Ukraine’s counteroffensive against Russia in maps: latest updates

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On February 24 2022, the world awoke to news that Russian tanks had rolled into Ukraine.

This page is regularly updated with the latest maps, charts, videos and satellite imagery showing military, environmental and humanitarian aspects of the war in Ukraine.

Latest situation

Most Russians believe Ukraine was behind the attack on Moscow’s Crocus City Hall concert venue — which killed more than 140 people and left about 180 injured — according to new polling.

More than 50 per cent of the Russians surveyed after the attack on March 22 blamed the Ukrainian leadership, with only about 27 per cent pointing to Isis, according to OpenMinds, an Anglo-Ukrainian pollster that shared its results with the Financial Times. Another 6 per cent blamed the “collective west”, namely the US, UK and Nato.

Map of Russia showing the location of Crocus City Hall in relation to Moscow and the Kremlin

Despite Isis having claimed responsibility on the night of the attack, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said the assault fitted a broader strategy of aggression by “the neo-Nazi Kyiv regime”, alleging that the terrorists were fleeing towards the Ukrainian border, where a “window” was open waiting for them.

Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of the Russian security council, and Alexander Bortnikov, the head of the FSB domestic security service, have claimed that the four alleged terrorists had confirmed the “Ukrainian trail” during interrogation. Putin officials have since also blamed the US and UK for allegedly backing Ukraine in the plot.

Russia has not admitted any faults in its intelligence and security apparatus despite European governments saying they warned Moscow of an increased Islamist threat and the US embassy in the Russian capital issuing alerts in early March warning about an increased risk of Isis attacking public venues.

Ukraine’s counteroffensive progress

With slow progress on its counteroffensive and Russia showing no sign of quitting, Ukraine faces a protracted war that will require long-term support from allies — who are also focused on the Israel-Hamas war.

Other maps and charts from the war

June 2023: Destruction of Kakhovka dam

Following the destruction of the Kakhovka dam in southern Ukraine on June 6, floodwaters devastated towns and villages downstream, with dozens of people perishing in the disaster amid patchy evacuation efforts in Russian-controlled territories. The flood also narrowed Ukraine’s attack options in its counteroffensive, which got under way in early June.

May 2023: Russian fortifications

Ukraine’s months-long preparation for its summer counteroffensive to try to wrest back occupied territory allowed Russia to fortify its positions along the almost 1,000km frontline.

Satellite images reviewed by the Financial Times and analysed by military experts revealed a multi-layered Russian network of anti-tank ditches, mazes of trenches, concrete “dragon’s teeth” barricades, steel “hedgehog” obstacles, spools of razor wire and minefields.

May 2023: Battle for Bakhmut

On May 21, Russia’s president Vladimir Putin hailed his first major victory since the early days of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, claiming that Russian forces had captured the eastern city of Bakhmut, despite Kyiv insisting the battle “was not over”.

Putin said the Wagner paramilitary group had seized the Ukrainian city with help from Russia’s armed forces after months of bloody fighting that had caused more than 100,000 casualties and reduced the city to ruins.

Earlier in the year, satellite images from the Vuhledar area, south of Bakhmut in the Donetsk region, revealed the extent of damage in areas that had suffered intense artillery shelling.

September-November 2022: Ukraine retakes Kherson

A counteroffensive led to Ukraine liberating 3,000 sq km of territory in just six days, its biggest victory since it pushed Russian troops back from Kyiv in March.

Ukraine’s forces continued to push east, capturing the transport hub of Lyman, near the north-eastern edge of the Donetsk province, which it wrestled from Russian control on October 1.

The hard-fought victory came after nearly three weeks of battle and set the stage for a Ukrainian advance towards Svatove, a logistics centre for Russia after its troops lost the Kharkiv region in the lightning Ukrainian counteroffensive.

Ukrainian forces advanced into Kherson on November 11 after Russia said its forces had completed their withdrawal from the southern city, sealing one of the biggest setbacks to Putin’s invasion.

Kyiv’s progress and Moscow’s chaotic retreat across the Dnipro river under Ukrainian artillery fire meant Russia surrendered the only provincial capital it had captured in the war, as well as ceding strategic positions.

Series of maps showing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine slowed to a standstill as Ukraine fought back

March 2022: Russia fails to capture Kyiv

The Russians were thwarted in Kyiv by a combination of factors, including geography, the attackers’ blundering and modern arms, as well as Ukraine’s ingenuity with smartphones and pieces of foam mat.

Ukrainians reclaim territory around Kyiv as Russians withdraw. Map showing Ukrainian counter-offensives area around Kyiv

The refugee crisis

The number of Ukrainians fleeing the conflict has made it one of the largest refugee crises in modern history.

Ukrainian refugees seek safety in multiple countries. Map of Europe showing estimated refugees recorded, February 14 2024

Sources: Institute for the Study of War, Rochan Consulting, FT research.

Cartography and development by Steve Bernard, Chris Campbell, Caitlin Gilbert, Cleve Jones, Emma Lewis, Joanna S Kao, Sam Learner, Ændra Rininsland, Niko Kommenda, Alan Smith, Martin Stabe, Neggeen Sadid, Liz Faunce and Dan Clark.

Based on reporting by Roman Olearchyk, Christopher Miller, Ben Hall, Max Seddon, John Paul Rathbone, John Reed, Guy Chazan, Henry Foy, Mehul Srivastava, Polina Ivanova and Tim Judah.

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