June 22, 2022

How Russia regained momentum in eastern Ukraine

After weeks of grinding advances in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, Russia is on the verge of claiming a significant victory, the city of Sievierodonetsk. Here is where Russia has gained ground in recent weeks and where Russian forces are attacking now.

Russian advance since May 13

Sources: Ukrainian military statements in the past week; Institute for the Study of War with American Enterprise Institute’s Critical Threats Project. Note: Russian advance as of June 21.

Sievierodonetsk is under an intense Russian assault that has destroyed all of the bridges that connect the city to Ukraine-held territory. The remaining Ukrainian defenders in the city are surrounded in a chemical plant, recalling the final battle for Mariupol, where fighters held out in a steel plant.

Russia’s slow but steady progress in this stage of the war reflects a change in strategy. In late April, Russia’s limited supply of troops were split across many different fronts, and its progress ground to a halt. But by redeploying troops to concentrate on a narrow target, Russia has reestablished momentum and made a series of important territorial gains.

These maps show the growth of Russian troops in the Donbas over the past few months, according to an analysis by Henry Schlottman, an independent military analyst.

Russia started to move troops from Mariupol to eastern Ukraine.

April 18

Troops that were withdrawn from Kyiv and northern Ukraine began to mass in Izium.

May 13

Troops in Popasna had pushed north in an effort to encircle Sievierodonetsk.

June 13

Sources: Henry Schlottman, independent military analyst; Institute for the Study of War with American Enterprise Institute’s Critical Threats Project. Notes: Circle size of Russian troops are proportional to the approximate strength of units in that location. The New York Times

Along with massing forces around Sievierodonetsk, Russia has used brutally destructive tactics to gain territory. Relentless and indiscriminate artillery fire has flattened areas of the city, clearing the way for ground troops to be sent in later.

The end of the fight for Mariupol in late May freed up thousands of Russian troops to be redeployed. Many were sent to the frontline around Popasna, where Russia made one of its fastest advances in the Donbas. Ukrainian defenses crumbled north of the city and allowed Russian forces to push toward the main highway to Lysychansk, threatening one of two routes for civilian evacuations out of the city.

Victory in Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk would see Russia claim full control of the Luhansk region, one of the two areas that make up the Donbas. It currently only controls about 60 percent of the Donetsk region, the other area in the Donbas, and military analysts expect progress there to be slow.

But after weeks of little movement, Russia has made incremental progress from Izium to Sloviansk. Fighting is currently underway for the control of Dolyna, a small settlement located just off the main highway, and Russia continues to amass forces in Lyman ahead of an expected push into Sloviansk from the east.

Sloviansk remains a key target for Russia. Capturing it could allow Russia to encircle Ukrainian troops in the east.

Josh Holder and Denise Lu

May 29, 2022

Russia is closer to capturing key eastern city

Extent of Russian advance

Taking Sievierodonetsk

and Lysychansk would

give Russia full control of

Luhansk province.

Approximate line separating

Ukrainian and Russian-backed

forces before the invasion

Taking Sievierodonetsk

and Lysychansk would

give Russia full control of

Luhansk province.

Approximate line separating

Ukrainian and Russian-backed

forces before the invasion

Taking Sievierodonetsk

and Lysychansk would

give Russia full control of

Luhansk province.

Sources: Institute for the Study of War with American Enterprise Institute’s Critical Threats Project; Rochan Consulting The New York Times

Russia made its most significant advance this week since shifting strategies to focus on eastern Ukraine. It edged closer to capturing the entirety of the Luhansk region.

The advances have focused on surrounding and capturing Sievierodonetsk, one of the most important cities still held by Ukraine in the east. Both sides have been locked in increasingly heavy street fighting in recent days, and Ukraine’s hold on the city appears fragile.

Russia’s renewed momentum in the area shows dividends from focusing on a narrower area within eastern Ukraine instead of spreading its attack across the entire eastern front.

Scott Reinhard

Updated May 13, 2022

Finland and Sweden consider joining NATO

Finland’s leaders announced on May 12 that their country should “apply for NATO membership without delay.” And Swedish leaders suggested on May 13 that Sweden would benefit from joining NATO. It is a remarkable shift by two nations on Russia’s doorstep that had long remained nonaligned militarily — but where public opinion has lurched strongly toward joining the alliance in the 11 weeks since Russia invaded Ukraine.

NATO member countries in Europe

Note: NATO also includes Canada and the United States. The New York Times

Eleanor Lutz

April 20, 2022

The fight for the East

Russia has amassed troops in an attempt to seize eastern Ukraine, now its main objective in the war. The Russian military seems intent on encircling Ukrainian troops in the Donbas region by advancing from several directions, including south from Izium and north from Donetsk.

Russian forces took

the town of Kreminna.

Russian forces

amassed near Izium

hope to move south.

Russian units in the

south may push north.

Approximate line separating

Ukrainian and Russian-backed

forces before the invasion

Russian forces took

the town of Kreminna.

Russian forces

amassed near Izium

hope to move south.

Approximate line

separating Ukrainian

and Russian-backed

forces before the

invasion

Russian units in the

south may push north.

Russian forces

took the town of

Kreminna.

Russian forces

amassed near Izium

hope to move south.

Russian units in the

south may push north.

Approximate line separating

Ukrainian and Russian-backed

forces before the invasion.

Sources: Verified imagery; witness accounts; Ukrainian and Russian officials; Institute for the Study of War with American Enterprise Institute’s Critical Threats Project; Rochan Consulting The New York Times

While fighting has continued across the east in recent days, Russia’s military has not yet started a large-scale ground offensive in Donbas, according to military analysts, and its gains have been limited so far. Russia has taken initial steps — missile attacks, long-range artillery barrages and small detachments probing Ukrainian defenses — that may be laying the groundwork for a wider push.

So far, neither side has a clear upper hand.

Russian forces amassed near Izium have probed south, in the direction of the critical city of Kramatorsk. But they have been met by significant Ukrainian defenses to the south of Izium and have made little progress. In an apparent attempt to divert Russian forces from Izium, according to military analysts, the Ukrainian military conducted counterattacks east of Kharkiv, recapturing some small towns this week.

At a second front in the northeast, near Sievierodonetsk, Russian forces appeared to make limited progress after bypassing the city. Russia captured the town of Kreminna, according to Ukrainian officials, and have carried out attacks nearby in Rubizhne, which remains in Ukrainian hands.

Russian troops may try to head toward Kramatorsk from the southeast as well, from near Donetsk city, in an effort to cut off Ukrainian troops from two directions. Areas around Donetsk have seen near-constant fighting for the last month, with residents reporting frequent shelling.

In the south, Russian troops have been massing across a fourth front between Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk. That front has been relatively quiet for weeks. However, Russian units in the city of Mariupol are expected to head there if they can capture the city. Although fighting has continued there for two months, Russian forces now control almost the entire city, with a sizable number of holdouts positioned in a major steel plant.

Lazaro Gamio, Denise Lu and Scott Reinhard

April 13, 2022

Russia tightens its grip on Mariupol

The Russian military moved into the center of the southern city of Mariupol this week, a significant advance in a crucial, bloody battle that has continued for almost seven weeks. The advance split Ukrainian forces in two, with one group near the port and another in the eastern industrial district.

Russian-

controlled areas

March 15 Russia had the city surrounded, cutting off supply lines for Ukrainian troops.

One month ago

March 28 Russian forces had advanced toward the city center on multiple fronts.

Two weeks ago

April 12 Russian troops had divided the city, splitting Ukrainian forces.

Tuesday

Sources: Verified footage; satellite imagery; Institute for the Study of War with American Enterprise Institute’s Critical Threats Project (Russian troop movements) Note: Russian-controlled areas represent territory that Russian forces are able to operate freely in, without immediate risk of Ukrainian counterattacks, as assessed by the Institute for the Study of War. Areas of Russian advances indicate where Russian troops were seen. The New York Times

Seizing Mariupol is crucial for Russia. The city occupies a strategic location between Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014, and areas of the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine that are controlled by Russia-backed separatists. If Russia takes control of the city, troops fighting there could be redeployed to Donbas, which is now Russia’s central focus in the war.

Despite being outnumbered, Ukrainian troops continue to hold some key areas of Mariupol. Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, the commander in chief of Ukraine’s armed forces, said on Facebook on Monday that Ukrainian forces were continuing to “hold the city, durably and sustainably.”

But given recent Russian gains, analysts at the Institute for the Study of War, a Washington research group, believe that Russian forces are likely to capture Mariupol in the coming week.

Mariupol has been under siege by Russian forces for more than 40 days. Civilians who remain in the city lack access to water, food or electricity, and they face almost constant aerial bombardment. Almost no area of the city has been left unscathed, according to an analysis of satellite imagery by Masae Analytics, a company that assesses damage to buildings.

Damaged or destroyed buildings

Maternity hospital

bombed on

March 9.

Theater

bombed on

March 16.

Maternity

hospital

bombed on

March 9.

Theater

bombed on

March 16.

Theater

bombed on

March 16.

Maternity hospital

bombed on

March 9.

Source: Data from the European satellite Sentinel-1A (ESA), processed by Masae Analytics. Note: Highlighted areas show estimates of large changes in the shapes of buildings using radar data and satellite imagery taken on Feb. 20 and April 5. The New York Times

Josh Holder, Denise Lu and Scott Reinhard

April 6, 2022

How Russia is refocusing for a pivotal struggle in eastern Ukraine

After withdrawing from much of northern Ukraine, Russia is shifting troops to the country’s east to bolster a crucial conflict that may define the next phase of the war.

Some key locations of this fight are already clear. The Russian military, which is trying to encircle the Ukrainian army, recently seized the eastern city of Izium and will try to push southeast to Sloviansk, experts expect.

Russia recently

took Izium.

Russians could

then head to

Rubizhne.

Sloviansk is

likely Russia’s

next target.

A farther push to

Horlivka would result

in more Ukrainian

troops being isolated.

Approximate line separating

Ukrainian and Russian-backed

forces before the invasion

Russia recently

took Izium.

Russians could

then head to

Rubizhne.

Sloviansk is

likely Russia’s

next target.

A farther push to

Horlivka would result

in more Ukrainian

troops being isolated.

Approximate line separating

Ukrainian and Russian-backed

forces before the invasion

Russia recently

took Izium.

Russians could

then head to

Rubizhne.

Sloviansk is

likely Russia’s

next target.

A farther push to

Horlivka would

result in more

Ukrainian troops

being isolated.

Approximate line

separating Ukrainian and

Russian-backed forces

before the invasion

Source: Verified imagery; witness accounts; Ukrainian and Russian officials; Institute for the Study of War with American Enterprise Institute’s Critical Threats Project Note: Russian-controlled areas are as of 3 p.m. Eastern on April 5 and represent territory that Russian forces are able to operate freely in, without immediate risk of Ukrainian counterattacks, as assessed by the Institute for the Study of War. Approximate areas of fighting are drawn from reports from March 31 to April 6, as of 5 a.m. Eastern on April 6. The New York Times

Russia’s ability to seize Sloviansk is seen as a key test of whether it can succeed at capturing the entirety of the Donbas, which Russian-backed separatists have been fighting for eight years. It took weeks of fighting and shelling for Russia to bring Izium under its control, and Sloviansk is a larger target, with about twice as many residents. Russian troops are reportedly already facing Ukrainian counteroffensives along the way.

If Russian forces take Sloviansk, their next targets are likely to be Rubizhne, about 40 miles east near Sievierodonetsk, where fighting is ongoing, or Horlivka, about 50 miles south near Donetsk. Advancing to Horlivka would leave more Ukrainian troops isolated on one of the most active frontlines.

