Ukraine war in maps: Tracking the Russian invasion

Ukrainian forces have regained control of large areas around the capital Kyiv as Russian forces withdraw and refocus their efforts on operations in the east of the country.

Here are the latest developments on day 40 of the invasion:

  • Russian forces abandon efforts to take the capital Kyiv
  • Russia is now believed to be refocusing on the Donbas region
  • Ukraine accuses Russian troops of massacring civilians in town of Bucha
  • Fighting continues in the port city of Mariupol
Map showing Russian advances and Ukrainian counter-attacks

Russia launched its attack on 24 February, but five weeks into the war it is retreating from its attempts to take the main prize – Kyiv.

Ukraine may have “won the Battle of Kyiv”, but analysts at the Institute for the Study of War warn the war could still go Russia’s way if it is successful in its eastern offensive.

Russia is having to bolster its forces by using mercenaries and redeploying troops from Georgia after suffering “unexpected losses”, says the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD).

Ukrainians reclaim areas around Kyiv

Russian forces that had attempted to encircle Kyiv are withdrawing back towards Belarus and Russia.

Their forces abandoned Hostomel airport, which had been the scene of intense fighting since the start of the war. They are reported to be pulling back from Chernihiv to the north.

The withdrawal is said to be disorderly, with Ukrainian forces carrying out clearing operations looking for pockets of Russian troops who have been unintentionally left behind.

Ukraine has accused Russia of killing civilians in the town of Bucha, just outside the capital, after reporters found bodies strewn in the streets.

Map showing how Russian forces are positioned around Kyiv

Russia targets full control in the east

With recent setbacks elsewhere in the country, Russian officials have said that the focus of its forces is now the “complete liberation” of the Donbas.

The Donbas broadly refers to Ukraine’s eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, where Russian-backed separatists held significant territory before Russia’s invasion.

The UK’s Ministry of Defence says Russian forces are consolidating and reorganising as they refocus on the region. They are also reported to be moving mercenaries to the area from private military company Wagner, which has links to the Russian state.

Troops withdrawn from positions around Kyiv and northern cities may be used to bolster efforts in the east, although ISW says it may take a while before some units are combat-ready again.

Russian forces appear to have abandoned efforts to take the city of Kharkiv, and instead are pushing southeast from Izyum, which they captured after weeks of fighting.

Map showing the Russian military advance into Ukraine from the east

Russian progress slows in the south

Russian forces initially made rapid gains in the south, with their main objective being the creation of a land corridor between Crimea, which it annexed in 2014, and areas held by Russian-backed separatists in Donetsk and Luhansk.

Map showing the Russian military advance into Ukraine from the south

Standing in the way of that objective has been the port city of Mariupol, which has been encircled by Russian forces since the start of March.

Russian forces have been advancing further into the centre of Mariupol, but Ukrainian forces have put up a staunch resistance.

Life for civilians trapped in the besieged city has been grim. Endless bombardments have left widespread destruction and the city’s deputy mayor says people are dying from starvation and dehydration.

Map showing Russian advances on Mariupol

To the west, Russia had been attempting to push towards Odesa, with the aim of cutting off Ukraine’s access to the Black Sea. Their advances stalled at Mykolaiv, where a counter-attack by Ukrainian troops has pushed Russian forces back towards the city of Kherson.

But Russia continues to launch air strikes against Odesa, with oil facilities targeted in the latest attack on Monday.

By David Brown, Bella Hurrell, Dominic Bailey, Mike Hills, Lucy Rodgers, Paul Sargeant, Mark Bryson, Zoe Bartholomew, Sean Willmott, Sana Dionysiou, Joy Roxas, Gerry Fletcher, Jana Tauschinsk, Debie Loizou and Prina Shah.


About these maps

To indicate which parts of Ukraine are under control by Russian troops we are using daily assessments published by the Institute for the Study of War with the American Enterprise Institute’s Critical Threats Project.

From 2 March this daily assessment differentiated between “Assessed Russian-controlled Ukrainian territory” and “Assessed Russian advances in Ukraine”, the latter indicating areas where Russians are believed to have launched attacks from but which they do not control.

To show key areas where advances are taking place we are also using daily updates from the UK Ministry of Defence and BBC research.

The situation in Ukraine is fast moving and it is likely there will be times when there have been changes not reflected in the maps.

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