministry, Xi Jinping stated that “mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity is the political basis of China-Ukrainian relations” and that China’s “core position” on the Ukraine conflict is to “promote peace and talks.” According to President Zelensky, the Chinese President also expressed support for the Black Sea Grain initiative.

27 April 2023

  • President Putin signed an executive order giving residents in annexed territories a route to Russian citizenship. Those who do not take up Russian citizenship, or do not legalise their status, will potentially face deportation.

4 May 2023

  • At a speech in the Hague, President Zelensky renewed calls for an international tribunal to prosecute Russian war crimes, and particularly the crime of aggression. The speech comes at a time when international support for such a tribunal is growing.

6 May 2023

  • Despite the recent UN proposal, talks between Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the United Nations failed to reach an agreement on the continuation of the Black Sea Grain Initiative. The grain deal will officially end on 18 May and Russia is already refusing to authorise new shipments from Ukraine unless restrictions on payments, logistics, and insurance for its agricultural and fertilizer products are removed.

9 May 2023

  • In an interview with El Pais, UN Secretary-General stated that “At this moment peace is not possible in Ukraine. Both sides believe they can win.”

16 May 2023

  • Six African leaders, from Zambia, Senegal, the Republic of Congo, Uganda, Egypt, and South Africa, plan to send a peace mission to Ukraine and Russia as soon as possible to help find a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

17 May 2023

  • Agreement on extending the Black Sea Grain Initiative for another two months has been secured under the mediation of Turkey and the United Nations. Russia warned that this will be the last extension if its concerns on barriers to its food and fertilizer products are not resolved.
  • The Council of Europe agreed to establish a register of damage for Ukraine to facilitate a future compensation mechanism by recording evidence and claims information on any damage, loss or injury caused to individuals, entities and the Ukrainian state.

18 May 2023

  • Ukraine’s Foreign Minister, Dmytro Kuleba, told a visiting Chinese Envoy that Ukraine would not accept any peace proposal that involves loss of territory or freezing the conflict.

19 May 2023

  • President Zelenskyy made a surprise visit to an Arab League Summit to seek broader support for Ukraine’s peace plan amongst countries that have refrained from condemning Russia’s actions. The Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, expressed his willingness to act as mediator.

21 May 2023

  • At a summit in Hiroshima, G7 Leaders ‘pledged new steps to choke off Russia’s ability to finance and fuel its war, and vowed in a dedicated statement to ramp up coordination on their economic security – a thinly veiled warning from members against what they see as the weaponization of trade from China, and also Russia.’ In response, China’s foreign ministry accused G7 Leaders of hindering international peace and security.

26 May 2023

  • In a meeting with China’s Special Envoy, Li Hui, in Moscow, Russia’s Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, stated that there were “serious obstacles” to resuming peace talks. During the visit, the Wall Street Journal reported that China has been urging European governments to sign onto a peace deal for the war in Ukraine that would grant Moscow possession of Ukrainian territories it currently occupies.

30 May 2023

  • An adviser to the Office of the President of Ukraine stated that a demilitarised zone should be a ‘key topic’ in any post-conflict settlement. According to Mykhailo Podolyak, “[t]o ensure real security for residents of Kharkiv, Chernihiv, Sumy, Zaporizhzhia, Luhansk, and Donetsk regions and protect them from shelling, it will be necessary to introduce a demilitarisation zone of 100-120km.” This zone would require “a mandatory international control contingent at the first stage.”

30 May 2023

  • In a wide-ranging speech at an EU Leaders’ Conference in Bratislava, French President Macron set out plans to fast-track EU enlargement, reconcile the east and west of Europe, and forge a path to Ukraine’s Nato membership. While insisting Russia had lost all legitimacy, he said that if the coming Ukraine counter-offensive failed to achieve its objectives there would need to be an assessment of future European support. And he suggested that, ultimately, the pursuit of Putin for war crimes may end up being impractical if he is the only person with whom to negotiate an end to the conflict.

3 June 2023

  • At the Shangri-La Dialogue defence meeting in Singapore, the Indonesian Defence Minister proposed a peace plan to settle the Ukraine conflict, including a demilitarized zone and UN-organised referendum in “disputed areas.”  In response, a Ukraine foreign ministry spokesperson dismissed the plan, reiterating Kyiv’s position that Russia should withdraw its troops from Ukraine.