If successful, an advance to Horlivka would achieve two of Russia’s main aims. It would link up Russian troops from the north with separatist forces in the Donbas. And it would push the frontline of the war west, giving them control of the Luhansk region and more of the Donetsk region.

Advancing in the east is a critical goal for President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia. Gaining control of the Donbas would effectively partition off a piece of Eastern Ukraine, and the Russian leader could sell it to his country as a victory. But it remains unclear if Russia has enough forces to encircle Ukrainian troops.

Russia’s renewed attack on the east comes as it completes its withdrawal of troops from the suburbs of Kyiv and other northern Ukrainian cities, leaving behind gruesome scenes of dead civilians.

Josh Holder, Denise Lu and Scott Reinhard

Updated April 2, 2022

Ukraine reclaims control of dozens of towns after Russian troops withdraw from around Kyiv

Russian forces have retreated from around the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, and the northern city of Chernihiv, a major defeat for the Russian military and a turning point in the war. Ukraine’s army said it was back in control of dozens of towns to the west and east of Kyiv, including some of the conflict’s most intense battlefields.

Towns where Ukrainian forces

recently reclaimed control

Towns where

Ukrainian forces recently

reclaimed control

Towns where

Ukrainian forces

recently reclaimed

control

Source: Ukrainian and Russian officials; Institute for the Study of War with American Enterprise Institute’s Critical Threats Project The New York Times

The withdrawal — substantiated by witnesses, Ukrainian officials, satellite images and military analysts — marks the collapse, at least for now, of Russia’s haphazard campaign to seize the capital and replace Ukraine’s government. The fight is expected to continue to shift to the the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine.

In the suburban towns north of the Kyiv, the Ukrainian army was advancing through a tableau of destruction, with dozens of wrecked tanks on streets, extensive damage to buildings and the bodies of civilians still lying uncollected. Kyiv and its surroundings, which had echoed with artillery booms and gunfire for weeks, had gone quiet.

Ukraine’s military on Saturday moved into Bucha, a key town on the west bank of the Dnipro River — which divides Kyiv — days after Russian forces had sacked it on their way out. Satellite imagery of a key airport in Hostomel by Maxar Technologies, a U.S.-based imaging company, appeared to show that Russian equipment had been removed sometime in the last 10 days.

Russian attacks continued elsewhere in the country, and military analysts said that Russia’s withdrawal from areas near Kyiv did not mean it was de-escalating its war effort.

Russian troops have seized Izium, a key city southeast of Kharkiv that has been under Russian attack for several weeks, according to the Institute for the Study of War, a Washington research group. The city could serve as a launching pad for Russian troops from north of Kharkiv to try to link up with forces in the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine and isolate Ukrainian forces fighting in the northeast.

Josh Holder, Lazaro Gamio, Denise Lu, Allison McCann, Andrew E. Kramer and Christoph Koettl

March 29, 2022

Where Ukrainian forces have mounted counterattacks in the northeast

In the war’s fifth week, Ukraine reported making some gains in the northeast, waging counterattacks that pushed back Russian forces and enabled the Ukrainians to recapture several towns near the front lines.

Ukraine’s counterattacks have come as major Russian offensives have mostly stalled, with Russian troops largely regrouping and trying to consolidate territory taken in the opening weeks of the invasion.

Kaniv

hydroelectric

plant

Kaniv

hydroelectric

plant

Source: Verified imagery; witness accounts; Ukrainian and Russian officials; Institute for the Study of War with American Enterprise Institute’s Critical Threats Project Note: Occupied areas are as of 3 p.m. Eastern on March 28. Approximate areas of fighting are drawn from reports from March 22 to 28, as of 4 p.m. Eastern on March 28. The New York Times

The mayor of Irpin, a fiercely contested suburb northwest of Kyiv, said Monday that the Ukrainian army had liberated the town from Russian forces, but that the area remains too unsafe for residents to return home. Maintaining control of Irpin is strategically important for Ukraine’s army to keep its hold on Kyiv.

Reports from the ground suggested Ukraine’s hold on Irpin was tenuous. Ukrainian soldiers who had been in the town on Monday said pockets of Russian troops were still hiding there, and officials said that Russian artillery continued to target the town.

Officials also said the towns of Lukianivka and Rudnytske, both east of Kyiv, had been recaptured after several days of counterattacks.

In a statement posted on Sunday on Telegram, Dmytro Zhyvytsky, the head of the Sumy regional military administration, announced the recapture of Trostianets and Boromlia. The two towns are just south of Sumy, a city currently surrounded by Russian forces.

South of Kharkiv, Ukrainian forces reported having recaptured Husarivka. That town is 10 miles northwest of Izium, where intense fighting has been going on for several weeks.

Josh Holder, Lazaro Gamio, Denise Lu and Scott Reinhard

March 25, 2022

NATO sharply increases its forces in Eastern Europe

NATO announced it was doubling, to eight, the number of countries in Eastern Europe where it has battlegroups. The decision to bolster its presence in the region signals growing concerns for how Russia may respond to the increasing diplomatic and economic penalties it is facing over its monthlong invasion of Ukraine.

Each square represents 5,000 troops:

Countries with

new NATO

battlegroups

Countries

with new NATO

battlegroups

Source: NATO The New York Times

The new NATO battlegroups in Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia join similar forces in Baltic countries and Poland — which are also growing in size.

“We have a responsibility to ensure that the war does not escalate beyond Ukraine, and become a conflict between NATO and Russia,” said Jens Stoltenberg, NATO’s secretary general.

A little more than a quarter of all troops under direct NATO command are now in Poland, which shares a large border with the western part of Ukraine. An additional 120,000 troops from Poland’s military are at the ready — the most of any host country in the alliance.

Mr. Stoltenberg, speaking to reporters a day before a major summit of European allies in Brussels, said: “We face a new reality for our security. So we must reset our deterrence and defense for the longer-term.”

Scott Reinhard and Azi Paybarah

March 23, 2022

Where Russian forces have made advances in eastern Ukraine

Russian advances have stalled on multiple fronts, including areas north of Kyiv and in the south around Mykolaiv, but Russian forces have continued to make slow but consistent territorial gains in eastern Ukraine, where they aim to isolate large parts of the Ukrainian army.

Over the past week, fighting has been fierce in many towns and villages along the front lines, and Russian forces have made advances from territory in the Donbas region, where Russian-backed separatists took over in 2014. Russia has advanced west in Donetsk toward the region’s border and northwest toward Izium.

Izium has been under fierce

attack from Russia, but

recent advances to the west

of the city were halted.

Severodonetsk has been

under frequent attack as

Russian forces move

northeast to link up with

forces south of Kharkiv.

Intense fighting has

continued along the previous

front line of Ukrainian

and Russian-backed forces.

Russian forces have steadily

advanced westward in Donetsk

toward the administrative border.

Approximate line separating

Ukrainian and Russian-backed

forces before the invasion

Izium has been under fierce

attack from Russia, but

recent advances to the west

of the city were halted.

Severodonetsk has been

under frequent attack as

Russian forces move

northeast to link up with

forces south of Kharkiv.

Russian forces have steadily

advanced westward in Donetsk

toward the administrative border.

Intense fighting has

continued along the previous

front line of Ukrainian and

Russian-backed forces.

Approximate line separating

Ukrainian and Russian-backed

forces before the invasion

Izium has been under fierce

attack from Russia, but

recent advances to the west

of the city were halted.

Severodonetsk has been

under frequent attack as

Russian forces move

northeast to link up with

forces south of Kharkiv.

Russian forces have

steadily advanced west

in Donetsk toward the

administrative border.

Intense fighting has

continued along the

previous front line

of Ukrainian and

Russian-backed forces.

Approximate line separating

Ukrainian and Russian-backed

forces before the invasion

Source: Verified imagery; witness accounts; Ukrainian and Russian officials; Institute for the Study of War with American Enterprise Institute’s Critical Threats Project Note: Occupied areas are as of 3 p.m. Eastern on March 23. Russian forces in eastern Ukraine include Russian-backed separatists. Approximate areas of fighting are drawn from reports from March 11 to 22, as of 4 a.m. Eastern on March 23. The New York Times

Russian forces are likely to have two strategic targets in the Donbas. The Russian military aims to advance the front line toward the administrative border of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, and to also link up forces in the Donbas with troops from Crimea and south of Kharkiv, according to military analysts. Connecting these forces could isolate Ukrainian troops fighting on the front line near Donbas or force them to retreat, which would be a major strategic victory for the Russians.

Mariupol, an important port city that has been holding out against a Russian siege for more than three weeks now, remains in Ukrainian control, frustrating Russian forces in their goal to control a corridor from Donetsk to Crimea. Russian troops have advanced on Mariupol from both the east and west in recent days, while continuing to shell residential buildings in the city and reinforce artillery positions north of the city.

Some of the most intense fighting has been for the city of Severodonetsk in Luhansk. The Ukrainian armed forces report nearly daily attacks on the city, but it currently remains in Ukrainian hands. The city is on a crucial advance northwest toward Izium, which Russian troops have also repeatedly attacked from the north.

Josh Holder, Scott Reinhard, Lazaro Gamio and Denise Lu

Updated March 21, 2022

Russia, stalled elsewhere, advances in the east

Ukrainian forces continue to hold off Russian advances near Kyiv, Kharkiv and in large parts of the South. But in the east, Russian forces have made steady progress in recent days, moving west from the separatist-held territory of Donbas.

Kaniv

hydroelectric

plant

South Ukraine

nuclear plant

Zaporizhzhia

nuclear plant

Kaniv

Hydroelectric

plant

South Ukraine

nuclear plant

Zaporizhzhia

nuclear plant

Source: Verified imagery, witness accounts, Ukrainian and Russian officials, Institute for the Study of War with American Enterprise Institute’s Critical Threats Project Note: Russian forces in eastern Ukraine include Russian-backed separatists. Approximate areas of fighting are drawn from reports from March 13 to 21. The New York Times

Russian forces in many parts of the country have been hindered by supply issues, with units pausing operations while they regroup.

An assessment published on Sunday by the Institute for the Study of War said that Russian forces will likely expand their bombing campaign on Kyiv instead of trying to encircle the city in the coming weeks.

The group also reported that Russian forces are strengthening their defensive positions in captured areas and moving artillery into positions that can strike central Kyiv.

Even as Ukrainians hold the line outside major cities, the position of the Ukrainian army in the east looks increasingly precarious, according to an analysis this week by researchers at RUSI, a military analysis group. Those forces could risk becoming encircled by Russian troops advancing along several paths east of the Dnieper River.

Those advances have left a vast trail of destruction, according to witnesses, imagery and statements from local officials.

Russian forces have moved into several villages west of the city of Donetsk in the last couple of days. Farther north, they have pummeled the city of Izium, which has no heat, food, water or other basic services, although the Russian and Ukrainian sides dispute who controls the city.

Lazaro Gamio, Josh Holder, Denise Lu, Marco Hernandez, Marc Santora, Agnes Chang, Pablo Robles and Scott Reinhard

March 20, 2022

An initial analysis of damage in Mariupol shows widespread attacks across residential areas

Analysis of satellite images for a section of Mariupol found evidence of widespread damage across residential neighborhoods. At least 391 buildings in the study area were observed to have been damaged or destroyed in a part of the city that is dotted with schools and health facilities.

Buildings destroyed or severely damaged

Source: Damage analysis by Unitar/Unosat Note: The analysis excluded a military area near the center of the map. The analysis accounts only for damage apparent in satellite imagery and thus is most likely an undercount of the actual damage sustained so far. The New York Times

The analysis, by Unitar-Unosat, a United Nations research group, examined structures within a section of the eastern district of Livoberezhnyi. The group compared a satellite image captured on March 14 this year with imagery from June 2021.

