New Delhi: First, the current state of play — having already annexed the Crimean peninsula and controlled parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts before 24 February — Russia has since captured significant portions of the Zaporizhzhia and Kherson Oblasts southwest of Donetsk and north of Crimea, as well as areas east of Kharkiv.
So, where are the latest battlefronts as of the last 24 hours? The think tank, Institute for the Study of War, as well as an independent mapper of the Ukraine war say that areas between Luhansk and Kharkiv, north of Donetsk and around Mariupol witnessed the most intense fighting.
As of Thursday night, Russia is now said to have captured the city of Rubizhne and town Vojevodivka, approximately 100km northwest of Luhansk city. Russian forces are also reportedly advancing on the nearby city Severodonetsk and are making significant gains at the town of Popasna.
But that’s not all — anyone remember Zmiiyni Island, or better known as Snake Island?
This small island outpost in the Black Sea near Ukraine’s maritime border with Romania was the site of a battle cry from 13 Ukrainian border guards that went viral, prior to their capture by Russia.
Now, Russia claims to have strengthened its air defence in Snake island, having shot down a drone and intercepted three Ukrainian Tochka-U ballistic missiles above the island. As a result, media reports state that Ukraine remains in a “fierce battle” to regain control of the island.