6 June 2023

  • UN Secretary General Guterres described the destruction of the Kakhovka Dam as a “monumental humanitarian, economic and environmental catastrophe” resulting directly from Russia’s invasion. At an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council, both sides accused each other of committing a war crime. The World Bank will conduct a rapid assessment of damage and needs to support Ukraine in its reconstruction efforts.

7 June 2023

  • According to former NATO Secretary-General, Anders Rasmussen, there may be an escalation of the conflict, with some NATO member willing to send troops to Ukraine, if no progress is made on security guarantees and a path to NATO membership at the next NATO summit in July.

16 June 2023

  • During a visit to Kyiv, a delegation of African leaders called for peace talks to start as soon as possible, and proposed a 10-point peace plan with confidence-building measures to include the pullback of Russian troops, the withdrawal of nuclear weapons from Belarus, the release of prisoners and return of displaced Ukrainian children, and the suspension of the ICC arrest warrant against President Putin. In response, President Zelenskyy ruled out any peace talks without a full withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukrainian territory.

17 June 2023

  • An African delegation continued its peace mission with a visit to Moscow to insist on peace talks and present its 10-point peace plan. President Putin praised the ‘balanced approach’ of the African nations, but argued that the proposals were misguided. He cast doubt on prospects for the extension of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, claiming that it was not helping to resolve the food crisis in Africa.

21 June 2023

  • The European Commission held a briefing on Ukraine’s progress towards EU membership. According to an internal speaking note, Ukraine had fulfilled two out of the seven conditions for membership relating to judicial reform and media law.
  • At a two-day Ukraine Recovery Conference, delegates from more than sixty countries pledged ‘several billion dollars in non-military aid’ and encouraged the private sector to invest in Ukraine’s recovery. By the end of the conference, international commitments to fund reconstruction had reached over US$60 billion. A joint statement was released by the UK and Ukraine as joint co-chairs of the conference.
  • At the Ukraine Recovery Conference, UK Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly, stated that ‘all Nato allies are backing a plan to give Ukraine a fast track to Nato Membership of the kind offered to Sweden and Finland earlier this year’. The statement came a day after reports in the French media that President Macron would support Ukraine’s Nato bid to ‘pressure Russia into peace talks’.

24-25 June 2023

  • Chief of the Wagner mercenary group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, is accused of mounting a coup, after months of criticising Russia’s top generals, and particularly Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu,  for incompetence, failing to adequately supply his mercenaries, and leaving them to die on the battlefield. In the face of plans backed by President Putin for the integration of Wagner forces into the Russian army, Prigozhin began what he called a ‘march for justice‘ focused on removing the Defence minister, and criticising the reasons for and conduct of the war in Ukraine. A convoy of Wagner troops left Ukraine and marched within 200 miles of Moscow. President Putin denounced this as insurrection and Prigozhin as a traitor. A deal was mediated with Prigozhin by Belarusian President Lukashenkoto to stand down the Wagner forces in return for full amnesty so that Russian lives would not be lost. Prigozhin agreed to be exiled from Russia and move to Belarus, and his Wagner forces are to be integrated with the Russian armed forces.

29 June 2023

  • A meeting took place days after the aborted Wagner munity between President Putin and Wagner leader, Yevgeny Prigozhin. According to Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, the “commanders themselves presented their version of what happened. They underscored that they are staunch supporters and soldiers of the head of state and the commander-in-chief, and also said that they are ready to continue to fight for their homeland.” According to President Putin, the Wagner leaders rejected an offer to serve in the Russian military under their current commander, as well as further options presented to them.

3 July 2023

8 July 2023

  • In the lead up to the NATO Summit in July, President Erdogan expressed Turkey’s support for Ukraine’s NATO membership aspirations in a meeting with President Zelenskyy. He also urged a “return to peace efforts” to end the conflict.

9 July 2023

  • Russia accuses Turkey and Ukraine of violating a prisoner-exchange agreement signed last year, by allowing Ukrainian Azov commanders, involved in the battle over Mariupol, to return home to Ukraine. Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, stated that Russia was not informed of the return and that Turkey had agreed to keep these former prisoners in Turkey to avoid their return to the battlefield.

11 July 2023

  • After President Zelenskyy made an appeal at the two-day NATO Summit in Vilnius for recognition of Ukraine as a ‘de facto’ member, NATO leaders agreed that “Ukraine should be able to join the military alliance in the future but stopped short of offering Kyiv an immediate invitation”. No timeframe for membership was agreed. At the end of the Summit, the NATO leaders published a communique setting out its position that Ukraine will become a member when all conditions are met.