Damaged structures included seven schools and four health facilities, according to the report. Livoberezhnyi, meaning “Left Bank,” is one of the city’s four administrative districts and is home to about 120,000 residents.

Russian forces have laid siege to Mariupol for nearly three weeks. Incessant shelling has blocked efforts to evacuate people and send aid, leaving the nearly half a million residents trapped with dwindling supplies of food, water and medicine.

A maternity ward bombed last week and a theater bombed on Wednesday are near the city center. Mariupol’s city council said on Sunday that Russia had bombed a drama school where about 400 people had been hiding.

TerraSport

Thousands

sheltering.

Government building

Captured by Russia

on March 18.

Regional intensive

care hospital

Hundreds held hostage.

Maternity hospital

Bombed on March 9.

School

Bombed.

Hundreds used

as shelter.

Theater

Bombed on

March 16.

Azovstal

steel plant

Control disputed.

Government

building

Captured

by Russia

on March 18.

Regional

intensive

care hospital

Hundreds held

hostage.

School

Bombed.

Hundreds used

as shelter.

Theater

Bombed on

March 16.

TerraSport

Thousands

sheltering.

Azovstal

steel plant

Control disputed.

Maternity hospital

Bombed on March 9.

Portcity Mall

Destroyed. Had more

than 200 shops.

TerraSport

Thousands

sheltering.

Government building

Captured by Russia

on March 18.

Regional intensive

care hospital

Hundreds held hostage.

Maternity hospital

Bombed on March 9.

School

Bombed.

Hundreds used

as shelter.

Theater

Bombed on

March 16.

Azovstal

steel plant

Control disputed.

The New York Times

Most communication has been cut off from the city, making it difficult to assess the full extent of the damage and the status of residents still there.

Weiyi Cai, Agnes Chang, Marco Hernandez, Josh Holder, Eleanor Lutz, Anjali Singhvi and Pablo Robles.

March 15, 2022

Where Ukrainians are fighting Russian forces

While their advances have slowed in recent days, Russian forces continue to clash with Ukrainian defenses on multiple fronts. This map shows the active areas of fighting, according to a statement posted on Tuesday by Ukrainian military officials.

Russian forces attempting

to advance on Kyiv from the

northeast have faced fighting

and disruptions.

There was fierce

fighting in Izium as

Russian troops

advanced from the

area around Kharkiv.

Kryvyi Rih is quite likely

to be one of Russia’s next

targets. Troops have

advanced from Kherson.

Russian forces attempting

to advance on Kyiv from the

northeast have faced fighting

and disruptions.

There was fierce

fighting in Izium

as Russian troops

advanced from the

area around Kharkiv.

Kryvyi Rih is quite likely

to be one of Russia’s next

targets. Troops have

advanced from Kherson.

Russian forces attempting

to advance on Kyiv from the

northeast have faced fighting

and disruptions.

There was fierce

fighting in Izium as

Russian troops

advanced from the

area around Kharkiv.

Kryvyi Rih is

quite likely to be

one of Russia’s

next targets.Troops

have advanced

from Kherson.

Source: Institute for the Study of War with American Enterprise Institute’s Critical Threats Project (Russian-occupied areas) Note: Occupied areas are as of 3 p.m. Eastern on March 15. Russian forces in eastern Ukraine include Russian-backed separatists. The New York Times

In recent days, fighting near Kyiv has been mostly restricted to suburbs, just northwest and west of the city, including Bucha and Irpin, about 10 miles from the city center.

In the south, Russian forces resumed attacks in their advances toward Mykolaiv and Kryvyi Rih. Recent Russian pushes have been toward Zaporizhzhia, with forces most likely aiming to block the city on both banks of the Dnieper River.

In the east, Russian forces and Russian-backed separatists have pushed the frontline forward, claiming more areas of Ukraine. Intense fighting has continued for days for Izium, a small city southeast of Kharkiv. Ukrainians still hold Izium, and recent Russian advances have moved around it, heading west toward the city of Dnipro, a key Russian target.

Josh Holder and Scott Reinhard

March 15, 2022

A night of violent bombardment in Kyiv

Russian missile strikes hammered multiple neighborhoods in Ukraine’s capital on Tuesday, hitting at least three residential buildings, the entrance of a subway station and a surrounding market.

Subway entrance

and market

Subway entrance

and market

The New York Times

It was the most significant attack on Kyiv in recent days. As Russia has failed to capture major cities, it has intensified its targeting of civilian areas from the air, striking residential buildings, schools and hospitals across the country.

At least four people were killed in the Kyiv attacks on Tuesday, and dozens more had to be rescued, according to the State Emergency Service of Ukraine. Vitali Klitschko, the mayor, announced a 35-hour curfew starting at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, warning that the city was enduring “a difficult and dangerous moment.”

Firefighters work to extinguish a fire in a 16-story residential building in Kyiv.

Firefighters work to extinguish a fire in a 16-story residential building in Kyiv. Sergei Supinsky/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Despite multiple attacks, the prime ministers of Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovenia traveled to Kyiv on Tuesday to express the European Union’s “unequivocal support” for Ukraine and offer financial support.

Pablo Robles and Josh Holder

March 13, 2022

Russian strikes kill dozens in western Ukraine

Russian warplanes struck a Ukrainian military base near the Polish border on Sunday, killing at least 35 people and bringing the war dangerously close to NATO’s doorstep. Western Ukraine had been largely spared from the early fighting, but Russian airstrikes on military targets in the region have ramped up in the last few days.

Airstrikes since March 11

March 11

Airstrikes killed four soldiers

at a military airfield in Lutsk.

March 13

Airstrikes killed at least

35 people at a military

base in Yavoriv.

March 11 and 13

Airstrikes struck the airport

in Ivano-Frankivsk.

March 11

Airstrikes killed four

soldiers at a military

airfield in Lutsk.

March 13

Airstrikes killed at least

35 people at a military

base in Yavoriv.

March 11 and 13

Airstrikes struck

the airport in

Ivano-Frankivsk.

The New York Times

The maps below show how Russian aerial attacks have shifted since the widespread airstrikes on the first day of the invasion. Each three-day map shows locations of shelling, airstrikes and other projectiles, according to a New York Times tally of air-related attacks.

Timeline of aerial attacks by region

Source: Compiled from photos and videos showing evidence of attacks, government reports and first-person accounts. Data indicates the overall pattern of attacks and should not be considered to be comprehensive. The New York Times

The attack on the base in Yavoriv, just 12 miles from the Polish border, also injured more than 100 people. Around 1,000 foreign fighters were believed to be training at the base, known as the International Peacekeeping and Security Center.

Sunday’s attack was the closest Russian offensive yet to the border with Poland, a NATO and European Union member where U.S. troops were deployed to bolster NATO’s defense. Russia carried out the attack a day after warning that weapons flowing into Ukraine from Western allies were “legitimate targets.”

Video shows the moment of the attack and its aftermath on the military base in Yavoriv, Ukraine. By Haley Willis, Ainara Tiefenthäler and Yousur Al-Hlou

Agnes Chang, Lauren Leatherby, Scott Reinhard and Charlie Smart

March 12, 2022

From small towns to large cities, the extent of Russia’s aerial bombardment of Ukraine

Facing significant Ukrainian resistance on the ground, Russia is increasingly relying on aerial bombardment. Since the invasion started, at least 67 Ukrainian towns and cities have been hit — some attacked on multiple days — with shelling, airstrikes and other projectiles, according to a New York Times tally of air-related attacks.

Number of days each city was hit with air-related attacks

Symbols are sized by the minimum number of days with reports of such attacks.

Chernihiv

At least 4 days

Severodonetsk

At least 4 days

Chernihiv

At least 4 days

Severodonetsk

At least 4 days

Chernihiv

At least 4 days

Severodonetsk

At least 4 days

Source: Compiled from photos and videos showing evidence of attacks, government reports and first-person accounts. Note: Data is as of 5:30 p.m. Eastern on March 11. Attacks may not have occurred over consecutive days. The New York Times

Because of the difficulties in getting comprehensive reporting of events in wartime, the tallies shown here are likely an undercount of the full scale of Russia’s aerial attacks.

Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, has been under bombardment for at least nine days. Kyiv, the capital, as well as Irpin, a nearby city, and Mariupol, the besieged southern port city, have also been subjected to multiple days of relentless shelling. At least eight cities have had more than four days of shelling.

Russian forces recently stepped up aerial attacks in locations far from the frontlines. Many small towns and villages between the eastern Donbas region and Kharkiv have had at least one day of aerial attacks, as Russian forces move toward each other in an effort to close off northeastern Ukraine.

Marco Hernandez, Denise Lu, Eleanor Lutz and Larry Buchanan

March 11, 2022

Where Russians have continued their advances

Although Russia has not captured major cities in recent days, its invasion is far from stalled. Russian forces continue to make gains, pushing into smaller cities and encircling larger ones. Troops have been nearing Kyiv, the capital, and also closing in on key cities in the South and the Northeast.

Kaniv

hydroelectric

plant

South Ukraine

nuclear plant

Zaporizhzhia

nuclear plant

Kaniv

Hydroelectric

plant

South Ukraine

nuclear plant

Zaporizhzhia

nuclear plant

Kaniv

hydroelectric

plant

South Ukraine

nuclear plant

Zaporizhzhia

nuclear plant

Source: Institute for the Study of War with American Enterprise Institute’s Critical Threats Project (Russian-occupied areas) Note: Occupied areas are as of 4 p.m. Eastern on March 10. Russian forces in eastern Ukraine include Russian-backed separatists. The New York Times

The advances have often been arduous, halting and costly. In some areas, Ukrainian forces have repeatedly pushed the Russians back and have regularly disrupted supply lines. The Ukrainians have managed to hold frontlines outside major cities, even as the much larger Russian force has bombarded civilian areas with devastating airstrikes.

But even Russia’s slow advances encircling major cities has put enormous pressure on Ukrainian civilians, some of whom lack electricity and running water. And Ukraine’s military remains on the defensive as Russia consolidates its positions outside major cities and threatens to isolate large numbers of Ukrainian troops or force them to retreat.

“We are surrounded,” said Vladyslav Atroshenko, the mayor of Chernihiv, in a message posted online Wednesday. Russians had bypassed Chernihiv in the early days of the invasion.

Outside Kyiv, Russian forces gained control of the town of Bucha several days ago and moved southwest in an attempt to encircle the capital. They were also approaching Kyiv from the east, with heavy fighting involving a line of Russian tanks reported in the suburb of Brovary, according to videos posted online on Thursday.

Source: Institute for the Study of War with American Enterprise Institute’s Critical Threats Project (Russian-occupied areas) Note: Occupied areas are as of 4 p.m. Eastern on March 10. The New York Times

Russian forces continue to have the upper hand in the south. Their offensive on Mykolaiv continued as they worked to encircle the city from the east, with troops conducting offensives radiating out.

Some troops have pushed up as far as Oleksandrivka, not far from the South Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant, the country’s second largest. Others have made their way to the north and northeast of Mykolaiv toward Kryvyi Rih, though no sustained offensive has been reported.

South Ukraine

nuclear plant

Zaporizhzhia

nuclear plant

South Ukraine

nuclear plant

Zaporizhzhia

nuclear plant

Source: Institute for the Study of War with American Enterprise Institute’s Critical Threats Project (Russian-occupied areas) Note: Occupied areas are as of 4 p.m. Eastern on March 10. The New York Times

Mariupol, a southern port city, remains besieged and under constant bombardment. Russia-backed separatist forces from the Donbas have also claimed that they control the highway from Volnovakha to Mariupol, closing yet another route out of the city.

The Russians appear to be amassing forces north of Crimea for an offensive on Zaporizhzhia.

