How much of Ukraine has Russia occupied?

Maxar Technologies via AP
This colour infrared satellite image provided by Maxar Technologies shows fires burning near Fontanna street in eastern Mariupol. Credit: Maxar Technologies via AP

ITV News will be looking at advances the Russian military make each day as they look to take control of a number of cities in Ukraine.

We will be using data from different organisations, including the Ministry of Defence, The Institute for the Study of War and AEI's Critical Threats Project

These organisations monitor advances made by Russian troops as they target a number of key operational targets within the country.

The assessment of Russian attacks and troop locations by the Ministry of Defence up to March 25

The Ministry of Defence's assessment of Russian attacks and troop locations up to the 25 March Credit: Ministry of Defence

Key developments as of 10.30pm on March 24, according to the Institute for the Study of War and Critical Threats Project

  • Russian forces entered central Mariupol on March 24 and continued to take ground across the city

  • Ukrainian forces conducted a successful attack on Russian ships docked at the occupied port of Berdyansk, likely sinking a landing ship

  • Ukrainian forces did not retake any territory in continuing counterattacks northwest of Kyiv but forced Russian troops onto the defensive

  • Ukrainian forces repelled renewed Russian attempts to advance toward Brovary from the northeast and complete the encirclement of Chernihiv

  • Russian forces secured several minor advances in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in the past 24 hours

Which cities are the key targets?


The nation's capital is home to its political institutions and leaders, in addition to Ukraine's major banks. Russia has already targeted a number of buildings in Kyiv, including its TV tower. The nation's largest airports are also in the city and have been attacked to limit access. Vladimir Putin will anticipate that if the capital falls, the rest will follow.


The tenth largest city in Ukraine is an active port with easy access to the Black Sea. The city has a population of more than 430,000 people and is Ukraine’s strategic port on the Sea of Azov. It could be a site for a military base for the Russians.

A woman walks past the debris in the aftermath of Russian shelling, in Mariupol. Credit: AP


Its proximity to the Russian border made it a key early target for the invading troops as they look to make early gains within Ukraine and move into the centre of the country. Kharkiv plays a significant role geographically and for communications. It has a large rail junction, with several trunk lines converging on it and a number of main-line stations.


The largest city in the north of the country is close to Belarus where the military is advancing from. Its proximity to the Ukrainian capital Kyiv is considered to be of major strategic value.


Odesa is a major port city on the southern coast of Ukraine. Ukraine heavily relies on the port for exports of bulk goods and losing it to the Russians would represent a significant blow as it would cut it off from the Black Sea and leave its only export routes via road and rail. Whilst it would be punishing to Ukraine, it would represent a major strategic victory for Russia.

The Black Sea port of Odessa, Ukraine. Credit: AP


Another port city, making it a valuable asset for the Russians. Kherson was the first city to fall into enemy hands in the conflict and it is thought Russia could create a military base in the city as they seek to push further inland.

LvivLviv is a major city in the far west of the country which could make it the last place in Ukraine that Russia tries to occupy, should they choose to. It will likely be a base for those fleeing the country which could turn it into a stronghold and potential seat for Ukraine's government, if the capital Kyiv is seized.