Rusko-ukrajinský konflikt [2014-RRRR]

Russia-Ukraine conflict
Overview of the civil war and the Russian-Ukrainian conflict

1) German reunification and guarantees of non-proliferation of NATO
2) nuclear weapons in Ukraine and guarantees of territorial integrity
3) situation before EuroMaidan
4) EuroMaidan
5) law on the Russian language
6) occupation of Crimea
7) rebels in Donetsk and Luhansk
8) the downing of flight MH17
9) the Minsk agreements
10) current events 2022

Daily overviews of the military and political situation of the conflict

Červenec 2022


Červen 2022


Květen 2022


Duben 2022


Březen 2022


February 2022


Comparative overview of UA x RU equipment involved in combat
Overview of killed Russian occupiers - senior officers

Discussion section

feel free to edit and post, just a basic rule - substantiated and objective, without emotional coloring.

I'd probably start by listing the sources we can use for this to capture individual changes. I should still have the UA-EU Accession Treaty saved somewhere, I'll try to find it.

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Ad. 1) the reunification of Germany and guarantees of non-expansion of NATO

Unification of the GDR and the GDR

November 1989 was a turning point in European history. Fundamental geopolitical changes (the collapse of the Eastern bloc) suddenly brought the real possibility of unification of the Federal Republic of Germany (which was a member of NATO and belonged to the Western bloc) and the German Democratic Republic, which until recently had been a satellite of the Soviet Union and a member of the Warsaw Pact.

While unification of the two German states was crucial for the Germans of both republics, it initially had no support in either the West or the USSR, as there were fears on both sides of renewed attempts to restore German imperial ambitions. The United States, however, supported German reunification because it feared the security destabilization of the region associated with the collapse of the German Democratic Republic. However, they had to consult with the USSR, which found it unacceptable that Germany should be united within NATO.

It was at this time that the first promises (often made by Russia today) not to expand NATO eastwards were first made. The first such promise was made in Tutzig on 31 January 1990 at the summit of the political leaders of the GDR and the GDR on the unification of the two German states. Here, West German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher stated that "[if the Soviets allow the unification of the GDR and the GDR,] there will be no expansion of NATO territory to the east, i.e. to the borders of the USSR."

Genscher, however, had no right to make such a promise, a fact also brought to the attention of U.S. President George Bush Sr. by German Chancellor Helmuth Kohl. Nevertheless, Genscher repeated his proposal to James Baker, the U.S. Secretary of State, who on Feb. 9. Baker asked Mikhail Gorbachev, then Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, whether the Soviet Union preferred a reunified Germany that was neutral or one that maintained "ties to NATO and assurances that there would be no expansion of current NATO jurisdiction to the east."

Neutral Germany was a concern - it could start building its own security alliance and start trying to expand again. Under these circumstances, after difficult negotiations, Gorbachev eventually agreed to allow Germany to unite within NATO, with Bush assuring him at the time that the GDR would havespecial status within NATO, which meant that NATO would have jurisdiction over the area of the former GDR, but that NATO military structures would not extend into the territory of the former East Germany. The whole of reunified Germany would then be formally in NATO and covered by NATO security guarantees, although neither NATO nuclear weapons nor non-German NATO forces would move into the former East Germany. Under these conditions, East and West Germany were officially reunified on October 3, 1990.

It was at this time that assurances were often given that there would be no extension of "jurisdiction or NATO forces even one inch eastward". It should be noted here, however, that the context was quite clearly only the territory of a united Germany.

Thus, at that time, not only was there no explicit Western guarantee of future non-expansion of NATO, but no such thing was even discussed, a fact confirmed by Gorbachev in later conversations.

On the other hand, the USSR leadership at the time was repeatedly assured in various meetings by both Baker and Bush that its security and interests would be taken into account by the West.

NATO expansion

In fact, at the time, it would have seemed that both military pacts, NATO and the Warsaw Pact, were becoming relics of a bygone era. Václav Havel initially advocated their abolition, but he too soon understood the need to incorporate the former Warsaw Pact members into some kind of collective security structure."

Although NATO has not heeded Havel's call for a name change, it has tried to accommodate the countries of the East in other areas. The NATO London Declaration of 6 July 1990, for example, said:

"Article 4
We recognise that in the new Europe the security of each state is inextricably linked to the security of its neighbours. NATO must become an institution in which Europeans, Canadians and Americans work together not only for common defence but also to build partnerships with all the nations of Europe. The Atlantic community must reach out to those countries of the East that used to be our adversaries and offer them the hand of friendship.

Article 5
We shall remain a defensive alliance and defend all the territories of all our members. We have no aggressive intentions and we commit ourselves to the peaceful settlement of all disputes. We will never, under any circumstances, be the first to use force."

In 1994, NATO launched the Partnership for Peace program, aimed at cooperation between the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the militaries of non-member states, primarily neutral and former Soviet Union countries. Russia joined in the same year.

Then in 1997, the Russia-NATO Council was established by the Treaty on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security, which stated that Russia and NATO were not adversaries.

Then in 1999, Russia signed the OSCE Istanbul Charter on European Security, which said:

"Every participating state has the same right to security. We affirm the inherent right of each and every member state to have the freedom to choose or change its security affairs, including membership of treaties or alliances, as they evolve.

Each participating state also has the right to neutrality.

Each participating state shall respect the rights of all others in these matters. They will not strengthen their security at the expense of the security of other states."

NATO's cooperation with Russia then soon began to take a serious crack due to NATO airstrikes on Yugoslavia, and later the rift deepened when the possibility of NATO membership for Georgia and Ukraine began to be discussed. NATO denounced the treaty in 2014 after Russia's annexation of Crimea.

In the meantime, NATO has admitted a number of new members in several waves: in 1999 the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland were thus admitted to NATO, in 2004 Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and in 2009 Albania and Croatia.

Russia protested, and the problem for the Russians was not so much the expansion of NATO in terms of membership, but the expansion of its military infrastructure (bases and troops) towards its borders.

Thus, although Russia agreed in the Istanbul Charter to the right of countries to choose or change their security affairs, including membership in treaties or alliances″, from Russia's perspective the principle that these countries will respect the rights of all others in these matters is violated. They will not strengthen their security at the expense of the security of other states."

Gorbachev declared these developments to be a "violation of the spirit of those declarations and guarantees given to us in 1990. (...) the unwillingness of our Western partners to take into account the point of view, legitimate interests and security of Russia."

NATO, on the other hand, argues that "none of these promises have been made, nor has Russia provided any related evidence. If such a promise was ever to be made by the Alliance, an official written statement signed by all NATO allies would have been made about the decision. Moreover, the consideration of NATO enlargement was not born until a year after German reunification. This issue was not on the agenda at the time Russia claims these promises were made.

The accusations that NATO promised not to build military infrastructure near Russian territory are also false. NATO stressed in its Founding Act that 'in the current and foreseeable security environment, the Alliance will fulfil its collective defence and other commitments by ensuring the necessary operational synergies, integrating military formations and strengthening their capabilities, rather than permanently deploying large numbers of combat troops. It is therefore necessary to rely on an adequate infrastructure to meet the above tasks."

That there is no treaty freezing NATO's borders is an undoubted fact (and therefore Russia had nothing to present as evidence of these guarantees)), but many experts on diplomacy point out that even verbal informal assurances or promises carry weight in diplomacy, and that seen from this perspective, it is indeed possible that the USSR and later Russian leadership understood the 1990 agreements to not expand NATO eastward differently than they were intended.

However, this is not and can never be an excuse for occupying the territory of neighbouring countries or for direct military aggression.

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Item 2 Nuclear weapons in Ukraine and the guarantee of territorial integrity

A significant part of the Soviet Union's nuclear arsenal was stationed on the territory of the newly formed Ukraine. Thus, after the collapse of the USSR, Ukraine became the third largest possessor of nuclear weapons. It should be noted, however, that although they were physically located on Ukrainian territory, they were under the operational control of the Russian armed forces, which had the appropriate codes and communications assets. Nevertheless, this has led to concerns in the international community, which has thus agreed with Ukraine to give up nuclear weapons in exchange for security guarantees. In 1994, the Budapest Memorandum was signed by Ukraine, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America. By it, Russia, the UK and the US reaffirmed (reaffirm) the commitment

  1. to respect, in accordance with the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, the independence and sovereignty of Ukraine within its existing borders;
  2. to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity and political independence of Ukraine and not to use its weapons against Ukraine except in self-defence or otherwise in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations;
  3. to refrain, in accordance with the principles of the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, from economic coercion aimed at subordinating to its own interest the exercise of Ukraine's rights under its sovereignty and thereby securing advantages of any kind;
  4. take immediate action by the United Nations Security Council to provide assistance to Ukraine as a non-nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons if Ukraine were to become the victim of an act of aggression or the object of a threat of aggression involving the use of nuclear weapons;
  5. not to use nuclear weapons against any non-nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, except in the event of an attack on itself, its territories or dependencies, its armed forces or its allies by such a State in conjunction or alliance with a nuclear-weapon State;
  6. to carry out consultations in the event that a situation arises which raises questions concerning these obligations.