Source: Institute for the Study of War with American Enterprise Institute’s Critical Threats Project (Russian-occupied areas) Note: Occupied areas are as of 4 p.m. Eastern on March 10. The New York Times

In the east, in addition to trying to encircle the city of Kharkiv, Russian forces are making their way south, most likely in an effort to join forces with Russian-controlled areas in the Donbas who are moving west. Doing so would cut off the northeast region of Ukraine.

Russian troops have attacked Izium and the surrounding towns. Civilians were evacuated from Izium, which was one of the humanitarian corridors established during the fighting.

Several other towns between Kharkiv and Izium were also the site of Russian shelling. In Slobozhanske, Ukrainian officials reported that a civilian residence had been hit, killing four people.

Denise Lu, Lazaro Gamio, Marco Hernandez, Josh Holder and Scott Reinhard

March 10, 2022

Images show Russian strikes on civilian buildings in Mariupol

Russian forces struck a number of civilian buildings in the southeastern city of Mariupol. These satellite images show widespread damage on the city’s west side — in residential areas, shopping centers and surrounding agricultural fields.

Residential areas

2020

Google

Wednesday

Planet Labs

Portcity shopping mall

2020

Google

Wednesday

Planet Labs

Epicentr K shopping mall

2020

Google

Wednesday

Planet Labs

Shelling marks can be seen in the fields near M14, a major highway connecting Mariupol to Odessa in Ukraine’s southwestern corner, according to Allison Puccioni, a satellite image analyst and chief executive of Armillary Services.

Satellite image by Planet Labs The New York Times

Russian forces have encircled Mariupol, an important port, for a week now, laying siege to the roughly half a million people living there. Russian shelling has blocked efforts to create safe roadways for civilians, leaving them trapped without water, food, heat or medicine. Hundreds of casualties have been reported, including at least three people killed after a Russian missile struck a maternity ward, according to the local government. Trenches have been dug for mass graves, and local authorities have instructed residents on how to dispose of the bodies of dead family members.

Satellite data detected several fires in the west of the city since Sunday. Analysis of satellite imagery found that many residences were significantly damaged, along with commercial and other civilian structures. Three instances of residential damage are shown below.

Area of available

satellite coverage

Area of available

satellite coverage

Area of available

satellite coverage

Satellite images by Planet Labs The New York Times

Agnes Chang, Marco Hernandez, Josh Holder, Scott Reinhard, Pablo Robles and Tim Wallace

March 9, 2022

Six ‘humanitarian corridors’ are established, but evacuations remain difficult

On Wednesday, a tentative agreement between Russian and Ukrainian forces allowed for civilians to evacuate from Ukrainian cities with heavy fighting. Six “humanitarian corridors” were established, though not all of them were confirmed to be open and working to safely evacuate people. Ukrainian officials said Russia continued to violate the cease-fire for the corridor out of Mariupol.

Across the corridors, about 40,000 women and children had been evacuated in a day, David Arakhamia, the leader of the governing Servant of the People Party in Ukraine, said on Facebook on Wednesday.

Approximate corridor routes

Russia continues to violate the cease-fire in Mariupol.

Russia continues to violate the cease-fire in Mariupol.

Russia continues to violate the cease-fire in Mariupol.

Source: Ukrainian authorities The New York Times

More than 600 women and children were taken by bus and car from Enerhodar to Zaporizhzhia in the south, according to local officials, and at least 3,000 people were evacuated from the northwest cities of Irpin and Vorzel and taken to Kyiv.

A Ukrainian deputy prime minister, Iryna Vereshchuk, said on Facebook that they have been unable to establish a safe corridor out of Mariupol, the site of some of the heaviest bombardment. Russian forces have cut all communications there, making it increasingly difficult to get information about the state of the city, where hundreds of thousands of people remain trapped with limited access to food and water.

On Tuesday, President Volodymyr Zelensky said about 18,000 people had managed to escape from the areas of the heaviest fighting outside of Kyiv. And he said the passage from Sumy to Poltava, in central Ukraine, allowed about 1,600 students and 3,500 residents to be evacuated.

“Today we will do everything to continue the work of humanitarian corridors,” he said on Wednesday.

Allison McCann, Marco Hernandez, Marc Santora, Lazaro Gamio and Scott Reinhard

March 9, 2022

Where the police have arrested antiwar protesters in Russia

More than 13,000 people have been arrested in antiwar protests in Russia since its invasion of Ukraine began on Feb. 24. While the majority of arrests have taken place in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia’s two largest cities, protesters have been detained in more than 150 cities in a sign of the pent-up anger about the war that is felt across the country.

St. Petersburg

4,141 arrests

St. Petersburg

4,141 arrests

St. Petersburg

4,141 arrests

Source: OVD-Info. Note: Map shows total arrests since Feb. 24. The New York Times

Antiwar protests have continued even as President Vladimir V. Putin renewed his clampdown on free speech. On Friday, a new law was enacted that threatened anyone spreading “false information” about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine with up to 15 years in prison. Facebook, Twitter and all major foreign media were also blocked as the Kremlin seeks to control the narrative in Russia, which faces an economic crisis as a result of Western sanctions.

Despite the risks, Sunday saw the highest single-day tally of protester arrests in recent memory. More than 5,300 protesters were detained across 74 cities, according to OVD-Info, an activist group that tracks protests in Russia. People were seen chanting “No to war!” on St. Petersburg’s central avenue, Nevsky Prospekt, and on Moscow’s Manezhnaya Square, just outside the Kremlin walls.

A photo of police deployed to quell an antiwar protest in Moscow, Russia.

The Russian police deployed to quell a protest in Moscow on March 6. Yuri Kochetkov/EPA, via Shutterstock

A photo of an antiwar demonstrator being detained by police in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Police officers detained a demonstrator in St. Petersburg on Feb. 27. Dmitri Lovetsky/Associated Press

Photos and videos from the ground, which have become more scarce in the days since the new censorship law, show the sharp police response to the protests. Officers were seen pinning protesters to the ground and beating some with batons.

Agnes Chang, Josh Holder, Pablo Robles and Lazaro Gamio

March 8, 2022

How Russia aims to isolate Ukrainian forces in the east

Ukrainian forces have held off Russian forces from taking control of new cities in recent days. But the Russians continue to make smaller advances on multiple fronts, and they appear to be aiming for a critical target in central Ukraine: the city of Dnipro.

Kaniv

hydroelectric

plant

Possible future

Russian advance

South Ukraine

nuclear plant

Zaporizhzhia

nuclear plant

Kaniv

Hydroelectric

plant

Possible future

Russian advance

South Ukraine

nuclear plant

Zaporizhzhia

nuclear plant

Kaniv

hydroelectric

plant

Possible

future

Russian

advance

South Ukraine

nuclear plant

Zaporizhzhia

nuclear plant

Source: Institute for the Study of War with American Enterprise Institute’s Critical Threats Project (Russian-occupied areas) Note: Occupied areas are as of 3 p.m. Eastern on March 7. Russian forces in eastern Ukraine include Russian-backed separatists. The New York Times

Dnipro occupies an important position. If Russian troops can advance on it both from the north, near Kharkiv, and from the south, up from Crimea, they could isolate Ukrainian forces fighting in the Donbas region in the east, or force them to retreat.

If the Ukrainian forces in the east are not already withdrawing, they could be potentially encircled and destroyed soon, according to an analysis by Konrad Muzyka, a defense analyst for Rochan Consulting.

Southern Ukraine is where Russian forces have advanced the most since the invasion began 13 days ago, and Russian forces have continued to press north of Melitopol after taking control of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant on Friday.

Russian troops control the small city of Polohy, and the city has been without heat, electricity or running water for six days, according to a statement on Tuesday by Ivan Arefiev, a spokesman for the regional military administration.

One aim of recent advances appears to be uniting three groups of Russian forces: troops in the south coming from Crimea; troops moving southeast from near Kharkiv; and Russia-backed separatists pushing the front line in the Donbas region.

Mariupol, a city on Ukraine’s southern coast, is still holding out against a Russian siege that has left residents without electricity or basic services. It is the last city standing between the unification of Russia-backed separatists attacking from the east and Russian troops advancing from Crimea.

Agnes Chang, Keith Collins, Lazaro Gamio, Marco Hernandez, Josh Holder, Allison McCann, Scott Reinhard and Pablo Robles

March 6, 2022

Russia moves toward Kyiv from the east and attacks civilians from the west

In the first 11 days of the war, Russian forces have pushed into the areas north and northeast of Kyiv, in an effort to encircle and capture the capital city.

Russian forces were establishing a forward helicopter base near Ivankiv.

Directions of recent Russian advances toward Kyiv

The Ukrainian Air Force attacked Russian forces in Peremoha, according to the Ukrainian military.

Large strike on residential neighborhood in Bila Tserkva.

Russian forces

were establishing

a forward

helicopter base

near Ivankiv.

Directions of recent Russian advances toward Kyiv

The Ukrainian Air Force attacked Russian forces in Peremoha, according to the Ukrainian military.

Large strike on residential neighborhood in Bila Tserkva.

A Russian forward

helicopter base

was established

near Ivankiv.

Directions of recent Russian advances toward Kyiv

Large strike on residential neighborhood in Bila Tserkva.

Source: British Ministry of Defense (Russian advances); Institute for the Study of War with American Enterprise Institute’s Critical Threats Project (Russian advances, Russian-occupied areas) Note: Occupied areas are as of 3 p.m. Eastern on March 6. The New York Times

Russia has moved to encircle other key cities throughout the north as it advances toward Kyiv, according to intelligence reports from Britain’s Ministry of Defense. Attempts to take Chernihiv have not been successful, while advances from Sumy through the sparsely populated areas to the east of Kyiv have been met with less resistance, according to the Institute for the Study of War, a Washington research group.

Russia’s ground forces, including armored vehicles and tanks, have not moved as far along in the dense, urban areas around Kyiv. Ukrainian forces have launched ambushes using small, nimble military units to sneak up on Russian forces. These units are armed with anti-tank missiles that are used to counter Russia’s heavy machinery.

While Russia has not launched major ground operations into the heart of Kyiv over the past two days, intense shelling has continued in several surrounding towns. On Sunday, a Times photographer witnessed four people, including a mother and her two children, killed by a strike as mortar shelling targeted a battered bridge used by evacuees in Irpin who were trying to escape to Kyiv.

Evacuees huddled under a

destroyed bridge, one of the

main escape routes out of Irpin.

At least four people,

including two children,

were killed by a mortar

shell.

Evacuation

route toward

Kyiv

Evacuees huddled under a

destroyed bridge, one of the

main escape routes out of Irpin.

At least four people,

including two children, were

killed by a mortar shell.

Evacuation route

toward Kyiv

Evacuees huddled under a

destroyed bridge, one of the

main escape routes out of Irpin.

At least four people,

including two children, were

killed by a mortar shell.

Evacuation route

toward Kyiv

Satellite imagery via Google Earth The New York Times

Buildings near Irpin burned after shelling on March 6 in the outskirts of Kyiv. Emilio Morenatti/Associated Press

Weiyi Cai, Eleanor Lutz, Blacki Migliozzi, Scott Reinhard, Anjali Singhvi and Charlie Smart

March 5, 2022

The Russian offensive in three parts of the south

Russia continued to make advances on Saturday in southeastern Ukraine, pushing into the areas around Melitopol and continuing to move toward Mykolaiv, another strategic port city on the Black Sea.

Russia now controls the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant.

Russian forces continued to push toward Mykolaiv.

Evacuations of Mariupol and Volnovakha were halted amid Russian shelling.

Russia now controls the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant.

Russian forces continued to push toward Mykolaiv.

Evacuations of Mariupol and Volnovakha were halted amid Russian shelling.

