Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in maps — latest updates

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What we know — day 9: FRIday March 4

  • Russians have seized Europe’s largest nuclear power plant at Zaporizhzhia after a fire blazed for hours, following an alleged Russian attack before being extinguished early on Friday.

  • The State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine said that employees of the plant were continuing to work and that they were carrying out inspections to identify any damage to the site. However, the agency said that any loss of the power station’s ability to cool down nuclear fuel would lead to “significant radioactive releases into the environment”.

  • Mariupol suffered another night of brutal bombardment. The port city, home to almost half a million people, is surrounded by Russian troops and lacking food, water and electricity.

  • There were reports of fighting in the urban centres of Enerhodar, close to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, and Severodonetsk overnight.

Key maps from recent days

The number of refugees pouring out of Ukraine to flee the fighting has doubled this week to hit 1mn since Russia invaded, the UN refugee agency reported.

More than half of the refugees have travelled to Poland, with Hungary and Moldova among other important destinations. The UNHCR said almost 50,000 refugees had gone to Russia.

Map showing  more than one million people have left Ukraine to seek refuge in European countries and Russia. Poland has received the most with 548,000

In the UK, the Office for National Statistics has released preliminary data from the 2021 census that shows the distribution of Ukrainian and Russian diasporas in England and Wales.

Ukrainians fleeing their homeland could be housed in the lavish UK residences of oligarchs hit with sanctions under proposals discussed by the British government. The ONS data shows distinct patterns of Ukrainian and Russian residents in London.

The war in Ukraine has led to a reduction in the number of international commercial flights going into Russia, according to data from consultant VesselsValue.

Animation comparing international flights on Feb 28-Mar 1 with Feb21-22. The number of flights to Russia fell from 272 to 129

Russia’s multipronged invasion suggests a plan to advance south towards Kyiv from Belarus, encircle Ukraine’s forces in the east, and cleave the country from the Russian border to the Black Sea.

Map showing how Russia’s invasion of Ukraine may play out  Initial cruise missile strikes on military sites, airfields and troop depots in Kyiv, Kharkiv and Dnipro. Alongside artillery shelling along line of control in eastern Ukraine  Ground advance (troops and tanks) south from Belarus to encircle Kyiv  Advance north from Crimea and east through Donbas in a bid to encircle bulk of Ukrainian forces in the east and cut them off from Kyiv  Advance from Crimea along Black Sea coast to Odesa. Central column moves west to Dnipro river, ultimate target Kyiv  Ukraine attempts strategic retreat west from current line of control evading Russian pincer movement. At some point, Ukrainian troops will need to hold the line, but unclear when that may be

On Tuesday February 22, Putin recognised the separatist governments in Luhansk and Donetsk, two provinces in the eastern Donbas region of Ukraine, and ordered Russian troops to enter them. On Thursday February 24, Moscow began a full-scale invasion of the country.

Map showing Luhansk and Donetsk area controlled by Russia-backed separatists and Moscow.

Sources: Institute for the Study of War, Rochan Consulting, FT research

Cartography and development by Steve Bernard, Chris Campbell, Emma Lewis, Joanna S. Kao, Sam Learner, Ændra Rininsland, Niko Kommenda, Alan Smith and Martin Stabe. Based on reporting by Roman Olearchyk and John Reed in Kyiv, Guy Chazan in Lviv, Max Seddon in Moscow and Henry Foy in Brussels

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