11 July 2023

  • The G7 Leaders issued a joint statement, open to further states, committing to “an international framework that paves the way for long-term security assurances for Ukraine to boost its defences against Russia and deter Moscow from future aggression.” Kremlin Spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, stated that “We consider this move to be badly mistaken and potentially very dangerous.”

17 July 2023

  • Russia refuses to extend the Black Sea Grain Deal brokered by the United Nations and Turkey. Russia had complained that western sanctions were holding up a parallel agreement to allow payments, insurance, and shipping for Russia’s own agricultural exports.

5-6 August 2023

  • Leaders from about 40 countries, including China, India, Brazil, the US, and the EU, met in Jedda under the auspices of Saudia Arabia to discuss key principles on ending the war. Russia was not invited to the two-day conference. No final declaration was made, but it was agreed that further talks would be held.

11 August 2023

  • Ukraine announced that it will unilaterally open a ‘humanitarian corridor’ in the Black Sea to release trapped cargo ships. The move tests Russia’s de facto blocakde, which has been in place since Russia refused to extend the Black Sea Grain Deal last month.

22-24 August 2023

  • A BRICS Summit was held in South Africa. To avoid any issues in relation to the ICC arrest warrant, President Putin did not attend in person. Instead, he used a pre-recorded address to defend Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine and to rally BRICS nations to his cause.

23-27 August 2023

  • The leader of the Wagner mercenaries, Yevgeny Prigozhin, died along with a number of other high-level associates in a plane crash. The circumstances of the plane crash were suspicious given the the ‘March for Justice’ undertaken by Wagner mercenaries in June. President Putin made an official comment twenty-four hours after the incident, in which he expressed condolences and noted that Prigozhin ‘was a man with a difficult fate’, and had made ‘serious mistakes’ in his life. Prigozhin was confirmed dead by Russian forensic experts.

26 August 2023

  • President Putin issues a decree requiring all Wagner troops to make an oath of allegiance to the Russian state as part of his efforts to bring the Wagner group within the control of the Russian army.

8-11 September 2023

  • Russian authorities organise local elections in the Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions to consolidate control in these occupied territories. The Council of Europe and the US Secretary of State issued statements condemning the elections as ‘sham elections’ in illegally annexed territories. Russia urges the United States to refrain from interfering in its domestic affairs.

15 September 2023

  • During an official diplomatic visit to Russia by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, the Belarusian President, Lukashenko, proposed a three-way cooperative alliance between Belarus, Russia, and North Korea. South Korean officials warned that “[a]ny science and technology cooperation that contributes to nuclear weapons and missile development, including satellite systems that involve ballistic missile technologies, runs against UN security council resolutions”.

19 September 2023

  • According to its Prime Minister, Ukraine is set to lodge a complaint with the the World Trade Organisation against Hungary, Poland and Slovakia concerning restrictions on the export of Ukrainian grain and other food products. Last week, these countries, which were followed by Croatia, banned the import of Ukrainian foods for sale in their local markets in order to protect local farmers from a supply glut due to the disruption of supply chains out of Ukraine. The dispute threatens to undermine support for Ukraine.

19-23 September 2023

  • At the 78th Session of the UN General Assembly, President Zelensky urged leaders to show unity in the face of Russia’s aggression, and its weaponisation of food and endergy supplies, to ensure that it does not happen again. President Biden insisted that the international community should sustain its support for Ukraine and should not give into Russia’s demands for peace, which would allow Russia to ‘carve up’ Ukrainian territory.
  • In a press interview following his speech to the General Assembly, in which he railed against the West as an ‘Empire of Lies’, Russia’s Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, stated that Ukraine’s 10-point peace plan and UN proposals to revive the Black Sea Grain Initiative were ‘completely not feasible’.

20 September 2023

  • Addressing the UN Security Council, President Zelensky called for UN reform, insisting that the Security Council will remain ineffective so long as Russia retains its veto. He set out specific actions that would be needed to end the war, including the complete withdrawal of Russian troops and proxy fighters from Ukraine’s internationally recognised territory (based on the 1991 borders), as well as the restoration of Ukraine’s effective control over its entire state border and exclusive economic zone in the Black and Azov Seas, including the Kerch bridge linking Crimea to Russia.

3 October 2023

  • A deal has been reached between Ukraine, Poland and Lithuania to facilitate the export of Ukrainian grain products through Polish territory and a Lithuanian port on the Baltic Sea to needy countries beyond Europe. It is hoped that the deal will ease tensions between the countries over the protection of domestic farmers from Ukrainian exports.