Russia now controls the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant.

Evacuations of Mariupol and Volnovakha were halted amid Russian shelling.

Russian forces continued to push toward Mykolaiv.

Source: Institute for the Study of War with American Enterprise Institute’s Critical Threats Project (Russian-occupied areas) | Note: Occupied areas are as of 3 p.m. Eastern on March 4. The New York Times

Russian forces still surround Mariupol, where about a half million people have been without heat, electricity or water for several days. A Russian-declared cease-fire was intended to allow civilians to leave Mariupol and Volnovakha on Saturday, but the evacuations were halted amid what Ukrainian officials said was renewed shelling.

On Friday Russia attacked the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, the largest nuclear plant in Europe, and Ukrainian officials said the plant is now under control of Russian forces.

Lauren Leatherby and Allison McCann

March 5, 2022

Russian attacks on nuclear sites could destabilize Ukraine’s energy supply

Russian forces attacked the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant on March 3 and are now reportedly pushing toward the South Ukraine nuclear power plant. These are Ukraine’s two largest nuclear power plants, together responsible for one-third of Ukraine’s electricity generation.

Source: World Nuclear Association; Global Coal Plant Tracker, Global Energy Monitor, February 2022; Institute for the Study of War with American Enterprise Institute’s Critical Threats Project (Russian-occupied areas) | Note: Occupied areas are as of 3 p.m. Eastern on March 4. The New York Times

Ukraine has a total of four nuclear power plants consisting of 15 reactors that generate roughly 50 percent of the country’s electricity. After nuclear power, coal is the largest source of electricity generated in the country. Many of Ukraine’s coal-fired power plants lie in the Donbas region, where Russian-backed separatists have been fighting Ukrainian forces since 2014.

Electricity generation in Ukraine by source

Control over Ukraine’s electricity generation would give Russian forces another tool in their effort to gain control of the country.

In recent years, Ukraine was already taking steps to disconnect itself from the Soviet-era energy grid it shares with Russia and Belarus, instead looking to connect to a grid shared by its western neighbors. It was running tests on its energy system on Feb. 24, the very day the Russians invaded. The connection to the rest of Europe’s grid was originally planned for completion in 2023, but Ukrainian officials are now looking to expedite it.

As Russian invasion efforts have been frustrated by staunch Ukrainian resistance, Russian forces have moved to using artillery and air strikes to try to achieve their goals. Many of the targets struck have been civilian buildings, among them at least one coal power plant that was leveled in Okhtyrka, near Sumy in the northern part of the country. Prior to the invasion, one coal plant caught fire after being shelled by separatist forces in the Donbas region.

Russian forces also control at least one hydroelectric dam in the south of the country and are working to capture another north of Kyiv. Russian forces have additionally occupied the Chernobyl nuclear site since early in the conflict, though its four reactors are defunct.

Lazaro Gamio and Eleanor Lutz

March 4, 2022

Civilians try to escape as fight for Kyiv continues

As Russian forces tried to close in on Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, thousands of people — mostly women and children — rushed to catch trains on Friday as explosions shook the city. Ukraine’s military said in a statement that the Russian army’s primary objective was now to encircle the capital.

Civilians are fleeing

to Kyiv from Irpin

Cruise missile is

seen in parking lot

Railways southwest

of Kyiv remain open

Civilians are fleeing

to Kyiv from Irpin

Railways southwest

of Kyiv remain open

Cruise missile is

seen in parking lot

Sources: Verified footage; satellite imagery. The New York Times

Much of the fighting on Friday took place on the northwestern outskirts of Kyiv, in and around the cities of Hostomel, Bucha and Irpin, as the Russian military tried to push closer to the capital.

Civilians in Irpin, where troops and a Russian tank were photographed on Friday, raced to catch trains heading southeast into the capital. A small airport in Hostomel was the site of a continuing battle.

People removed personal belongings from a burning house in Irpin, outside Kyiv, on March 4. Aris Messinis/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

In Kozarovychi, a village about 25 miles north of Kyiv, a base of Russian paratroopers was destroyed by Ukrainian artillery, according to local press. In Markhalivka, to the southwest, an airstrike hit a rural residential area, Ukrainian law enforcement officials said, killing at least seven people.

Several bridges have been destroyed around Kyiv, possibly by Ukrainian forces hoping to slow the advancement of Russian troops. In the capital on Friday, a silvery, metallic tail section of what appeared to be a cruise missile was seen in a parking lot.

Weiyi Cai, Keith Collins, Denise Lu and Yuliya Parshina-Kottas

March 4, 2022

Fire at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear facility

Zaporizhzhia nuclear complex

Zaporizhzhia nuclear complex

Zaporizhzhia nuclear complex

Source: Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, imagery of the fire. Satellite image by Maxar via Google Earth The New York Times

A fire set off by fighting at Europe’s largest nuclear plant on Friday caused damage to a training facility about 1,500 feet from the nearest of the plant’s six nuclear reactors, according to an analysis of imagery of the fire.

The damage set off widespread fears of a radiological disaster, but international monitors said early Friday that there was no immediate sign that radiation had leaked from the Zaporizhzhia plant.

An image of fire and smoke coming from a training facility at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant.

Credit: NewsEnergodar via Telegram

There was also damage to “the structure of the reactor compartment” at one of the six reactors, which did not affect the safety of the unit, according to a statement by Ukrainian nuclear officials. It was unclear which reactor structure was damaged.

Russian troops took control of the facility after an intense gun battle on Friday. Although radiation levels did not appear to spike, there were many remaining dangers — from workers being able to do their critical jobs while the plant is occupied to the possibility of unreported damage at one of the reactors.

Besides the threat of fighting to Zaporizhzhia’s reactors and their cores full of highly radioactive fuel, the site has many acres of open pools of water where spent fuel rods have been cooled for years. Experts fear that errant shells or missiles that hit such sites could set off radiological disasters.

Russian forces are expected to continue to push north of the nuclear plant, toward the city of Zaporizhzhia. To the east, Russian troops have for days encircled the port city of Mariupol, a key point between the Donbas region, controlled by Russian-backed separatists, and the Russia-controlled Crimean Peninsula.

Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.

Mykolaiv is preparing for an imminent Russian attack.

Electricity, water and power are disrupted in Mariupol, which is under frequent shelling.

Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.

Mykolaiv is preparing for an imminent Russian attack.

Electricity, water and power are disrupted in Mariupol, which is under frequent shelling.

Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.

Electricity, water and power are disrupted in Mariupol, which is under frequent shelling.

Mykolaiv is preparing for an imminent Russian attack.

Source: Institute for the Study of War with American Enterprise Institute’s Critical Threats Project (Russian-occupied areas) | Note: Occupied areas are as of 3 p.m. Eastern on March 3. The New York Times

If Russian forces take over the entire coast to the east of Crimea, Ukraine’s army east of the Dnieper River could be isolated, and Russia could control the Sea of Azov and its industrial infrastructure.

Allison McCann, Pablo Robles, Marco Hernandez and William J.Broad

March 4, 2022

The status of the Russian invasion

Source: Institute for the Study of War with American Enterprise Institute’s Critical Threats Project (Russian-occupied areas) | Note: Occupied areas are as of 3 p.m. Eastern on March 3. The New York Times

After nine days of fighting, Russia’s primary effort remains capturing Kyiv, the capital. But Russian forces continued to attack Ukraine on several other fronts, laying siege to cities and trying to control vital ports.

In the south, Russia appears to be intent on capturing Ukraine’s entire Black Sea coast, in an apparent attempt to cut it off from shipping. Russian troops pushing north from Crimea on Wednesday seized the strategically important southern port city of Kherson, the first major city to fall to the Russian military. Those troops are continuing to push west to another port city, Mykolaiv, and then are expected to target Odessa, according to an analysis from the Institute for the Study of War, a Washington research group.

Russia seized the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, near Zaporizhzhia, after intense fighting between Russian and Ukrainian forces. A fire that had broken out there was extinguished, and radiation does not appear to have leaked, international monitors said.

Russian troops have also encircled the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol, a key point between the Donbas region, controlled by Russian-backed separatists, and the Russia-controlled Crimean Peninsula. If Russian forces take over the area, Ukraine’s army east of the Dnieper River could face encirclement, and Russia would be able to take control of the Sea of Azov and its industrial infrastructure. The bombardment in Mariupol has cut power, water and heat to the people, the local mayor, Vadym Boichenko, said in a statement on Facebook.

In Kyiv, Russian forces pushing in from the western outskirts of the city have been met with strong Ukrainian resistance. Additional forces east of Kyiv are advancing toward the capital, according to the institute.

The second-largest city, Kharkiv, has been the site of heavy bombardment, with several civilian structures hit as Russians attempt to encircle the city. Videos of the city center verified by The New York Times show large buildings and storefronts with severe structural damage, as well as damage to residential buildings and schools on the outskirts of the city.

Weiyi Cai, Keith Collins, Lazaro Gamio, Denise Lu, Allison McCann, Scott Reinhard, Pablo Robles and Julie Walton Shaver

March 2, 2022

Russia captures major southern city and surrounds another

Areas occupied by Russian forces

Russian forces

surrounded and

bombarded Mariupol.

Ukrainian forces

are retreating to

Mykolaiv.

Russian forces

have seized

Kherson.

Russian forces

captured Melitopol

on Feb. 25.

Russian forces

destroyed a

dam on Feb. 26.

Russian forces

surrounded and

bombarded Mariupol.

Ukrainian forces

are retreating to

Mykolaiv.

Russian forces

have seized

Kherson.

Russian forces

captured Melitopol

on Feb. 25.

Russian forces

destroyed a

dam on Feb. 26.

Russian forces

surrounded and

bombarded Mariupol.

Ukrainian forces

are retreating to

Mykolaiv.

Russian forces

have seized

Kherson.

Russian forces

captured Melitopol

on Feb. 25.

Russian forces

destroyed a dam

on Feb. 26.

Source: Institute for the Study of War with American Enterprise Institute’s Critical Threats Project (Russian troop movements) | Note: Russian-occupied areas are as of 3 p.m. Eastern on March 2. The New York Times

The Black Sea port of Kherson, in the southern region of Ukraine, became the first major city to come under full control of Russian forces on Wednesday.

“There is no Ukrainian army here,” said Igor Kolykhaev, the city’s mayor. “The city is surrounded.”

Russian troops first approached the city on Friday and met heavy resistance. On Saturday, they destroyed a dam in the region that Ukraine had built in 2014 in order to cut off an important water source to Crimea.

Ukrainian forces retreated west toward Mykolaiv, Mr. Kolykhaev said. Russian forces are likely to head there in their drive to Odessa.

Gennady Trukhanov, the mayor of Odessa, backed by assessments from Ukraine’s military, said on Wednesday that Russia’s goal was likely to surround Odessa with land and naval forces, cutting off Ukraine’s access to the Black Sea and the country’s primary link to the global economy.

“My sense is that they will encircle Odessa and hold that position while they continue their assault on Kyiv,” Mr. Trukhanov said.

About 260 miles to the east of Kherson, Russian forces also have surrounded the port city of Mariupol by land and sea, and have been bombarding critical infrastructure and civilian targets, according to the Institute for the Study of War. Capturing Mariupol would allow Russian forces in the south to join with Russian-backed separatists in the east, isolating Ukrainian troops in the region.

