Russian invasion of Ukraine

Russian invasion of Ukraine
Part of the Russo-Ukrainian War (outline)

Map of Ukraine as of 18 June 2024 (details):
  Continuously controlled by Ukraine
Date24 February 2022 – present
(2 years, 3 months, 3 weeks and 5 days)
Ukraine, Russia, Black Sea
Status Ongoing (list of engagements · territorial control · timeline of events)
Supported by:
Commanders and leaders
Units involved
Order of battle Order of battle
Pre-invasion at border:
Pre-invasion total:
900,000 military[7]
554,000 paramilitary[7]
In February 2023:
300,000+ active personnel in Ukraine[8]
Pre-invasion total:
196,600 military[9]
102,000 paramilitary[9]
July 2022 total:
up to 700,000[10]
September 2023 total:
over 800,000[11]
Casualties and losses
Reports vary widely, see § Casualties for details.

On 24 February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine in an escalation of the Russo-Ukrainian War that started in 2014. The invasion became the largest attack on a European country since World War II.[12][13][14] It is estimated to have caused tens of thousands of Ukrainian civilian casualties and hundreds of thousands of military casualties. By June 2022, Russian troops occupied about 20% of Ukraine. From a population of 41 million, about 8 million Ukrainians had been internally displaced and more than 8.2 million had fled the country by April 2023, creating Europe's largest refugee crisis since World War II. Extensive environmental damage caused by the war has been widely described as an ecocide. War-related disruption to Ukrainian agriculture and transport contributed to a food crisis worldwide. The Russian attacks on civilians, causing mass civilian casualties and displacement, have been characterised by scholars as genocide and democide against Ukrainians.[15]

Before the invasion, Russian troops massed near Ukraine's borders as Russian officials denied any plans to attack. Russian president Vladimir Putin then announced a "special military operation", saying it was to support the Russian-backed breakaway republics of Donetsk and Luhansk, whose paramilitary forces had been fighting Ukraine in the Donbas conflict since 2014. Putin espoused irredentist views challenging Ukraine's right to exist, and falsely claimed that Ukraine was governed by neo-Nazis persecuting the Russian minority. He said his goal was to "demilitarise and denazify" Ukraine. Russian air strikes and a ground invasion were launched at a northern front from Belarus towards Kyiv, a southern front from Crimea, and an eastern front from the Donbas and towards Kharkiv. Ukraine enacted martial law, ordered a general mobilisation and severed diplomatic relations with Russia.

Russian troops retreated from the northern front by April 2022 after encountering logistical challenges and stiff Ukrainian resistance. On the southern and southeastern fronts, Russia captured Kherson in March and Mariupol in May after a destructive siege. Russia launched a renewed offensive in the Donbas and continued to bomb military and civilian targets far from the front line, including the energy grid through the winter. In late 2022, Ukraine launched successful counteroffensives in the south and east. Soon after, Russia announced the illegal annexation of four partly-occupied regions. In November, Ukraine retook parts of Kherson Oblast, including Kherson city. In June 2023, Ukraine launched another counteroffensive in the southeast, which by the end of the year had petered out with only small amounts of territory retaken.

The invasion was met with widespread international condemnation. The United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution condemning the invasion and demanding a full Russian withdrawal in March 2022. The International Court of Justice ordered Russia to suspend military operations and the Council of Europe expelled Russia. Many countries imposed sanctions on Russia and its ally Belarus, and provided humanitarian and military aid to Ukraine. The Baltic states all declared Russia a terrorist state. Protests occurred around the world, with anti-war protesters in Russia being met by mass arrests and the enactment of a law enabling greater media censorship. Over 1,000 companies closed their operations in Russia and Belarus as a result of the invasion. The International Criminal Court (ICC) opened investigations into possible crimes against humanity, war crimes, abduction of children, and genocide. The ICC issued four arrest warrants in that regard: for Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova in March 2023, alleging responsibility for the unlawful deportation of children, as well as for commanders Sergey Kobylash and Viktor Sokolov in 2024, for alleged war crimes.[16]

Cite error: There are <ref group=lower-alpha> tags or {{efn}} templates on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist|group=lower-alpha}} template or {{notelist}} template (see the help page).

  1. ^ Lister, Tim; Kesa, Julia (24 February 2022). "Ukraine says it was attacked through Russian, Belarus and Crimea borders". Kyiv: CNN. Archived from the original on 24 February 2022. Retrieved 24 February 2022.
  2. ^ Murphy, Palu (24 February 2022). "Troops and military vehicles have entered Ukraine from Belarus". CNN. Archived from the original on 23 February 2022. Retrieved 24 February 2022.
  3. ^ "Missiles launched into Ukraine from Belarus". BBC News. 27 February 2022. Archived from the original on 2 March 2022. Retrieved 27 February 2022.
  4. ^ "75 тысяч погибших российских солдат 120 смертей в день – вот цена, которую платит Россия за нападение на соседнюю страну. Новое большое исследование «Медузы» и «Медиазоны» о потерях". Meduza (in Russian). Retrieved 24 February 2024. ... численность войск на фронте (если при вторжении ее оценивали в 190 тысяч вместе с «народными милициями ДНР и ЛНР», ...
  5. ^ Bengali, Shashank (18 February 2022). "The U.S. says Russia's troop buildup could be as high as 190,000 in and near Ukraine". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 18 February 2022. Retrieved 18 February 2022.
  6. ^ Hackett, James, ed. (February 2021). The Military Balance 2021 (1st ed.). Abingdon, Oxfordshire: International Institute for Strategic Studies. p. 68. ISBN 978-1-03-201227-8. OCLC 1292198893. OL 32226712M.
  7. ^ a b The Military Balance 2022. International Institute for Strategic Studies. February 2022. ISBN 9781000620030 – via Google Books.
  8. ^ "Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, May 30, 2023". Institute for the Study of War. Retrieved 31 May 2023.
  9. ^ a b The Military Balance 2022. International Institute for Strategic Studies. February 2022. ISBN 9781000620030 – via Google Books.
  10. ^ "Ukraine", The World Factbook, Central Intelligence Agency, 2023-01-18, retrieved 2023-01-19
  11. ^ "Swimming rivers and faking illness to escape Ukraine's draft". BBC News. 17 November 2023. Retrieved 17 November 2023.
  12. ^ Plokhy, Serhii (16 May 2023). The Russo-Ukrainian War: From the bestselling author of Chernobyl. Penguin Books. ISBN 978-1-80206-179-6. ... If the collapse of the USSR was sudden and largely bloodless, growing strains between its two largest successors would develop into limited fighting in the Donbas in 2014 and then into all-out warfare in 2022, causing death, destruction, and a refugee crisis on a scale not seen in Europe since the Second World War.
  13. ^ Ramani, Samuel (13 April 2023). Putin's War on Ukraine: Russia's Campaign for Global Counter-Revolution. Hurst Publishers. ISBN 978-1-80526-003-5. ... However, the scale of Russia's invasion of Ukraine is unprecedented in modern history and, in terms of human costs, is Moscow's largest military intervention in the post-1945 period. ...
  14. ^ D'Anieri, Paul (23 March 2023). Ukraine and Russia. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1-009-31550-0. ... . Russia had done the unthinkable, deliberately starting the biggest war in Europe since World War II. ...
  15. ^ Cite error: The named reference Etkind was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  16. ^ "Situation in Ukraine: ICC judges issue arrest warrants against Sergei Ivanovich Kobylash and Viktor Nikolayevich Sokolov". International Criminal Court. 5 March 2024. Retrieved 5 March 2024.

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