Welcome to the Uppsala Conflict Data Program (UCDP) Newsletter!


I am proud to announce the UCDP’s monthly Newsletter, where we will provide a quick brief of monthly trends in organized violence around the globe, along with a highlight of especially noteworthy developments. In this issue we highlight the Russian invasion of Ukraine.


In the future the Newsletter will also provide links to more in-depth treatments of recent developments published on the forthcoming UCDP Encyclopedia news page. Underlying all of the monthly updates, as well as the maps and graphs provided in the Newsletter is the UCDP Candidate Events Dataset which is updated on a monthly cycle. The Newsletter will also provide information on data releases, upcoming datasets, and other forthcoming research materials from the UCDP.


Please feel free to contact us via ucdp@pcr.uu.se if you have any questions, suggestions, or comments.


Magnus Öberg

UCDP Director

February 2022

On 24 February Russia invaded Ukraine, sharply increasing the number of battle-related deaths in the region. Although it only started the last days of February, it became the conflict causing the most casualties during this month. More on this extraordinary development below.


Elsewhere in the world we noted a downward trend in violence in Africa, the Middle East, and the Americas when compared to January, while the intensity of organized violence in Asia remained at a similar level.


The five conflicts driving the trends in state-based violence in February were Russia – Ukraine, Yemen: Government, Myanmar: Government, Somalia: Government, and Nigeria: Islamic State.


Over the course of the year 2021, we recorded approximately 250 fatalities in organized violence were recorded in Europe. This figure was exceeded in just two days of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, reaching over 700 by the end of February after just 4 days of fighting.


The non-state violence in February 2022 was dominated by organized attacks in Mexico, primarily the clashes between the Jalisco Cartel New Generation and various other groups.


Nigeria was ravaged by one-sided violence attributed to unidentified groups in February 2022, killing almost 200 civilians. One-sided violence by the Islamic State (IS) should also be noted. Nearly 200 civilians were deliberately killed by the IS in February during the group’s one-sided attacks in DR Congo, Mali, Mozambique, and Nigeria.

Shawn Davies, Uppsala Conflict Data Program

Following months of building up its military forces on the Ukrainian border, Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February. The goal was ostensibly the ‘denazification’ of Ukraine, which Russia has described as a fascist state since the pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych was overthrown in the 2014 Maidan protests. Following the ouster of Yanukovych, Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula and supported several armed separatist movements in eastern Ukraine, sparking a civil war that has been ongoing since and has killed at least 8000 people.


In only the first two weeks of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, up until 11 March, we recorded about 800 civilian deaths. This number excludes those from the besieged city of Mariupol, which has now been surrounded and suffered under heavy Russian bombardment for weeks, with claims of thousands of dead civilians. It is clear that civilian casualties are high and rising, but it will take some time before it is possible to verify the numbers. The war has already caused a humanitarian disaster, with over 2 million internally displaced and over 3.5 million refugees having left Ukraine, according to UNCHR data.


Military deaths are subject to extensive propaganda and misinformation, and verifiable numbers are impossible to establish at this time – by us or any party relying on open source data. Caution is therefore advised, as estimates currently range from lows of a few thousand to highs of over 15 000 claimed by the Ukrainian government.

Updated on 21 March 2022

The Uppsala Conflict Data Program (UCDP) is the world’s main provider of data on organized violence and the oldest ongoing data collection project for civil war, with a history of almost 40 years. Its definition of armed conflict has become the global standard of how conflicts are systematically defined and studied.


Uppsala Conflict Data Program