After 12 days of heavy bombardment, reducing cities to rubble and shelling innocent civilians, Vladimir Putin is still struggling to gain ground in his barbaric invasion of Ukraine.
Russia has claimed only one city, with the incredible defiance of Volodymyr Zelensky’s men holding out despite the constant strikes.
Ukraine has even been pushing back the invading forces, re-taking the city of Chuhuiv and torching dozens of Russian helicopters amid the heavy onslaught.
The stalled convoy appears no closer to Kyiv but Putin’s forces are still surrounding the capital, and Ukrainian volunteers are building barricades in preparation for a major assault.
Ukraine’s military now estimates that 11,000 Russian soldiers have been killed in fighting along with the loss of 1,000 armoured vehicles, 290 tanks, 68 helicopters, 46 planes and dozens of other piece of hardware.
US intelligence officials also believe Putin has committed 95 per cent of his forces that had been assembled on the border.
As a third round of negotiations take place today and foreign minister Sergei Lavrov agrees to meet his Ukrainian counterpart Dymtro Kuleba in Turkey on Thursday, there is still much uncertainty about the future of the war with Russia meeting fierce resistance.
Here MailOnline analyses the key battlegrounds across Ukraine in Putin’s bloody campaign.
A ceasefire and humanitarian corridors were announced by Russia, saying civilians would be allowed to leave the capital of Kyiv, the southern port city of Mariupol, and the cities of Kharkiv and Sumy.
But the plans have been blasted as ‘nonsense’ after women and children were shelled or taken hostage on Sunday.
In Irpin, a suburb city of Kyiv, bombs rained down on heavily populated areas on Sunday, killing civilians.
One image depicted a mother and her two children lying dead on the pavement after they were killed as they tried to flee the city, whilst their father was wounded by a mortar shell as hundreds of civilians sought safety.
A sea of people on foot and even in wheelbarrows trudged over the remains of a destroyed bridge to cross a river and leave the city of Irpin on the outskirts of Kyiv
A woman weeps as the sound of shelling intensifies in the city of Irpin, to the west of Kyiv, with Russians trying to surround the capital ahead of an expected bombardment
A factory and a store are burning after been bombarded in Irpin, in the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, on Sunday
Ukrainian soldiers carry a wounded woman out of the city of Irpin, to the west of Kyiv, amid heavy Russian attacks
After more than a week in stalled positions, Russian forces have made small gains in their attempt to surround and assault Kyiv – with Ukraine saying enough firepower has now been amassed for the mission
A family-of-four were killed by a Russian mortar round as they tried to flee Irpin on Sunday, with Zelensky vowing God ‘will not forgive’ troops targeting the innocent and Ukraine ‘will not forget’
People cross an improvised path under a destroyed bridge while fleeing the town of Irpin, Ukraine
Zelensky said a family of four were among eight civilians killed by Russian mortars while trying to flee the city.
‘We will not forgive. We will not forget,’ he told listeners.
‘We cannot forgive the hundreds upon hundreds of victims. Nor the thousands upon thousands who have suffered,’ he added. ‘God will not forgive. Not today. Not tomorrow. Never.’
A sea of people on foot and even in wheelbarrows trudged over the remains of a destroyed bridge to cross a river and leave the city.
Assisted by Ukrainian soldiers, they lugged pets, infants, purses and flimsy bags stuffed with minimal possessions. Some of the weak and elderly were carried along the path in blankets and carts.
In the capital, Russian forces are continuing to bombard it with strikes but it has still been spared a major assault on the ground.
Sandbag barricades are constructed as the Russian attacks continue on Ukraine with Kyiv anticipating a major asssault
Three Ukrainians injured in a Russian missile attack near Kyiv arrived at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Ein Karem Hospital
A local resident talks with members of the Ukrainian Territorial Defence Forces, the military reserve of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, next to anti-tank obstacles
Two elderly volunteers stack protective sandbags at the entrance of the subway in the center of Kyiv today
Volunteers are now quickly building barriers in the city centre, using sandbags and metal barricades to prevent the arrival of tanks
Russian tanks and armoured vehicles are yet to enter the city, with the huge convoy still stuck around 16 miles from Kyiv.
