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What we know — day 13: TUESDAY March 8
Russia has moved nearly 100 per cent of the forces it positioned near Ukraine into the country. Most of the new forces had entered from the north of the country, suggesting they would bolster Russian troops facing strong Ukrainian resistance in their advance on Kyiv, said Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby.
Kirby said Russia was also increasingly employing “long-range fires” — artillery, rockets and missiles — to attack cities as its forces continue to face obstacles, particularly in the north and north-east of Ukraine.
Moscow offered to suspend attacks on Kharkiv, Kyiv, Sumy and Mariupol on Monday morning and create transport corridors out of the cities, but most of the routes end up in Russia. The Kremlin said it would do the same on Tuesday morning, Russian news agency Tass reported.
Ukraine’s military said on Tuesday morning that Russian troops continue their offensive, but the pace of their advance had slowed significantly.
Some military analysts and western officials believe Russia is replenishing supplies, attempting to address logistical problems and consolidating its positions around Kyiv before launching a concerted offensive.
The number of Ukrainians fleeing the fighting had reached 2mn by March 8, the UN refugee agency reported, amid concerns over the growing refugee crisis.
The country taking the highest number of refugees is Poland, with more than 1.2mn alone.
Key maps from recent days
The Russian aviation industry is facing a crisis, with its carriers banned from swaths of the world’s skies.
This animation provides a day-by-day view of Russian military activity since the invasion began on February 24.
In the UK, the Office for National Statistics has released preliminary data from the 2021 census that show 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 show 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.
On February 28, Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan indicated that he would invoke a clause in the 1936 Montreux Convention that allows Ankara to curb the passage of naval vessels belonging to warring parties. “We have the authority and we have decided to use it in a way that will prevent the crisis from escalating,” he said.
Russia’s multipronged invasion suggests that the plan is 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.
On 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 February 24, Moscow began a full-scale invasion of the country.
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, Henry Foy in Brussels