Thus, these were rights that Ukraine already had under the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, the United Nations Charter and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. However, Ukraine considered it important to have them confirmed by a specific document as well. Yet, it is ambiguous whether this is a legally binding international treaty or rather a political declaration, which moreover only confirms Ukraine's pre-existing rights and rather only gives the signatories a justification for action, but does not commit it beyond consultation. After all, the US political scene has been unwilling to commit to unequivocally binding military support for Ukraine. In any case, Ukraine has kept its commitments. The last nuclear warhead was taken to Russia in the summer of 1996, and the last solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missile launcher was dismantled in 2001. The same treaty was signed with Kazakhstan and Belarus. France and China signed separate documents with Ukraine with even weaker commitments.

The Russian Federation violated the memorandum at least in 2014 by invading Crimea and the Donbas, by annexing Crimea, by continuous military support for the so-called rebels in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions since 2014, and by missile and air strikes and ground invasions of other Ukrainian territories in 2022. Moreover, these operations also violate the aforementioned documents, which the Budapest Memorandum only reaffirmed. The 2018 Kerch Strait incident is often seen as a violation. Some commentators point to the economic pressure exerted on Ukraine by Russia in some years, especially when pro-Russian politicians were not in power in Ukraine.

Russia argues that after the overthrow of President Yanukovych, a new state was created by an armed coup against which the Budapest commitments do not apply. Alternatively, it claims that it is complying with them because it has not attacked Ukraine with nuclear weapons. The first argument is nonsensical, since the memorandum does not address the internal political situation and organisation of Ukraine. The second argument is based on compliance with only one of the five commitments, although Russia is in breach of other points of the memorandum.

Text of the Budapest Memorandum

Ukraine, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America,
Welcoming the Accession of Ukraine to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons as a non-nuclear-weapon state,
Taking into account the commitment of Ukraine to eliminate all nuclear weapons from its territory within a specified period of time,
Noting the changes in the world-wide security situation, including the end of the Cold War, which have brought about conditions for deep reductions in nuclear forces,

Confirm the following:

The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and The United States of America reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine, in accordance with the principles of the CSCE Final Act, to respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine.

The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and The United States of America reaffirm their obligation to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine, and that none of their weapons will ever be used against Ukraine except in self-defense or otherwise in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.

The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and The United States of America reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine, in accordance with the Principles of the CSCE Final Act, to refrain from economic coercion designed to subordinate to their own interest the exercise by Ukraine of the rights inherent in its sovereignty and thus to secure advantages of any kind.

The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and The United States of America reaffirm their commitment to seek immediate United Nations Security Council action to provide assistance to Ukraine, as a non-nuclear-weapon state party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, if Ukraine should become a victim of an act of aggression or an object of a threat of aggression in which nuclear weapons are used.

The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and The United States of America reaffirm, in the case of Ukraine, their commitment not to use nuclear weapons against any non-nuclear-weapon state party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, except in the case of an attack on themselves, their territories or dependent territories, their armed forces, or their allies, by such a state in association or alliance with a nuclear weapon state.

Ukraine, The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and The United States of America will consult in the event a situation arises which raises a question concerning these commitments.

This Memorandum will become applicable upon signature.

Signed in four copies having equal validity in the Ukrainian, English, and Russian languages.
(signature Leonid Kuchma)

(signature Boris Yeltsin)

(signature John Major)

(signature Bill Clinton)

Budapest, 5 December 1994.

Rusko-ukrajinský konflikt [2014-RRRR] - Budapešťské memorandum 
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Budapešťské memorandum
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AD 3) Situation before EuroMaidan

The emergence of Ukraine as an independent state was made possible by the collapse of the Soviet Union on 26 December 1991. However, Ukraine came into being earlier, on the basis of the "Declaration of Independence of Ukraine" adopted by the Ukrainian Parliament on 24 August 1991. The Declaration was confirmed on 1 December 1991 in a national referendum. The new state now had to start building its new domestic and foreign policy.

The first president of independent Ukraine was Leonid Kravchuk, who was oriented towards pro-Western integration and sought to limit Russia's influence. The turnaround came after the early presidential elections in 1994, after which Leonid Kuchma became president. Ukraine's foreign policy has now turned towards improving relations with Russia and at the same time towards integration into Euro-Atlantic structures.

It should be said here that Western leaders at the time perceived the post-Soviet republics as a potential security risk. Therefore, in order to eliminate the emergence of new conflicts and to prevent the isolation of these states, the European Community (the then predecessor of the European Union) initiated cooperation with a number of these countries in order to stabilise them and help them to start transition processes.

Kuchma tried to initiate the process of Ukraine's integration into the EU, but this was a very complex and lengthy process, especially due to the unstable internal political developments in Ukraine. However, cooperation between the EU and Ukraine intensified after Ukraine gained common borders with the EU in 2004 following the EU's fifth enlargement (with the admission of Slovakia, Poland and Hungary). The Association Agreement between the two entities was to become one of the instruments to improve cooperation between the EU and Ukraine.

The aim of this agreement was to accelerate and deepen political and economic relations (create comprehensive free trade areas) between the EU and Ukraine and to start the gradual integration of Ukraine into the EU internal market. However, for this to be possible, Ukraine had to move closer to European norms and standards, particularly in building democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights.

In particular, the Ukrainians hoped that the signing of this agreement would lead to the successful implementation of reforms and the liberalisation of trade in goods and services, which was to enable the country's dynamic economic growth, with the whole process to be completed by Ukraine's admission as a full member of the EU.

Negotiations on the agreement started in 2007 and continued for the next 6 years. In 2010, Viktor Yanukovych became Ukraine's president, who launched a persecution of the political elites of the previous government. In particular, the trial and subsequent imprisonment of the former Prime Minister, Mrs Tymoshenko, attracted considerable criticism from the EU, as the case was perceived in Europe as a political trial and a fundamental violation of democratic principles and human rights. Therefore, the signing of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement has been postponed indefinitely.

However, the whole process has continued, particularly because of Ukraine's strategic importance. There have been a number of observer missions to Ukraine, for example, in 2012, the European Parliament sent one such mission, which was even invited to monitor the conduct of all national elections in Ukraine.

Thus, the EU continued negotiations on the Association Agreement and, fearing that Ukraine would become more aligned with Russia (which has continuously lobbied Ukraine against signing the agreement), even backed down from some of its demands and scheduled the signing of the Association Agreement for November 2013.

However, this was when the proverbial 180 degree turn took place, with the strongly pro-Russian President Yanukovych refusing to sign the Association Agreement. The reason, according to him, was that by joining the European Union, Ukraine would lose more than 13 trillion crowns over ten years due to the decline in trade with Russia and the deterioration of its security situation. At the same time, Yanukovych announced that ties with Russia would be strengthened, and Ukraine would become a member of the Eurasian Customs Union, Russia's alternative to the EU.

However, this sparked protests from a section of the population, who took to Independence Square in Kiev to make their discontent known. Yanukovych, however, deployed the forces against them, which eventually had exactly the opposite effect - the movement grew into the revolution now known as EuroMaidan.

KSONZ, Yuliya. Issues of negotiating the Association Agreement between the European Union and Ukraine [online]. Brno, 2013 [cited 2022-03-22]. Available from: Bachelor thesis. Masaryk University, Faculty of Social Studies. Thesis supervisor Petra KUCHYŇKOVÁ.
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This word, which is a combination of the words "euro″ (or Europe for short) and the Ukrainian word "maidan″ (which is a square), today we refer to a long series of anti-government protests that began in Kiev's Independence Square (Maidan Nezalezhnosti) and continued in a number of other cities from November 2013 to February 2014.

The reason for the protests was the refusal of the then strongly pro-Russian President Yanukovych to sign the Association Agreement with the EU and to orient more towards Russia both politically and economically.