The convoy, which had seemed poised to launch an attack, has been plagued with mishaps including fuel and food shortages.
But there are also some concerns that the 15,000 troops attached to the convoy may be regrouping and waiting for supplies before launching a blistering assault on Kyiv.
Volunteers are now quickly building barriers in the city centre, using sandbags and metal barricades to prevent the arrival of tanks.
Russian armoured vehicles are seen manouevering near Kyiv, ahead of an expected attack on Ukraine’s capital
Russian tanks are seen moving into the outskirts of Kyiv, as Ukrainians say the Russians have now amassed enough hardware on the city’s borders to attempt an assault
Russian forces have been stalled near Kyiv for several days, but are slowly massing forces ahead of what is expected to be a bloody and brutal attack on the capital
Russia made clear its plans to quickly seize the capital, with Western security officials fearing they would overthrow the government and implement their new regime within days.
But stiffer than expected resistance from the outmanned and outgunned Ukrainians has staved off the swift victory that Russia may have expected.
An aide to Zelensky has called on soldier and volunteers to use guerrilla tactics against Russian forces, to cut down trees and destroy rear columns of Russian troops.
Ukrainian forces have recaptured the eastern city of Chuhuiv, defence officials have announced.
The General Staff said the defending forces had seized the city from the Russians and inflicted heavy losses on Putin’s men in both personnel and equipment.
Two high-ranking Russian commanders were killed in the battle.
The strategic city of 31,000 people is located 23 miles from Kharkiv, the second biggest city in Ukraine which has been subjected to intense bombardment.
The General Staff said on Facebook: ‘In the course of hostilities, the city of Chuhuiv was liberated.
Ukrainian forces have recaptured the eastern city of Chuhuiv, according to defence officials
‘The occupiers suffered heavy losses in personnel and equipment.
‘Lieutenant Colonel Dmitry Safronov, Commander of the 61st Separate Marine Brigade of the Russian Armed Forces, and Lieutenant Colonel Denis Glebov, Deputy Commander of the 11th Separate Airborne Assault Brigade of the Russian Armed Forces, were killed.’
The city had suffered intense shelling since the start of the war, and was the site of an airstrike which severely wounded a woman, 52, who has since become one of the defining images of the war.
Despite the heavy bombardment, Ukraine have now been able to hold off Russia and even launch counter attacks to regain the city.
There has been no let-up in the violence in Ukraine’s biggest city, with air sirens continuing to sound throughout the night amid intense aerial bombardment.
Kharkiv has endured incessant attacks in recent days, and overnight shelling has killed at least eight people and wrecked residential buildings, medical and education facilities and administrative buildings.
Police for the Kharkiv region said Monday a total of 209 people have died there alone, 133 of them civilians.
‘The enemy continues the offensive operation against Ukraine, focusing on the encirclement of Kyiv, Kharkiv, Chernihiv, Sumy and Mykolayiv,’ the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said in a statement.
Remains of a Russian fighting aircraft are seen amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine, in Kharkiv
The burnt out remains of a building destroyed by Russian army shelling in the second largest Ukrainian city of Kharkiv is seen on Sunday
A building burns after Russian troops shelled the city which has suffered intense bombardment for days
The head of the UN nuclear watchdog also said a neutron generator at a physics institute in Kharkiv has been destroyed but there has been no release of radiation.
The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Mariano Grossi, said on Monday that the relatively new facility was considered ‘subcritical’ and had ‘a very small inventory of material.’ He said it produced neutrons for scientific experiments.
The site was part of a cooperation between the US and Ukraine, according to Grossi. He said that ‘it’s a scientific institution, so it’s really very regrettable what happened.’
If Russia seizes the city, it will be able to launch an offensive on Kyiv from another front.
UN prosecutors say Kharkiv has been subjected to indiscriminate shelling, in a possible war crime.
Kharkiv has endured incessant attacks in recent days, and overnight shelling has killed at least eight people and wrecked residential buildings, medical and education facilities and administrative buildings
The building of the sports department at the Karazin Kharkiv National University is destroyed following Russian military aggression
A man helps a wounded elderly woman to a building’s basement for shelter, after Russian troops shelled the area
A man walks in front of a building damaged by recent shelling in Kharkiv
Military strikes on the village of Yakovlivka near the eastern city of Kharkiv destroyed 30 homes, leaving three dead and seven injured, and rescuers pulled 10 people from the ruins, according to emergency authorities.
