As the Russian offensive enters its sixteenth day, we track where battles are taking place and the human cost of war, as more than 2.5 million refugees stream out of Ukraine.
As the Russian offensive enters its seventeenth day, we track where the fighting is happening and how we got here.
Read on for an overview, in infographics and maps, of the situation.
Russia’s bombardment of Ukraine widens, with raids reported on the east-central city of Dnipro and airfields in western Lutsk and Ivano-Frankivsk.
Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, braces for an all-out assault as Russian military convoy edges closer. Ukrainian officials say Russian shelling again prevented evacuations from Mariupol, where conditions are “critical”.
United States and its top allies are revoking Russia’s “most favoured nation” status amid pressure campaign on President Vladimir Putin to end the war.
Ukrainian envoy to United Nations dismisses Moscow’s accusation that Kyiv is operating US-backed biological weapons laboratories as “insane delirium”.
More than 2.5 million people have fled Ukraine since Russia launched its invasion, according to the UN Refugee Agency’s data portal. Many have sought refuge in Poland and other neighbouring states.
The latest and still growing count had 1,524,903 people entering Poland, 225,046 in Hungary, 176,092 in Slovakia, 105,897 in Russia, 84,671 in Romania, 104,929 in Moldova and 858 in Belarus. At least 282,497 people have also fled to other European countries. The figures represent the number of refugees currently present in each country, not the number of entries.
Most of the arrivals have been women and children. All men aged between 18 and 60 have been prevented from leaving Ukraine to stay and fight.
Thousands of people have taken to public squares and Russian embassies across the globe to protest against the invasion.
OVD-Info, which has documented crackdowns on Russia’s opposition for years, says more than 5,000 demonstrators have been arrested across Russia since Putin launched the war on Ukraine.
The map and list below show the locations where sizeable protests have occurred. More protests are planned in the coming days across cities worldwide.
World cities where protests have taken place:
Adana; Amsterdam; Antwerp; Athens; Atlanta; Austin; Baku; Bangkok; Barcelona; Bari; Beirut; Berdiansk; Berlin; Bern; Bloomington; Bordeaux; Boston; Brighton; Brussels; Budapest; Buenos Aires; Caernarfon; Cambridge; Cape Town; Chicago; Colombo; Copenhagen; Curitiba; Denver; Dublin; Edinburgh; Exeter; Frankfurt; Geneva; Glasgow; Guayaquil; Helsinki; Houston; Istanbul; Krakow; Kuala Lumpur; Lahore; London; Lisbon; Madrid; Malmo; Manchester; Manila; Marseille; Melbourne; Mexico City; Milan; Milwaukee; Minneapolis; Minsk; Montclair; Montpellier; Montreal; Munich; Naples; Newcastle; New Delhi; New York City; Nice; Norwich; Nottingham; Oslo; Ottawa; Oxford; Paris; Podgorica; Prague; Pretoria; Pristina; Quezon City; Rome; Salerno; San Francisco; Santa Monica; Santiago; Sao Paulo; Seoul; Stockholm; Sydney; Taipei; Tallinn; Tbilisi; Tehran; Tel Aviv; The Hague; Thessaloniki; Tirana; Tokyo; Toronto; Turin; Vancouver; Vienna; Vilnius; Warsaw; Washington, DC; Wellington; Zakopane.
Protests have taken place in at least 50 Russian cities, including Chelyabinsk, Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Novosibirsk, Perm, Saint Petersburg, Samara, and Yekaterinburg.
Below are eight infographics that break down the history, politics and economics of the Ukraine-Russia crisis.
After months of tensions and intense diplomacy, Russian forces invaded Ukraine. Explosions were heard across the country. Kyiv declared martial law, saying Ukraine will defend itself. Below is a summary of the conflict at a glance.
Russia and Ukraine were part of the 15 Soviet republics that made up the Soviet Union. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Ukraine declared independence on August 24. The map below shows when each of these countries declared independence.
After independence, Ukraine moved to shed its Russian imperial legacy and forge increasingly close ties with the West.
Over the past 30 years, Ukraine has been led by seven presidents. The country has had a rocky path towards democracy with two revolutions, first in 2005 and then in 2014. Both times, protesters rejected Russia’s supremacy and sought a path to join the European Union and NATO.
By comparison, Russia has been led by three presidents, with Putin having been in office for 17 years. In 2021, Putin, the former agent of the Soviet Union’s KGB security services, signed a law that essentially enables him to stay in power until 2036.
Putin has repeatedly claimed that Russians and Ukrainians belong to “one people” and are part of the historical “Russian civilisation” that also includes neighbouring Belarus. Ukrainians reject his claims.
Ukraine has an estimated population of 44 million – the seventh-largest in Europe. The country comprises 24 regions, known as oblasts. The country’s population has declined since the 1990s with fertility rates among the lowest in the world. As of 2020, Ukraine’s fertility rate was just 1.2. For context, in order for a population to remain stable, an overall total fertility rate of 2.1 is required.
Ukraine is the second-largest country in Europe, after Russia. At 603,550sq km (233,031sq miles), Ukraine is a bit smaller than the US state of Texas, about three times smaller than India, half the size of South Africa and about two and a half times the size of the United Kingdom.
NATO is the world’s most powerful military alliance. Comprising 30 nations, its primary role is to protect its member states by political and military means.
Russia opposes NATO bases near its borders and has asked for written guarantees that NATO will not expand eastwards. One of the Kremlin’s central demands is that Ukraine never be allowed to join NATO – a move it considers a red line. The United States has refused to concede to this demand.
Read more about NATO history and expansion here.
Russia has one of the most powerful militaries in the world and ranks among the top five defence spenders.
In 2020, Russia spent $61.7bn on its military, which accounted for 11.4 percent of government spending. In comparison, Ukraine spent $5.9bn on its armed forces, or 8.8 percent of government spending, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
Since tensions began, NATO allies, fearful of a potential ground invasion by Russia, have stepped up support for Kyiv by sending military equipment to Ukraine.
Read more about the military capabilities of Russia and Ukraine here.
Russia and Ukraine are both rich in oil and gas. Russia has the world’s highest proven gas reserves at 48,938 billion cubic metres. More than 70 percent of the country’s gas reserves are held by Gazprom, a state-owned energy giant.
Russia supplies about one-third of Europe’s natural gas. US sanctions over the conflict could disrupt that supply, exacerbating Europe’s energy crisis. On February 22, Germany halted the certification of Nord Stream 2, an $11.6bn Russian gas pipeline project that was designed to move 151 million cubic metres of gas a day into Europe.
Russia also has some of the largest proven oil reserves, at 80 billion barrels, or 5 percent of the world’s total.
Ukraine, too, has a sizeable reserve of oil and gas at 395 million barrels and 349 billion cubic metres, respectively. The country sits at the crossroads between the West and Russia, and plays a key role in delivering Russian gas to European markets.
Read more about the world’s oil and gas pipelines here.
More than one-quarter of the world’s wheat exports come from Russia and Ukraine. Economic sanctions or military action may have a significant effect on the cost of food as importers seek to find alternatives. Russia exported $407bn in products and Ukraine $49bn in 2019.
Read more about Russia, Ukraine and the global wheat supply here.
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