It all started on 21 November 2013 with the Ukrainian government's announcement to suspend preparations for signing the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. The avalanche of protests was probably first triggered by Mustafa Najem, a thirty-two year old journalist, who started inciting citizens to protest on social media.

The number of people gathering in Independence Square reached 150,000 in three days. The protests became even more intense when President Viktor Yanukovych did not actually sign the Association Agreement with the European Union at the EU summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, on 29 November 2013.

Protests in Lviv, 29 November 2013. Protesters then formed a "living chain" from Kiev to the Polish border, about 625 kilometres long

November 30, 2013

In the entire history of Euromaidan, there are several days that can be described as pivotal. The last day of November was the first of them. The escalation of protests from the previous day seems to have provoked the government forces to intervene. As the intervention took place after Yanukovych's return from Vilnius, it can be assumed that he gave the order.

The action started at 04:00. At that moment there were up to 1 000 demonstrators on the Maidan. Members of the Berkut special police unit attacked the demonstrators with batons. The crackdown was brutal - 145 people were injured, 33 people were arrested.

The reason for the crackdown was reportedly the need to clear the square for the installation of a Christmas tree. It then became a kind of symbol of Euromaidan.

This crackdown became a catalyst for trouble. The indignation of society has reached unprecedented proportions. The number of people on the Maidan began to increase and soon reached half a million. Clashes with riot police escalated. Pro-European protests turned anti-government.

1 December 2013 and 11 December 2013

These days, security forces have again carried out crackdowns on demonstrators. Hundreds of people ([i:aaaa]including journalists) were beaten again on 1 December. Provocateurs (so-called tituškas) began to appear and tried to incite violence. The activists escalated their protests - their numbers kept increasing, and now, for example, they also demanded punishment for the perpetrators of brutal crackdowns. Many politicians from Western countries, such as Jacek Protasiewicz, vice-president of the European Parliament, have expressed their support.

Activists have erected barricades and started to organise in defence of the crackdown. Veterans from Afghanistan and Chechnya formed a kind of security force, the troops referred to as "self-defence", (aimed mainly at provocateurs and drunkards), and a complete tent city grew up on the Maidan - there were field dispensaries, kitchens, tents for the press, sanitary facilities and heated tents where activists could go to warm themselves.

A photo taken in January 2014 shows part of the barricades and tent city in Kiev. The red and black flags of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, somewhat inaccurately called "Bandera's", can be seen among the blue and yellow Ukrainian and EU flags. While for Western Ukrainians this is a symbol of the struggle for freedom, for Russians it is a symbol of fascism

On the afternoon of December 1, a group of demonstrators stole a LongGong CDM 833 bulldozer and attempted to use it to break through the fence around the presidential administration building. The Ukrainian Interior Ministry later announced that more than 300 members of the radical Brotherhood organisation supported this attack. The links of various radical groups (the most famous of which is the far-right Right Sector) to the Maidan protests have long been criticised by Russia. The opposition has said that provocateurs organized the violence and that the opposition had nothing to do with it, even some activists, including People's Deputy Petro Poroshenko, reportedly tried to stop the bulldozer. The opposition again called on the demonstrators to refrain from violence.

On the night of 11 December, police forces intervened again. This time, some activists decided not to resist, as a result of which the riot police removed some of the barricades. Unarmed demonstrators with linked arms held the Euromaidan defensive line for three hours against a large mass of Berkut troops ([i:aaaa]in total about 4,000 men were deployed) on the eastern side of the square in Institutska Street. Nevertheless, there were sharp clashes in a number of places. For the first time since 1240, when Kiev faced a Tartar raid, the bells of St Michael's Cathedral, which are otherwise only supposed to ring when the nation is in extreme danger, rang out and tolled throughout the night. Priest Ivan Sydor, who rang the bells all night and roused the people, received the Ukrainian Order of Merit, third class, in 2019.

After eight hours of fierce clashes, the Maidan self-defense forces pushed the Berkut troops back behind the barricades and stabilized the Maidan perimeter.

An attempt by riot police to break through the barricade on December 11, 2013. By that time, most of the protesters were already trying to protect their heads with construction helmets

The attacks by government forces have had exactly the opposite effect of what Yanukovych intended. After each successive crackdown, the number of demonstrators arriving in Kiev from all over Ukraine steadily increased. Because groups from different areas often had a hundred or more people, they came to be called "centenarians," after the historical Cossack units. The next wave of protesters arrived after 17 December, when Yanukovych signed an economic cooperation agreement with Russian President Vladimir Putin. At some points, the number of people on the Maidan reportedly reached one million.

January 2014

On 16 January 2014, the Ukrainian parliament passed laws that Yanukovych signed on 17 January. The new laws criminalized participation in demonstrations, among other things, they also introduced penalties for participating in protests at state offices or for unauthorized construction in public places. Significant restrictions on civil liberties were immediately branded by the public as dictatorial.

From 18 January, the situation began to escalate. A day later, a demonstration against the new laws in Kiev's Hrushevsky Street brought together 200 000 people, who marched to the parliament building until they encountered police cordons. This time activists, armed with clubs and pipes, attacked the police cordons and tried to break through them. The situation quickly escalated. The activists set fire to several buses in which the riot police arrived at the intervention sites and used them as barricades. Stones and Molotov cocktails flew through the air, and police deployed flash grenades, water cannons and rubber bullets.

Vitali Klitschko tried to calm the situation, but was sprayed with a fire extinguisher by some of the demonstrators. In the evening Klitschko met with the President, who promised to resolve the situation.

On 20 and 21 January, clashes continued, with widespread "titushkas", two of whom Klitschko managed to catch and disarm. Later they were questioned on live television, where they admitted that they had worked for the government and that their job was to incite violence and anarchy.

Violence escalated from both sides - while the activists assembled a 2.5 metre high trébuchet with which to throw stones at the police, Berkut threw Molotov cocktails at them. On the evening of 21 January, Interior Minister Vitaly Zakharchenko signed an executive order authorising the use of physical force, special devices and firearms.

Everything escalated on 22 January. At 6 a.m. the police attacked again, this time using weapons with live ammunition. The unknown snipers (both sides accused each other) fell victim to 20-year-old Armenian Sergei Nigoyan and 25-year-old Belarusian Mikhail Zhyzneuski. Another 300 people suffered injuries.

February 2014

The relative calm on the Maidan, filled with negotiations between the opposition and the government, ended on 18 February, when some 20,000 demonstrators marched to the parliament building at around 8:30 am to demand the restoration of the constitution to its 2004 form (amendments to the constitution were passed in 2004 that severely limited the power of the president; these amendments were repealed in 2010 after Yanukovych was elected president). Police blocked the demonstrators' path and violence erupted again, with both sides blaming each other for starting it.

Demonstrators attempted to set fire to tyres on barricades in the streets where the fighting had just taken place to prevent riot police from advancing. At 17:04 Berkut broke through the barricade on Hrushevsky Street and the demonstrators began to retreat to another barricade. When the police tried to enter the Maidan, burning tyre barriers were again created between them and the demonstrators.

Demonstrators clash with riot police at a burning barricade at the intersection of Institutská/Sadová streets on February 18, 2014

Berkut used firearms with live ammunition; at the same time, snipers were deployed on the rooftops. In the ensuing clashes with police, more than 20 people were shot and over 400 injured.

Negotiations between the President and the opposition took place during 19 February. At the same time, other groups of demonstrators were arriving in the city.

On 20 February the violence escalated. Both sides accused each other of using firearms. During the morning, demonstrators armed with improvised or booty shields and molotovs pushed Berkut away from the Kiev Conservatory when security forces tried to set it on fire as it was being used as a field hospital for wounded demonstrators. During the clashes, 67 police officers were captured, while another hundred surrendered. Police fired both rubber bullets and live ammunition. Cobblestones and molotovs flew through the air, barricades were burning everywhere. The streets of Kiev became a battlefield.

Meanwhile, St. Michael's Monastery, the Ukraina Hotel and the city council building were turned into hospitals and morgues. Dozens of people were shot, hundreds wounded.

The next day the situation began to change. The army refused to get involved in suppressing the demonstration, some police officers defected to the demonstrators. Other police units refused to intervene and began to withdraw. The government has de facto lost influence over them.

Negotiations between the Ukrainian government and the opposition continued throughout the day. The result was a very important agreement that provided for a return to the 2004 constitution, the formation of an interim government, the announcement of early elections and a general amnesty for demonstrators.