11 October 2023

  • After an attack by Hamas on Israel on 7 October 2023, President Zelensky expresses fears that the conflict in the Middle East could threaten military support to Ukraine’s war effort against Russia. The attack comes at a time when it seems that support from Western countries could be on the wane, given the slow pace of military advances on the battlefield, diplomatic trade disputes with neighbouring countries, shortages in ammunition supplies, and gridlock in the US Congress over debt levels and the sustainability of continued military support to Ukraine.

16 October 2023

  • Qatar announces that its mediators have secured an agreement with Russia for the return of four Ukrainian children to their families and the hope that this would be the first step for further repatriations of Ukrainian children.

27 October 2023

  • The European Council has set out more detailed plans on how it intends to use frozen assets from the Russian Central Bank to assist in the reconstruction of Ukraine. In response, the Chairman of the Russian State Duma stated that Russia would confiscate EU assets if frozen Russian funds are ‘stolen’.

28-29 October 2023

  • A third round of Ukrainian-backed peace talks were held in Malta without Russia in the hope of consolidating support for Ukraine’s 10-point peace plan. Representatives from 66 countries took part in the talks. The head of Ukraine’s presidential office, Andriy Yermak stated that the discussions focused on five key areas, including Ukraine’s territorial integrity, nuclear safety, the protection of energy infrastructure, food security, and humanitarian issues, such as the return of prisoners and Ukrainian children. A statement by the co-chairs was released on the results of the conference.
  • On the sideline of the talks in Malta, Ukraine began bilateral negotiations with Netherlands on security guarantees for a post-war Ukraine. According to the Presidential Office of Ukraine, the Netherlands has become the sixth country to enter into such negotiations, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, France.

6 November 2023

  • In response to discussions about the schedule for 2024 elections given the imposition of martial law in Ukraine, President Zelenskyy stated: “We all understand that now, in wartime, when there are many challenges, it is utterly irresponsible to engage in topics related to an election in such a frivolous manner. … I believe that elections are not appropriate at this time.”

8 November 2023

  • The EU’s executive recommended that formal membership talks with Ukraine could commence as soon as Ukraine meets its final conditions.   

11 November 2023

  • Former NATO Secretary General, Anders Rasmussen, proposed that Ukraine could join the NATO alliance – but without application to the current Russian occupied territories – while the confict with Russia was still underway. He argued that this would send a signal to Russia that it cannot prevent Ukraine from joining the alliance, while avoiding the trigger for military engagement by NATO in current hostilities.  

30 November – 1 December 2023

  • The paralysis of the OSCE was on show at its ministerial meeting in Skopje, which brought together the foreign ministers of OSCE member states. Three Baltic countries boycotted the meeting along with Ukraine, after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced his plans to attend. A key question concerned which country would take over the rotating chair for 2024, with Russia signalling in advance its intention to veto any candidate from the NATO alliance. In the end, Malta was formally requested to take up this position.

1 December 2023

  • In an exclusive interview with Associated Press, President Zelenskyy described the conflict as having entered ‘a new phase’ as winter is expected to complicate fighting on the battleground. He gave a mixed response on the success of the counter-offensive, pointing to the need for further weaponry from allies, while also noting the diminished might of Russia’s Black Sea fleet and the continued operation of the temporary grain corridor after Russia’s withdrawal from the Black Sea Grain Initiative. He also voiced his concern that conflict in the Middle East would crowd out international attention on Ukraine’s war effort.
  • After signalling an intention to veto early membership negotiations between the EU and Ukraine, Hungary President Viktor Orban suggested that the EU should first sign a preliminary strategic partnership agreement with Ukraine.

 

Key news sources

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Is The OSCE Meeting In Skopje A Triumph For Russia?

There were two big questions looming over the OSCE ministerial meeting in Skopje, which will bring together the foreign ministers of the Vienna-based security body. First, would Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov show up? And second, which country would take over the rotating chair for 2024?

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Stalemate best describes the state of war in Ukraine

As Russia’s war on Ukraine rages on, neither country is likely to achieve a breakthrough this year — or even next. But that doesn’t mean it will be over soon. Moscow and Kyiv aren’t interested in negotiating an end to the war, or even settling for a frozen conflict, writes Ivo Daalder.

