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n an overnight offensive, Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine, making good of his “special military operation” announcement. Russian forces have invaded Ukraine by land, air, and sea.

Our team at Diplomatic Courier is carefully monitoring the situation. In the coming days and weeks, our correspondents in Eastern Europe as well as experts and analysts in the U.S. and around the world will be offering coverage and commentary on the implications and cost to human life, but also to lateral issues, including energy security, cybersecurity, diplomatic relations, the markets, and more.

Today, our team has compiled the most authoritative resources on how the world’s leaders, international organizations, and markets are responding to the invasion. Follow this space for continuous updates.

NATO to Navigate a “Way Forward” With Emergency Meeting Friday

Photo Courtesy of NATO, North Atlantic Treaty Organization - Meeting Hall Headquarters.

The North Atlantic Council of NATO released a statement condemning Russia’s attack on Ukraine, calling it “entirely unjustified and unprovoked.” NATO also condemned Belarus for enabling the attack.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg denounced Russia’s actions. He later vowed that NATO would defend its entire territory, reiterating that an “attack on one ally will trigger a response from the whole alliance.”

Thursday, NATO put warplanes and ships on alert to increase troop presence on its eastern flank near Ukraine and Russia. However, NATO has no plans to send troops into Ukraine. Stoltenberg has called a virtual summit of the alliance’s 30 members on Friday to address “the way forward" and their collective defense commitment following Russia’s progressions in Ukraine.

UN Security Council Emergency Meeting Interrupted

UN Security Council Holds Late Night Emergency Meeting on Ukraine. UN Photo/Mark Garten.

UN Security Council’s emergency meeting last night was interrupted by Russia’s invasion. “President Putin, stop your troops from attacking Ukraine. Give peace a chance,” posted UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. The UN is expected to vote on condemning Russian actions on Friday.

Ursula von der Leyen: Spoke to President Zelensky as he organises defence to the military attack from Russia. I reassured him that we are working non-stop to provide as much support as possible. Will discuss with other G7 leaders and at #EUCO later today. Russia will pay a heavy price.

A Unified European Response

European Union Headquarters. Photo by Christian Lue via Unsplash.

The European Union was swift in condemning Russia’s invasion with Ursula von der Leyen promising to hold Putin accountable. “In these dark hours, the European Union and its people stand by Ukraine and its people. We are facing an unprecedented act of aggression by the Russian leadership against a sovereign, independent country. Russia's target is not only Donbas, the target is not only Ukraine, the target is the stability in Europe and the whole of the international peace order. And we will hold President Putin accountable for that…we know that millions of Russians do not want war. President Putin is trying to turn back the clock to the times of the Russian empire. But in doing so, he is putting at risk the future of the Russian people.”

In a press statement today the EU said it will be putting out a sanctions package shortly: “Later today, we will present a package of massive and targeted sanctions, to European Leaders for approval. With this package, we will target strategic sectors of the Russian economy by blocking their access to technologies and markets that are key for Russia. We will weaken Russia's economic base and its capacity to modernise. And in addition, we will freeze Russian assets in the European Union and stop the access of Russian banks to European financial markets.”

Most Global Leaders Condemn Ukraine's Invasion by Russia; Some Continue to Parrot Moscow’s Disinformation

The unprovoked invasion of Ukraine has rattled European leaders who worry the proximity of war and Putin’s own proclivities might signal that they are next.

In Hungary, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said “Russia attacked Ukraine with military force this morning. Together with our EU and NATO allies, we condemn Russia's military action.” Meanwhile Fidesz faction leader Máté Kocsis said that “Ukraine is our neighbor and we are worried about it,” he also rejected any calls for Hungary to directly support Ukraine, even by providing military supplies.

Romanian President Iohannis, whose country borders Ukraine, condemns Russia's military action against Ukraine: "This will be met with the strongest reaction by the international community inflicting massive consequences."

