Tracking Conflict Worldwide

CrisisWatch is our global conflict tracker, an early warning tool designed to help prevent deadly violence. It keeps decision-makers up-to-date with developments in over 70 conflicts and crises every month, identifying trends and alerting them to risks of escalation and opportunities to advance peace. In addition, CrisisWatch monitors over 50 situations (“standby monitoring”) to offer timely information if developments indicate a drift toward violence or instability. Entries dating back to 2003 provide easily searchable conflict histories.


Europe & Central Asia


Russian forces intensified offensive to seize strategic town of Chasiv Yar, govt passed mobilisation reform bill, and U.S. approved long-awaited military aid package.

Moscow targeted Chasiv Yar town as airstrikes continued. Russian forces focused their assaults on Chasiv Yar in eastern Donetsk region; Ukrainian military 22 April said up to 25,000 Russian troops were trying to storm area in attempt to capture town by Victory Day on 9 May. Capture of Chasiv Yar would allow Russian troops to advance toward string of strategically important settlements in Donetsk region, which form backbone of Ukraine’s remaining industrial and military infrastructure in region. Further south, Russian forces continued slow advance west of Avdiivka after capturing town in Feb, with top commander Oleksandr Syrskyi 28 April announcing troops had withdrawn from three villages; Syrskyi also warned of possible Russian offensive against Kharkiv city in north east. Meanwhile, Russian strikes on key infrastructure continued amid dwindling Ukrainian air defence systems. Notably, Russia 11 April destroyed major power plant near capital Kyiv; for first time since full-scale invasion, Russia also targeted gas storage and transfer facilities used to transport its own gas exports to Europe.

Ukraine passed watered-down version of mobilisation law. President Zelenskyy 16 April signed mobilisation reform bill to expand conscription, improve training and offer financial incentives amid recruitment difficulties. However, Syrskyi 9 April convinced govt to remove provisions on demobilisation and rotation of long-serving soldiers. Meanwhile, Zelenskyy 2 April signed bill lowering draft age from 27 to 25 in another attempt to replenish exhausted troops. 

U.S. approved military assistance for Kyiv. U.S. President Joe Biden 24 April signed into law long-awaited military aid package for Ukraine; announcement may prompt Russia to escalate attacks in coming weeks before arrival of new capacities. Meanwhile, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz 13 April announced Berlin will provide Kyiv with Patriot air defence system; NATO Sec Gen Jens Stoltenberg 19 April said NATO members would follow suit.

Switzerland prepared to host peace summit. Switzerland 10 April announced Ukraine peace summit on 15-16 June in Luzern city. Zelenskyy 6 April said 80-100 countries will likely join; Russia ruled out participation, though Bern is reportedly courting other BRICS states, including Brazil, India, China and South Africa, to send delegations. 

Europe & Central Asia


Ukrainian forces hastily built defensive lines in preparation for more Russian advances, Moscow pounded country with missile attacks, and Czech initiative sought to boost waning ammunition stocks.

Ukraine rushed to build defensive lines following Russian advances. After Russia captured Avdiivka town and nearby settlements in eastern Donetsk region in Feb, its offensive slowed significantly. President Zelenskyy 11 March announced Ukraine was building 2000km of defensive lines in preparation for stepped-up advances, though military analysts warned about slow progress, which may force Ukrainian troops to fortify defensive lines while under fire from Russians. Russian forces late March gradually advanced west of Avdiivka, with some reports suggesting they seized control of two more villages, albeit at high cost. Meanwhile, Ukraine 5 March sunk Russian patrol vessel using domestically produced naval drones, 23 March claimed to have inflicted damage on three landing ships and one intelligence ship from Russian Black Sea fleet in Crimean port of Sevastopol. Ukraine has disabled one third of fleet’s combat ships since full-scale invasion.