Saturday 22 February is widely regarded as the end of Euromaidan. When President Yanukovych announced in the afternoon that he would not resign, the parliament removed him from office and called new presidential elections for 25 May. However, the President was nowhere to be found when the vote took place - he had left Kiev and his exact whereabouts were unknown. It turned out that he had fled to Kharkiv in eastern Ukraine and subsequently declared himself out of Russia. From Russian exile, he then refused to acknowledge his ouster, describing the Maidan events as a coup.

It is true that, on a purely legal level, his removal from office was indeed invalid because, in addition to being removed by parliament, he had to be charged with treason (or other serious crime) under the constitution. The dismissal then had to be approved by the Supreme Court and then by the Constitutional Court. None of this happened.

This is also why Putin, for whom Ukraine is a crucial geopolitical area, does not consider all Ukrainian governments since 2014 to be legitimate. That is why Moscow does not describe the Maidan as an expression of the nation's desire for democracy, but as a fascist coup orchestrated and financed by the West.

It is true that the US Congress-funded National Endowment for Democracy (NED) supported civil democratic activities in Ukraine to the tune of USD 2.8 million in 2013 alone. However, it is also a fact that the NED has been funding various programmes aimed at the development of democracy in Ukraine since the collapse of the USSR. However, the conditions under which NED grants can be used are very strict and restrictive; for example, recipients cannot stand for election.

The NGO European Values, which also incidentally warns of the dangers of Russian influence (especially disinformation and pro-Russian propaganda), commented that. Euromaidan was a spontaneous student protest... (...) However, it was in no way an organised coup d'état or putsch, let alone one supported from abroad."

On the other hand, other questions are also raised. Who actually gave the order to use weapons? President Yanukovych, Interior Minister Zakharchenko and other suspects have repeatedly said from Russian exile that they did not give any order for live fire in Kiev on 20 February 2014. On 12 March 2014, Ukraine's new Interior Minister Avakov stated that the conflict had been provoked by a "non-Ukrainian" third party and that an investigation was underway. He then added at a press conference on 2 April 2014 that 30 agents of the Russian FSB secret service had taken part in the events and had been involved in the planning, as well as bringing large quantities of explosives to the airport near Kiev. According to some evidence, there is a possibility that both demonstrators and police officers were hit by the same gunmen, possibly due to the artificial escalation of the conflict. Evidence points to snipers from the Alpha group, which belongs to the Ukrainian secret service.


Whoever did the shooting caused horrific casualties. In all, 108 activists had died on Maidan by 22 February, the vast majority from gunshot wounds or injuries caused by beatings. However, there were also those who died after being wounded by shrapnel from flash grenades, from health complications related to the use of water cannons in temperatures well below freezing, from heart attacks, etc. At least two were cut or stabbed, one was discovered hanging from a tree. The youngest of the dead activists, Nazar Vojtovic, was 17 years old, the oldest - Ivan Nakonečné - 83 years old. Another 2,500 people were injured.

The riot police had 18 dead, the number of wounded is unknown (or as of 21 January 2014, up to three hundred police officers were reported to have sought medical attention).


In 2019, five years after Euromaidan, Viktor Yanukovych was sentenced in absentia to thirteen years in prison for treason. According to the Ukrainian Prosecutor General's Office, he was the one responsible for ordering the Interior Ministry and the Ukrainian secret service SBU to shoot protesters.

As for the direct punishment of the shooters, none of them has been directly convicted yet. The trials are still ongoing. Similarly, no one has been tried and convicted for the deaths of police officers.

In Ukraine, the Maidan dead have become martyrs - because their number exceeded one hundred, they have come to be called the "Heavenly Hundred". Institutska Street, where most of the victims were, is now called the Avenue of the Heroes of the Heavenly Hundred and there is a monument to them. According to the Ukrainians, it was they who, with their blood and their lives, redeemed the right of the Ukrainian nation to democracy.

The Heaven's Hundredth Monument on the former Institutska Street, the place where most of the demonstrators died

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A hastily written attempt at a text on point 5
(note: it was not a law on the Russian language, but on all languages)

The generally accepted conception of the origin of the Ukrainian language is the theory that Ukrainian developed from the so-called common East Slavic language spoken in the territory of Kievan Rus in the early Middle Ages. Old Slavic also functioned there, but it had only the status of a book language. The territory of today's Ukraine became part of various state entities after the disintegration of Kievan Rus. In the west it was the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Crimea and southern Ukraine were controlled by the Crimean Tatars, and the northeastern regions were under the rule of the Golden Horde and later part of the Grand Duchy of Moscow. The first efforts to consolidate the Ukrainian language were made in response to the Catholicization of Orthodox areas by the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in the 16th and 17th centuries in the western part of present-day Ukraine. The Ukrainian national revival was a reaction to the Russification tendencies of the Russian Empire in the eastern part of today's Ukraine. After the Bolshevik Revolution, most of Ukraine was annexed to the Soviet Union. The latter initially pursued a policy of nationalisation of the language and Ukrainian developed. Both Russian and Ukrainian were official languages. Then this process gradually declined. Firstly, there was industrialisation, which brought with it an influx of Russian speakers, and secondly, there was collectivisation, coupled with a genocidal famine that brought death to millions of Ukrainians. The Russian-speaking population thus constituted a substantial part of the population, mainly in the eastern part of Soviet Ukraine, which was highly industrialised and more densely populated than many areas in western Ukraine. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, only Ukrainian was enshrined in the constitution as an official language, but other languages were still afforded constitutional protection. Nevertheless, Russian continued to be used, albeit unofficially, as it was spoken by a significant number of Ukrainians in addition to ethnic Russians. In the 2001 census, 77.8% of the population claimed Ukrainian nationality, while 17.3% claimed Russian nationality. 67.5% reported Ukrainian as their native language and 29.6% Russian. In practice, the use of both languages was roughly balanced. There was some Ukrainisation, but it was a very, very gradual process.

Nevertheless, the language issue became a politically sensitive issue in the second decade of the 21st century. In 2010, President Yanukovych won the elections, and on many issues, he was torn between the West and Russia, but for a large number of Ukrainians, he was a pro-Russian candidate who was supposed to reverse the process of rapprochement with the West. In 2012, his party pushed through a language law in parliament under very unusual circumstances, introducing the possibility of a so-called regional language, which could be introduced in areas with more than 10 per cent of the population speaking that language. This language could then be used as an official language in that area. Supporters saw this as giving rights to linguistic minorities. Critics, on the other hand, saw it as a means for the ruling party to increase its electoral preferences for the next elections and for the growth of Russian-backed separatism. Moreover, they said it was unconstitutional and unnecessary, as the constitution and laws provided protection for minority languages. Ten per cent was considered too low a figure even by many international observers who otherwise did not reject the law as a whole. However, the law was also perceived positively in Hungary, Romania and Greece, as it did not only grant the same rights to the Russian minority, but also to representatives of these minorities. Even some of the opposition did not reject it. However, for a large part of the political representation it was too great a concession to Russia.

This became apparent in 2014, when, in the wake of the overthrow and flight of President Yanukovych, the parliament passed a law repealing the 2012 law. Again, under unusual circumstances. This happened in the heated atmosphere of the Euromaidan and one can understand this move to some extent as a reaction to the unbalanced nature of the 2012 law, but politically it was an outright disastrous move. Although the incumbent president, Oleksandr Turchynov, soon refused to sign the revocation law, the original law continued to apply and even if the 2012 law had been revoked, it did not automatically represent a disaster for minority languages as there was still constitutional protection for them. There could have been a diminution of those rights, and in practice it would probably have looked the same as it did in 1991-2012. However, it was enough to provoke a negative reaction among the Russian ethnic population, especially in Crimea and partly also in the Donbas. For these people, the impending loss of privileges newly acquired in 2012 was an unpleasant threat. For Russia, moreover, it was a perfect pretext for implementing the occupation of these areas. The language issue was an emotive issue with great mobilising potential, which Russia greatly exaggerated and exploited. However, the Ukrainian pro-Western political scene played heavily into Russia's hands.