Residents desperate to escape falling shells and bombs crowded the railroad station and pressed onto trains, not always knowing where they were headed.
The city hall has been reduced to rubble and many parts of the city have no water, electricity or heating.
Despite the incessant shelling and bombardment, Kharkiv remains in Ukrainian hands.
In Mariupol, residents still trapped in the besieged city are sleeping underground to escape more than six days of shelling by Russian forces that has cut off food, water, power and heating.
There have been two failed attempts to evacuate civilians from the port city, from which the International Committee of the Red Cross estimated 200,000 people were trying to flee.
A brief reprieve from fighting was announced but it collapsed and Russian attacks worsened.
In Mariupol, residents still trapped in the besieged city are sleeping underground to escape more than six days of shelling by Russian forces that has cut off food, water, power and heating
Heavy artillery hit residential areas in other large cities, local officials reported.
Food, water, medicine and almost all other supplies were in desperately short supply and residents thought they could escape when an 11-hour ceasefire was announced.
But Russian attacks quickly closed the humanitarian corridor, Ukrainian officials said.
The handful of residents who managed to flee the city before the humanitarian corridor closed said the city of 430,000 had been devastated.
‘We saw everything: houses burning, all the people sitting in basements,’ said Yelena Zamay, who fled to one of the self-proclaimed republics in eastern Ukraine held by pro-Russian separatists. ‘No communication, no water, no gas, no light, no water. There was nothing.’
Pro-Russian separatists have also carried out an offensive and fighting took place mostly in the western part of the city, Russia’s defence ministry said on Monday
Capturing Mariupol could allow Moscow to establish a land corridor to Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014 in a move that most other countries considered illegal.
A top official with the International Committee of the Red Cross says one of its teams attempting to lead a group of civilians out of the embattled port city of Mariupol discovered that the road they were to take out was mined – a ‘hugely dangerous situation.’
Dominik Stillhart, ICRC’s director of operations, said the incident underpinned calls from the humanitarian group for the fighting sides to ‘agree on the details for safe civilian passage, including what time, exactly what road, who can leave, and if medical supplies can come in.’
‘Without this kind of agreement the situation is extremely perilous for civilians,’ Stillhart said.
ICRC has been working to help facilitate the evacuation of civilians from Mariupol, after a second attempt failed Sunday to start evacuating an estimated 200,000 people out of the city.
Video has emerged which appeared to show Ukrainian defence forces based in Odessa, the country’s largest port, exchanging fire with ships overnight – one of which suffers a hit.
Ukraine’s ministry of defence has since claimed the vessel was destroyed.
‘The enemy has retreated again,’ it said in a brief statement on Facebook. It was not immediately clear from the statement what type of vessel had been hit.
A Russian warship – believed to be the patrol vessel Vasily Bykov – is seen smouldering off the coast of Odessa, Ukraine, after being hit by forces defending the city overnight
Regional military officials said Russia had also shelled the village of Tuzly in the Odessa region from the sea, targeting ‘crucial infrastructure sites’ but causing no injuries.
Ukraine fears Odessa, a vital port for its economy will be the next target of Russia’s offensive in the south.
Defences are being built with concerns that Putin wants to choke the economy by seizing the port through which grain and minerals are exported to Europe.
The city of one million people close to the Romanian and Moldovan borders holds a special place in the Russian imagination.
A cosmopolitan port with stunning 19th-century architecture, sandy beaches and a Mediterranean climate, it has a Russian-speaking majority from its days as the empire’s second port.
Defences are being built with concerns that Putin wants to choke the economy by seizing the port through which grain and minerals are exported to Europe
Volunteers fill sandbags, during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, on a beach in the city of Odessa
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned on Sunday that Moscow was ‘preparing to bomb Odessa’, saying, ‘It will be a war crime… a historical crime.’
Founded near the mouth of the Dniester River in 1794 by the Empress Catherine the Great, Odessa became one of the great ports of the Russian Empire.
