Friday, October 7, 2022

In 5 maps: Tracking Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as Putin ‘ups the ante’ – PostX News

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NEW DELHI: In a dramatic escalation of the war in Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday announced a partial mobilisation in Russia and dangled a nuclear threat before the Western nations backing the country.
Putin’s call for mobilization – Russia’s first since World War II – came a day after Russian-controlled regions in eastern and southern Ukraine announced plans to hold votes on becoming integral parts of Russia.
Moscow is facing intense pressure as the war in Ukraine nears the seventh month, with the Russian troops ceding ground to Ukrainian forces in key northeastern cities.

Here are 5 maps about the ongoing war …
Battlefield setbacks
The Russian invasion of Ukraine is now restricted to the northeast and southern region after Putin recaliberated his war goals to focus on the breakaway Donbass region. His initial plan to topple Kyiv in the initial weeks of the invasion did not go as expected as Russians faced stiff resistance from Ukraine.
Now, as the war is set to complete seven months, Russian forces are being driven from areas they had captured in northeast Ukraine in a Ukrainian counter-offensive this month and are bogged down in the south.
In the map tweeted by AFP, the yellow area shows the regions Ukrainians have retaken from Russia, who are being pushed further east.

ukraine maps-1

Map courtesy: AFP
The gains made by Russia came under a major threat earlier this month when its troops were driven from neighbouring Kharkiv province, losing control of their main supply lines for much of the Donetsk and Luhansk front lines.
Last week, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that around 8,000 square km (3,100 square miles) have been “liberated” during counter-offensive action by his forces.
Russia on defensive
A closer look at the map shows how much territory Ukraine has reclaimed in the Kharkiv region as of earlier this month.
Ukraine’s blistering counteroffensive in the Kharkiv region surprised even Ukrainian officials.

map-3

Map courtesy: NYT
With the failure of Russian defences in the area, the contours of the war were reshaped, putting a beleaguered Russian military on the defensive.
“There were too few troops to defend the area,” said Konrad Muzyka, a military analyst and director of Rochan Consulting told The New York Times. “Once the Ukrainian armed forces crossed the first line of defense — if there was one — then the entire front collapsed, as there were no real forces to face Ukrainians.”
“The Russian army is claiming the title of fastest army in the world … keep running!” Zelenskyy’s chief of staff Andriy Yermak had said in a cheeky Twitter post earlier.
A map by the New York Times shows that Ukraine retook approximately 3,400 square miles of area in the region – which is more than what Russia was able to capture over the last five months.

map-1

Map courtesy: NYT
The map shows a stark contrast between Ukraine’s lightning counteroffensive as well as the slow progress of the Russia invasion.
There are many reasons why Russia suffered the setback in the region. Read more about them on TOI+
Referendum plans
Besides announcing the mobilization of citizens, Putin restated his aim was to “liberate” the Donbas, Ukraine’s industrial heartland, and said most people there did not want to return to what he called the “yoke” of Ukraine.
In an apparently coordinated move, pro-Russian regional leaders on Tuesday announced referendums for September 23-27 in Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia provinces, representing around 15% of Ukrainian territory.

Russian-backed separatists in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions – collectively known as the Donbas – broke away from Ukrainian government control in 2014 and proclaimed themselves independent “people’s republics,” until now unrecognised.
Like the Crimean peninsula, Luhansk and Donetsk are regions where a particularly large proportion of the population speaks Russian and is ethnically Russian.

ukraine graphics73

Map courtesy: Reuters
After the Orange Revolution of 2004, and the Maidan protests of 2013 and 2014, it was in these parts of Ukraine where the opposition to Ukraine turning more towards the West was strongest, reported Deutsche Welle.
The upcoming votes, which are all but certain to go Russia’s way, would give Putin some sort of achievement in the months-long war.
The Kremlin-backed efforts to swallow up four regions could also set the stage for Moscow to escalate the war following Ukrainian successes.
However, the decision to hold the referendum was quickly dismissed as illegitimate by Western leaders who are backing Kyiv with military and other support that has helped its forces seize momentum on battlefields in the east and south.
(With inputs from agencies)

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(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by PostX News staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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