Keith Collins, Denise Lu and Scott Reinhard

March 2, 2022

Where Russia has hit civilian structures in Kharkiv since Monday

Russian troops are coming from the north

Residential and commercial buildings

Residential and commercial buildings

Russian forces occupy areas north of the city

Residential and commercial buildings

Residential and commercial buildings

Russian troops are coming from the north

Residential and commercial buildings

Residential and commercial buildings

Source: Ukrainian officials | Note: Airstrikes and shelling data are from Feb. 28 to March 2. The New York Times

The city of Kharkiv in northeastern Ukraine continued to be pummeled with airstrikes and shelling on Wednesday. Blasts or explosions have been reported in at least seven locations around the city since Monday. The head of the Kharkiv region said on Facebook that at least 20 people had been killed and 125 had been injured since Saturday.

The strikes and ensuing explosions over the last two days have damaged office buildings, a university building and residential districts in the city. On Tuesday, a large explosion struck directly in front of the Kharkiv’s administrative building, shown below. At least seven people were killed and another 24 were injured.

Kharkiv Regional State Administration

March 1, 2022

Pavel Dorogoy / Associated Press

After Russian ground forces failed to take control of Kharkiv on Friday, analysts say that Moscow is now focused on air, missile and artillery strikes before likely launching a renewed ground offensive.

On Wednesday, just after 8 a.m. local time, a missile strike damaged three buildings at one intersection: a building of Kharkiv National University, shown below; the police headquarters; and an office of the National Security Service. The State Emergency Service of Ukraine reported three people injured so far on Wednesday, with rescue work ongoing.

Faculty of Economics, Kharkiv National University

March 2, 2022

State Emergency Service of Ukraine

These attacks followed the shelling of a residential neighborhood on Monday that killed at least nine people, including an Indian student studying medicine in Kharkiv.

National Police Headquarters

March 2, 2022

Oleksandr Lapshyn / Reuters

About 1.5 million people live in the city of Kharkiv, according to the latest estimates, making it Ukraine’s second-largest city. Residents have sheltered in subway stations, basements and bunkers since the assault on the city began last week.

Agnes Chang, Lazaro Gamio, Pablo Robles, Marco Hernandez and Allison McCann

March 1, 2022

Russia’s shifting strategy in six days of attacks on Kyiv

Areas occupied by Russian forces

Failed attack

on Hostomel

Feb. 24

Russian

troops forced

to bypass

Chernihiv.

Ground assault

on Hostomel

Feb. 25

Russian troops

advance

from east.

Russian troops enter

outskirts of Kyiv.

Feb. 26

Troops advance

on both sides

of Dnieper River.

Feb. 27

Russia

deploys

additional

artillery and

troops to the

west of Kyiv.

Feb. 28

Russian military

vehicles headed

toward Kyiv.

Russian forces

were seen in an

area east of Kyiv.

TV tower hit by

projectile in Kyiv

March 1

Sources: Verified footage; satellite imagery; Institute for the Study of War with American Enterprise Institute’s Critical Threats Project (Russian troop movements) | Note: Russian-occupied areas for March 1 are as of 3 p.m. Eastern, and ground fighting and airstrikes data is as of 6:30 p.m. Russian-occupied areas are those assessed for each date and may change in subsequent assessments. The New York Times

In six days of fighting in Ukraine, Russian forces have seized territory in the county’s south and east but remain shut out of some major cities and the capital, Kyiv, prompting a ramped up effort to surround the city and an escalation of attacks on civilian infrastructure around the country.

The invasion, and the push into Kyiv, began on Feb. 24 local time with an early-morning campaign of airstrikes that aimed to take out Ukraine’s air power. Once military bases and airports across the country were struck, Russian forces began their assault from the border with Belarus, to the north of the capital.

On that first day of fighting, troops that entered from the northwest captured the former Chernobyl nuclear power plant, and Russian forces began moving toward Kyiv. Special forces and airborne troops were closing in on the capital by the end of the day but were met with a fierce defense mounted by Ukrainian forces.

Forces that entered Ukraine from the northeast also encountered heavy resistance in the city of Chernihiv, which lies on the road to Kyiv. By the second day, troops bypassed the city and headed south along the Dnieper River.

West of the river, Ukrainian troops withdrew from the Hostomel airport on Friday, and it was captured by Russian troops, according to the Institute for the Study of War, a Washington research group. Ukrainian forces, however, appeared to have destroyed the airport’s runway, rendering it unusable.

Over the next several days, Russia bombarded Kyiv with missile strikes, and troops began pushing into the city from the northwest. The forces that had come from the northeast also advanced along the east bank of the Dnieper River, drawing closer to the capital.

Satellite images taken from Feb. 26 to Feb. 28 show bridges that were destroyed in and around Kyiv, some possibly by Ukrainian forces to slow the advancement of Russian troops.

Bridges destroyed in Ukraine

Irpin bridge

West of Kyiv

Stoyanka bridge

West of Kyiv

Kamaryn Slavutych border crossing

Belarus-Ukraine border

Desna River bridge

Chernihiv Oblast

Sources: Maxar Technologies and Planet Labs

Russian troops have now consolidated on two fronts, in the northwest and the northeast areas of Kyiv, and may attempt to cut off supply lines of arms and other military equipment arriving from European Union countries. ​​Ukrainian forces have so far defended against incursions from Kyiv’s west, including an attack on the nearby city of Irpin on Monday.

As of Tuesday, the Russians had deployed heavy artillery and more forces to the area northwest of Kyiv, a likely prelude to the intense shelling that could soon befall the capital. A long convoy of Russian forces was also seen approaching the city. The convoy may aid in direct assaults on the city from the northwest, but it is more likely to bolster the effort to surround the city, particularly from the west, according to the Institute for the Study of War.

On the east side of the river on Tuesday, Russian vehicles reportedly moved east toward Bobrovytsia, the institute said, possibly to join the forces near Nizhyn, about 70 miles east of Kyiv.

Agnes Chang, Keith Collins, Lazaro Gamio, Denise Lu, Yuliya Parshina-Kottas, Scott Reinhard, Pablo Robles, Michael Schwirtz and Tim Wallace

March 1, 2022

Russia takes aim at civilian targets

Russia appeared to target civilian areas with increasingly powerful weapons on Tuesday, damaging major cities and dramatically raising the risk of civilian deaths.

A large explosion hit central Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, destroying a large administration building and killing at least seven people. A second attack in a residential neighborhood in Kharkiv destroyed a hospital and resulted in several deaths and injuries, the city’s mayor told a local television station. And video showed a projectile hitting the main radio and television tower in Kyiv, the capital, forcing television stations off the air, according to Ukrainian officials.

Areas occupied by Russian forces

A projectile hit the main radio and television tower in the capital.

An enormous explosion hit the city’s central square.

Intense fighting for a critical port city that lacks heat and electricity.

Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine in 2014.

A projectile hit the main radio and television tower in the capital.

An enormous explosion hit the city’s central square.

Intense fighting for a critical port city that lacks heat and electricity.

Russia annexed the

Crimean Peninsula

from Ukraine in 2014.

A projectile hit the main radio and television tower in the capital.

An enormous explosion hit the city’s central square.

Russia annexed the

Crimean Peninsula from

Ukraine in 2014.

Source: New York Times reporting; Institute for the Study of War. Russian-occupied areas as of 3:30 p.m. Eastern on Feb. 28. Ground fighting and airstrikes data as of 8:15 a.m. Eastern on March 1. Note: Russian forces in eastern Ukraine include Russian-backed separatists. The New York Times

Russian forces battled for control of two major cities in the south. Videos showed Russian troops patrolling Kherson and an explosion at an apartment building, although Ukrainians kept control, according to Janes, a company that analyzes intelligence. The mayor of Mariupol, a key port city, said residents lacked electricity and heat after days of intense fighting. Capturing Mariupol would allow Russian forces in the south to join with Russian-backed separatists in the east, isolating Ukrainian troops in the region.

Security footage of the apparent airstrike in Kharkiv showed what appeared to be a rocket hitting directly in front of the city’s administration building, creating a large fireball that engulfed several cars. The blast left behind a large crater near the city’s central square.

Outside of the capital, a convoy of Russian tanks and vehicles, now about 40 miles long, could still be seen in satellite images. A renewed assault on western Kyiv was likely to start again on Tuesday, according to an analysis by the Institute for the Study of War.

Maxar Technologies

Josh Holder, Marco Hernandez, Michael Schwirtz and Allison McCann

Updated March 1, 2022

More than half a million refugees flee Ukraine

Total refugees

At least 575,400

Other European

countries

34,000

Total refugees

At least 575,400

Other European

countries

34,000

Total refugees

At least 575,400

Other European

countries

34,000

Source: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Data as of March 1. The New York Times

More than half a million refugees have fled Ukraine since Russia’s invasion began last week, according to the United Nations refugee agency. About half of them crossed Ukraine’s western border to Poland. Others have gone to Hungary, Moldova, Romania and Slovakia. Ukraine enacted martial law at the beginning of the conflict that requires men ages 18 to 60 to remain in the country.

For many refugees, these bordering countries could be a first stop of their journey. Romanian authorities said about half of those who had entered the country so far had already left for other European countries.

Evacuees from Ukraine at the train station in Zahony, Hungary, on Sunday. Laetitia Vancon for The New York Times

According to the refugee agency, an additional 129,000 people have reportedly been displaced to Russia from Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region since Feb. 18, when Russian-backed separatists there called for residents to evacuate to Russia as tensions escalated.

The refugee crisis is the most intense week of human flight within Europe’s borders since at least the Balkan wars of the 1990s. But in contrast to previous crises in Europe over the past decade, these refugees are being welcomed.

There are also reports of people who are unable to leave Ukraine. About 15,000 Indian citizens remained stranded at the start of the conflict, India’s foreign secretary told reporters late Sunday. The Indian government has managed to evacuate about 2,000 of them through border crossings with Ukraine’s neighboring countries.

Thousands of citizens of African countries, many of them medical and science students at Ukrainian universities, are also trapped in several Ukrainian cities. Somalia’s foreign minister said that his office had contacted countries such as Poland in an effort to provide legal entry to about 300 Somalis.

The United Nations says it is preparing for up to four million refugees from Ukraine in the coming days and weeks.

Agnes Chang, Marco Hernandez, Denise Lu and Scott Reinhard

Feb. 28, 2022

Russian rockets hit Kharkiv, and troops move to encircle Kyiv

Russian rockets on Monday hit a residential neighborhood in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, killing dozens of people, according to Ukrainian officials. Videos of the attacks appear to show the most aggressive targeting of a civilian area by Russian airstrikes since the invasion began five days ago.

Ukrainian forces retained control of major cities. But Russian troops have moved to towns west of Kyiv, the capital, including Borodianka, according to Ukrainian officials and videos of the fighting. The movement may be an attempt to encircle Kyiv and cut off supply lines of arms and other military equipment arriving from E.U. countries.

Russian forces moved west of Kyiv, possibly trying to sever supply lines.

Russian rocket attacks hit residential areas and killed dozens of civilians.

Areas occupied by

Russian forces

as of Feb. 27.

Area of Donbas region held by

Russian-backed separatists

Russian forces took control of Berdiansk.

Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine in 2014.

Areas occupied by

Russian forces

as of Feb. 27.

Russian forces moved west of Kyiv, possibly trying to sever supply lines.

Russian rocket attacks hit residential areas and killed dozens of civilians.

Area of Donbas region held by

Russian-backed separatists

Russian forces took control of Berdiansk.

Russia annexed the

Crimean Peninsula

from Ukraine in 2014.

Russian rocket attacks hit residential areas and killed dozens of civilians.

Areas occupied by

Russian forces

as of Feb. 27.

Area of Donbas

region held by

Russian-backed

separatists

Russia annexed the

Crimean Peninsula from

Ukraine in 2014.

