Last week in Europe, Caucasus, and Central Asia, Russian forces continued to launch strikes against civilian infrastructure amid the ongoing invasion of Ukraine. Along the Armenia-Azerbaijan Line of Contact, ceasefire violations decreased compared to the week prior. In Kyrgyzstan, demonstrations over a planned border deal with Uzbekistan continued, triggering a crackdown from the Kyrgyz authorities. Meanwhile, the death of Mahsa Amini, rising living costs, climate grievances, and immigration continued to spark demonstrations across Europe.
In Ukraine, fighting between Russian and Ukrainian forces continued in the eastern and southern regions of the country last week. Ukrainian forces conducted ground attacks near Svatove and Kreminna in the Luhansk region, advancing their positions in the area (ISW, 25 October 2022). Russian forces continued offensive operations in the direction of Bakhmut and Avdiivka in the Donetsk region (RFE/RL, 26 October 2022).
Russian forces continued to target civilian infrastructure across Ukraine with shelling, missiles, and drone strikes, reportedly killing over a dozen civilians last week in the Donetsk, Zaporizhia, and Dnipropetrovsk regions. Additionally, on 24 October, Russian forces stopped and shot at a civilian car in the Kherson region, reportedly killing two people and wounding a child (Suspilne Media, 25 October 2022). Russian forces also continued to abduct civilians from the occupied regions last week. Russian forces reportedly forcibly relocated patients of a psychoneurological residential care facility in the Kherson region to an unknown location (Suspilne Media, 26 October 2022).
In Russia, the governor of Belgorod accused Ukrainian forces of shelling border villages on six different occasions, reportedly killing two residents (TV Rain, 22 October 2022; TV Rain, 25 October 2022). This violence contributed to the 173% increase in average weekly violent events in Russia in the past month relative to the weekly average for the preceding year. ACLED’s Conflict Change Map also warned of increased violence in the country during the preceding four weeks.
Demonstrations in support of Ukraine and against the invasion took place in Finland, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Montenegro, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Meanwhile, Russian police broke up two anti-war demonstrations in Moscow.
Ceasefire violations continued along the Armenia-Azerbaijan Line of Contact last week, though their number decreased compared to the week prior. Additionally, a landmine explosion in the Tartar region of Azerbaijan injured one civilian.
In Kyrgyzstan, demonstrations against a planned border demarcation agreement with Uzbekistan continued last week. Demonstrators staged multiple demonstrations against the deal in the capital city of Bishkek and in the Ozgon district of the Osh region, expressing concern that the contested Kempir-Abad (Andijan) water reservoir will be transferred to the Uzbek side. Kyrgyz authorities have since arrested 20 opposition activists and politicians, including leaders of the Reforma and Turan parties, accusing them of planning riots (RFE/RL, 25 October 2022). The government also blocked online access to Radio Free Europe’s Kyrgyz language service website ‘Azattyk,’ which actively covered the demonstrations, claiming that website inaccurately presented the military escalation on the Kyrgyz-Tajik border in mid-September (24.kg, 26 October 2022). Simultaneously, pro-government supporters organized numerous demonstrations across the country in support of the Kyrgyz president and his cabinet.
Meanwhile, the death of Mahsa Amini in Iran continued to spark solidarity gatherings across Europe last week for a sixth consecutive week. Rallies in support of ongoing protests and women’s rights in Iran were recorded in Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. In Germany, about 80,000 demonstrators from across Europe took to the streets in Berlin on 22 October to defend the Iranian protest movement.
Climate and environmental protests continued to take place across Europe last week. In Germany, the Netherlands, Serbia, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom, activists blockaded buildings and roads, conducted hand-gluing stunts, and staged sit-ins, prompting police intervention and leading to multiple arrests. Further demonstrations with similar motives were observed in Austria, Belgium, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Italy, Malta, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, and Sweden.
Demonstration activity linked to rising living costs, inflation, and energy prices also continued across the region last week, with cross-sector protests held in Austria, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Spain, and the United Kingdom.
Meanwhile, far-right groups attended demonstrations against immigration in multiple countries in the region last week. In France, right and far-right groups and parties continued to protest the suspected murder of a 12-year-old French girl at the hands of an Algerian immigrant, denouncing immigration and holding the state responsible for the attack. In Italy, far-right activists organized a rally in support of the protests in France in Milan. Demonstrations by far-right affiliates against immigration and Islam were also recorded in Austria, Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands.
Note: This dashboard automatically updates to cover the latest four weeks of data released by ACLED. Use the date filters to view data for the one-week period covered by this Regional Overview.