The issue was subsequently further politicized by Russia's occupation and subsequent annexation of Crimea and occupation of parts of the Donbas. A 2016 law introduced quotas for programmes broadcast on radio and television. There should be at least 60% of them. The 2017 law introduced the obligation to teach in Ukrainian in schools from the fifth grade upwards. The teaching of foreign languages was not prohibited, but they were to be separate subjects. In many areas, however, minorities had become accustomed to having all subjects taught in their own language. In 2019, a law was passed that requires officials, such as parliamentarians, diplomats, judges, teachers or doctors in state institutions, to be fluent in Ukrainian. The use of Ukrainian is mandatory in the military, police and courts, as well as in schools at all levels. The law has predictably provoked negative reactions from Russia, but negative or at least very restrained reactions have also come from the West, especially from Hungary because of the minority in Transcarpathia. The Ukrainian political scene was quite understandably under pressure from a section of public opinion because of the Russian aggression and the pressure to promote Ukrainian in response, but these decisions did little to mitigate separatism and instead stirred up negative emotions and put a strain on Ukraine's international relations, including with potentially friendly states on its western and south-western borders.
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Ad.6) Anexe Krymu

Proč Krym?

Rusko má k poloostrovu Krym s velkým přístavem Sevastopol silně emocionální vztah, jenž je dán především dlouhou a úpornou obranou tohoto přístavu za 2. světové války a množstvím zde prolité ruské (či spíše sovětské) krve.

Krym jako takový byl připojen k Rusku v 18. století, kdy jej Rusko dobylo na Osmanské říši. V té době zde žili převážně Krymští Tataři v útvaru zvaném Krymský chanát. Car zahájil mohutnou rusifikaci poloostrova a Tataři byli nuceni rozsáhle emigrovat. Po vzniku SSSR byla roku 1921 na území Krymského poloostrova vyhlášena Krymská autonomní sovětská socialistická republika. V tomto okamžiku již Krymští Tataři tvořili méně než 26 % populace.
Když v roce 1942 Krym obsadilo Německo, ožily snahy Tatarů znovu restaurovat Krymský chanát. Po znovuobsazení Krymu Rudou armádou byli proto Krymští Tataři Stalinem obviněni z kolaborace, byl jim odebrán status národnostní menšiny a zahájeny masivní deportace celé tatarské populace, které Tataři dodnes považují za genocidu. Krym také ztratil svůj status autonomní republiky a stal se součástí Ruské sovětské federativní socialistické republiky, jejíž součástí byl až do roku 1954.

V tomto roce jej tehdejší sovětský vůdce Nikita S. Chruščov připojil k Ukrajinské sovětské socialistické republice, což v rámci SSSR mělo význam víceméně pouze symbolický, avšak Chruščov nemohl tušit, jaký význam to jednou mít v mezinárodním významu.

Když se 31. prosince 1991 rozpadl SSSR, začaly mezi Ruskem a Ukrajinou o Krym spory, kdy si jej nárokovaly obě země. V Sevastopolu také kotvila sovětská Černomořská flotila, jejíž budoucnost byla s osudem Krymu úzce propojena.

Mapa vymezující polohu Krymu a obou akérů - Ruska a Ukrajiny

Roku 1997 Rusko a Ukrajina podepsaly Smlouvu o přátelství, spolupráci a partnerství, která potvrdila Krym jako součást Ukrajiny (Sevastopol byl samostatnou správní jednotkou se zvláštním režimem) a rozdělila bývalou sovětskou Černomořskou flotilu mezi obě země zhruba v poměru 4 : 1. Současně byl Rusku zaručen pronájem válečné námořní základny v Sevastopolu do roku 2017 za 93 milionů USD ročně (roku 2010 byl pronájem prodloužen do roku 2042). Podle této smlouvy dále Rusko mohlo umístit na Krymském poloostrově až 25 000 vojáků, 24 dělostřeleckých systémů, 132 obrněných vozidel a 22 vojenských letadel.

Začátek problémů

Když 22. února 2014 opustil ukrajinský prezident Janukovyč zemi a uprchl do Ruska, nastala z ruského pohledu nepříjemná situace. Rusko Ukrajinu vždy považovalo za svoji zájmovou oblast, počítalo např. s tím, že Ukrajina bude hlavním článkem tzv. Euroasijské unie, což měla být jakási ruská protiváha vůči EU. Prudký odklon ukrajinské politiky směrem na západ byl proto pro Rusy velmi tíživý.

Právě tak nepříjemný byl pro početnou ruskou menšinu, žijící na na východě země a tedy i na Krymu. Tato východní část Ukrajiny byla vždy výrazně proruská (také zde většinou žijí etničtí Rusové) a také chudá - naprostá většina místních obyvatel (alespoň těch starších) v té době vnímala rozpad SSSR jako tragédii, která jim dosti podstatným způsobem snížila životní úroveň. Orientace na Rusko byla podle nich příslibem, jenž měl vše zlepšit a Euromajdan jim to všechno vzal.

Toto přesvědčení navíc podporovaly ruské sdělovací prostředky, které již před rokem 2014 hrály na Krymu dominantní roli. Velmi často se v nich objevovala „nebezpečná“ témata, tedy zodpovědnost kyjevské vlády za socioekonomické problémy Krymu a vzestup radikálního islámu mezi krymskými Tatary. Rusko bylo naproti tomu vykreslováno jako pilíř stability a bezpečnosti. Společně s médii obdobně působila také ruská ortodoxní církev.

Odpověď na Euromajdan proto přišla velmi brzy. 23. února 2014 se koná velká proruská demonstrace v Sevastopolu, 26. února další v Simferopoli, hlavním městě Krymu.

27. února se na Krymu náhle objevují skupiny maskovaných ozbrojenců v neoznačených vojenských terénních vozidlech. Ozbrojenci rychle obsazují krymské vládní budovy a další strategicky významné cíle na území poloostrova.

Ačkoliv od počátku panovala podezření, že ozbrojenci jsou ruští vojáci ze sevastopolské základny, ruský prezident Putin to vytrvale popíral.

Ačkoliv Putin zarputile popíral, že by se na Krymu angažovali ruští vojáci, nasazení těchto moderních ruských vozidel Tigr ho usvědčovalo ze lži

Průběh anexe

27. února ozbrojené hlídky zaujaly pozice rovněž před budovami Rady ministrů (krymské vlády) a Nejvyšší rady Autonomní republiky Krym (krymského parlamentu), kde byla vztyčena ruská vlajka. Krymská vláda rezignovala a následně došlo k volbě nové Rady (prorusky orientované a neuznávající legitimitu proevropské vlády v Kyjevě). Novým krymským premiérem se tak stal Sergej Aksjonov, předseda strany Ruská jednota.

28. února již neoznačené jednotky ozbrojenců kontrolovaly všechny strategické cíle, vojenská zařízení, letiště, mediální stanice a zablokovaly dopravní tepny spojující Krym s Ukrajinou.

Po zajištění komunikačních uzlů bylo zastaveno vysílání ukrajinských hromadných sdělovacích prostředků, jež byly neprodleně nahrazeny ruskými, přenášejícími kremelskou verzi událostí. Tak byla vytvořeno paralelní realita, legitimizující u krymského obyvatelstva ruské akce.

Jednotky ukrajinské armády, demoralizové a zaskočené, byly zablokovány na svých základnách.


Dne 6. března 2014 přijala Nejvyšší rada Autonomní republiky Krym s okamžitou platností rozhodnutí
o připojení Krymu k Rusku. O deset dnů později se na Krymu konalo referendum vyhlášené krymským parlamentem, v němž voliči měli zvolit mezi dvěma možnostmi:

„Jste pro znovusjednocení Krymu s Ruskem s právem subjektu Ruské federace?″


"Jste pro obnovení platnosti ústavy z roku 1992 a pro status Krymu jako součásti Ukrajiny?“

Ačkoliv druhá otázka zdánlivě znamenala setrvání Krymu uvnitř Ukrajiny, ve skutečnosti by návrat k verzi ústavy z roku 1992 dával Krymu možnost vyhlásit nezávislost nezávisle na vůli centrální ukrajinské vlády.

Obyvatelé ukrajinské Autonomní republiky Krym se vyslovili pro první možnost (96,7 % hlasujících, při
účasti 83,1 %
) a obyvatelé města se zvláštní statutem Sevastopol (hlasující samostatně) taktéž (95,6 % hlasujících, při účasti 90 %).

Tabulka národnostní skladby na Krymu (údaje z roku 2001)

EtnikumPodíl obyvatelstva na Krymu
Rusové58 %
Ukrajinci24 %
Krymští Tataři12 %
Bělorusové1 %
Arméni1 %
Jiné4 %

Ukrajina referendum neuznala, neboť dle platného znění ukrajinské ústavy je možno referenda provádět výhradně na celostátní úrovni. Referendum také neuznaly USA a státy EU. Výsledek referenda naopak uznalo Rusko a ruský prezident Vladimir Putin podepsal se zástupci Krymské autonomní republiky Smlouvu o přistoupení Republiky Krym k Rusku. Ruský parlament pak 21. března 2014 oficiálně odsouhlasil přijetí Krymu jako novou součást Ruské federace.