Source: New York Times reporting; Institute for the Study of War. Russian-occupied areas as of 4 p.m. Eastern on Feb. 27. Ground fighting and airstrikes data as of 11:45 a.m. Eastern on Feb. 28. The New York Times

Russian troops in southern Ukraine continued to advance, capturing the coastal city of Berdiansk. Russian airstrikes hit Zaporizhzhia, up the Dnieper River, according to Ukrainian officials. And Russian officials claimed to take control of a nearby town, Enerhodar, although Ukrainian officials disputed this.

The rocket attacks in Kharkiv could be seen in videos posted to Telegram on Monday and verified by The New York Times. The number of casualties could not immediately be confirmed.

Talks between Russian and Ukrainian officials began in Belarus even as the fighting continued. President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine said before the meeting that he was not hopeful that the talks would end the hostilities.

Josh Holder, Allison McCann, Marco Hernandez, Haley Willis, Ainara Tiefenthäler and Michael Schwirtz

Feb. 27, 2022

Russia’s advance on Ukrainian cities is slowed by resistance

The Russian military’s push toward Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, slowed over the weekend. After rapid incursions toward Kyiv during the first two days of the invasion, Russian forces made limited new territorial gains. Instead, experts say Russia may have focused on moving additional combat supplies to the front lines.

Areas occupied by

Russian forces

as of Feb. 27.

Area of Donbas region held by

Russian-backed separatists

Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine in 2014.

Areas occupied by

Russian forces

as of Feb. 27.

Area of Donbas region held by

Russian-backed separatists

Russia annexed the

Crimean Peninsula

from Ukraine in 2014.

Area of Donbas

region held by

Russian-backed

separatists

Areas occupied by

Russian forces

as of Feb. 27.

Russia annexed the

Crimean Peninsula from

Ukraine in 2014.

Source: New York Times reporting; Institute for the Study of War (Russian-occupied areas). Data as of 4 p.m. Eastern on Feb. 27. The New York Times

The relative pause may stem from Russia previously underestimating Ukrainian forces, according to an analysis by the Institute for the Study of War. So far, Ukraine has held Russia out of several cities including Kyiv and Kharkiv. Footage analyzed by The New York Times showed Russian forces advancing closer than previously seen to the center of Kharkiv, the country’s second-largest city, but they were mostly pushed back.

In the country’s south, forces have continued to advance north toward Zaporizhzhia and have encircled Mariupol, beginning initial assaults on the port city. Despite Russian-backed separatist control of the Donbas region in the country’s east, Russian and separatist troops have not made major advances against Ukrainian forces there.

Experts predict strong Russian attacks will resume in the coming days as Russia commits more resources to the offensive. And even as talks between Ukraine and Russia neared, satellite imagery on Sunday showed a miles-long convoy of hundreds of Russian military vehicles bearing down on Kyiv.

Maxar Technologies

High civilian casualties may also be likely in the coming days if the Russian military continues its push into densely populated urban areas. The Ukrainian Interior Ministry said on Sunday that 352 civilians have been killed, including 14 children.

Lauren Leatherby and Scott Reinhard

Feb. 26, 2022

Three regions where Russian forces are pushing into Ukraine

Russia has established attack lines into three regions of Ukraine: toward Kyiv, the capital, from the north; toward Kharkiv, from the northeast; and fanning out from Crimea in the south. Ukraine has also fought Russian-backed separatists in the Donbas region to the east.

Areas occupied by

Russian forces

as of Feb. 26.

Area of Donbas region held by

Russian-backed separatists

Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine in 2014.

Areas occupied by

Russian forces

as of Feb. 26.

Area of Donbas region held by

Russian-backed separatists

Russia annexed the

Crimean Peninsula

from Ukraine in 2014.

Area of Donbas

region held by

Russian-backed

separatists

Areas occupied by

Russian forces

as of Feb. 26.

Russia annexed the

Crimean Peninsula from

Ukraine in 2014.

Source: New York Times reporting; Institute for the Study of War (Russian-occupied areas). Data as of 1 p.m. Eastern on Feb. 26. The New York Times

Russian forces pushed toward Kyiv from the north and east, but had yet to take the capital on Saturday after heavy shelling and intense fighting. After failing to capture Chernihiv, Russian troops moved around the city toward Kyiv, according to an analysis by the Institute for the Study of War, a research group in Washington.

Ground fighting or explosions

Areas occupied by

Russian forces

as of Feb. 26.

Russian forces were stopped short of Kyiv’s eastern outskirts.

Ground troops entered the outskirts of Kyiv on the west bank of the Dnieper River.

Areas occupied by

Russian forces

as of Feb. 26.

Ground troops

entered the outskirts of Kyiv on the west bank of the Dnieper River.

Russian forces were stopped short of Kyiv’s eastern outskirts.

Ground troops entered the outskirts of Kyiv on the west bank of the Dnieper River.

Russian forces were stopped short of Kyiv’s eastern outskirts.

Areas occupied

by Russian forces

as of Feb. 26.

Sources: New York Times reporting; Ukrainian officials; Institute for the Study of War The New York Times

Troops crossed the Russian border at several points and advanced toward Kharkiv, the second-largest city in Ukraine. On Friday, the fighting appeared to center a few miles outside the city limits, near the village of Tsyrkuny. A Kharkiv government Telegram account on Saturday said Russian troops were being fought at multiple points to the north and southeast of the city.

Ground fighting, munitions or explosions

Ground troops pushed

into Ukraine across a

wide stretch of the

Russian border.

A cluster warhead was found

embedded in the ground.

Areas occupied by

Russian forces

as of Feb. 26.

Ground troops pushed

into Ukraine across a

wide stretch of the

Russian border.

Areas occupied by

Russian forces

as of Feb. 26.

A cluster warhead was found

embedded in

the ground.

Ground troops pushed

into Ukraine across a

wide stretch of the

Russian border.

A cluster warhead was found embedded in the ground.

Areas occupied by

Russian forces

as of Feb. 26.

Sources: New York Times reporting; Ukrainian officials; Institute for the Study of War

Russian forces coming from Crimea pushed north toward Zaporizhzhia and east toward Mariupol. There has been heavy fighting on a bridge in the city of Kherson, and Russian troops blew up a dam on the North Crimean Canal, built by Ukraine in 2014 to block Crimean water supply from the Dnieper River.

Ground fighting or explosions

Ten civilians “of Greek origin” were killed by Russian airstrikes near Mariupol.

Areas occupied by

Russian forces

as of Feb. 26.

Russian forces destroyed a dam that was built to stop the flow of water to Crimea.

Ten civilians “of Greek origin” were killed by Russian airstrikes near Mariupol.

Areas occupied by

Russian forces

as of Feb. 26.

Russian forces destroyed a dam that was built to stop the flow of water to Crimea.

Areas occupied by

Russian forces

as of Feb. 26.

Russian forces destroyed a dam here.

Sources: New York Times reporting; Ukrainian officials; Institute for the Study of War; East View Geospatial (urban area data)

A majority of the more than 150,000 Russian forces massed against Ukraine are now fighting in the country, a senior Pentagon official said on Saturday, up from about one-third on Friday.

Larry Buchanan, Weiyi Cai, Agnes Chang, Keith Collins, Blacki Migliozzi, Yuliya Parshina-Kottas, Jugal K. Patel, Josh Williams, Michael Schwirtz and Andrew E. Kramer

Feb. 26, 2022

Fighting intensifies across Kyiv

Ukrainian forces put up a fierce battle on Saturday to hold Kyiv, the capital, as Russian troops pressed in from all directions. What until three days ago had been a thriving European metropolis has been transformed into a battle zone.

Ground fighting or explosions

The New York Times

While Ukrainian forces appeared to keep control, fighting reached the city center before appearing to quiet later on Saturday. Combat was seen 400 yards from Maidan Square, according to ​​Ukrainska Pravda, a Ukrainian news site, citing witnesses. There were reports of clashes near the city’s train station closer to the center, according to the witness accounts.

Intense fighting could be seen along Peremohy Avenue, a main thoroughfare. Videos verified by The Times showed vehicles on fire on the street in the neighborhood of Shuliavka, near the Kyiv Zoo.

A residential building was struck by a missile in southwestern Kyiv on Saturday morning, injuring at least a half dozen people.

Russia has established attack lines into three cities — Kyiv in the north, Kharkiv in the northeast and Kherson in the south — and Ukrainian troops are fighting to hold all three.

Keith Collins, Pablo Robles, Andrew E. Kramer, Christoph Koettl, Brenna Smith, Dmitriy Khavin, Muyi Xiao, Malachy Browne and Sarah Kerr

Feb. 25, 2022

Russian forces enter Kyiv, but they are held back on some other fronts

Russian troops have pushed into Ukraine along the country’s southern, eastern and northern borders, but the operation has encountered more resistance from Ukrainian forces farther north in Kyiv and Kharkiv, the country’s two largest cities.

Areas occupied by

Russian forces

as of Feb. 25.

Held by Russian-

backed separatists.

Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine in 2014.

Areas occupied by

Russian forces

as of Feb. 25.

Held by Russian-

backed separatists.

Russia annexed the

Crimean Peninsula

from Ukraine in 2014.

Areas occupied by

Russian forces

as of Feb. 25.

Held by

Russian-backed

separatists.

Russia annexed the

Crimean Peninsula from

Ukraine in 2014.

Source: Institute for the Study of War. Data as of 1 p.m. Eastern on Feb. 25. The New York Times

Moscow’s forces entered the western outskirts of Kyiv, the capital, but failed to penetrate the city’s eastern side as of Friday evening local time, according to an independent analysis of the conflict by the Institute for the Study of War, a research group in Washington. Ukrainian forces also prevented Russian troops from taking Chernihiv, a city northeast of Kyiv.

Ukraine’s military said Russian soldiers entered a northern district of Kyiv earlier on Friday and that “sabotage groups” were operating in the city. Intelligence reports from the Pentagon and Britain’s Ministry of Defense said Russia was attempting to encircle the capital.

In the Donbas region to the east, Ukrainian forces held the line of contact with Russian-backed separatist groups there, the Institute for the Study of War analysis said. Near Crimea in the south, Russian forces were reported to have captured the city of Kherson.

Marco Hernandez and Denise Lu

Feb. 25, 2022

Russia takes aim at Kyiv

After heavy shelling and ground fighting in cities and towns across Ukraine on Thursday, Russia turned its attention to Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital, on Friday. Missile strikes hammered Kyiv overnight, and a Russian rocket fragment landed on a residential building, injuring at least three people, the city’s mayor said.

Ground fighting or explosions

Sources: New York Times reporting; Ukrainian officials The New York Times

Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said on Thursday that Russian forces had attempted to land along the Kyiv reservoir. And on Friday morning, the ministry said that Russian troops had entered the Obolon district, a few miles north of the city center. Ukrainian officials said on Twitter that Kyiv residents should “prepare Molotov cocktails” to deter “the occupier.”

Explosions were heard throughout the city, and Mayor Vitali Klitschko said on social media that five explosions appeared to come from the Kyiv Thermal Power Plant No. 6, in the northeast.

Video and photographs verified by The New York Times appear to show two bridges that lead to Kyiv were destroyed — their demolition a new tactic that Ukraine seemed to be using to defend the capital.

The Times was able to verify that two crossings, on the city’s northern and western edges, were destroyed in what appeared to be an attempt to slow down the advancing Russian forces.

Confirmed reports of ground fighting or explosions

Bridges destroyed to

slow Russian advance

Bridges destroyed to

slow Russian advance

Bridges destroyed to

slow Russian advance

Sources: New York Times reporting; Ukrainian officials The New York Times

With its focus now on the capital, Moscow made clear that its goal was to topple the government of President Volodymyr Zelensky. Russia also said that it had taken control of the territory around the former Chernobyl nuclear plant, about 80 miles north of Kyiv.