It provided the spark for the 1905 Russian revolution, when sailors on the Battleship Potemkin mutinied. Their uprising was bloodily suppressed by Tsarist forces, with 2,000 Odessans dying alongside them.
But the city resisted the separatist push that took the mainly Russian-speaking Donbas region in the east out of Kyiv’s control when Putin annexed the nearby Crimea peninsula in 2014.
Ukraine fears Odessa, a vital port for its economy will be the next target of Russia’s offensive in the south
However, 48 people – most pro-Russian – died in clashes in May 2014 after being trapped in a building that was set alight after they attacked a group of Ukrainian nationalists with guns and grenades.
Odessa is Ukraine’s main port complex. The one in the city itself handles petrol and metals, while others in nearby Youjni and Illytchyivsk handle chemicals and containers.
A large part of Ukraine’s enormous corn and barley exports pass through the ports.
Russian forces are continuing their offensive in Mykolaiv, opening fire on the city some 300 miles south of Kyiv.
Rescuers said they were putting out fires caused by rocket attacks in residential areas.
Ukrainian firefighters work to extinguish a blaze in an apartment building near Mykolaiv, in southern Ukraine, after it was struck by Russian Smerch rocket launchers in the early hours
Mykolaiv, on Ukraine’s Black Sea coast, is coming under increasing attacks by Russia as Putin’s forces attempt to push along the coast to attack the country’s largest port city at Odessa
Smoke rises over the city of Mykolaiv, on Ukraine’s Black Sea coast, early on Monday after Russian rocket attacks
Columns of smoke were seen rising over the city on Ukraine’s Black Sea coast, as Russian forces resumed shelling.
On Friday, Russian troops entered the city of around 500,000 and fighting broke out.
Local authorities in the shipbuilding city told residents not to panic and Zelensky’s military adviser, Oleksiy Arestovych, said the Russian advance there had been halted.
‘We can feel cautious optimism about the future prospects of the enemy offensive – I think that it will be stopped in other areas also,’ he said
The US believes Russia’s goal may be to move past Kherson to Mykolaiv in order to set up a base of operations there that they can then use in a move to encircle and take Odesa.
Kherson remains the only city in Russia’s hands after it was captured last week.
But that hasn’t stopped the resistance from the residents in the face of their new occupiers.
Hundreds of protesters waved blue and yellow Ukrainian flags and shouted, ‘Go home’ at Putin’s troops on Sunday.
The Ukrainian armed forces also claimed to have destroyed up to 30 Russian helicopters that had been moved to Chornobaivka airport, near Kherson, overnight.
Hundreds of protesters waved blue and yellow Ukrainian flags and shouted, ‘Go home’ at Putin’s troops on Sunday
The city allows Putin to cross the Dnieper River and advance on Kyiv from the south, with army commanders able to link up the two main offensives.
The city also holds the fresh water supply for the region, meaning Russia could use it in Crimea.
Mayor Igor Kolykhaevr said ‘armed visitors’ joined a local council meeting and imposed a curfew last week.
He said he asked them not to shoot civilians and to allow crews to gather up the bodies from the streets.
Cutting Ukraine’s access to the coastline would deal a crippling blow to the country’s economy and allow Russia to build a land corridor stretching from its border, across Crimea, which has been occupied by Russia since 2014, and all the way west to Romania.
Chernihiv is still under intense bombardment but Russia’s advance towards the city has stalled.
Russian forces launched hundreds of missiles and artillery attacks, dropping powerful bombs on residential areas of the city north of the capital of Kyiv.
Onlookers also cheered as a Russian military plane fell from the sky and crashed, according to video released by the Ukrainian government.
Russian forces launched hundreds of missiles and artillery attacks, dropping powerful bombs on residential areas of the city north of the capital of Kyiv
Ukrainian armed forces also reportedly halted Russia’s advance on the ground towards the city, but fighting continues on the outskirts.
Located to the north-west of Kyiv, the city has been the site of fierce fighting with Russian troops since the early days of the invasion but is still under Ukraine’s control.
Last week, at least 47 people were killed after Russian forces hit residential areas, including schools and a high-rise apartment block, with the banned cluster bombs according to local officials.
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