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The West could live with a frozen Ukraine conflict

Wars don’t always end in peace. Conflicts can also end in a stalemate, sometimes for decades. Just look at Korea and Cyprus, which have been divided for 70 and 49 years, respectively. Ukraine may be heading for a similarly frozen conflict with Russia.

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Russia pulls out of Black Sea grain deal

Russia has formally withdrawn from a UN-brokered deal to export Ukrainian grain across the Black Sea, potentially imperilling tens of millions of tonnes of food exports from the war-torn country.

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‘All bets are off’: An uncertain future after Wagner mutiny

Following Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin’s short-lived mutiny, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his government find themselves in unchartered territory. The crisis appears to have been averted, for now, but what happens next for Russia and the Wagner Group remains uncertain.

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US should stop ‘encouraging’ Ukraine war, Brazilian president says

Brazilian President Lula told reporters in Beijing: “The United States needs to stop encouraging war and start talking about peace; the European Union needs to start talking about peace so that we can convince Putin and Zelensky that peace is in the interest of everyone and that war is only interesting, for now, to the two of them.”

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China calls for Russia-Ukraine ceasefire as claims to neutrality questioned

China reiterates calls for a political settlement to the Ukraine conflict on the anniversary of Russia’s invasion, as Beijing comes under increasing pressure from the US and its allies over its growing partnership with Moscow. In a newly released position paper, China’s Foreign Ministry called for a resumption of peace talks, an end to unilateral sanctions, and stressed its opposition to the use of nuclear weapons.

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UN condemns Russian invasion ahead of anniversary

The UN General Assembly has overwhelmingly backed a resolution condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine nearly a year ago. It called for the withdrawal of troops from Ukraine and a halt to fighting. The motion was backed by 141 nations with 32 abstaining and seven – including Russia – voting against.

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China urges end to Ukraine war, calls for peace talks

China made a fresh call for a cease-fire and peace talks to end the war in Ukraine, seeking to cast itself as a neutral mediator in a one-year-old conflict during which Beijing has struggled to maintain its close partnership with Moscow while not further inflaming tensions with the West.

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Ukraine Options Paper: Energy

This paper examines the energy supply and security dimensions to potential peace negotiations between Ukraine and the Russian Federation.

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Ukraine diplomatic flurry centers on war, not peace

Diplomacy is ramping up around Russia’s war in Ukraine, but rather than focusing on negotiations, talks are centered on hardening each side’s battlefield position before a potential Russian offensive that Ukraine and its allies expect early next year.

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Kremlin warning: More US arms to Ukraine will aggravate war

The Kremlin warned Wednesday that increasing the supply of U.S. arms to Ukraine would aggravate the devastating 10-month war ignited by Russia’s invasion, and Russia’s defense minister called for expanding Moscow’s military by at least 500,000 troops.

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Ukraine Options Paper: Sanctions Relief and Security Guarantees

This paper examines the options on triggers, conditions and modalities for relaxing sanctions as part of an eventual peace agreement between Ukraine and Russia, and for their reimposition in connection with verification and monitoring of settlement implementation.

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UN Security Council denies Russia call for bio weapons probe

The U.N. Security Council on Wednesday overwhelmingly rejected Russia’s attempt to establish a commission to investigate its unfounded claims that Ukraine and the United States are carrying out “military biological” activities that violate the convention prohibiting the use of biological weapons.

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Russia agrees to rejoin Ukraine grain export deal

Russia’s defence ministry says it received ‘sufficient’ guarantees from Kyiv on demilitarising the Black Sea corridor. Russia has said it will rejoin a UN-backed agreement to allow the export of grain from Ukraine via a safe Black Sea corridor, with shipments expected to resume on Wednesday.

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Ukraine Options Paper: Select Humanitarian Issues

This paper examines the humanitarian issues generated by the Ukraine conflict, the specific rules of international humanitarian law designed to address them, and the options for doing so in a peace settlement.

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Lukashenko says Belarus and Russia to deploy joint military group

Belarusian president says the two allies will deploy a military task force, without specifying the location. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has said Belarus and Russia will deploy a joint military task force in response to what he called an aggravation of tension on the country’s western borders.

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What Russian annexation means for Ukraine’s regions

How will Russia annex four regions that it has occupied, but only partially, when they are in the middle of a war zone? Vladimir Putin has signed an accord to annex the occupied regions, after declaring that Russia would never give them up and would defend them with all means available.

