Russian invasion of Ukraine

On 24 February 2022, Russia invaded and occupied parts of Ukraine in a major escalation of the Russo-Ukrainian War, which began in 2014. The invasion has resulted in tens of thousands of deaths on both sides and instigated Europe's largest refugee crisis since World War II. About 8 million Ukrainians were displaced within their country by June, and more than 8.1 million had fled the country by March 2023.

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

Military situation as of 22 March 2023
   Controlled by Ukraine
   Controlled by Russia 
(Detailed map)
Date24 February 2022 – present
(1 year, 3 weeks and 6 days)
Ukraine, also Russia[lower-alpha 1]
Status Ongoing (list of engagements · territorial control · timeline of events)
Supported by:
 Belarus[lower-alpha 3]
 Ukraine[lower-alpha 4]
Commanders and leaders
Units involved
Order of battle Order of battle
Pre-invasion at border:
169,000–190,000[lower-alpha 5][5][6]
Pre-invasion total strength:
900,000 military[7]
554,000 paramilitary[7]
In September 2022:
+ 300,000 mobilized[8]
+ 50,000 mercenaries (including Wagner Group)[8]
In February 2023:
+ 200,000 newly mobilized soldiers[9]
Pre-invasion total strength:
196,600 military[10]
102,000 paramilitary[10]
July 2022 total strength:
up to 700,000[11]
Casualties and losses
Reports vary widely, see § Casualties for details.

After months of Russian officials denying plans to attack Ukraine, Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February 2022 upon Russian President Vladimir Putin's announcement of a "special military operation" seeking the "demilitarisation" and "denazification" of Ukraine. In his address, Putin espoused irredentist views, challenged Ukraine's right to statehood, and falsely claimed that Ukraine was governed by neo-Nazis who persecuted the ethnic Russian minority. Minutes later, Russian air strikes and a ground invasion were launched along a northern front from Belarus towards Kyiv, a north-eastern front towards Kharkiv, a southern front from Crimea, and a south-eastern front from Donetsk and Luhansk. In response, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy enacted martial law and a general mobilisation.

Russian troops retreated from the northern front by April. On the southern and south-eastern fronts, Russia captured Kherson in March and then Mariupol in May after a siege. On 18 April, Russia launched a renewed battle of Donbas. Russian forces continued to bomb both military and civilian targets far from the front line, including electrical and water systems. In late 2022, Ukraine launched counteroffensives in the south and in the east. Soon after, Russia announced the illegal annexation of four partly occupied oblasts.[12][13] In November, Ukraine retook Kherson. On 7 February 2023, Russia had mobilized nearly 200,000 newly mobilized soldiers to participate in a renewed offensive towards Bakhmut.[14]

The invasion has been met with widespread international condemnation.[15] The United Nations General Assembly passed Resolution ES-11/1 condemning the invasion and demanding a full withdrawal of Russian forces. 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 on its ally Belarus, and provided humanitarian and military aid to Ukraine. Protests occurred around the world; those in Russia were met with mass arrests and increased media censorship. Over 1,000 companies left Russia and Belarus in response to the invasion. The International Criminal Court (ICC) opened an investigation into possible crimes in Ukraine since 2013, including possible crimes against humanity, war crimes, abduction of children, and genocide during the invasion,[16][17] ultimately issuing an arrest warrant for Putin in March 2023.[18]

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