A new map shows where the counterattacks have taken place in Ukraine over the past 11 months, as the war against Russia wages on.
The Newsweek map shows the major counterattacks by both Russian and Ukrainian forces from March 4, eight days after the war began in 2022. It includes the most recent counterattacks on January 19.
Just over a week into the invasion, it shows that Russian-backed separatists occupied much of the eastern Ukraine. They also held the majority of southeast Ukraine, including Crimea, which was annexed in 2014.
In the north and northeast of Ukraine, Russian forces advanced, moving in toward the capital, Kyiv. On March 25, Ukraine launched some small counterattacks in the south, northeast and east of Ukraine to try to push back the Russian advance.
By April 1, these small attacks had grown slightly larger, with Ukrainian forces commencing more counterattacks across the south, east and northeast.
A week later, the map shows that Ukraine’s forces were able to successfully push Russian troops back into Belarus and Russia, taking greater control of the northern region.
By May 19, Ukraine had seen success at pushing Russian troops east of Odesa further south. As well as this, the fight for Kharkiv saw Russian troops retreat further east.
Throughout the summer, Russia had some success at holding off Ukrainian counterattacks and continued to advance in both the east and south of the country.
On September 13, a Ukrainian counterattack pushed Russian forces further east. In the south, Ukraine’s surge grew stronger as the month went on.
In October, the Ukrainian counterattack continued in the east and the south, while Russia’s advance was halted, according to the map.
As of January 19, Ukraine continues to push further east toward Luhansk.
A counterattack has also occurred close to Donetsk, and Ukraine’s forces also continue to push further south toward Crimea.
Next Steps in the Conflict
Marina Miron, a research fellow in the Defence Studies Department’s Center for Military Ethics at King’s College London spoke to Newsweek about the ongoing conflict in the region and what the future could hold.
She said: “Right now, the situation is quite interesting. I am expecting that Wagner will try to take Bakhmut and rename it to Artyomovsk and try to advance towards Kramatorsk and Slovyansk.
“The second possible vector of attack is around Svatove and Kreminna.
“The third one would be Avdiivka. And the fourth and final where we have seen some advances is Orekhove (Zaporizhzhia).
“In military strategic terms, the last vector would seem quite important to Russia as a breakthrough by the Ukrainian forces there could completely cripple Russian forces’ logistics.
“There is a marginal possibility of an attack launched from the Belarus territory towards the capital. I don’t think it is plausible, but we can never be 100 percent certain that it will not happen.
“My bet is on Bakhmut and Zaporizhzhia, with Svatove and Kreminna being a close second.”
The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) think tank has commented throughout the war on what it believes Russia and Ukraine’s next steps could be.
Most recently the think tank noted that Ukraine’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR) representative Vadym Skibitsky said on January 20 that Russian troops were regrouping ahead of a “big offensive.” This is expected to take place in the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts.
Newsweek has contacted the Russian and Ukrainian ministries of foreign affairs for comment.