Ukrainian Crisis Situational Analysis

Impact Initiatives
May 9, 2023
Situational Analysis

Executive Summary


The line of control continues to remain static with heavy fighting continuing in and around Bakhmut where Russian forces continue to make small gains at the expense of heavy casualties on both sides. Elsewhere Russian forces are preparing for an expected Ukrainian counteroffensive as the overall Russian offensive seems to have stalled. Russian shelling, missile and drone strikes continue to hit civilian targets in settlements along the contact line resulting in multiple civilian casualties, with March seeing an increase in recorded casualties after a steady downward trend. However, after the largescale missile attack targeting on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure on March 9th, there have been limited similar incidents in the following weeks. A recent press release OHCHR points to the use of cluster munitions in civilian areas in direct violation of international humanitarian law, with local press also highlighting the use of phosphorus weapons.


With no updated IOM General Population Survey (GPS) figures the estimated number of internally displaced people (IDP) remains at 5.352 million. The number of Ukrainian refugees increased slightly over the past month with over 8.174 million individuals recorded across Europe; there were an estimated 5.562 million returns (both IDPs and refugees. The eastern region is both the largest place of origin and host to the largest number of IDPs, with IDP numbers in the west having reduced considerably compared to earlier in the conflict.

Returnees report multiple issues in their areas of return including lack of employment, damaged residential housing, lack of access to education and poor food security, however, the picture across the country is quite mixed. Security and the availability of adequate housing are the main factors for enabling IDPs to return home. Pull factors vary between locations with security, location of family members and the availability of humanitarian assistance were cited as the main pull factors for IDPs in Lvivska oblast, but being close to home was cited by many respondents who were residing in the same macro-region as their place of origin.

Humanitarian Access

Safety concerns, particularly involving mines and explosive remnants of war remain the main barriers in terms of humanitarian access. Hard-to-reach areas near the front line NGCAs are the most concerning. Some evacuations were carried out including from Bakhmut and convoys were sent to newly accessible areas, however, access in nongovernmental controlled areas continues to be highly restricted. Older people and persons with disabilities flagged barriers in accessing assistance, notably due to digital illiteracy and long queues.

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