Finish President Sauli Niinistö said: “I strongly condemn the military measures Russia has started in Ukraine. Russia's acts target Ukraine, but at the same time they are an attack on the entire European security order.”

Polish President Andrez Duda said: "An unprecedented act of aggression, another violation of international law by Russia. I deeply believe that the international community will respond to it in an unequivocal way." Polish officials also called for NATO to bolster its presence along the eastern border.

In neighboring Lithuania, President Gitanas Nauseda declared a state of emergency.

The Czech Republic went a step further, recalling its embassies from both Russia and Belarus.

Western European leaders have condemned the invasion in unison, with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson saying Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is a “catastrophe for our continent.” U.S. President Joe Biden announced new stringent sanctions, and Germany halted Nord Stream 2.

In remarks televised by NBC News, Biden emphasized the U.S.’ dedication to protecting NATO members with several mentions of increased deployment of U.S. and allied troops to Germany as well as member states along the alliance’s eastern border.

In a speech before parliament, Johnson had strong words. In a live stream from earlier Thursday, Johnson vowed to fight “the Kremlin’s blizzard of lies and disinformation by telling the truth about Putin’s war of choice.” He also promised to work with allies “to protect other European countries that are not part of NATO” in a departure from Biden’s emphasis on protecting the integrity of NATO.

President Macron of France, himself an interlocutor for diplomatic engagement in the past few weeks, made the following statement: "France stands alongside Ukraine. By choosing war, Vladimir Putin decided to carry out the most serious attack on peace in Europe in decades."

Officials in China and Brazil sounded a more reserved note, using some of the same language as Russian officials. Both refused to call Russia’s actions an invasion - and while they called for a return to diplomacy, they also emphasized a belief that Russia is pursuing legitimate security interests. Chinese officials went further, accusing the U.S. of “fanning the flames” of this crisis.

But What Does the Russian Public Think of the Invasion?

Protesting Putin. Photo by Valery Tenevoy via Unsplash.

Research by Russia’s leading independent polling and sociological research organization Levada Center found that the majority of Russians do not support war, be it in Ukraine or elsewhere. However, there is a growing belief that Russia is being dragged into war by U.S. and NATO actions, and a January 2022 poll found that 52% of Russians were extremely concerned about another world war.

This is a significant change in sentiment among Russians—in early 2020 the vast majority of Russians (80%) saw the U.S. as a friend, while only 2% saw the U.S. as an enemy. Furthermore, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s favorability rating among Russians has risen in recent months after hitting historic lows in 2018. As of January, 69% of Russians approve of Putin, while in September 2018 only 39% of Russian respondents indicated trust in Putin.

In the most recent sampling available, Levada on February 24 released the results of polling conducted from February 17-21. It shows deteriorating Russian attitudes toward Ukraine—with 35% of Russians having a positive attitude toward Ukraine compared to 45% in a November 2021 poll. The majority of Russians now see the escalation of tensions in Ukraine as the fault of the West, with 60% of respondents blaiming the U.S. and NATO, compared to 4% blaming Russia.

In an interview, Levada Center Director Denis Volkov said their research indicates that Russians have no appetite for war, but feel as though the country is being dragged into a war against its will by the West and are resigned for it to happen.

According to an assessment by the U.S. Department of State, this is due to a successful disinformation campaign by the Russian government. According to the State Department, successful disinformation narratives help to situate Russia as the victim of Russophobia and aggressive actions by the West. This is further buttressed by disinformation around historical revisionism, from recasting the Soviet Union’s role in World War II to the history and validity of Ukrainian statehood.

Finally, there are reports of anti-war protests in Russia. While reports about numbers of protesters and numbers arrested are understandably conflicted at this time, the numbers on both fronts appear to be in the thousands.

How Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine Hit Markets

Stock and Crypto Values Markets. Photo by Maxim Hopman via Unsplash.

Global markets reacted strongly to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Broadly speaking, commodities are up sharply while stocks and crypto currencies are down.

