I’ve been posting a lot of map updates to my personal social media accounts instead of to the blog here. In part that’s because at the end of the night, it’s the wee hours in Ukraine and I can post something that will hold up fairly well for a few hours. But right now in the morning, it’s the middle of the afternoon and whatever I post here could change by the time I finish this post. So timing has been tricky. But I’m trying to figure out a way of making the posting/graphic-making more efficient to keep you, my readers, updated. And don’t worry, I’m still bookmarking plenty of non-Ukraine things for when this war calms down. But priorities.
This morning, Russia and Ukraine agreed to several ceasefires to allow civilians to evacuate several towns. Most notable for many will be the northwestern suburbs of Kyiv, whose inhabitants can flee to the south to another suburb of the capital.
To the south and east you can see the trend emerge. Cities or towns at the edge of the red areas, which is usually the line of contact, are those begin evacuated. And in the cases of Sumy, Kharkiv, and Mariupol we have three cities that have been under sustained bombardment and are in desparate need of supplies.
On the military front, after several days of relative inaction from Russian troops, they began to move again yesterday. There were no gains on the main thrust from Belarus into northern Kyiv, but east of the capital, Russian armour and mechanised troops have now pushed into the eastern suburbs. This shows their intent to try and encircle and besiege the city. But Russia is likely several days away from being able to accomplish that objective.
In the east, Russian troops appear to be moving beyond Kharkiv, perhaps content with its partial siege, and moving to the south. This could potentially link them up with separatist and Russian regular army forces trying to break through the Donbas’ Line of Contact, where some of the most seasoned and well-equipped Ukrainian troops have been stationed for years.
Southwest of that we have Russian troops still bombarding Mariupol in an attempt to I would guess force its surrender. But north of the city, Russian troops are beginning to move north and northwest. That would allow them to threaten Zaporizhzhia and then Dnipro, both of which are major cities and control Dnieper River crossing points. If successful, they could then cut off the Ukrainian troops in the Donbas from falling back to reinforce Kyiv.
And in the west, Russian troops have begun to move around Mykolaiv, perhaps content to simply besiege the city whilst sending small patrols further north to try and find a secure river crossing. Their ultimate goal is almost certainly Odessa.
Credit for the piece is mine.