This explanatory article is regularly updated, you can check the news marked with asterisks throughout the text and their correspondence in the last block.
Russia’s attack on Ukraine began in the early hours of Thursday, February 24, at the time when Russian President, Vladimir Putin announced the start of the bombing. In a televised statementjustified the offensive in defense of the citizens of the “abuses and genocide” that he attributed to the kyiv government for eight years in the Donbas region, something of which he has not presented evidence.
At Maldita.es we work to deny the hoaxes that circulate in this crisis situationwe re offer the keys to be alert to the misinformation that circulates and we tell you how we use verification toolsbut we also want to tell you what the key facts and data are.
How did the first hours of the Russian offensive against Ukraine go?
On the first day of the offensive and just after Putin announced the start of the attack, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine notified in its twitter account that “at approximately 5:00 am (local time), the state border of Ukraine in the area with Russia and Belarus was attacked by Russian troops supported by Belarus. Attacks on border units, border patrols and checkpoints are carried out with the use of artillery, heavy equipment and small arms.
The Ukrainian president, Volodímir Zelensky, reported the bombings this morning through a video posted on Telegram: “Russia has launched attacks against our military infrastructure and border guards.” Likewise, he activated martial law throughout the country and ordered the closure of airspace after the start of the military operation. “Due to the high risk of aviation security for civil aviation, the closure of Ukrainian airspace for civil flights is decreed (…),” the State Air Traffic Services Company of Ukraine said in a statement.
***On Thursday afternoon, Zelensky shared a video on Facebook in which he asked the European Union for help. “If you, dear European leaders, world leaders, leaders of the free world, do not help us, and do not help us well, tomorrow the war will knock on their doors”. He also refuted Putin that “it was not Ukraine that took the path of war.” Likewise, both Zelenski and members of his government were reporting various advances in Russian troop positions, such as the takeover of the Chernobyl nuclear exclusion zone.
How can I follow day by day what is happening in Ukraine?
The amount of information we receive makes it difficult at times to process which facts or statements are reliable and how far-reaching they may be. Both on their web pages and through their Twitter accounts, the independent Spanish media of international analysis Deciphering the War (@descifraguerra) either the world order (@elOrdenMundial) are an option to follow the latest relevant events and understand in what context they occur. We tell you what other maps, collaborative tools and initiatives you can follow to find out what is happening in Ukraine. And we add some resources to avoid hoaxes about Russia’s war against Ukraine.
What is the situation of people leaving Ukraine?
According to the report of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) of March 2, in the first seven days of Russian attacks on Ukraine, a million refugees They fled to neighboring countries.
**** In response to this situation, on Sunday, February 27, the leaders of the Member States of the European Union met to discuss the reception of displaced persons, although no decision was reached. The agreement to activate the temporary protection of displaced It arrived on March 3 at a meeting of the EU Interior Ministers, as we told you in Maldita.es. This mechanism, which is compatible with the request for asylum, has never been applied but grants residence permits for between one and three years to displaced persons, as well as access to employment, housing, Social Security and medical attention. We have also told you what we know about whether the Polish and Ukrainian military and police are preventing black people from crossing the border.
How can I collaborate with donations and aid to Ukraine?
In Maldita.es we are constantly updating a Collection of associations, organizations or institutions with which you can collaborate. You can make a financial donation to non-governmental organizations such as Save the Children, International Amnesty, UNICEF, Spanish Red Cross, Ukrainian Red Cross either Polish Red Cross (where as of March 2, half a million people had already been displaced, according to UN data), among others. You can also check our list to see where you can donate food, medicine and clothing in different Spanish cities.
How has the international community reacted to Russia’s bombing of Ukraine?
During the first day of the attack, the first international reactions coincided in condemning it with qualifications such as “unjustified” that they shared USA and the European Union. Sanctions were also promised, which, in the words of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, targeted “strategic sectors of Russia’s economy.”
Russian forces invaded Ukraine, a free and sovereign country.
We condemn this barbaric attack, and the cynical arguments used to justify it.
Later today we will present a package of massive, targeted sanctions.
— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) February 24, 2022
*** For his part, the President of the United States, Joe Bidenexplained on Thursday afternoon that in the meeting with his G7 counterparts it was agreed to advance “in devastating sanctions packages and other economic measures to hold Russia to account. We stand with the brave people of Ukraine.”