Commodities

Oil, natural gas, and grains are rising while metals are mixed, though market participants say that these trends won’t necessarily continue. Sanctions against Russia are coming, and how those are crafted could send some commodities still higher or bring them down.

US oil prices are up sharply, threatening $100/barrel in early trading before settling down from pre-trade highs. WTI prices were at $96.68/barrel at 12:51pm EST, a 4.97% gain compared to close of trade on 23 February. WTI started the year at $75.21/barrel. Brent crude prices are showing greater sensitivity, rising to above $105/barrel in early trading before dipping a bit to $103.19/barrel at 12:54pm EST, a 6.56% gain on the previous day’s close. Brent prices started the year at $78.98/barrel.

Natural gas prices are up in both Europe and North America, though European prices are showing more sensitivity. Henry Hub natural gas (U.S.) prices are at $4.78/MMBtu as of 12:48pm EST, a 2.68% gain on the previous day. Dutch TTF natural gas prices, meanwhile (the main European index) surged, climbing to €135.00/MWh, a staggering 51.87% surge compared to the previous day’s close. For context, the Dutch TTF started the year at €80.43/MWh.

Precious metals such as gold and platinum are showing a muted response. Gold is up by about half a percent compared to the 23 February close, while platinum is down by 2.67% compared to the previous day. Platinum had been rising for the past week and began this morning up.

Global wheat prices, meanwhile, are up by 9.65% as of 12:30pm EST, which reflects Ukraine’s importance as a food supplier for the region.

Indexes and Crypto

Stock markets around the world fell sharply, while the drop in cryptocurrencies has been dramatic. The drop in crypto, especially Ethereum, is likely connected to Ukraine’s dominance of crypto mining in Europe.

The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) was down to 15,659.30 as of 1:28pm EST, a 2.24% drop compared to close on 23 February. For context, the NYSE was at 16,659.77 to start the month and 17,164.13 to start the year. Major European indexes were down by over three percent as well, with the British FTSE 100 closing 24 February with a 3.88% drop while the French Euronext 100 Index ended the day down by 3.07%. Russia’s MOEX suffered catastrophic losses, falling by 33.28% to close the day at 2,058.12. For context, closed last Thursday (one week ago today) at 3,511.08.

The HKSE Hong Kong Index also showed heightened sensitivity, closing the day on 24 February at 417.20, a 5.42% drop on the previous day.

Cryptocurrencies, meanwhile, were down sharply. Bitcoin was priced at $36,410.34 at 6:52pm UTC, a drop of over $1,500 (3.97%) from the previous day. This represents a significant recovery over how Bitcoin started the day, having been priced at $35,385.05 as of 12:28pm UTC. Ethereum was more sensitive, falling to $2,500.09 as of 6:53pm UTC, a 5.85% drop from the previous day. This price is a massive recovery from earlier in the day. Ethereum was priced at $2,370.51 as of 12:29pm UTC, a 12.76% drop from 23 February.

About
Shane Szarkowski
:
Dr. Shane Szarkowski is Managing Editor of Diplomatic Courier and the Executive Director of World in 2050. A Marine Corps Veteran, he is an experienced editor and analyst with expertise in energy, security, and state failure. Follow him on Twitter @ShaneSzarkowski.
About
Whitney DeVries
:
Whitney DeVries is a Diplomatic Courier correspondent currently pursuing a master’s degree in International Affairs and Global Enterprise at the University of Utah.
About
Adam Ratzlaff
:
Adam Ratzlaff is special series editor and a specialist in Latin American foreign and public affairs.
About
Ana C. Rold
:
Ana C. Rold is the Founder and Publisher of Diplomatic Courier. She teaches political science courses at Northeastern University and is the Host and Producer of Future Tense podcast. Follow her on Twitter @ACRold
The views presented in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the views of any other organization.

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www.diplomaticourier.com

Russia Invaded Ukraine – Here’s How the World Responded

Photo by Max Kukurudziak via Unsplash.