Russia hailed missiles on Ukraine, notably targeting energy infrastructure. Moscow escalated attacks in north using ballistic missiles and guided aviation bombs, forcing authorities mid-March to begin evacuating civilians. Beginning 21 March, Russian forces launched massive missile and drone attacks on energy infrastructure, leaving over one million Ukrainians without power; strikes hit several major power facilities, including country’s largest dam. Russian Ministry of Defence 22 March said attacks were in response to Ukrainian shelling and cross-border incursions (see Russia). Meanwhile, during secret visit to Odesa region by Zelenskyy and Greek PM Mitsotakis, ballistic missile 6 March struck near their convoy; attack raised concerns about Russian intelligence awareness of foreign dignitaries’ movements.

In other important developments. Parliament made headway clarifying thousands of queries to pending mobilisation law, which is likely to come up for vote in early April. Czech President Pavel 7 March pledged to deliver 800,000 shells in 2024 via internationally-funded, Czech-led initiative; announcement came amid halting U.S. military assistance and delays in expansion of European ammunition production. China’s Ambassador to Switzerland 18 March said Beijing was considering participation in Ukraine peace summit organised by Bern; Moscow 13 March ruled out Russian participation.

Europe & Central Asia


As war entered third year, Avdiivka town fell to Russia, marking significant setback for Ukraine as its forces felt sting of waning Western support and momentum swung toward Moscow. 

Russian forces captured Avdiivka and nearby settlements. Following months of intense bombardment, Ukraine 17 Feb announced withdrawal from eastern Donetsk region’s Avdiivka town; retreat marks country’s most significant setback since loss of Bakhmut town in May 2023 and, according to military analysts, is consequence of ammunition shortages and Western hesitancy to sustain military aid. During final days of fighting, Russia appears to have established localised air superiority for first time since invasion, hastening Ukraine’s loss of control. Ukraine late Feb withdrew from several settlements west of Avdiivka. In south, Russian forces 17 Feb launched forward operations on Zaporizhzhia region’s Robotyne village. With pressure mounting along frontline, Ukraine could lose more territory in coming weeks. 

Ukraine sunk two ships in Black Sea, Russian strikes continued. Ukrainian forces 1 and 14 Feb sunk two ships from Russian Black Sea fleet using domestically produced naval drones; 29 Feb reportedly shot down three Russian Su-34 jets. Russian airstrikes continued across country, increasingly featuring North Korean ballistic missiles. Media outlet The New York Times 9 Feb quoted warning from U.S. official that Ukraine could run low on air defence interceptors within weeks, which could lead to intensified Russian bombardments and more casualties. 

President Zelenskyy dismissed top general. Zelenskyy 8 Feb replaced commander of armed forces General Zaluzhnyy with Oleksandr Sirskyy following souring Zelenskyy-Zaluzhnyy relations over competing narratives of counteroffensive and former’s hesitancy to mobilise more soldiers. Govt continued work on mobilisation reform bill. 

Europeans pledged more military aid amid concerns about future of U.S. support. EU 1 Feb passed €50bn support package for Ukraine after long delays. Deadlock in U.S. Congress over support package persisted, however, amid opposition from staunchest supporters of Republican Party’s presumptive nominee for 2024 presidential election Donald Trump. Kyiv during month signed long-term security agreements with number of European countries amid fears U.S. support is drying up. Meanwhile, protests by Polish farmers and lorry drivers over cheap Ukrainian grain continued.

Europe & Central Asia


Russia conducted deadly airstrikes as its ground forces retook battlefield initiative, which could shift war’s centre of gravity north; Ukraine stepped up diplomatic efforts. 

