Russia has targeted cities across Ukraine in a new wave of missile strikes.
Here are the latest developments:
- Cities including Kyiv, Kharkiv, Lviv and Odesa have been hit by Russian missiles
- Power at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant has been lost
- Heavy fighting continues around Bakhmut in the east of the country
- Front lines in the south around Kherson are largely stable
Missile strikes across Ukraine
Russian missiles have struck targets in cities across Ukraine, killing at least nine people.
Buildings and infrastructure were hit in Kyiv, Odesa and Kharkiv, with power blackouts in several areas.
Ukraine said Russia had fired 81 missiles, the largest number in a single wave for several weeks.
Five people were killed in Lviv, while other targets included Dnipro, Kherson and Zhytomyr.
A strike at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station has cut the plant off from the Ukrainian power system, according to the nuclear energy operator Euratom.
For the sixth time since it was taken over by Russia a year ago, the facility is now operating on diesel generators, which have enough supplies to last at least 10 days.
Fighting rages around Bakhmut in the east
Ukrainian forces are holding on in the eastern city of Bakhmut, under intense pressure from regular Russian troops and Wagner group mercenaries fighting on the Russian side.
On Wednesday, the Wagner group leader Yevgeny Prigozhin said that his forces had captured all of eastern Bakhmut.
The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said that the claim was “consistent with available visual evidence”.
Many military analysts say the city is of limited strategic significance. “Russian forces remain unlikely to rapidly exploit a breakthrough beyond Bakhmut if Russian forces capture the city,” says the ISW.
The UK Ministry of Defence noted in December that capturing the city “would potentially allow Russia to threaten the larger urban areas of Kramatorsk and Slovyansk”.
Western officials estimate between 20,000 and 30,000 Russian troops have been killed or injured so far in and around Bakhmut.
The fighting is part of a Russian spring offensive, which many analysts say is now under way.
Michael Kofman, of the US-based Center for Naval Analysis, says that, so far, Russia’s gains have been “underwhelming”.
But, he adds, Ukraine may struggle to find weaknesses in Russia’s defences to mount a counter-attack, as Russian troop positions have been heavily reinforced.
Front lines in the south stable
In the south of the country, artillery strikes continue around Kherson.
Russian troops withdrew to the left bank, or eastern side, of the Dnipro River in November.
Strikes by Ukrainian forces equipped with US-supplied Himars multiple rocket launchers had made Russian positions unsustainable.
On Wednesday, Ukraine said its forces had destroyed a Russian ammunition depot to the west of Kherson.
But many analysts assess that the front lines around the city are unlikely to change in the short term as Russia has built strong defences for its troops and equipment in the area.
More than a year of fighting
Russia’s invasion began with dozens of missile strikes on cities all over Ukraine before dawn on 24 February 2022.
Russian ground troops moved in quickly and within a few weeks were in control of large areas of Ukraine.
They had advanced to the suburbs of Kyiv, and controlled much of the north-east of the country around Sumy.
Russian forces were bombarding Kharkiv, and they had taken territory in the east and south as far as Kherson, and surrounded the port city of Mariupol.
But, they hit very strong Ukrainian resistance almost everywhere and faced serious logistical problems with poorly motivated Russian troops suffering shortages of food, water and ammunition.
Ukrainian forces were also quick to deploy Western supplied arms such as the Nlaw anti-tank system, which proved highly effective against the Russian advance.
More Western arms followed and by October the picture had changed dramatically – having failed to take Kyiv, Russia had withdrawn completely from the north.
Ukraine had its first major success, pushing Russia back from Kharkiv, and counter-attacking around Kherson.
One year since the invasion, Ukraine is in control of Kherson and largely containing, for now, the Russian advance in the east.
By David Brown, Bella Hurrell, Dominic Bailey, Mike Hills, Lucy Rodgers, Paul Sargeant, Alison Trowsdale, Tural Ahmedzade, Mark Bryson, Zoe Bartholomew, Sean Willmott, Sana Dionysiou, Joy Roxas, Gerry Fletcher, Jana Tauschinsk, Debie Loizou, Simon Martin 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.
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.