Ukrainian Crisis Situational Analysis Situation Report

Impact Initiatives
January 27, 2023
Situational Analysis

Executive Summary


In December, missile and drone attacks targeting energy infrastructure continued throughout the country resulting in widespread damage and the interruption of electricity supplies. Around the line of control Ukrainian forces made small advances in Kherson and Kharkiv oblasts claiming to have regained about 40% of the area that had been occupied by non-government forces. However Russian forces continue to mount attacks around Bakhmut in Donetsk oblast. Along with the drone and missile strikes, intense shelling has continued over the past month, with attacks resulting in 804 civilian casualties in December alone (192 killed and 612 injured). Contamination with mines and unexploded ordination (UXO) continues with approximately 30% of the territory of Ukraine now affected.


Displacement figures have continued to mostly follow a downward trend since August with a decrease of 626,000 IDPs in October compared to the previous month. However, among the almost six million IDPs, 680,000 individuals have been newly displaced within the last 30 days. The number of returnees has also reduced by 700,000 compared to last month. Across Ukraine, est. 785,000 IDPs currently plan to integrate in their current location. Conflict and safety remain the biggest push/pull factor, although family reunification, access to employment and services and accommodation are also commonly cited. The majority of IDPs continue to originate from, and reside in, the eastern part of Ukraine. The number of refugees from Ukraine is relatively static in Europe with over 7.98 million individuals having fled the country.

Humanitarian Access

Mine contamination in the newly accessible areas continues to hamper humanitarian access, however, humanitarian partners managed to get through to several locations in Donetska, Kersonska and Chornobaivka oblasts in December. Insecurity remains one of the main factors restricting access for both the population and the humanitarian actors. By mid-December, a staff member from the Red Cross was killed in Kherson during shelling. Freedom of movement continues to be limited near the front line for civilians whether willing to evacuate conflict-affected areas or to access distribution centres. A lack of transport and a lack of information were also listed as main barriers to accessing assistance.

Humanitarian Conditions

Livelihoods: Households in frontline areas and IDPs have faced a significant drop in their income due to the conflict. Local press indicates that about 20% of the population of Ukraine have fallen below the poverty line poverty, impacting an estimated additional 400,000 children. This situation has pushed a large part of the population to adopt negative coping strategies, 43% of IOM Global Population Survey (GPS) respondents reporting having used all of their savings; the figure rising to 56% for IDPs, which shows a constant trend since August. A multi-sector needs assessment by the Joint Emergency Response in Ukraine (JERU) group of organisations further indicates that 41% of the households surveyed in north-eastern and central Ukraine employ crisis to emergency coping strategies. An FAO report found that rural households in conflict-affected areas have lost on average 483 USD per household due to the impact on agricultural production and many rural households in these areas are adopting the most severe coping strategies. The majority of rural households now spend over half of their total expenditure on food and many households rely on government assistance or humanitarian aid.

Food Security: WFP’s Hungermap indicates that 11.5 million people are living with insufficient food consumption in Ukraine (an increase of 1.28 million people since last month), although data from a recent s assessment indicates that the situation may not be quite as severe in some areas. Internally displaced households however were typically 2 to 3 times more likely to have poor or borderline food consumption. This situation is partly due to the significant food price inflation, with the inflation rate rising as high as 35.1% in November. Despite sufficient food availability, access to it remains a major issue, particularly for items such as eggs, complementary cereal, and oil, which saw significant increases in prices across all regions of the country and doubling in some areas. Reduced household incomes are also pushing IDPs in Ukraine to resort to negative coping mechanisms including using cheaper, less desirable food options, cutting down on portion sizes and reducing frequency of meals. A significant portion of households have to rely on food assistance and cash assistance as their primary source of food and income.

Health: Winter conditions are contributing to an increased spread of acute respiratory illnesses whilst at the same time aggravating chronic illnesses. Access to health services remains challenging as the ongoing conflict continues to have a direct impact on the availability and quality of healthcare services, notably in eastern and southern Ukraine. As of 30 November, 745 attacks on health care were reported, Donetska oblast being the most impacted. The provision of health services has been further compromised by the disruption of the water and electricity networks to health facilities. Data does suggest a slight increase in the availability of medicine and healthcare, but as household incomes fall costs for healthcare and medicines increase, many people have adopted negative coping strategies. Overall, 71% of respondents to the IOM GPS in the east and 67% in the south reporting adopting at least one health-related coping strategy.

Protection: The escalation of the conflict has resulted in breaches of international law by both parties to conflict. War crimes have been continuously flagged, notably this month with the reports of torture inflicted on Ukrainian prisoners in Kherson and the discovery of dozens of tortures chambers and camps in newly accessible areas. Children are also at risk of war crimes, 2,415 proceedings being investigated by prosecutors, covering crimes against children and in the field of child protection. Cases of rape were also reported, 154 cases being registered by the General Prosecutor of Ukraine by mid-December. These incidents coupled with the prevailing insecurity have resulted in a lack of safety perceived by the population, as shown in the assessments led by UNHCR, REACH and JERU. This is further impacting the mental health of the population, while availability of psychosocial support varies from one oblast to another.

Shelter: Damage to residential properties remained prominent in the month of December, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson oblasts being particularly hit. Overall, 11.2 million people in Ukraine need support with emergency shelter, mostly IDPs, returnees and people in transit. Massive waves of strikes on energy infrastructure also continued to take place in December and reduced access to electricity, water, and heating across the country. OCHA reported that the energy system was only able to cover 70% of the peak demand while the months lasting from December to March are the coldest of the year. Therefore, there has been a growing need for winter appropriate clothing and thermal blankets in Ukraine, OCHA reporting that about 6.4 million internally displaced people lack warm clothing or duvets in Ukraine. The demand for solid fuels is also increasing for all population groups, leading to spikes in the price of fuels such as firewood and coal.

WASH: The wave of attacks on energy infrastructure have resulted in the disruption of water supplies to millions of people across Ukraine. With many water pumps reliant on mains electricity, communities across the country are losing access to clean water. Some of the most severe issues have been reported in Kharkiv city in which access to water was reported to be non-existent by mid-December. At the country level, about 10 million people would have been facing water disruption this month. WASH needs are also particularly high in collective centres, with a lack of sufficient toilets being highlighted in Lvivska and Chernivestka oblasts; hygiene items are also flagged as a major need by IDPs whether or not in collective centres.

Education: Damage and destruction to educational institutions continue to hamper the access to education for children across the country, especially in conflict-affected areas. Indeed, since February 2022, 3,045 education institutions have suffered bombing and shelling with 424 of them having been completely destroyed. A third of the damaged institutions are located in Kharkivksa and Donetska oblasts. Thus, online education has been reported to be the predominant modality for children in northeast and central Ukraine. However, the lack of internet access due to telecommunication and electricity disruption is restricting the ability for students to attend online classes. Furthermore, the lack of electricity in schools and the lack of educational materials have reduced the quality of services all over the country.

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