Russia escalated strikes on Ukrainian cities as Kyiv scaled up air defence. Russia 29 Dec-8 Jan launched massive airstrikes targeting civilian and military infrastructure; U.S. and allies 10 Jan alleged attacks featured first use of North Korean ballistic missiles (see Russia). UN humanitarian agency 16 Jan claimed hundreds of civilians were killed or wounded; energy infrastructure remained operational. President Zelenskyy 30 Jan said Russia had launched nearly 1,000 missiles and drones at Ukraine since beginning of 2024. In effort to counter attacks, Ukraine 17 Jan claimed first successful use of hybrid ‘FrankenSAM’ air defence system against Russian drone, 20 Jan claimed scaled-up electronic warfare capabilities enabled interception of twenty missiles on 13 Jan. Sides, meanwhile, traded blame for downed plane in Russia’s Belgorod region 24 Jan that left 74 dead, including 65 Ukrainian prisoners of war. 

Moscow regained battlefield initiative and could shift war’s epicentre north. Russia’s ground forces continued attacking Avdiivka town in eastern Donetsk region, with reports late Jan indicating they had entered town’s southern periphery. In northern Kharkiv region, stepped-up Russian attacks near Kupiansk city 16 Jan prompted governor to order nearby villages to evacuate; Russian military 21 Jan claimed capture of Krokhmalne village, south east of Kupiansk; 29 Jan reported capture of Tabaivka village, which Ukraine denied. With Moscow increasingly able to dictate battlegrounds, fighting’s epicentre could shift north in coming weeks. 

Kyiv sustained high-intensity diplomatic activity. Ukraine 12 Jan signed ten-year security cooperation agreement with UK. Govt delegation 14 Jan attended meeting on Ukraine’s peace plan at World Economic Forum in Davos, along with 82 other countries; China remained absent. Polish PM Donald Tusk 22 Jan met President Zelenskyy in capital Kyiv, announced military assistance and commitment to dialogue over trade issues. 

In other important domestic developments. Govt 30 Jan filed revised version of mobilisation reform bill to parliament following criticism over potential constitutional violations and corruption risks. Meanwhile, Zelenskyy 29 Jan asked top commander Valerii Zaluzhnyi to step down amid rising tensions between the two; Zaluzhnyi refused.

Europe & Central Asia


Russia pounded Ukrainian cities in largest wave of airstrikes since full-scale invasion, govt sought to reform mobilisation system, and U.S. approved military aid to Ukraine amid uncertainty about future assistance.

Russia launched wave of deadly airstrikes on Ukrainian cities. Russia 8 Dec launched nineteen cruise missiles in attack on capital Kyiv and Dnipro city, killing one; 28-29 Dec conducted largest wave of air attacks since full-scale invasion, striking cities across Ukraine using cruise and ballistic missiles, killing at least 40 and wounding over 160. Three-month pause in cruise missile use prior to strikes had raised fears that Moscow was stockpiling for massive attack that could overwhelm air defences. In Donetsk region, Russian forces advanced in pincer movement around Avdiivka town, which remained under Ukrainian control; Moscow 25 Dec claimed capture of Marinka town. Meanwhile, Ukrainian troops retained hold of bridgehead on Russian-occupied left bank of Dnipro River in southern Kherson region, but were unable to advance under heavy Russian fire. Kyiv 26 Dec destroyed Russian warship during air raid in Russian-annexed Crimea.

Tensions emerged over conscription system and plans for demobilisation. President Zelenskyy 1 Dec announced plans to reform conscription system amid increasing recruitment difficulty. Zelenskyy 19 Dec said military proposal to mobilise up to 500,000 additional troops required revision, citing lack of information on funding or plan for demobilisation and rotation of long-serving soldiers; announcement came amid several protests in Dec calling for demobilisation of troops fighting since beginning of war. Govt 25 Dec submitted conscription reform bill to parliament; Defence Minister Umerov previous day said document would give clarity about rotation but would not lead to demobilisation of long-serving soldiers.

U.S. approved military assistance to Kyiv while EU faced setback. EU member states 14 Dec voted to initiate accession talks with Ukraine, but Hungary next day vetoed €50bn military support package. U.S. 27 Dec approved more military aid to Ukraine, but future assistance will require Congressional approval and prospects for deal are uncertain. Senior army commander 18 Dec announced his troops had begun rationing artillery shells and scaling back operations due to uncertainty about Western assistance.