February 24, 2022

Russia launched a full invasion of Ukraine Wednesday night. Check out the Diplomatic Courier staff's broad-spectrum review of how the world responded - from institutions to world leaders to markets to the Russian people themselves.

I

n an overnight offensive, Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine, making good of his “special military operation” announcement. Russian forces have invaded Ukraine by land, air, and sea.

Our team at Diplomatic Courier is carefully monitoring the situation. In the coming days and weeks, our correspondents in Eastern Europe as well as experts and analysts in the U.S. and around the world will be offering coverage and commentary on the implications and cost to human life, but also to lateral issues, including energy security, cybersecurity, diplomatic relations, the markets, and more.

Today, our team has compiled the most authoritative resources on how the world’s leaders, international organizations, and markets are responding to the invasion. Follow this space for continuous updates.

NATO to Navigate a “Way Forward” With Emergency Meeting Friday

Photo Courtesy of NATO, North Atlantic Treaty Organization - Meeting Hall Headquarters.

The North Atlantic Council of NATO released a statement condemning Russia’s attack on Ukraine, calling it “entirely unjustified and unprovoked.” NATO also condemned Belarus for enabling the attack.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg denounced Russia’s actions. He later vowed that NATO would defend its entire territory, reiterating that an “attack on one ally will trigger a response from the whole alliance.”

Thursday, NATO put warplanes and ships on alert to increase troop presence on its eastern flank near Ukraine and Russia. However, NATO has no plans to send troops into Ukraine. Stoltenberg has called a virtual summit of the alliance’s 30 members on Friday to address “the way forward" and their collective defense commitment following Russia’s progressions in Ukraine.

UN Security Council Emergency Meeting Interrupted

UN Security Council Holds Late Night Emergency Meeting on Ukraine. UN Photo/Mark Garten.

UN Security Council’s emergency meeting last night was interrupted by Russia’s invasion. “President Putin, stop your troops from attacking Ukraine. Give peace a chance,” posted UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. The UN is expected to vote on condemning Russian actions on Friday.

Ursula von der Leyen: Spoke to President Zelensky as he organises defence to the military attack from Russia. I reassured him that we are working non-stop to provide as much support as possible. Will discuss with other G7 leaders and at #EUCO later today. Russia will pay a heavy price.

A Unified European Response

European Union Headquarters. Photo by Christian Lue via Unsplash.

The European Union was swift in condemning Russia’s invasion with Ursula von der Leyen promising to hold Putin accountable. “In these dark hours, the European Union and its people stand by Ukraine and its people. We are facing an unprecedented act of aggression by the Russian leadership against a sovereign, independent country. Russia's target is not only Donbas, the target is not only Ukraine, the target is the stability in Europe and the whole of the international peace order. And we will hold President Putin accountable for that…we know that millions of Russians do not want war. President Putin is trying to turn back the clock to the times of the Russian empire. But in doing so, he is putting at risk the future of the Russian people.”

In a press statement today the EU said it will be putting out a sanctions package shortly: “Later today, we will present a package of massive and targeted sanctions, to European Leaders for approval. With this package, we will target strategic sectors of the Russian economy by blocking their access to technologies and markets that are key for Russia. We will weaken Russia's economic base and its capacity to modernise. And in addition, we will freeze Russian assets in the European Union and stop the access of Russian banks to European financial markets.”

Most Global Leaders Condemn Ukraine's Invasion by Russia; Some Continue to Parrot Moscow’s Disinformation

The unprovoked invasion of Ukraine has rattled European leaders who worry the proximity of war and Putin’s own proclivities might signal that they are next.

In Hungary, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said “Russia attacked Ukraine with military force this morning. Together with our EU and NATO allies, we condemn Russia's military action.” Meanwhile Fidesz faction leader Máté Kocsis said that “Ukraine is our neighbor and we are worried about it,” he also rejected any calls for Hungary to directly support Ukraine, even by providing military supplies.

