Russian field fortifications in Ukraine
Satellite imagery shows trenches and barriers span the front line in Ukraine
Updated November 8 2023
This map shows many of Russia’s field fortifications in (and around) Ukraine as viewed via satellite imagery accessed from ESA’s Sentinel-2 data. For the full interactive map, click here.
This map should not be seen as a complete list of Russia's fortifications.
The data does not distinguish between barriers, trenches, or other types of fortifications.
Fortifications were only included if they appeared new, in-use or expanded since the full-scale invasion in February of 2022.
Not all of these fortifications are currently manned by Russian personnel.
A map of pre-2022 fortifications inside Russian-occupied territory is available here.
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Recent updates on Russia’s fortifications in occupied Ukraine
November 8 2023: As summer has become autumn, Russian forces in Ukraine have continued to bolster defenses in occupied territory. Many of these fortifications run along tree lines or intersect highways leading further into occupied Ukraine.
October 1 2023: Russian forces expanded fortifications along the border with northeastern Ukraine in recent months. In Kursk oblast, new trenches were constructed and in Bryansk oblast, new anti-vehicle ditches were dug near villages along the border with Ukraine. In Belgorod oblast, satellite imagery shows new fortifications were also built in recent months.
September 10 2023: As Ukraine pushes south into occupied territory, Russian forces are bolstering defenses constructed in late 2022 and early 2023. Less than 10 kilometers from the front line, Russian forces near Ivana Franka (Zaporizhzhia oblast) built new trenches and barriers near existing defenses. Near Romanivkse (Zaporizhzhia oblast), Russian forces laid new rows of “dragon’s teeth” obstacles between older fortifications. Further east, Russian forces near Krasna Poliana (Donetsk oblast) added to defenses that were constructed in late 2022.
September 1 2023: Russian forces in Ukraine continue to expand defenses near the front line and deep within occupied territory. Examples include the expansion of existing fortifications between Obitochne and Andriivka (Zaporizhzhia oblast) and northwest of Polohy (Zaporizhzhia oblast). Even in Russia, new fortifications were constructed over the summer along the border with Ukraine.
August 15 2023: As Ukrainian forces push south into occupied territory, Russia is expanding secondary defensive lines. One such example is visible near Chervonoselivka (Zaporizhzhia oblast) and another a bit further east (in Donetsk oblast) near the T0518 highway. These positions are less than 30 kilometers from the front line in southern Ukraine.
August 6 2023: Throughout the summer, Russian forces have worked to close gaps in their defensive lines and expand existing fortifications along highways in occupied Ukraine. In Zaporizhzhia oblast, Russian forces expanded fortifications outside Andriivka. These defenses intersect the T0815 highway which leads further south in Russian-occupied Ukraine. Over the past month, Russian forces also connected existing defensive lines near Kodema in Donetsk oblast (about 15 kilometers southeast of Bakhmut). At the airport in occupied Berdyansk, Russian forces dug new revetments to protect vehicles and equipment.
July 22 2023: Russian forces in Ukraine continue to expand defenses along the front line. Near Lysychansk (Luhansk oblast), Russian forces added new trenches and barriers along roads leading toward the city. In Donetsk oblast, Russian forces built new defenses as Ukraine regained territory near Bakhmut.
July 7 2023: As Ukraine’s counteroffensive continues, Russian forces are building additional layers of defenses in occupied territory. These fortifications near Vilne (Donetsk oblast) are between the front line and the occupied city of Mariupol. In eastern Ukraine, Russian forces are also adding to existing fortifications to fill gaps in their defensive line.
June 22 2023: Over the past month, Russian forces expanded fortifications near Semyhiria (Donetsk oblast). These positions are less than 15 kilometers from the front line in Ukraine. In Luhansk oblast, Russian forces near Kreminna recently dug new trenches and barriers. In Zaporizhzhia oblast, Russian forces built new defenses outside Andriivka. These positions intersect the T0815 highway which leads further south in Russian-occupied Ukraine.
May 18 2023: New Russian trenches sometimes intersect older ones, as shown by this satellite imagery of Zaitseve (Donetsk oblast). In Russian-controlled Soledar (Donetsk oblast) there are fortifications along the northern end of the city. These positions are less than 20 kilometers from the front line. Even far from the front line, layers of trenches can be seen along roads and supply routes. These defenses in northern Crimea are one example.
April 9 2023: Russian forces in Zaporizhzhia oblast continue to expand defensive lines and add new layers to existing fortifications. For example, these fortifications around Vasylivka grew over the past month. In Crimea, sprawling lines of new trenches are being constructed along roads and waterways. The pace of construction of these positions rapidly increased this year.
March 14 2023: Russian forces have ramped up the construction of fortifications across occupied regions of Ukraine. In Luhansk oblast, Russian forces have dug new trenches outside occupied cities. For example, these defenses outside Lysychansk were built in the past few months. Russian forces in Donetsk oblast have added to fortifications along roads leading to Mariupol and other occupied cities. Russian forces have spent months adding to defensive lines in occupied Ukraine. This animation shows an example of expanding fortifications outside Chystopillia (Zaporizhzhia oblast). Along the roads leading into Crimea, new barriers and trenches have appeared over the last few months.
High resolution images show Russia’s fortifications in occupied Ukraine
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