One week ago, the situation in Ukraine significantly escalated as Russia prepared to force what it said was a convoy of “aid” past the border and into pro-Russian separatist-controlled territory.
Since then, Ukraine’s National Security and Defence Council has kept daily tabs on the ramped-up fighting in eastern Ukraine, which has led to what Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said Thursday was an advancement of Russian troops across the border.
The Ukrainian NSDC has released a map each day for the past week of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions, as well as the regions including the key city of Mariupol and others.
The maps show the positions of both the Ukrainian military and the “terrorists” — the pro-Russian rebels. It shows the direction both sides moved that day, the battles that took place, and which border areas are being controlled by the Ukrainian military and the rebels.
Here’s a GIF that shows the progression of the fighting and the control of the border areas over the past week. You can see the date in the upper left-hand corner of the map:
Ukraine said Thursday that with the help of Russian soldiers, rebels opened a new front in the cities of Amvrosiivka and Starobeshevo. It raises fears Russia is attempting to create a land link between Russia and the strategic peninsula of Crimea, which Russia annexed with special forces troops in March.
Russian troops are leading a separatist counteroffensive in the east, bringing in tanks and using artillery from inside Ukrainian territory.
The city of Novoazovsk, which is south of Amvrosiivka and Starobeshevo, is on the highway linking Russia to the Ukrainian port of Mariupol and onto Crimea. Ukraine’s military said Russian troops had taken control of Novoazovsk and several other settlements in the south of Donetsk region.
“Ukrainian troops were ordered to pull out to save their lives. By late afternoon both Russian convoys had entered the town. Ukraine is now fortifying nearby Mariupol to the west,” the NSDC said in a statement.
Here’s a look at the situation in eastern Ukraine on Thursday. Key cities are highlighted:
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