Podpis Smlouvy o přistoupení Republiky Krym k Rusku. Zleva doprava: S. Aksjonov, V. Konstantinov (předseda Státní rady Republiky Krym), V. Putin a A. Čalyj (starosta Sevastopolu), Moskva 18. březen 2014

Valné shromáždění OSN vydalo dne 27. 3. 2014 rezoluci, v níž anexi Krymu označilo za neplatnou (pro rezoluci hlasovalo 100 států, proti 11, 58 se hlasování zdrželo).

Ozbrojenci a armáda

Ačkoliv se na Krymu nacházelo téměř 19 000 ukrajinských vojáků (celkem 18 800 mužů, z toho 11 900 příslušníků námořnictva, 2 900 příslušníků letectva, 4000 příslušníků armády), v celkem 190 vojenských objektech, Krym byl kompletně ovládnut necelými 10 000 muži.

Ukrajinská armáda na Krymu se ukázala jako morálně zcela zlomená a nefunkční. Základním problémem bylo samozřejmě její podfinancování, ale též přetrvávající “sovětské″ myšlení u velitelského sboru, a věci neprospěl ani útěk většiny vojenských špiček do Ruska s prezidentem (např. ministr obrany, náčelník generálního štábu, velitelé rozvědky i kontrarozvědky atd.). Nedostatek financí v armádě se neprojevoval jen nízkými platy vojáků (které v té době v přepočtu v průměru činily asi 8200 Kč měsíčně u řadového vojáka; (pro srovnání plat příslušníka policejní jednotky Berkut byl téměř dvojnásobný), ale také rekrutováním vojáků z blízkého okolí, aby armáda ušetřila za jejich ubytování.

Problémem na Krymu proto bylo, že velké množství zde sloužících příslušníků ukrajinských ozbrojených sil z Krymu přímo pocházelo a identifikovalo se tak spíše s Ruskem, než s Ukrajinou (z oněch téměř 19 000 ukrajinských vojáků chtělo i nadále sloužit v ukrajinských ozbrojených silách jen asi 4300 mužů; pro ty, kteří přešli do ruské armády to znamenalo zvýšení platů až o 300 %). Mnoho ukrajinských lodí vyvěsilo ruskou vlajku dobrovolně, některé další byly obsazeny ozbrojenci. Jen asi 10 lodí odplulo a vyhnulo se tak zajetí.

17. dubna 2014 konečně Putin přiznal, že neoznačení ozbrojenci na Krymu byli ruští vojáci. Převážně se jednalo o příslušníky námořní pěchoty, podporovaných několika prapory výsadkových jednotek a komandy specnaz.

Celkově do ruských rukou padlo 40 stíhaček Mig-29, 1 dieselelektrická ponorka Záporoží (třída Foxtrot) a dalších 79 lodí (z toho 25 válečných lodí a podpůrných plavidel). Ruské námořnictvo v dubnu zahájilo předávání lodí zpět Ukrajině (odplouvaly, nebo byly odtaženy do Oděsy), do 8. května 2014 bylo vráceno 33 plavidel. Předávání plavidel bylo zastaveno po vyhrocení situace na Donbasu.


V odvetu za anexi Krymu uvalily některé západní země (USA, EU, Austrálie, Nový Zéland, Kanada a
) na Rusko ekonomické sankce. Stalo se tak v celkem 6 vlnách, zahrnujících zmražení aktiv konkrétních politiků a businessmanů, omezení obchodu v některých sektorech (zejména v oblasti zbrojařské, energetické a finanční) a omezením financování ruských státem vlastněných společností.

Sankční opatření vedla k propadu kurzu rublu vůči americkému dolaru o 50 %, ruský HDP
tehdy kolísal mezi 0-0,5 %. Ruští ekonomové vyčíslili ekonomické škody způsobené Rusku sankcemi na 4 až 5 miliard amerických dolarů ročně.

Rusko v odvetě zvýšilo cenu zemního plynu, omezilo jeho dodávky a zastavilo vývoz některých zemědělských produktů.

Mělo-li být smyslem sankcí donutit Rusko, aby Krym vyklidilo a vrátilo Ukrajině, pak byly neúspěšné. Krym i nadále zůstává v ruském držení.


Obsazení Krymu bylo po čistě vojenské stránce velmi působivé. Obsazení všech klíčových bodů krymské infrastruktury bylo ukončeno během dvou dnů. Charakteristické bylo široké použití moderního vybavení ruských vojáků, zejména balistické ochrany. Ruští vojáci jednali profesionálně a velmi ukázněně. Díky tomu byl v médiích vytvořen jejich velmi dobrý obraz, kdy se nich často hovořilo jako o “zdvořilých lidech″. I to napomohlo tomu, že bez použití násilí byla ukrajinská armáda zablokována na svých základnách a zcela paralyzována, ačkoliv nejtěžším prostředkem, jenž ruské jednotky použily, byl kolový obrněný transportér BTR-80.

Proruský aktivista a ruský voják v maskovacím oděvu bez jakýchkoliv označení a distinkcí, s balistickou ochranou a kulometem PKM

Poloostrov byl plně stabilizován během tří týdnů. Na internetu i ve sdělovacích prostředcích byla široce užívaná proruská propaganda využívající srozumitelných politických, psychologických a informačních strategií. Na místní představitele byl vyvíjen nátlak zahrnující zastrašování i podplácení, paralýza centrální kyjevské vlády byla podpořena i množstvím kybernetických útoků na vládní instituce.

Kombinace vojenských a nevojenských prostředků a zahájení akcí v době, kdy konflikt ještě není vyhlášen a hranice mírového a válečného stavu je nejasná, se ukázaly jako mimořádně efektivní. Účinnost konceptu tzv. hybridních či asymetrických konfliktů, které jsou charakterizovány právě těmito specifickými prvky, se tak jasně potvrdila.


Eva Prudilová: Krymská krize, Vydala Asociace pro mezinárodní otázky pro potřeby XX. ročníku Pražského studentského summitu, 2014
Dmytro Yanchuk: Komparace diskurzu v Rusku a Ukrajině o konfliktu na Krymu, diplomová práce, Masarykova univerzita, Brno 2011
Kolektiv autorů: ZKUŠENOSTI Z VÁLEK A KONFLIKTŮ I, Univerzita obrany, Brno 2021, ISBN 978-80-7582-118-8
Jan Matzek: Anexe Krymu Ruskou federací, POLICY PAPER, leden 2016
Martin Hossinger: Krym mezi Ruskem a Ukrajinou, diplomová práce, Západočeská univerzita v Plzni, Plzeň 2015
Daniel Belušík: Anexe Krymu a její reflexe v odborné literatuře, diplomová práce, Masarykova univerzita, Brno 2019
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the draft EU-UA accession agreement of 2014
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President Putin's speech to the nation (and about Ukraine) on February 21, 2022, the official start of the next stage of the conflict in Ukraine:

The video is a recording of the speech with English translation:

The video is an abridged recording of the speech from CNN Prima News:

At this link (CT24 website) is the full recording of the speech:
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Invasion 2022

June 4 marks 100 days since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the next active phase of the Russian-Ukrainian war that began in 2014 with the occupation of Crimea and parts of the Donbas. It is premature to draw any overall conclusions as we do not know the final outcome and do not have the full range of information available, but some lessons are perhaps already apparent.


Russian initial strategy
Russia's top political and military leadership failed at the strategic level. From a geopolitical perspective, Putin and his entourage see the conflict as Russia clashing not with Ukraine but with the West, which seeks to dominate its borderlands, reducing Russia's defensive depth and bringing the West's military assets closer to Moscow. The political leadership of Ukraine is seen as mere puppets of the West who do not act in accordance with the desires of the population. One of the fundamental objectives is therefore to prevent Ukraine from becoming a member of NATO. It is not important whether joining NATO is realistic, but that Russia sees it as possible and as existentially threatening to itself.

At the same time, from some pseudo-historical and mystical point of view, it sees the Ukrainians as a kind of stupider and disoriented offshoot of the Russians who need to be incorporated back into where they see themselves as belonging and thus fulfil their historical duty. In practical terms, this would mean gaining vast fertile areas, better access to the warm sea, gaining many raw materials, gaining a number of arms companies, increasing the population by tens of millions, and increasing the share of the Slavic population in the population of the Russian Federation.