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Ukraine war: Occupied areas call urgent vote to join Russia

Four areas of Ukraine under Moscow’s control have announced plans for urgent so-called referendums on joining Russia, which would pave the way for Russian annexation. Russia’s invasion has stalled in recent months and Ukraine has recaptured swathes of territory in the north-east.

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Turkey’s Erdogan: Russia’s Putin willing to end war

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said he believes Russia’s leader is seeking an end to the war he began in Ukraine, and that a “significant step” will be made. He said his impression from recent talks with Vladimir Putin was that he wanted to “end this as soon as possible”.

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Putin vows to press attack on Ukraine; courts India, China

Russian President Vladimir Putin vowed Friday to press his attack on Ukraine despite Ukraine’s latest counteroffensive and warned that Moscow could ramp up its strikes on the country’s vital infrastructure if Ukrainian forces target facilities in Russia.

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India’s Modi assails Putin over Ukraine war

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi told Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday that now was not the time for war, directly assailing the Kremlin chief in public over the nearly seven-month-long conflict in Ukraine.

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Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant: UN experts make first inspection

UN nuclear experts have made their first inspection of the Russian-held Zaporizhzhia power plant in Ukraine and are to maintain a presence there. International Atomic Energy Agency chief Rafael Grossi said the “plant and physical integrity of the plant” had been “violated several times”.

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Ukraine Options Paper: Transitional Justice

This paper sets out the transitional justice issues facing a Ukraine peace process and considers different modalities for addressing transitional justice through a peace settlement.

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Ukraine Options Paper: Reconciliation

This paper considers several types of peace provisions, aimed at promoting social reconciliation, which could be used in a peace settlement between Russia and Ukraine.

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Ukraine Options Paper: Children

This paper examines settlement options to address issues regarding children in the Ukraine conflict and to include them in the settlement process.

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Ukraine Options Paper: Detainee Release and Exchange

This paper provides an overview of detainees that benefit from a repatriation, release or transfer obligation in the Ukraine conflict and suggests focal points and options for the short-term and long-term peace negotiations in the field of detainee operations.

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Ukraine Background Paper: Use of Force

This background paper sets out the legal framework for analysis of the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation and examines the implications for any political settlement.

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Ukraine Options Paper: Disengagement & Confidence and Security Building

At some point, arrangements for disengaging forces and wider confidence and security building measures will be needed in any peace process between Ukraine and Russia. A range of interventions is conceivable, from immediate ceasefire stabilisation, through wider transparency and verification, to longer-term arms limitation and control measures. This paper explores the options.

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Ukraine Options Paper: Russia-Ukraine Claims Commission

A claims commission could resolve the claims of the two States and their nationals (and potentially even third parties) arising out of the armed conflict in Ukraine. This paper examines the options and issues to consider in establishing a Russia-Ukraine claims commission.

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Ukraine Options Paper: Territory

This paper addresses the territorial claims and issues at stake in the Ukraine conflict and the options for addressing those territorial issues in a peace settlement between Ukraine and the Russian Federation.

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Ukraine Options Paper: Security Guarantees

In peace negotiations with Russia, a security guarantee for Ukraine might be contemplated to offset concessions on NATO membership, the exclusion of foreign forces from its territory, and perhaps certain limitations on its longer-range armaments. This paper examines options available in relation to security guarantees for Ukraine.

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Ukraine Options Paper: Weapons of Mass Destruction

This paper analyses the international law applicable to Russia and Ukraine on the disarmament and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. It offers options for how the issue of WMDs may be addressed in any peace agreement between the conflict parties.

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Ukraine Options Paper: Ceasefire and Withdrawal

This paper examines the conditions for a comprehensive ceasefire between Ukraine and the Russian Federation and for the withdrawal of foreign forces from Ukrainian territory, based within the framework of international law.

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Ukraine Options Paper: New European Security Order

The war in Ukraine brings to the surface long simmering tensions between Russia and the West – at the expense of Ukraine. The crisis is both a necessity and an opportunity to repair the European security architecture. This paper considers the options for that new security order.

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Ukrainians are not Naïve

President says positive signs from talks ‘do not drown out the explosions of Russian shells’ after first day of face-to-face negotiations in Istanbul.

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Possible Draft of a Framework Agreement on the Restoration of Peaceful Relations between Ukraine and the Russian Federation

Marc Weller is Professor of International Law and International Constitutional Studies in the University of Cambridge, the former Director of the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law and of the European Centre for Minority Issues, a former United Nations Senior Mediation Expert and a Barrister (Middle Temple) at Doughty Street Chambers.

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