Russia’s unprovoked, full-scale invasion of Ukraine is a huge security danger that has shattered peace in Europe. It is also causing Ukrainian citizens to endure serious violations of international humanitarian law, including the unlawful killing and injury of civilians and destruction of infrastructure – actions that may amount to war crimes. Amnesty International is working to document the evidence of these violations & other human rights abuses in Ukraine.
The Russia-Ukraine conflict is a manifestation of renewed great power rivalry and the contest for influence in an increasingly complex world. Many experts predict that it will shape global politics for decades to come.
On February 24, 2022, Russia’s forces invaded Ukraine. While Western intelligence agencies had known that Russia was amassing tens of thousands of troops along Ukraine’s border and in allied Belarus, few anticipated the scale of Putin’s attack. The goal was to destabilize Ukraine, unseat President Volodymyr Zelensky, and force him to agree to territorial concessions.
Moscow’s wager was that enough ordinary Ukrainians, especially in eastern Ukraine, would welcome reintegration into a Russian sphere of influence. This calculation was based on shared cultural, linguistic, and religious identities that were common in postwar Europe. However, it has proved to be profoundly wrong. This has slowed the war and prevented the Kremlin from creating the rump state that it envisaged before the conflict began.