Europe & Central Asia


Russia intensified attacks in Donetsk region as Ukraine targeted occupied left-bank of Dnipro river, key allies promised more military aid, and European Commission recommended accession talks.

Russian forces made small gains in east and escalated airstrikes. In Donetsk region, Russia stepped up attacks around Bakhmut city and Avdiivka town, making modest gains at high cost. In Odesa region, Russian missile 9 Nov hit freight ship in Odesa port, killing one in first strike on civilian vessel since withdrawal from Black Sea grain deal. Authorities 26 Nov said Russia had conducted one of largest drone attacks since war began, notably targeting capital Kyiv, with over 75 Iranian-made drones injuring five and damaging infrastructure.

Ukraine stepped up attacks across Dnipro river and continued targeting Crimea. Russian military bloggers 6 Nov reported Ukraine had transferred armoured vehicles across Dnipro River into bridgeheads on Russian-held left bank in southern Kherson region. In following days, troops managed to expand bridgeheads and Kyiv 15 Nov claimed foothold; Russia-installed Kherson governor same day admitted Ukrainian gains but promised reversal. In Russian-annexed Crimea, Ukrainian missile 4 Nov damaged under-construction missile carrier in port city of Kerch; Russian officials 26 Nov claimed its air defence averted several Ukrainian drone attacks on occupied Crimea and Moscow.

U.S. and Germany pledged more military assistance. U.S. Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin 20 Nov visited Kyiv, announcing new military aid package and promising continued support, even as worries grew over approval of further spending in U.S. Congress and supply capacity amid Israel-Hamas war (see Israel/Palestine). German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius 21 Nov announced €1.3bn military aid package during Kyiv visit; France 29 Nov announced intention to sign bilateral defence accord with Kyiv in early 2024.

European Commission recommended accession talks, tensions with EU neighbours rose. European Commission 8 Nov recommended accession negotiations with Ukraine; Hungarian PM Orbán 18 Nov said Ukraine was “light-years away” from membership, signalling intent to block proceedings. Meanwhile, Polish lorry drivers 6 Nov began blockade of border crossings, alleging EU suspension of entry permits for Ukrainian truckers had created unfair competition; after traffic diverted to Slovakia, Slovak border guards 15 Nov increased checks.

Europe & Central Asia


Russia launched new offensive in east and ramped up strikes on civilian targets, while Kyiv targeted Russian-held territory with new U.S. ATACM missiles.

Russia launched offensive in east and intensified attacks on civilian targets. Russian forces 10 Oct launched offensive in east, coalescing around Avdiivka city (Donetsk region); fierce fighting ensued but Russia struggled to breach heavily fortified Ukrainian positions and incurred significant losses. Ukraine 14 Oct reported heavy Russian attacks on well-fortified positions around cities of Lyman (Donetsk) and Kupiansk (Kharkiv), 31 Oct warned Russia had bolstered its forces around Bakhmut (Donetsk). Meanwhile, aid agency International Rescue Committee 6 Oct warned of stepped-up Russian strikes on civilians and civilian infrastructure. Notably, Russian missile 5 Oct killed over 50 people in Groza village (Kharkiv); drones 12 Oct hit Danube port infrastructure; and President Zelenskyy 25 Oct warned of intensifying strikes on energy infrastructure.

Kyiv struck Russian-occupied territory with U.S. surface-to-surface missiles. Arrival of U.S. ATACM missiles bolstered Ukraine’s ability to strike deep into Russian-held territory, with Kyiv 17 Oct striking airfields in occupied Zaporizhzhia and Luhansk regions that destroyed equipment and likely killed scores of Russian soldiers. In southern Kherson region, Ukrainian forces stepped up operations across Dnipro River, forcing Russia to divert troops from main prong of Ukraine’s counteroffensive in Zaporizhzhia. Meanwhile, satellite images 1 Oct showed Moscow had largely withdrawn its Black Sea fleet from Russian-annexed Crimea base after series of Ukrainian strikes in Sept.

