The Ukraine-Russia war began with Russia’s coordinated invasion across multiple areas of Ukraine. Geared as an initial decapitation strike against the Ukrainian government, Russia found it had brought insufficient forces in the wake of unexpected Ukrainian resistance. The northern thrust of the war ended with Russia’s retreat and refocus on the Donbas region (Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts to Ukraine’s far east). Russia broke through Ukrainian lines at Popasna in late May/early June of 2022, but made limited gains after capturing key cities in July. In early September Ukraine counterattacked and took back portions of Kharkiv and Luhansk oblasts. Russia withdrew from Kherson city to the south after it’s ability to supply forces across the Dnipro were limited following the damage to at least one rail span of the Kerch bridge. As of this writing (early March 2023) the front has stayed relatively consistent in a line from Kupyansk — Svatove — Kremina — Bakhmut — Avdiivka — Vuhledar.
A key tool to visualize the conflict has been infrared satellites — namely VIIRS 375m, as it sits at a convenient spot between low latency (updated twice daily), relatively narrow spatial resolution, and good-enough quality. Since the war began a superior Landsat product was announced with an astonishing 30m resolution, but it misses the key first months of the war. Discussion here will resolve around VIIRS.