Romanian President Iohannis, whose country borders Ukraine, condemns Russia's military action against Ukraine: "This will be met with the strongest reaction by the international community inflicting massive consequences."

Finish President Sauli Niinistö said: “I strongly condemn the military measures Russia has started in Ukraine. Russia's acts target Ukraine, but at the same time they are an attack on the entire European security order.”

Polish President Andrez Duda said: "An unprecedented act of aggression, another violation of international law by Russia. I deeply believe that the international community will respond to it in an unequivocal way." Polish officials also called for NATO to bolster its presence along the eastern border.

In neighboring Lithuania, President Gitanas Nauseda declared a state of emergency.

The Czech Republic went a step further, recalling its embassies from both Russia and Belarus.

Western European leaders have condemned the invasion in unison, with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson saying Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is a “catastrophe for our continent.” U.S. President Joe Biden announced new stringent sanctions, and Germany halted Nord Stream 2.

In remarks televised by NBC News, Biden emphasized the U.S.’ dedication to protecting NATO members with several mentions of increased deployment of U.S. and allied troops to Germany as well as member states along the alliance’s eastern border.

In a speech before parliament, Johnson had strong words. In a live stream from earlier Thursday, Johnson vowed to fight “the Kremlin’s blizzard of lies and disinformation by telling the truth about Putin’s war of choice.” He also promised to work with allies “to protect other European countries that are not part of NATO” in a departure from Biden’s emphasis on protecting the integrity of NATO.

President Macron of France, himself an interlocutor for diplomatic engagement in the past few weeks, made the following statement: "France stands alongside Ukraine. By choosing war, Vladimir Putin decided to carry out the most serious attack on peace in Europe in decades."

Officials in China and Brazil sounded a more reserved note, using some of the same language as Russian officials. Both refused to call Russia’s actions an invasion - and while they called for a return to diplomacy, they also emphasized a belief that Russia is pursuing legitimate security interests. Chinese officials went further, accusing the U.S. of “fanning the flames” of this crisis.

But What Does the Russian Public Think of the Invasion?

Protesting Putin. Photo by Valery Tenevoy via Unsplash.

Research by Russia’s leading independent polling and sociological research organization Levada Center found that the majority of Russians do not support war, be it in Ukraine or elsewhere. However, there is a growing belief that Russia is being dragged into war by U.S. and NATO actions, and a January 2022 poll found that 52% of Russians were extremely concerned about another world war.

This is a significant change in sentiment among Russians—in early 2020 the vast majority of Russians (80%) saw the U.S. as a friend, while only 2% saw the U.S. as an enemy. Furthermore, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s favorability rating among Russians has risen in recent months after hitting historic lows in 2018. As of January, 69% of Russians approve of Putin, while in September 2018 only 39% of Russian respondents indicated trust in Putin.

In the most recent sampling available, Levada on February 24 released the results of polling conducted from February 17-21. It shows deteriorating Russian attitudes toward Ukraine—with 35% of Russians having a positive attitude toward Ukraine compared to 45% in a November 2021 poll. The majority of Russians now see the escalation of tensions in Ukraine as the fault of the West, with 60% of respondents blaiming the U.S. and NATO, compared to 4% blaming Russia.

In an interview, Levada Center Director Denis Volkov said their research indicates that Russians have no appetite for war, but feel as though the country is being dragged into a war against its will by the West and are resigned for it to happen.

According to an assessment by the U.S. Department of State, this is due to a successful disinformation campaign by the Russian government. According to the State Department, successful disinformation narratives help to situate Russia as the victim of Russophobia and aggressive actions by the West. This is further buttressed by disinformation around historical revisionism, from recasting the Soviet Union’s role in World War II to the history and validity of Ukrainian statehood.

Finally, there are reports of anti-war protests in Russia. While reports about numbers of protesters and numbers arrested are understandably conflicted at this time, the numbers on both fronts appear to be in the thousands.

How Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine Hit Markets

Stock and Crypto Values Markets. Photo by Maxim Hopman via Unsplash.