Israel-Gaza war raised concerns about Western backing. Amid dramatic escalation in Israel-Palestine (see Israel/Palestine), concerns rose in Kyiv about implications for Western support to Ukraine. Western leaders promised continued assistance, with U.S. President Joe Biden 19 Oct announcing plans to combine aid for Israel and Ukraine in single legislative package. Malta 28-29 Oct hosted Ukraine peace talks with representatives from over 60 countries, but not Russia. Meanwhile, Slovakia’s newly elected PM Robert Fico 26 Oct announced halt to military aid.

In other important developments. According to Razumkov Center survey published 11 Oct, 64 percent of respondents are against holding elections before war’s end. New Defence Minister Rustem Umerov 18 Oct unveiled Defence Ministry reforms.

Europe & Central Asia


Ukrainian forces stepped up attacks in Russian-annexed Crimea amid slow-paced counteroffensive, several vessels arrived in Odesa ports to export grain, and tensions with Poland sharpened.

Ukraine’s southern counteroffensive made modest gains. Counteroffensive continued at slow pace along southern front, which stretches across Kherson, Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk regions. General Oleksandr Taranavsky 22 Sept announced his forces had broken through defensive lines near Verbove settlement (Zaporizhzhia) and said next goal is Tokmak city. Ukrainian forces 16, 18 Sept recaptured Andriivka and Klishchiivka villages (Donetsk) near Bakhmut city after number of Russian forces redeployed south. Also near Bakhmut, missile 6 Sept struck market in Kostiantynivka town, killing 16; news outlet The New York Times 18 Sept suggested Ukrainian air defence missile malfunctioning may have caused strike. Ukraine escalated attacks on Russian-annexed Crimea having weakened Russia’s air defence. Notably, cruise missile 13 Sept struck naval infrastructure in port city of Sevastopol; pair of cruise missiles 22 Sept struck Russian Black Sea Fleet headquarters. Meanwhile, senior official 27 Sept claimed remnants from Russian paramilitary Wagner Group had returned to frontline.

Several ships reached Odesa ports to load grain. Following Russia’s withdrawal from Black Sea grain deal and subsequent attacks on ports and grain facilities, Ukraine mid Aug established temporary shipping corridor from Odesa ports to evacuate civilian ships stuck in Ukraine. Yet infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov 22 Sept announced arrival of two ships in Odesa ports using corridor to load grain bound for ports in Middle East and Africa. Meanwhile, Romania bolstered air defence systems along Danube amid heightened security concerns.

Kyiv-Warsaw tensions rose over ban on agricultural imports. After temporary EU ban on Ukrainian agricultural imports into Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria 15 Sept lapsed, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia same day announced unilateral restrictions to protect farmers from cheaper Ukrainian competition. Kyiv 18 Sept filed World Trade Organization lawsuit, claiming bans violate international trade rules. Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki 20 Sept said Poland would cease military aid to Ukraine.

Govt signaled tougher stance on corruption. Parliament 6 Sept appointed Rustem Umerov as defence minister following series of recent corruption scandals. Umerov 18 Sept fired seven top officials from Defence Ministry.

Europe & Central Asia


South remained epicentre of fighting as Russia intensified attacks on Odesa region and Ukraine’s counteroffensive continued at slow pace; Kyiv sought to drum up support for peace plan during well-attended summit in Saudi Arabia.

Russian withdrawal from grain deal brought more fighting to Odesa region. After scuppering Black Sea grain deal, Moscow intensified air raids on port infrastructure and grain facilities along Black Sea coast and Danube River in Odesa region. Notably, Russian drone 2 Aug destroyed port administration building in Izmail city; military 23 Aug said drones targeted “grain storage facilities and production complex in Danube region”. Russia continued to strike cities elsewhere; notably, missile hit theatre in Chernihiv city 19 Aug, killing at least seven. Kyiv, meanwhile, stepped up drone attacks on Russia (see Russia) and Russian-controlled territory, including massive attack 25 Aug on Russian-annexed Crimea.