Thus, the Russian leadership planned a rapid military-police operation to occupy Ukraine. It was to be a rapid seizure of the capital and capture of the country's political leadership, a la Operation Danube in Czechoslovakia in 1968, and at the same time a kind of modern-day blitzkrieg from three other directions. The Russian leadership assumed that after the fall of the capital, the Ukrainian defenses would crumble and organized resistance would quickly cease. In areas with a majority Russian-speaking population, they assumed a positive reception. These assumptions were probably also based on reports from the GRU (state of Ukrainian forces) and the FSB (public sentiment). The invasion was justified by the need to denationalise and demilitarise Ukraine. Regarding the Western response, the Russian leadership assumed that the rapid fall of Ukraine would confront Western politicians with the necessity to recognise the situation as a fait accompli.

Since a quick victory was assumed, Russia sent a group of something between 150,000 and 190,000 men to Ukraine, including conscripts from puppet republics and members of private military companies.

Ukrainian defence strategy
Ukraine's political and military leadership, with one exception, had publicly stated before the invasion began that it did not anticipate a large-scale military invasion and viewed the buildup of troops on the border only as a form of coercion to achieve diplomatic objectives. At most, escalation in the Donbas was allowed. Either the Ukrainian leadership did not really envisage an invasion, or it tried to act as passively as possible despite the real threat and not take any steps that could be used by the Russian propaganda machine as a pretext for an invasion. The question is whether it would have been preferable to carry out at least a partial mobilisation to make Ukraine more prepared to face an invasion. Russia had enough of false pretexts as it was.

When the invasion began, the Ukrainians concentrated on defending the capital, which they wanted to hold at all costs. They took a similar approach to the second largest city, Kharkiv, and other larger or strategically located cities. Large agglomerations are generally difficult and costly targets to conquer, but Russian forces could not avoid them in many cases because they needed to occupy elements of the communications infrastructure located within them. Especially railway junctions and bridges. Otherwise, they seem to have used an adaptation of Mao Zedong's People's War strategy. That is, trading territory for dead enemies and time and diversionary strikes to wear down the occupying forces. So the Ukrainian troops put up resistance to inflict maximum casualties on the occupiers, but when the situation got too bad they retreated and did not bleed unnecessarily. The combination of these approaches can be seen as somewhat cynical, as it meant that the Ukrainian troops would be spared to some extent while the cities would be significantly devastated by the Russians, but this was essentially unavoidable for the Ukrainians if they wanted to maintain their chances of victory. They knew the Russians were rapidly running out of time and stretching their supply lines while not having enough forces to protect them. So they could disrupt it with diversionary ambushes and drone strikes. The Ukrainian side also launched a massive information offensive in the media space, including social media. It was thus able to keep the morale of its own forces high and gain support abroad, which made it easier to convince Western countries to supply arms and financial and diplomatic aid.

In fact, the Russians completely ignored the western part of Ukraine, where they did not even try to infiltrate from Belarus along the Ukrainian border with Poland to cut Ukraine off from Western material aid. Either they were running out of troops or supplies, or they grossly underestimated this point.

Change in Russian strategy
Russian assumptions did not materialize. The Russian Armed Forces were given a task that did not match their capabilities at the strategic level and, in addition, they showed a number of shortcomings at the operational and tactical level. The intelligence information proved to be full of errors and nonsense. The Russian leadership may have been the victim of its own false propaganda. The plan for the rapid capture of Kyiv failed. The city defended itself, the political leadership stayed and kept control of the national defence leadership. The rapid advance of troops in other directions also failed. More substantial success was achieved only on the southern front, where the Russian troops were handicapped by the terrain and the failure of some Ukrainian officials. Here too, however, the advance was halted after a time. Moreover, the West provided Ukraine with aid. Partly immediately, partly after believing that it would not fall within a few days. The Ukrainian population in the majority did not welcome the Russian troops, many resisted. This includes the Russian-speaking population, who have not shown the expected enthusiasm for becoming citizens of the Russian Federation, already having watched the disastrous situation in the puppet republics.

Russian troops withdrew from Kyiv at the end of March and from the northeastern front in the following days, and the invasion moved from the first phase to the second. In it, the Russian leadership declared the goal of liberating the Donbas and maintaining a land corridor to Crimea. So far, Russian troops are holding the land corridor, although they are facing the activities of the Ukrainian guerrilla movement and are facing a counter-offensive north of Kherson. At Kharkiv, they have been pushed out of range of the city and hold only a narrow strip near the border. On the Donbas, a wide flanking manoeuvre was initially envisaged, which was subsequently reduced to a penetration from Izjum to the south and simultaneously at Svyevorodonetsk to the south. Troops were to advance towards them from the south. So far, however, they had achieved only limited objectives at the cost of heavy casualties. The advance at Izjum was essentially halted. Farther east, they managed to reach the Siverskyi Donets River in many places and fight their way to Svyerodonetsk. In the south, it was possible to break through at Popasne and from there to extend the penetration laterally. But for the most part, however, the advancing Ukrainian reserves halted or at least greatly retarded this penetration. Ukrainian forces have even counter-attacked in Syvyerodonetsk, although it is not yet clear whether this is simply an effort to buy time and inflict as much damage as possible on the occupying forces, or an effort to gain more permanent control of the town and thwart one of Russia's political objectives, the occupation of the entire Luhansk region.

Ukrainian reaction
In the second phase, Ukrainian forces focused on bolstering defenses in the Donbas, slowing the Russian advance as much as possible, and pursuing a strategy of trading their territory for Russian losses. At the same time, they carried out counterattacks at Kharkiv and Kherson as they were able to replenish the Reserve Corps brigade conscripts, which were activated and handed over to the operational commands after replenishment and training.

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Russian targets

The military objectives were to disrupt the ability of the Ukrainian armed forces to conduct combat operations, destroy or disable Ukrainian military infrastructure, destroy or capture Ukrainian troops, and occupy Ukrainian territory. This was to be done as quickly as possible and, if possible, with the least possible loss and damage. A successful occupation of Ukraine would eliminate the risk that Ukraine might try to liberate the territory of the Donbas puppet republics and occupied Crimea. At the same time, it would delay Russia's border with a hostile state further away from Moscow.

The political goal was to overthrow the independent Ukrainian government, which was politically and economically oriented towards Western structures and values (democratization, decentralization, free market, vision of EU accession), replace it with a government subordinate to Moscow, and gradually begin the process of integrating the Ukrainian territory and population into the Russian Federation.

In the economic sphere, the target was Ukraine's mineral wealth, especially Ukraine's natural gas reserves (Donbas, the Black and Azov Seas, the area near Lviv). Then there are the vast agricultural areas with access to the warm sea, which provide more favourable living conditions than the vast areas of Russia. The Russian Federation would also increase the size of its population, in addition to the Slavic origin, which would improve the demographic situation, as Russia is dying out and the percentage of ethnic Russians within the Federation is decreasing.

Russia's problems
Ensuring that the rapidly advancing troops were supplied with fuel, ammunition, provisions and other supplies was crucial to the success of the blitzkrieg. The Russian army is based on movement and supply by rail. It can transport huge masses of heavy equipment and supplies, especially artillery ammunition. That is why Russian troops have made such a big effort to capture key railway junctions. Because of Ukrainian resistance, Russian logistics units had to rely on truck supply. But this was a major weakness. In general, Russian supply units are capable of supplying to some reasonable but far from ideal extent first-line units within 100 miles or so of a railhead. The Russian army has chronic weaknesses here, because while in Western armies there are many times more soldiers providing support than those doing the fighting, in the Russian army the opposite is true, and significantly so. Ukraine's road network is far from perfect and, given the weather, it was a problem to advance off the backbone roads. The secondary routes had little capacity and going off the road often meant getting stuck in the mud, both for heavy equipment and overloaded supply vehicles. Roads were often littered with the wreckage of destroyed vehicles from both sides. Russian engineers could not clear this debris quickly enough. Russian resupply men in trucks would therefore have had a problem even under ideal conditions. But they were far from that. The Russian trucks turned out to be in poor condition. The use of cheap tires and neglected maintenance disabled a good portion of the vehicles shortly after deployment. The low level of palletization of supplies overall reduced the effectiveness of these units, as each box had to be repeatedly picked up by one or two soldiers.