Global markets reacted strongly to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Broadly speaking, commodities are up sharply while stocks and crypto currencies are down.

Commodities

Oil, natural gas, and grains are rising while metals are mixed, though market participants say that these trends won’t necessarily continue. Sanctions against Russia are coming, and how those are crafted could send some commodities still higher or bring them down.

US oil prices are up sharply, threatening $100/barrel in early trading before settling down from pre-trade highs. WTI prices were at $96.68/barrel at 12:51pm EST, a 4.97% gain compared to close of trade on 23 February. WTI started the year at $75.21/barrel. Brent crude prices are showing greater sensitivity, rising to above $105/barrel in early trading before dipping a bit to $103.19/barrel at 12:54pm EST, a 6.56% gain on the previous day’s close. Brent prices started the year at $78.98/barrel.

Natural gas prices are up in both Europe and North America, though European prices are showing more sensitivity. Henry Hub natural gas (U.S.) prices are at $4.78/MMBtu as of 12:48pm EST, a 2.68% gain on the previous day. Dutch TTF natural gas prices, meanwhile (the main European index) surged, climbing to €135.00/MWh, a staggering 51.87% surge compared to the previous day’s close. For context, the Dutch TTF started the year at €80.43/MWh.

Precious metals such as gold and platinum are showing a muted response. Gold is up by about half a percent compared to the 23 February close, while platinum is down by 2.67% compared to the previous day. Platinum had been rising for the past week and began this morning up.

Global wheat prices, meanwhile, are up by 9.65% as of 12:30pm EST, which reflects Ukraine’s importance as a food supplier for the region.

Indexes and Crypto

Stock markets around the world fell sharply, while the drop in cryptocurrencies has been dramatic. The drop in crypto, especially Ethereum, is likely connected to Ukraine’s dominance of crypto mining in Europe.

The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) was down to 15,659.30 as of 1:28pm EST, a 2.24% drop compared to close on 23 February. For context, the NYSE was at 16,659.77 to start the month and 17,164.13 to start the year. Major European indexes were down by over three percent as well, with the British FTSE 100 closing 24 February with a 3.88% drop while the French Euronext 100 Index ended the day down by 3.07%. Russia’s MOEX suffered catastrophic losses, falling by 33.28% to close the day at 2,058.12. For context, closed last Thursday (one week ago today) at 3,511.08.

The HKSE Hong Kong Index also showed heightened sensitivity, closing the day on 24 February at 417.20, a 5.42% drop on the previous day.

Cryptocurrencies, meanwhile, were down sharply. Bitcoin was priced at $36,410.34 at 6:52pm UTC, a drop of over $1,500 (3.97%) from the previous day. This represents a significant recovery over how Bitcoin started the day, having been priced at $35,385.05 as of 12:28pm UTC. Ethereum was more sensitive, falling to $2,500.09 as of 6:53pm UTC, a 5.85% drop from the previous day. This price is a massive recovery from earlier in the day. Ethereum was priced at $2,370.51 as of 12:29pm UTC, a 12.76% drop from 23 February.

About
Shane Szarkowski
:
Dr. Shane Szarkowski is Managing Editor of Diplomatic Courier and the Executive Director of World in 2050. A Marine Corps Veteran, he is an experienced editor and analyst with expertise in energy, security, and state failure. Follow him on Twitter @ShaneSzarkowski.
About
Whitney DeVries
:
Whitney DeVries is a Diplomatic Courier correspondent currently pursuing a master’s degree in International Affairs and Global Enterprise at the University of Utah.
About
Adam Ratzlaff
:
Adam Ratzlaff is special series editor and a specialist in Latin American foreign and public affairs.
About
Ana C. Rold
:
Ana C. Rold is the Founder and Publisher of Diplomatic Courier. She teaches political science courses at Northeastern University and is the Host and Producer of Future Tense podcast. Follow her on Twitter @ACRold
The views presented in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the views of any other organization.