Lazaro Gamio, Josh Holder, Pablo Robles, Agnes Chang, Allison McCann, Yuliya Parshina-Kottas and Blacki Migliozzi

Feb. 24, 2022

Where Russia’s land invasion followed air attacks

Fighting continued across Ukraine on Thursday as Russian troops advanced into the country from the northeastern border, the east and the south. As the sun set in the country, special forces and airborne troops were closing in on Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital. Ukrainian officials said in a statement that some civilian targets had come under fire and that Russian forces had seized the former nuclear power plant at Chernobyl.

Ground fighting or incursions

Russian troops

moved toward

Kyiv, the capital.

Chernobyl was said

to be under Russian

forces’ control.

Soldiers closed

in on Kharkiv.

Claimed by

Russian-backed

separatists

Russian troops

landed in the port

city of Odessa.

Russian troops

moved toward

Kyiv, the capital.

Chernobyl was said

to be under Russian

forces’ control.

Soldiers closed

in on Kharkiv.

Claimed by

Russian-backed

separatists

Russian troops

landed in the port

city of Odessa.

Russian troops

moved toward

Kyiv, the capital.

Chernobyl was said

to be under Russian

forces’ control.

Soldiers closed

in on Kharkiv.

Claimed by

Russian-

backed

separatists

Russian troops

landed in the port

city of Odessa.

Sources: New York Times reporting; Ukrainian officials The New York Times

At least 137 Ukrainian soldiers and civilians had been killed, President Volodymyr Zelensky said. Russia lost two helicopters and seven aircraft in combat, officials said.

The ground invasion followed heavy shelling and airstrikes that began just before dawn local time. Those attacks had targeted cities, airports and military infrastructure across Ukraine.

Airstrikes or fires reported

Claimed by

Russian-backed

separatists

Claimed by

Russian-backed

separatists

Claimed by

Russian-

backed

separatists

Sources: New York Times reporting; Ukrainian officials The New York Times

Russia’s Defense Ministry said that it had disabled Ukraine’s air defenses and air bases and that Russian forces had destroyed more than 70 military targets, including 11 airfields, a helicopter and four drones.

Josh Holder, Scott Reinhard, Allison McCann, Marco Hernandez, Keith Collins, Denise Lu and Yuliya Parshina-Kottas

Feb. 24, 2022

Russia carries out a large-scale invasion of Ukraine

On the first day of the first major land war in Europe in decades, the Russian military plunged into Ukraine by land, sea and air. Russia shelled more than a dozen cities and towns, including outside the capital, Kyiv. Russian troops moved across the Ukrainian border in several waves, landing in the port city of Odessa in the south and crossing the eastern border into Kharkiv, the second-largest city.

Russian troops crossed the border moving toward Kyiv, the capital.

Claimed by

separatists, held

by Ukraine

Russian troops landed in the port city of Odessa.

Russian troops crossed the border moving toward Kyiv, the capital.

Claimed by

separatists, held

by Ukraine

Russian troops landed in the port city of Odessa.

Russian troops crossed the border moving toward Kyiv, the capital.

Claimed by

separatists, held

by Ukraine

Russian troops landed in the port city of Odessa.

Sources: New York Times reporting; Ukrainian officials | Data as of 1:30 p.m., Feb. 24. The New York Times

Troops moved into an area north of Kyiv, advancing on Chernihiv, about 80 miles from the capital. And they touched off a pitched battle at the highly radioactive Chernobyl exclusion zone that risked damaging the concrete-encased nuclear reactor that melted down in 1986. By sunset, Russian special forces and airborne troops had seized the Chernobyl site and were pushing into the outskirts of Kyiv.

Some of the most intense fighting was outside of Kharkiv in the northeast, according to a senior U.S. Defense Department official. A video suggested that at least one residential building in the area was destroyed.

And a satellite photo taken by Planet Labs on Thursday morning showed a fire and black smoke rising from the Chuhuiv Air Base outside of Kharkiv.

Chuhuiv air base, outside of Kharkiv. Planet Labs

Russian forces so far have been striking Ukrainian military installations and air-defense targets, using more than 100 medium- and short-range ballistic missiles, the defense official said. Russia has also used sea-launched missiles from warships in the Black Sea.

Satellite images taken before the offensive began show some of the locations hit by airstrikes.

Kharkiv

Chuhuiv residential building

Zaporizhzhia

Melitopol airfield

Zhytomyr

Ozerne airfield

Chernihiv

Nizhyn airfield

Volyn

Lutsk airfield

Khmelnytskyi

Khmelnytskyi airport

Donetsk

Kramatorsk airport

Kyiv

Hostomel airport

Khmelnytskyi

Starokostiantyniv military unit

Ivano-Frankivsk

Ivano-Frankivsk military unit

Sources: Ukrainian officials; New York Times reporting; Google Earth (satellite images)

In the south, at least 18 Ukrainian military officials were killed in an attack outside Odessa, where amphibious commandos from the Russian Navy came ashore on Thursday, according to Sergey Nazarov, an aide to Odessa’s mayor. In the east, Russian-backed separatists fought Ukrainian troops along the front line that has divided the rebels and Ukrainian forces since 2014.

The Russian military also moved north from Crimea, headed in the direction of Kherson.

Footage captured by security cameras at a border crossing Thursday morning showed Russian military vehicles entering from Crimea.

The Russian attacks began just minutes after President Vladimir V. Putin delivered a speech declaring the beginning of a military operation in Ukraine, and as the United Nations Security Council met in New York.

Keith Collins, Lazaro Gamio, Josh Holder, Scott Reinhard, Allison McCann, Agnes Chang, Pablo Robles and Marco Hernandez

Feb. 22, 2022

How Russian troops closed in on Ukraine

Since October, Russia has been building an enormous military force along Ukraine’s border, with as many as 190,000 troops in or near Ukraine, according to American and Ukrainian officials. The Russian troop presence has grown in recent weeks from scattered groupings parked at military bases and training grounds to battle-ready units arrayed in tactical formations. They appear prepared to attack Ukraine from three directions, according to military analysts: the north, east and south.

Here’s where Russia has added forces during the current buildup:

Source: Troop positions from Rochan Consulting Note: Troops in eastern Ukraine and Transnistria include Russian-backed separatists. The New York Times

In recent weeks, Russia has deployed the final components needed to conduct a large-scale military operation against Ukraine. The force includes fighter aircraft and attack helicopters, along with elite paratrooper units and special forces troops that would typically serve as the tip of the spear in any invasion plans, military experts say.

Troops deployed to the north in Belarus could quickly reach the capital, Kyiv, and Russian Naval forces in the Black Sea could menace Ukraine’s southern coast. Most military analysts and officials believe that any attack will begin with a heavy incursion into Ukraine’s east, in the vicinity of two breakaway territories that Russia has long supplied with troops and arms.

1

Prior to current buildup: Russia has numerous military bases near its border with Ukraine and added several installations inside Crimea after 2014, when it annexed the territory. Russian troops are also stationed in Transnistria, a Russian-backed breakaway region of Moldova.

2

December 2021: Toward the end of last year, Russia began moving troops, tanks and heavy artillery into new positions across the country. Much of that buildup focused on two breakaway provinces in eastern Ukraine, Donetsk and Luhansk, where the Ukrainian military has been at war with Russian-backed separatists since 2014.

3

January: Russia started moving equipment and troops into Belarus, a close ally, in preparation for joint military drills. Russian forces in Belarus might allow Russia to open a new front on Ukraine’s northern border, closer to the capital, Kyiv.

4

February: Russian officials announced a partial withdrawal of troops, though U.S. officials disputed this claim and said Russia had increased its presence instead. Units from the Central and Eastern Military Districts, which are some of Russia’s most advanced, remain deployed.

Josh Holder, Allison McCann, Scott Reinhard and Michael Schwirtz

Feb. 21, 2022

Donetsk and Luhansk: breakaway regions at the center of the conflict

President Vladimir V. Putin recognized the independence of two territories in eastern Ukraine, Luhansk and Donetsk, that are largely controlled by Russian-backed separatists. Shortly after, Russian troops were ordered into the area, a move that threatens to sharply escalate the conflict with Ukraine and could be a prelude to a broader invasion.

Claimed by separatists,

held by Ukraine

Held by

Russian-backed

separatists

Claimed by

separatists,

held by Ukraine

Held by

Russian-backed

separatists

Claimed by separatists,

held by Ukraine

Held by

Russian-backed

separatists

The New York Times

The separatist enclaves claim all of Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions as their territory, but they control only about one-third of the area. It was not immediately clear whether Mr. Putin would recognize the enclaves in their de facto borders or would seek to expand them by force.

Ukraine and the rest of the world view the enclaves as Ukrainian territory. The Russian-backed separatists in the region have been embroiled in a long-running conflict with Ukrainian forces.

Blacki Migliozzi and Lazaro Gamio

Feb. 19, 2022

Shelling intensifies in Eastern Ukraine

Over the past several days, artillery barrages continued to target areas in east Ukraine. Shelling targeted the region around the town of Svitlodarsk — an area that includes key infrastructure such as a drinking water supply network and one of Europe’s largest fertilizer factories.

Russian military positions

Russia-Belarus

mock battle

Russia-Belarus

mock battle

Russia-Belarus

mock battle

Source: Russian positions from Rochan Consulting as of Feb. 16. The New York Times

And at a military training ground in Baranovichi, Belarus, Russian and Belarusian forces conducted a mock battle in a joint exercise. The 10-day joint military exercises are scheduled to end on Sunday.

Eleanor Lutz and Jugal K. Patel

Feb. 19, 2022

Where Russia’s military is positioned around Ukraine

Russia strengthened its military presence around Ukraine in January and February, with new deployments of troops and military equipment in multiple locations, including Crimea, Belarus and near Eastern Ukraine, furthering fears of an imminent invasion.

Russian military positions as of Feb. 16

Source: Russian positions from Rochan Consulting The New York Times

Troops, tanks and heavy artillery have moved into positions that threaten to widen the conflict in Ukraine’s east and potentially open a new front on Ukraine’s northern border, closer to its capital, Kyiv. It provides a snapshot of current Russian positions. It is based on information obtained by Ukrainian and Western officials as well as independent military analysts and satellite imagery.

Eleanor Lutz, Jugal K. Patel and Scott Reinhard

Feb. 15, 2022

Europe’s reliance on Russian gas could be reshaped

Europe relies on Russia’s natural gas to help heat millions of homes, generate electricity and power factories. With Russian troops massed along Ukraine’s border, the continent’s heavy dependence on Russia is limiting its diplomatic options and threatening to throw its energy supplies into turmoil.

Imports of gas from Russia to E.U. countries

Share of country’s natural gas imports from Russia, 2020

Arrow width proportional

to country’s total gas imports

from Russia.

Arrow width proportional to

country’s total gas imports

from Russia.

Arrow width proportional to country’s

total gas imports from Russia

Source: EuroStat and the British Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy Note: Austria did not report the source of its natural gas imports in 2020. Data includes both piped and liquefied natural gas. The New York Times

If the flow of gas is interrupted, either as collateral damage from warfare or as a negotiating tactic by President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, experts worry that already high prices in a constantly shifting global market could skyrocket. Businesses may be forced to close temporarily, and if cutoffs persist, households already facing higher utility bills this winter could feel even more pain.

Josh Holder, Karl Russell and Stanley Reed

Notes on disputed areas shown on the maps

Crimea was invaded and annexed by Russia in 2014. The action was widely condemned under international law, and the territory remains disputed.

Eastern Ukraine has been in conflict since 2014 with fighting between the Ukrainian military and Russian-backed separatists. The dotted line in the eastern region of Ukraine shows the approximate dividing line between the two sides.

Transnistria, a Russian-backed breakaway region, lies on the eastern edge of Moldova.





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