In addition, the enemy has targeted supply columns as one of his primary targets. Thus, other vehicles have fallen victim to mines, diversionary ambushes, and drone attacks. The Russian command was unable to provide sufficient protection for the logistics units because it generally had insufficient infantry, based on both the state of the Russian army as a whole and the structure of the battalion tactical groups. The supply problems were most pronounced on the northern and northeastern fronts, where, in addition, the activities of Belarusian saboteurs, who disrupted the functionality and reduced the capacity of the Belarusian railway network, and the flooding of parts of the territory, probably contributed. Another typically Russian manifestation was that some supplies were stolen before they were delivered to army depots or on their way from the depots to the front. Some boxes of ammunition or explosives contained only sand or wooden blocks instead of their proper contents. Nor was the morale of the troops much boosted by packages of rations that had been out of date for several years, or by medical supplies considerably older than themselves.

Cyber domain and radio electronic warfare
Russian hackers are among the most common perpetrators of cyberattacks, whether the targets are financial or political. The Russian military has made great boasts about acquiring many assets for conducting radio-electronic warfare as part of its modernization. So far, this has had significantly less effect than expected during the invasion. Russia did conduct a number of cyber attacks before and after the invasion, but its efforts were largely negated by both the capabilities of Ukrainian cyber security experts and massive assistance from Western states, led by the US, and Western technology firms.

Regarding the radio-electronic assets, it is still difficult to assess whether these were the shortcomings of the technical means, the inadequate skills of their crews, or the inability of the commanders to handle them appropriately. In the second phase, the effectiveness of the Russian means of radio-electronic warfare seems to have partially improved. The worse-than-expected performance may therefore be due to a combination of several factors.

Battlefield coordination
Modern warfare requires functional coordination between the different components of the armed forces, between the components of each component, and within each tactical formation. Without this, the principles of all-out warfare cannot be realized. This requires quality training and means of communication. In both of these areas, Russia lags far behind. A large number of units do not have secure means of communication and communicate by old means that allow only unencrypted communication. Often these are Chinese commercial radios, often bought with their own funds. This makes the units an easy target for eavesdropping and interference from the Ukrainian side.

Training in the Russian army is largely boilerplate, conducted according to a predefined scenario and conducted to demonstrate achievement of objectives rather than to actually prepare units for combat. Such training does not encourage initiative and the ability to improvise. The time commitment is often significantly less than the standard for many Western armies.

Inability to control airspace
The Russian Aerospace Forces were expected to quickly dominate Ukrainian airspace given their numerical and technological superiority. In the first hours of the invasion, although Russian forces attempted to disable Ukrainian air defenses through ballistic missile and cruise missile strikes against radar stations and PVOS assets, efforts to suppress or destroy enemy air defenses failed. This was probably due to a combination of the deployment of insufficient numbers of missiles, their lack of accuracy and reliability, inadequate intelligence information and the timely response of some Ukrainian PVOS. The latter could thus continue to operate against Russian aircraft and missiles. Similarly, Russian missile strikes on Ukrainian air bases failed to disable Ukrainian aircraft, although they were paralysed in no small part.

Russian aircraft and helicopters have also not infrequently been the target of fire from portable anti-aircraft guns. For helicopters this is an inherent threat, for drones it is due to flying at low altitudes for fear of being targeted by Ukrainian radars. Another manifestation we have seen is the launching of missiles from a safe distance, which of course reduces the effectiveness of such attacks and therefore the support of ground forces. It has also been insufficiently effective due to the lack of the necessary technical equipment and poor coordination.

Intelligence failure
It is difficult to impossible to get full information from the intelligence community from open sources. However, it appears that Russian intelligence services have supplied inaccurate and inadequate information from Ukraine about the state of the Ukrainian armed forces, the mood of society and the strength of groups willing to collaborate with Russia. Or they were putting together bad analyses based on them. It cannot be ruled out that there was an effort to write what the leadership is assumed to want to hear, but these would not be the first instances of failure, as events in Georgia in 2008 and Donbas in 2014 demonstrate.

The problems with the occupation administration's actions
The Russian occupiers are having trouble finding capable collaborators to give the occupation the hallmark of justification. The population in the occupied areas has been demonstrating since the beginning. The frequency of these demonstrations has gradually decreased but has not fully ceased, although Russian forces have not shied away from brutal methods (kidnapping, torture, murder). In addition, the Ukrainian resistance has begun to operate in some areas, carrying out attacks on collaborators, Russian soldiers and transport infrastructure. Ukrainian special forces are also apparently operating in some areas. The Russian armed forces do not have sufficient forces to fully control all the occupied territories and, in addition, the units allocated to occupation tasks are then missing from the front. These occupation activities were supposed to be carried out by police and National Guard units, but a significant number of them have been killed in the fighting, as they have gone out just behind the front-line troops, particularly in the direction of Kyiv, and have not infrequently clashed with units of the Ukrainian armed forces due to problems with their advance. These units were not sufficiently equipped or trained for combat and suffered considerable losses.

Diplomatic isolation

Economic isolation

Russian achievements

Occupation of territory
Russian forces failed to quickly occupy the territory of Ukraine as planned and had to withdraw from areas in the north and northeast, but they did manage to occupy considerable territory, particularly in the south and east. Although Ukrainian forces have largely cleared the area around the city of Kharkiv, a significant part of the Kharkiv region is still occupied. The Ukrainians have almost completely expelled the occupiers from Mykolaiv region, but have so far made only partial successes in Kherson region, and a possible advance to the left bank of the region is possible only via one bridge at Kherson and the dam at Nova Kakhovka. At Zaporozhye, Russian forces are also more or less holding their ground. Moreover, they are still advancing in the Donbas. Although slowly and at the cost of heavy losses, the Ukrainians have so far been unable to stop them.

Naval blockade
The Russian navy has managed to blockade Ukrainian ports. In doing so, they have made it impossible for the Ukrainian navy to operate, dealt a substantial blow to the Ukrainian economy, which had substantial revenues from the export of agricultural and other commodities through Black Sea ports, and kept the world at bay because of looming food shortages in many areas of the world. This provides Russia with blackmail potential, as exports by rail are very problematic and by road de facto impossible. Either way, it is slower and more costly.

Geographical distribution in the first phase

Northern Front
The Northern Front was located on the Ukrainian-Belarusian border in the stretch from the border with Poland to the Dnipro River. The Eastern Military District operated here with its 29th All-Army Army, 35th All-Army Army and 36th All-Army Army.

Northeastern Front
The Northeastern Front was located along the borders with Belarus and Russia in the stretch from the Dnipro River to the area roughly between the towns of Konotop and Sumy. The Central Military District operated here with the 2nd Guards All-Army Army and the 41st All-Army Army.

Eastern Front
The Eastern Front was located along the border with Russia in the stretch from the city of Sumy to the northern part of the Donbas. The Western Military District operated here with the 1st Guards Tank Army, the 20th Guards All-Army Army and the 6th All-Army Army.

Southern Front
The Southern Front was located in the area north of occupied Crimea and on the border with the part of Donbas that had been occupied for several years. The Southern Military District operated there with the 8th Guards All-Army Army (including the 1st and 2nd Army Corps of the Donbas Puppet Republics), the 49th All-Army Army and the 58th All-Army Army.

Change of procedure
After it became clear that the Russian armed forces were incapable of quickly seizing Ukrainian territory, Russia switched from pursuing a modern method of warfare to a method of fighting characterized by widespread devastation of territory and high casualties.

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This post has not been translated to English yet. Please use the TRANSLATE button above to see machine translation of this post.

jen si to sem odlozim ...

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Rad: I would add that apart from Crimea or Sevastopol, Russia had basically no anchorage for its Black Sea fleet, it is there in the sky, but it does not convey the meaning - without Sevastopol such a large fleet would have no place to anchor and eventually not even to carry out maintenance, not to mention construction. There was also a lot of escalation regarding the ships under construction and the cost of the base as such, which took the form of cutting off the Ukrainian debt, or payments for Russian raw materials, and which Ukraine wanted to increase quite significantly in the years after the collapse. I think that the contract on the use of Sevastopol was coming to an end (or there was to be some revision), and that's why Russia proceeded to annex it at that time, but I'm writing this from my head, I don't know if I caught it accurately.
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Radek, I find it disturbing that the treaty for the use of Sevastopol was extended to the mid 1930s in 2013... Unfortunately, I don't remember the source where I learned this....

Interesting article on the annexation of Crimea to the Ukrainian SSR
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Citace - Janko PALIGA :

Radek, I find it disturbing that the treaty on the use of Sevastopol was extended to the mid-1930s in 2013... Unfortunately, I don't remember the source where I learned this...
Hi Palo,
according to the links below, the Sevastopol lease was supposed to end in 2017, but in April 2010 it was extended until 2042.
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