Maps of the Ukraine war: This is the current situation on the fronts
Created: 11/30/2022, 3:54 p.m
By: Luisa Billmayer, Marie Ries, Philipp David Pries, Nils Tillmann
How is the situation in Ukraine, in Cherson or in Kharkiv?
Find the latest developments in daily maps and data.
We also classify what has happened since the beginning of the war.
Since the Russian invasion began in February 2022, the war in Ukraine has brought great destruction and suffering to the country.
The IPPEN.MEDIA data journalism team reports on the situation since the beginning of the war in the form of maps and analyses.
One contribution to this is our topic map on the start pages and in articles, which is updated daily and in which we classify important developments.
This card can also be found here in the article - usually on weekdays by noon at the latest.
Focus Cherson: Gateway to the Black Sea coast in the Ukraine war
We also show Cherson in the south of the country in a daily updated map of the Ukraine war.
This administrative district, called an oblast since Soviet times, fell into Russian hands as early as March 2022.
A little more than a million people lived there at the last Ukrainian census, around 290,000 of them in the regional capital of the same name.
After the sham referendums in the autumn, Russia declared the Kherson Oblast as annexed along with Luhansk, Donetsk and Zaporizhia.
Nonetheless, Ukraine launched a counteroffensive in the oblast in the fall.
An important goal was the reconquest of the capital Cherson.
According to military experts from the Institute for the Study of War, its strategic importance is due to its location on the Dnipro.
Only about 30 kilometers of waterway separate the regional capital from the Black Sea.
For a long time, control of Cherson offered Russia an advantageous starting position for a possible renewed offensive in the south-west of the country.
Odessa, the most important port city in the Ukraine, is also within range from there for possible artillery attacks.
In October, faced with the advancing Ukrainian army, the pro-Russian occupiers began evacuating civilians from Kherson.
A few weeks later, the Russian troops withdrew completely from the city.
Many of them were transferred to other fronts in Ukraine.
The Russian army chose Henichesk as their new headquarters in the Kherson region.
According to estimates by the British Defense Ministry, the city on the Sea of Azov is favorable for deliveries from Russian-occupied Crimea.
It is also out of range of Ukrainian artillery.
Focus Kharkiv: The city after the big counter-offensive
The Ukrainian Kharkiv Oblast borders on Russia in the north-east.
We show this further focal point here on a daily basis in a focus map.
At the beginning of the war of aggression, the Russian army took control of large parts of the oblast.
These included the cities of Izyum and Kupjansk, two strategically important transport hubs.
The Russian troops also targeted Kharkiv, the capital of the oblast of the same name.
The city is the second largest in the country after Kyiv and had around 1.4 million inhabitants before the start of the war of aggression.
A large part of them speak Russian as their mother tongue.
With dozens of universities and colleges, the city is considered a scientific and educational center.
Important branches of industry, including mechanical engineering and electrical engineering, are also based in the metropolis.
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After months of shelling in the spring, many people fled the city.
Destroyed residential buildings, numerous dead and injured - the war left massive marks in Kharkiv.
With a large-scale counter-offensive, however, the tide in the oblast turned in favor of Ukraine: the Russian army suffered major defeats in the region.
Many soldiers left places in Kharkiv in haste.
In October, Ukrainian troops reported the liberation of more than 98 percent of the oblast.
Despite this, parts of Kharkiv remain contested or under Russian control.
How our Ukraine maps come about
In the daily Ukraine maps, since February 24, 2022, we have been tracing the current state of the war: which area is currently controlled by the Russian army, which is contested, which has been recaptured by the Ukrainian troops?
What are significant developments and how are they to be understood?
We prepare and analyze various data in the background so that you can get an idea of what is happening on a daily basis.
We enrich them, put them in the light of current events and visualize them.
We are also constantly setting new highlights, for example by looking at a period of time in a bundle or by highlighting places of particular interest such as Mariupol or Kyiv.
The first basis for maps in times of war are, among other things, data from satellites, social media posts, secret services, ministries and eyewitness reports from the country.
These are collected by the Institute for the Study of War and the AEI Critical Threads Project as well as the analysts from LiveUA, among others, and processed, analyzed and published in various forms as geodata by partners such as IPPEN.MEDIA.
Own calculation of Ukrainian recaptures
In one crucial point, we record the current status of the war completely ourselves and produce our own map areas: the Ukrainian reconquests.
In this way, we can identify all areas for you that were ever under Russian control or sphere of influence - and are no longer so.
This results in a much more complete and larger area than the relevant sources usually indicate.
This includes roughly large areas around Kyiv and north-eastern Ukraine.
Only then does it become clear how far Russia is from its war goals - and how far from its interim sphere of influence.
Each map can only ever be the best possible approximation of what happened at war.
No map can show the situation in a country like Ukraine, which is almost twice the size of Germany, or even in real time.
We are primarily concerned with the main events and developments of the war in the form of maps.
And with modern methods and technologies, we can make this much more transparent than was even conceivable in the past.
Transparency: Our data, sources and methods
Since the beginning of the war, we have been making great efforts to provide you with reliable and up-to-date information on the status of the war.
Our focus is on maps and their classification.
We update the topic map at the beginning of the article and on the homepages of IPPEN-MEDIA portals such as FR.de and Merkur.de on weekdays by noon and then again separately for the weekend.
We automatically update the focus maps of Cherson and Kharkiv early in the morning around 5 a.m. as soon as the latest data and areas are available and have been calculated.
The areas marked as "contested" or "Russian controlled" are based on analyzes by the US Institute for the Study of War (ISW), which in turn uses a large number of its own sources.
Thanks to this cooperation, we can produce up-to-date maps, which we also classify, analyze and enrich.
We calculate the marked area of the Ukrainian recaptures using our own methods.
It is formed from all areas that have been under Russian control or contested territory since the beginning of the war on February 24 and are no longer so.
In addition, we include partial data from the ISW on reconquered regions.
We also correct artefacts that arise due to different degrees of complexity or standardization.
As a result, we can automatically prepare a daily updated map that shows the best possible status not only of the Russian but also of the Ukrainian side of the war.
The designation of Russian separatist areas and pre-war Russian controlled areas is based on raw data from LiveUA, an independent hot spot analysis platform based on satellite and social media data.