This morning, I met with my G7 counterparts to discuss President Putin’s unjustified attack on Ukraine and we agreed to move forward on devastating packages of sanctions and other economic measures to hold Russia to account. We stand with the brave people of Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/dzvYxj7J9w
—President Biden (@POTUS) February 24, 2022
Then the dripping penalties with a back and forth effect It escalated throughout Friday, until more and more countries announced the disconnection of the SWIFT systemthe platform that allows you to make international payments and that we explain in Maldita.es.
If you want to have all the information on sanctions updated and systematized, we recommend that you consult the imposed sanctions monitor by the countries that have developed the German independent media corrective based on data collected by the open database of international sanctions OpenSanctions. It is available in English and German and is constantly updated.
What has been the position of the Spanish Government regarding the Russian attack in Ukraine?
**The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, appeared on the day of the attack against Ukraine after the National Security Council (CSN) chaired by King Felipe VI to transfer the “total and resounding condemnation” of Spain to “the unacceptable military actions of the Putin’s Government in Ukraine”. Sánchez has affirmed that Spain will defend “international legality” and “He will go out of his way to restore peace”. He also stated that the Government would provide the necessary help to the Spanish citizens who are still in Ukraine, which numbered more than 320 on February 24, after at least a hundred of the 436 who were registered at the kyiv Embassy had returned. .
“The facts are very serious and very simple at the same time. A nuclear power has violated international law and has begun the invasion of a neighboring country while threatening retaliation against the country that comes to the aid of the attacked country”, said Sánchez.
Later, on February 28, Sánchez offered an interview to RTVE in which ruled out sending weapons to Ukraine directly, and explained that it would limit itself to doing so through the European Union system. However, during a appearance in Congress of Deputies, Sánchez announced on March 2 that Spain was indeed going to send a contribution to the European Peace Support Fund.****
How have you got here? Historical background of the crisis between Russia and Ukraine
The most recent milestone in the history of the crisis in eastern Ukraine marks the past February 21, 2022when Vladimir Putin recognized the independence of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics. These two enclaves are located in the Donbas region, which are controlled by pro-Russian separatists. In addition to posting a decree of recognition After its independence, Putin sent troops to this area, which is close to the Black Sea and is historically known for its mineral wealth and the production of coal and steel.
International diplomacy failed to stem the shadow of a Russian invasion, which some US officials had begun warning of in November 2021, in the Donbas region, which broke away from Ukraine in 2014. Russia had issued a series of demands , including a legal guarantee that Ukraine would not join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and in the absence of a satisfactory response, Moscow ordered thousands of soldiers to carry out military exercises on the Ukrainian borders.
It was in that year that Russia invaded and annexed the Crimean peninsula, starting a war that is still going on in the area. The recognition of the independence of Donetsk and Lugansk contravened the minsk agreements with which in 2014 and 2015 an attempt was made to end the war in Donbas. The Minsk agreements, however, failed to stop the fighting. In 2019, Volodimir Zelenski came to power in kyiv, a former comedian who during the campaign promised the end of the war in Donbas. As the last relevant historical fact, it should be remembered that Ukraine and Moscow were two of the components of the Soviet Union, which would dissolve in 1991, when Ukraine voted in a referendum for its independence.
How can we explain to boys and girls what is happening in Ukraine?
In Maldita.es We have contacted experts in psychology and in dealing with traumas, crises and stress who can explain the best way for children to understand what is happening in Ukraine. Consult all the tips to be able to address this reality and the guidelines to avoid at a delicate moment.
* Update at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 24 with the news from NATO and with the update of the national and international stock markets.
** Update at 3:15 p.m. on Thursday, February 24, with the appearance of Pedro Sánchez.
*** Update at 7:45 p.m. on Thursday, February 24 with statements by Putin, Zelenski and Biden.
**** Update at 18:40 on Thursday, March 3 with the decision of the EU to agree to the activation of the special protection directive for Ukrainians fleeing war. It also includes the position of the Government and the updated number of displaced persons according to the UN.
At Maldita.es we are telling you in this compilation all the hoaxes and misinformation that we have denied about the Russian invasion of Ukraine. If you detect any more, you can send them to us through our WhatsApp chatbot at +34 644 22 93 19. In addition, fact-checkers from all over the world have come together to create a global and collaborative database, #UkraineFacts, to fight against disinformation about Russia’s attack on Ukraine. On the map, you can see in which countries each misinformation has been detected and access the denials.