What part of Ukraine is controlled by Russia?
Negotiations are ongoing in Turkey to find a resolution to the conflict and Russia is in control of much less territory than anticipated by Vladimir Putin.
Russia’s offensive into Ukraine has stalled and serious negotiations have begun to call an end to the crisis. After rapid gains in the first two weeks of the war, little more progress has been made. Some analysts are pointing to overestimates of Russian technological power and neglected to consider logistics. Videos throughout the war have shown Russian vehicles abandoned in mud, as well as tanks fighting alone in streets, a recipe for disaster for crews who become easy targets in urban combat.
The current state of the invasion has been meticulously mapped by the Institute for the Study for War. The institute has been used extensively by news outlets, such as the BBC, so it can be used as a good source.
The institute has been reporting that Russia is in control of the cities of Luhansk and Donetsk, as it had been through its client states of the Luhansk and Donetsk People's Republics. The cities of Chernhiv and Kharkiv are under assault, as well as the capital Kyiv. Mariupol remains surrounded and under siege, with some 160,000 people still trapped inside.
Positive news for the Ukrainians is that these battlelines have not oft changed in the last two weeks. Even better, counterattacks back the Ukrainian army have been reported. The southern city of Kherson, on the shores of the Dniepr river, is said to once more be under Ukrainian control. The town of Irpin, in the immediate north of Kyiv, has also been liberated.
These reports bode well for the Ukrainian negotiating delegation, who now have a much stronger negotiating hand compared to the first week of fighting which suggested a defeat. Now, Ukraine is pushing back.
What happened in peace negotiations between Ukraine and Russia?
Delegations have met in the Turkish city of Istanbul to try and find an agreement. Ukraine has proposed that they will be a neutral state and not join NATO, though negotiations continue on whether Ukraine could be allowed to join the EU. These are said to be positive moves, and Russia responded by moving troops away from the Russian capital of Kyiv, although rocket and missile attacks continued unabated.
Russian Deputy Deputy Defence Minister Alexander Fomin told Russian TV that there had been progress on Russia's negotiation aims and the redeployment of troops was to "create the necessary conditions for further negotiations and for the signing of the aforementioned agreement".
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said that while signs from peace talks were "positive", they do not "drown out" the explosions of Russian shells in the continued Russian attack. In a late-night address, the president said that his country can only trust the final results of any negotiations.