24 February 2022
Gide Alert | Europe
In response to the events currently taking place in Ukraine, our teams are coming together to offer analyses of the main sanctions adopted to date or to come. Click here to read the sanctions updated on a regular basis. Click here to find out more.
Tensions in and around Ukraine have been building up recently, reaching a new high since Russia's annexing of the Crimea region in 2014. A few hours ago, at around 5am Ukrainian time today, Russian forces have unleashed an attack on Ukraine: explosions from Russian cruise and ballistic missiles took place near major Ukrainian cities, including the capital Kiev targeting the country's infrastructure.
A major point of contention between the West, Ukraine and Russia lies in Ukraine's interest to join NATO and the West's openness to such an option, which Russia holds to be at odds with prior commitments on part of the West and which would further the encircling of Russia by NATO countries.
As easily apparent, beyond the issue of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, the issue also more broadly puts into question Europe's entire security architecture.
For over a month now, Russia had been building up massive military strength at Ukraine's border, prompting fears of a Russian invasion of Ukraine. After weeks of, apparently fruitless, diplomatic back-and-forth, in the night of 21 February 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin has proclaimed Russia's recognition of the independence of Ukraine's Luhansk and Donetsk separatist regions (collectively referred to as the Donbass region). In the wake of this recognition, President Putin has ordered Russian armed forces to assume a "peacekeeping mission" in those newly-independent regions.
In reaction, the US, UK, Germany and the EU have all announced sanctions. In addition, it is reported that US partner-countries, such as Singapore, Japan, and Taiwan, would align and also adopt sanctions targeting Russia (in particular, through export controls targeting high-tech items such as semiconductors).
Military tension has further escalated since Putin’s initial statements. On Thursday 24 February in the early morning, Putin announced a “special military operation” in Ukraine, following which Ukrainian authorities reported missile strikes at military facilities in Kyiv, Kharkiv and Dnipro and a pincer movement by Russia from Belarus to the north and from Crimea to the south. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba designated the actions of Russia as a "full-scale invasion”.
On the PDF below, we outline the main sanctions adopted thus far by different parties in reaction to these developments.
 Russia thus refers to those regions as the "People's Republic of Donetsk" and "People's Republic of Luhansk", abbreviated as "DNR" and "LNR".