Day 364: how Ukrainians changed since Russia’s full-scale invasion

Putin’s major offensive goes unnoticed

“Russia’s major offensive is already underway,” Head of the Main Intelligence Department of the Defense Ministry of Ukraine Kyrylo Budanov said in an interview with Forbes Ukraine. “Not everyone can see it, that’s the quality of the offensive. Their strategic task is to reach the administrative borders of Donetsk and Luhansk regions by March 31,” Budanov said.

There will be decisive battles between mid-spring and late spring. These will be a turning point, he said.

After Ukraine retakes its occupied territories, it needs “to create a security zone along the borders [with Russia],” Budanov told Forbes. Ukraine regaining its territory within the internationally recognized 1991 borders would not necessarily signal the end of war, he added. “The war can change into a different format and evolve into a permanent defense operation. A good example is Israel that is permanently at war, conducting a defense operation along its borders,” Ukraine’s intelligence chief said. 

EU fails to agree 10th package of sanctions on Russia

EU countries on Wednesday failed to agree on a new set of sanctions against Russia meant to be in place for the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty Europe editor Rikard Jozwiak said on Twitter. 

“No agreement among EU ambassadors today on the 10th sanctions package on Russia. Talks continue tomorrow. Getting worryingly close to the ‘self-imposed’ deadline of 24 February,” he said. Hungary demanded that four people be removed from the EU’s proposed list of sanctioned individuals, but later backtracked on demands, he added.

This time, Hungary is also opposing plans to extend the six-month period for sanctions renewal to nine or 12 months.

Earlier this week, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said he expects EU approval of a new round of sanctions against Russia to come by the one-year anniversary of the invasion.

On February 15, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen proposed the 10th EU sanctions package against Russia.

How Ukrainians changed over past year, according to opinion poll

Ukrainians’ memories of February 24, 2022 reveal shock, confusion, uncertainty, and unpreparedness, a survey conducted by the Rating Group finds. One year on since Russia’s full-scale invasion, 95 per cent of Ukrainians are convinced that Ukraine will win the war — an increase from the 56 per cent who said this in January 2022. Most Ukrainians (63 per cent) say that the victory is at least six months away. 

Survey respondents were asked to position Ukraine. The average score was 4.6 out of seven points, a one and a half time increase from a year before. Two-thirds of Ukrainians placed Ukraine’s prospects highest. 

Ukrainians feel proud of their country — that’s their major emotion, the survey finds. The share has grown from 34 per cent to 75 per cent — more than twice since invasion. 

An absolute majority (94 per cent) of Ukrainians say they identify themselves as Ukrainian citizens, an increase from 76 per cent in 2021. Half of Ukrainians say they identify themselves as Europeans. That is a twofold increase from a year before.

Two-thirds of Ukrainians say they are financially worse off. One-third say nothing changed. Almost 40 per cent of Ukrainians say they feel confident about the future, an increase from 14 per cent at the end of 2021.

A majority of Ukrainians (97 per cent) trust the Armed Forces and the President (90 per cent), an increase from 65 per cent and 36 per cent a year before.  

A record share of Ukrainians support Ukraine’s EU (87 per cent) and NATO (86 per cent) membership.

Why culture right now is as important as ever? Ukraine in Flames #349

There is no sphere in Ukraine that would not join the fight against russian aggression: along with the military, humanitarian and economic, the cultural front also holds its positions on the battlefield. The cultural front is important, and our diplomatic international victory largely depends on it. Watch Ukraine in flames #349 to find out about the importance of a strong and united cultural front in the times of russian attempts to annihilate our language, history, and culture.


  • Andriy Bondar, Writer, Translator
  • Matvii Vaisberg, Painter, Graphic Artist
  • Igor Golfman, Publicist