Successful counterattacks by the Ukrainian army, such as the one carried out in the Kharkiv region in September, resulted in Russian forces controlling less Ukrainian territory than they had in February 2022. Capture of the entirety of Donetsk and Luganskwithdrew after withdrawing from the neighboring Kharkiv region.
According to the analysis of ISW data, the Russian attack on Ukraine in February 2022 allowed the Russian army to occupy a fifth of the territory of Ukraine, that is, almost 119,000 people. square kilometers of Ukraine’s total area of 603 thousand square kilometers. 700 square kilometers Russia occupied these areas shortly after the start of the invasion on February 24, 2022.
In the first month of the invasion, Russia nearly quadrupled the area it controlled compared to what it had occupied before the February 2022 offensive (the Crimean lands, annexed in 2014 controlled by separatists from the Lugansk and Donetsk republics). However, shortly thereafter, Moscow made the decision to withdraw its forces from northern and northeastern Ukraine after an unsuccessful attempt to seize Kyiv.
In the following months Kremlin army She struggled to conquer new territories with difficulty. Analysis of higher educational institutions shows that from the beginning of May to the end of August it was from 200 to 1,400 square kilometers of Ukrainian territory per month. in September Ukrainian army He regained almost all the land in the North and East of Kharkiv Oblast, over an area of more than 6000 square meters. km square, inhabited by about 150 thousand. People.
At the end of September, pro-Russian authorities held sham referendums in parts of four occupied regions of Ukraine: Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhia. Friday 30th September Vladimir Putin announced the merger in Russia Four Ukrainian regions exercise partial control.
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