1. When and how did the Russian aggression against Ukraine begin?
Russia's premeditated armed aggression against Ukraine began on February 20, 2014, with the military operation of the Russian Armed Forces to seize a part of the territory of Ukraine - the Crimean Peninsula.
Having carried out the temporary occupation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, the Kremlin moved to the next stage - the war in the Ukrainian Donbas. Units of the Russian special forces and other armed formations of the Russian Federation, Russian soldiers "on leave" and military advisers seized local bodies of power, police stations, and military facilities of Ukraine in the certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine.
The Minsk agreements and agreements in the "Normandy format" reached later through the mediation of the OSCE, as well as Germany and France, from the very first day were not fulfilled by Russia, which, instead of their implementation, tried to replace the process of peaceful settlement and efforts aimed at ending the war with granting "special status" to the quasi-state entities created by it.
By launching armed aggression against Ukraine, Russia has violated the fundamental norms and principles of international law, a number of bilateral and multilateral treaties and agreements.
Joint political and diplomatic efforts of the international community became an important element of countering the aggressor. Within the framework of international organizations and at the bilateral level, numerous documents and decisions were adopted in support of the territorial integrity of Ukraine within the internationally recognized borders.
Political and economic sanctions aimed at forcing the Russian Federation to come to the negotiating table became the most effective tool of pressure on the occupying State. At the same time, the world has never seen a real desire to settle the armed conflict by political and diplomatic means on the part of the Russian Federation.
2. What happened on February 24, 2022?
Since November 2021, the Russian Federation has been actively building up its troops on the border with Ukraine, both on its side and on the side of Belarus, while assuring the absence of any intention to attack Ukraine.
On February 21, 2022, Russia officially "recognized" as "states" the terrorist entities "Luhansk People's Republic" and "Donetsk People's Republic" created by it in the certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine.
On February 24, 2022, the President of the Russian Federation announced the beginning of the so-called "special military operation" under the pretext of carrying out the so-called "demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine". After that, around four o'clock in the morning, missile strikes were carried out throughout the territory of Ukraine, and Russian troops launched a large-scale invasion of the territory of our state, entering from the side of the Russian Federation, Belarus and the temporarily occupied Crimean peninsula.
The defense sector of Ukraine responded by repelling the occupier along the entire front line. Active resistance from the Armed Forces of Ukraine, territorial defense forces and Ukrainian citizens caused significant losses to the Russian occupiers and disrupted the Kremlin's plans to carry out a "blitzkrieg", capture Kyiv and key cities and change power in Ukraine.
About 330,000 people have been involved into Russia's large-scale armed aggression against Ukraine, of which the number of Russian Armed Forces groups in the areas is up to 150,000 servicemen in the battalion-tactical groups and other formations. Taking into account the air and sea components, the grouping of the aggressor's forces has up to 220 thousand servicemen. In addition, military units and units of the enemy's mobilization reserve numbering more than 80,000 persons, combat army systems - up to 7,000 persons, the federal service of the National Guard troops - up to 18,000 persons, as well as private military companies - up to 8,000 persons were involved.
Since the first day of the invasion, Russia has been violating the rules of war and international law and committing war crimes and crimes against humanity on a massive scale, killing civilians, destroying infrastructure and deporting the population. The Russian authorities conduct an active information warfare and use propaganda.
Russia has temporarily seized and holds about 20% of the territory of Ukraine.
3. The impact and consequences of the Russian Federation's war against Ukraine on European and world security
Russia's war against Ukraine is not so much a regional as a civilizational conflict. Democratic Ukraine is waging a war for independence against Russian neo-colonialism, which is personified by an authoritarian regime that rejects an independent Ukrainian nation its right to exist. Ukraine protects the entire liberal-democratic world from attempts of revisionism of the existing world order based on the rule of law. Instead, Russia seeks to change the balance of power by applying the principle of the right of force.
Russian racism is the reincarnation of German Nazism - both ideologies use imperial chauvinism, superiority over other nations. In Russia, pacifist slogans are banned and the cult of armed forces and war is cultivated.
The main goal of the Kremlin's military and hybrid efforts is not only to restore its own sphere of influence in Eastern Europe, but also to destroy unity, weaken and discredit the multilateral institutions of the Western world, primarily the EU and NATO. It was the movement of Ukraine in the direction of integration into the mentioned structures that was used as a formal justification for the start of full-scale hostilities by Russia against Ukraine.
Russia will continue its aggressive policy towards the countries of the Baltic-Black Sea region, using nuclear blackmail, in order to reach the goals of revenge against the West for the defeat in the Cold War. Russia is a permanent member of the UN Security Council, and therefore aggression against Ukraine destroys the basic foundations of the work of this structure, when one permanent member of the SC can use the right of veto in its own interests. The UN is in dire need of systemic reform to prevent negative scenarios.
Russia's invasion of Ukraine destabilized global logistics chains. The consequences of military operations, shelling of transport and agricultural infrastructure, Russia's ongoing blockade of Ukraine's Black Sea ports threaten a global food crisis in the world, which can cause political instability in Asian and African countries. Ukraine is one of the breadbaskets of the world, a leading producer and exporter of wheat, corn and sunflower oil.
4. Goals of Ukraine in the war and after it
Ukraine strives for the complete liberation of all occupied territories, the restoration of sovereignty and territorial integrity in the internationally recognized borders, including the parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, as well as the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, occupied in 2014.
Russia must pay compensation for the mass destruction caused to Ukraine. War criminals must be held accountable.
Ukraine should receive clear and effective international security guarantees. Russia must be deprived of the capacity for armed aggression in the future.
Ukraine will create conditions for the voluntary return of refugees and internally displaced persons to the territory from which they were forced to leave due to Russia's military aggression.
After the war, Ukraine, having gone through reforms, will join the European and Euro-Atlantic institutions as a full member, which is fixed in the Constitution of Ukraine.