Legal Rights

ACLED Regional Overview: Europe, Caucasus, and Central Asia (12-18 November 2022)

Last week in Europe, Caucasus, and Central Asia, Russian forces continued to launch missile and drone strikes at critical infrastructure across Ukraine. Violence resulting from the Russian invasion also spilled across the border into Russia and Poland, leading to fatalities. Daily fighting occurred along the Armenia-Artsakh-Azerbaijan Line of Contact. Demonstrations on the anniversary of a student uprising against the former dictatorship led to clashes in Greece, with students also staging demonstrations in other countries over various issues. Meanwhile, climate grievances and the rising cost of living continued to spark demonstrations across Europe.

 

In Ukraine, fighting between Russian and Ukrainian forces continued in the eastern and southern regions last week. In the Luhansk region, Ukrainian forces continued counteroffensive operations in the direction of Kreminna and Svatove (ISW, 12 November 2022). Meanwhile, Russian forces intensified operations in the direction of Bakhmut in the Donetsk region (TSN, 19 November 2022; ISW, 14 November 2022).

 

Russian forces continued targeting civilian buildings and critical infrastructure facilities across Ukraine last week. Following a mass missile attack on 15 November, almost half of all energy infrastructure in Ukraine has been disabled, leading to mass power outages, rolling blackouts, and disruptions in water supply, heating, and cell phone connections (Ukrinform, 18 November 2022; Suspilne Media, 20 November 2022). Additionally, Russian shelling and missile attacks reportedly killed over a dozen civilians and wounded over 40 last week; among them, 10 civilians were killed in a missile strike that hit a residential building in Vilniansk in the Zaporizhia region on 17 November (Ukrayinska Pravda, 18 November 2022).

 

Violence arising from the Russian invasion of Ukraine also spilled over into the territory of Poland for the first time when a missile hit the Przewodow village close to the border with Ukraine on 15 November, reportedly killing two people. While investigations are ongoing, initial reports suggest that a Ukrainian air defense missile aimed at an incoming Russian rocket missed the target and landed in Poland (AP, 17 November 2022).

 

In Russia, authorities of the Kursk and Belgorod regions reported 16 incidents of cross-border shelling of villages close to the Russia-Ukraine border, reportedly resulting in the death of five residents (RFE/RL, 15 November 2022; Kommersant, 18 November 2022). Moreover, one civilian reportedly died and another received injuries in a landmine explosion in the border village of Azarovka in the Bryansk region (TV Rain, 17 November 2022). This violence contributed to the 52% increase in violent events in Russia last week relative to the weekly average for the preceding month. ACLED’s Conflict Change Map also warned of increased violence in the country during the preceding four weeks.

 

Ceasefire violations continued along the Armenia-Artsakh-Azerbaijan Line of Contact on a daily basis last week. The clashes resulted in the wounding of one Armenian serviceman. Similar to the week prior, Azerbaijani forces also reportedly opened fire on farmers in Artsakh1 on three different occasions, leaving one civilian wounded near the Khramort village of the Askeran region. This violence contributed to the 26% increase in violent events in Azerbaijan and Artsakh last week relative to the weekly average for the preceding month. ACLED’s Conflict Change Map also warned of increased violence in the region during the preceding four weeks.

 

Climate and environmental protests continued to take place across Europe last week, coinciding with the Global Day of Action for Climate on 17 November and the UN COP27, which concluded on 18 November in Egypt. Demonstration activity was recorded in Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden. In the United Kingdom, police intervened and arrested Extinction Rebellion activists during a national day of action against Barclays bank due to its involvement in the fossil fuel industry.

 

Meanwhile, students, far-left groups, and labor unions led several marches in Greece on the anniversary of the 17 November 1973 student uprising against the former military dictatorship, condemning US support of the dictatorship at the time. The demonstrations led to clashes with the riot police in Athens, Thessaloniki, and Patras, driving the 26% increase in violent events in Greece last week relative to the weekly average for the preceding month, flagged by ACLED’s Conflict Change Map.

 

Student demonstrations also occurred across the region last week, with protests recorded in Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Moldova, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, and Spain. In Italy, anti-government demonstrations demanding more investment in education were recorded in more than 30 cities. In Cyprus, student-led marches took place in all major cities on the anniversary of the Unilateral Declaration of Independence of Northern Cyprus on 15 November, with demonstrators demanding a federal solution to the Cyprus problem and condemning the Turkish invasion of Cyprus. In Hungary, students, teachers, and other activists organized about 50 protests across the country last week in support of the teachers’ strike for better salaries, more teaching staff, and academic freedom.

 

Demonstration activity linked to rising living costs, inflation, and energy prices also continued across the region last week, with cross-sector protests held in Albania, France, Greece, Germany, Ireland, San Marino, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

 

Source: Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project