While Russian President Vladimir Putin‘s army reportedly continues to suffer setbacks in Ukraine, new maps from a U.S. think tank show where Russian forces may be making small advances despite their woes.
On the maps from the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) released Monday, apparent Russian gains can be pinpointed in areas of Ukraine where assessed Russian advances have been taking place, and where there are claims of Russian control over Ukrainian territory.
The maps show that Russia currently holds control over parts of Ukraine’s Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, Mykolaiv and Zaporizhzhia regions, with each of those controlled sections outlined in a solid red border. In each of those regions, some assessed Russian advances, which are designated by a broken red border, are shown to be taking place slightly in front of the areas Russia is already confirmed to control. This means that Russian forces are believed by the ISW to have been operating in or launching attacks against those areas demarcated by the broken borders, but they do not fully control them at this time.
Throughout the areas where Russia is carrying out assessed advances, some patches of territory are fully surrounded by broken red borders and highlighted in yellow to show where there is claimed Russian control over Ukrainian territory. This means that Russia’s control over those patches of territory is not yet confirmed despite some party or individual saying that is the case.
One map also notes that geolocated footage posted on November 6 showed that Russian forces captured the Ukrainian village of Ivanhrad in the Donetsk region, providing a specific marker for recent Russian advances.
The ISW’s territorial control assessment indicates that while Russia’s military and campaign are widely believed to be facing struggles, the offensive does not seem to have stalled altogether. Still, whether Putin will be able to completely turn the tide in his favor after more than eight months of a war that some expected to result in a speedy Russian victory remains unclear.
On Monday, for example, the U.K. Defence Ministry said that Russia has been losing aircraft faster than it can replace them due to poor training of air forces. The day before, the ministry assessed that Russia was firing military commanders in order to deflect blame for failures in Ukraine from the country’s leadership.
Despite hardships such as these, Russia has continued to express confidence in its ability to win the war.
In a November 2 press briefing, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that what she alleged were Ukrainian war crimes in the conflict confirmed that Russia needs “to deliver on the objectives related to removing security threats coming from Ukraine.”
“All these objectives will be achieved,” she added.
Newsweek reached out to the defense ministries of Russia and Ukraine for comment.
Update: 11/07/22 12:38 p.m. ET: This article was updated with new images.