Wednesday, April 06, 2022

How Kyiv Beat Putin

In How Kyiv Has Withstood Russia's Attacks the New York Times explains how the Ukrainian capital has managed to defend itself against a larger army with far bigger weapons. At the heart of this explanation is an interactive storymap which the newspaper uses to illustrate the Russian army's troop movements and to show how its attack was repelled by the brave citizens of Kyiv. 

3D buildings are used to provide a detailed close-up view of areas in the city that the Russians managed to invade and to illustrate how they were subsequently forced to retreat. Panning out an aerial imagery map layer is used to show how, after the failure of its initial attack, the Russian's attempted to establish an inner and outer ring around Kyiv. This attempt to encircle this city was designed to block supplies and weapons from entering the capital and to stop any counter-attacks from within. Unfortunately for the Russian army its supply line problems meant that it was unable to complete either its inner or outer ring of forces. 


In response the Ukrainians were able to maintain their supply lines by keeping open strategic routes into the city. They were also able to carry out relentless attacks on the Russian forces who were sitting immobile in their inner and outer rings. 

Zooming out even further the NYT shows how Ukraine managed to cut-off the supply line chains to Russia's advanced units in Kyiv. This was achieved by a combination of destroying strategically located bridges and dams and by flooding a large area to the north of Kyiv. 

In response to Russia's failure to capture Kyiv Putin is now claiming that his main objective all along was to annex the eastern region of Donbas. It is certainly true that the Russians have now begun pulling troops away from Kyiv and are now focusing more on the east of Ukraine. However this is largely in recognition that its attempt to capture Kyiv has been a massive failure for the Russian army.

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