Ukrainian counteroffensive ground on slowly. Ukraine’s counteroffensive along southern front, which stretches across Kherson, Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk regions, continued to make incremental progress at high cost. Forces 16 Aug liberated Urozhaine village (Donetsk) and 28 Aug freed Robotyne village (Zaporizhzhia), pushing frontline closer toward road and rail hub of Tokmak city; neither advance broke through Russia’s main defensive lines. Senior NATO commanders mid-Aug reportedly urged Ukrainian Commander in Chief Gen. Zaluzhniy to concentrate forces on southern front rather than Donetsk, request which Ukrainians appeared to heed. Ukrainian forces 24 Aug raided Russian-annexed Crimea, briefly clashing with Russian forces and planting Ukrainian flag to mark country’s Independence Day. Meanwhile, Russian forces conducted operations near Kupiansk town (Kharkiv region), forcing authorities 10 Aug to issue evacuation order.

Saudi Arabia hosted dozens of nations for Ukraine talks. Kyiv gathered delegations from around 40 countries, including China and India but not Russia, in Saudi city of Jeddah 5-6 Aug to drum up support for peace plan; 7 Aug announced more extensive talks would follow in Autumn 2023.

In important domestic developments. President Zelenskyy 10 Aug announced govt is working on comprehensive framework document, which would lay foundation for “transformation of our state” in order to “win the war [without] losing the country”. Govt 18 Aug prolonged martial law and mobilisation for another 90 days.

Europe & Central Asia


In major blow to Ukrainian economy and global food security, Moscow withdrew from Black Sea Grain Initiative before launching flurry of attacks on ports and grain facilities; Kyiv’s counteroffensive advanced slowly.

Russia scuttled Black Sea grain deal. Moscow, which had long threatened to quit Black Sea Grain Initiative ensuring safe passage for Ukrainian grain exports, 17 July accused West of failing to fulfil its obligations under deal (see Russia) and announced its withdrawal. Ukrainian aquatic drones earlier that day struck Kerch bridge connecting Moscow-annexed Crimea with Russia, but Kremlin stated there was no link between this attack and its decision to quit deal. Wheat prices subsequently spiked as Russia 18 July began targeting ports and grain facilities on Odesa region’s Black Sea coast and along Danube river in bid to throttle agricultural exports, which are pillar of Ukrainian economy. Speaking to UN Security Council, UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths 21 July said high grain prices threaten to push millions into hunger.

Ukrainian counteroffensive moved slowly as Russia mounted offensive in Kharkiv. Counteroffensive made incremental progress as Ukrainian forces struggled to break through complex Russian fortifications and large minefields. Troops focused their probing attacks on four sections of southern front that stretches across Kherson, Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk regions, making progress in Donetsk around Bakhmut city and 27 July recapturing Staromaiorske village on southern front. Meanwhile, Russian forces mid-July mounted ground offensive in north east of Kharkiv region, making small advances as Moscow sought to regain lost positions and divert Ukrainian forces from south and east.

Delivery of U.S. cluster munitions sparked controversy. First batch of cluster bombs 13 July arrived in Ukraine after Washington 7 July greenlighted delivery. Decision triggered fierce debate as cluster bombs’ indiscriminate nature and lingering danger from unexploded bomblets pose serious risk to civilians. Ukraine and U.S. defended decision, saying controversial weapon would compensate for lack of more precise ammunition.

NATO summit produced mixed results for Ukraine. During NATO summit in Lithuanian capital Vilnius 11-12 July, alliance pledged continued military aid to Ukraine but deferred membership prospects with carefully worded statement promising Kyiv an invitation “when allies agree and conditions are met”.

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