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On February 24 final 12 months, the world awoke to information that Russian tanks had rolled into Ukraine from the east and north.
Troops had been massing on Ukraine’s borders for months and Russian chief Vladimir Putin had made a collection of fiery speeches on the long-running battle within the Donbas area.
There have been fears that the warfare may very well be a brief one, with Ukrainian troops probably overrun in a matter of days. However that has not proved to be the case.
After eight months of grinding fight, Russian forces are bearing down on Bakhmut from three instructions, leaving Ukraine’s fundamental provide line below extreme stress as President Vladimir Putin tries to safe his first vital battlefield victory since early summer time 2022.
Whereas analysts say Bakhmut has little army significance, the town has turn into the point of interest of each Ukrainian resistance and Moscow’s drive to regain battlefield momentum.
Satellite tv for pc photographs from the Vuhledar space, south of Bakhmut within the Donetsk area, reveal the extent of injury in areas which have suffered intense artillery shelling.
Different maps and charts from the warfare
Ukrainian forces superior into Kherson on 11 November after Russia mentioned its forces had accomplished their withdrawal from the southern metropolis, sealing one of many largest setbacks to President Vladimir Putin’s invasion.
Kyiv’s progress and Moscow’s chaotic retreat throughout the Dnipro river, performed below Ukrainian artillery hearth, meant Russia had surrendered the one provincial capital it had captured within the warfare, in addition to ceding strategic positions.
On the finish of August, Ukraine launched its first huge counter-attack since Russia’s full assault on the nation started in February, whilst Kyiv complained that its forces lacked adequate heavy western weaponry to make a decisive strike.
The advance liberated 3,000 sq km of territory in simply six days — Ukraine’s largest victory because it pushed Russian troops again from the capital in March.
Ukraine’s forces proceed to push east, capturing the transport hub of Lyman, close to the north-eastern fringe of the Donetsk province, which it wrestled from Russian management on October 1. The hard-fought victory got here after practically three weeks of battle and set the stage for a Ukrainian advance in the direction of Svatove, a logistics centre for Russia after its troops misplaced the Kharkiv area within the lightning Ukrainian counter-offensive.
The shift within the battle’s focus in the direction of the Donbas area adopted Russia’s failure to seize Kyiv in the course of the first part of the warfare. Earlier than Ukraine’s speedy counter-offensive, marginal Russian good points within the east instructed the warfare was coming into a interval of stalemate.
The Russians had been thwarted in Kyiv by a mixture of things, together with geography, the attackers’ blundering and trendy arms — in addition to Ukraine’s ingenuity with smartphones and items of froth mat.
The variety of Ukrainians fleeing the battle has made it one of many largest refugee crises in trendy historical past.
In mid-March, an assault on a Ukrainian army base, which had been utilized by US troops to coach Ukrainian troopers, added to Russia’s more and more direct threats that Nato’s continued assist of Ukraine risked making it an enemy combatant within the warfare. On March 24, Nato agreed to determine 4 new multinational battle teams in Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia so as to add to troops in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.
Sources: Institute for the Research of Struggle, Rochan Consulting, FT analysis
Cartography and improvement 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 and Liz Faunce. Based mostly on reporting by Roman Olearchyk and John Reed in Kyiv, Man Chazan in Lviv, Henry Foy in Brussels and Neggeen Sadid in London.