What's happening? This Sunday will mark 500 days of conflict since Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February, 2022. Since then, at least 9,000 people have been killed, including 500 children, the United Nations believes.
The unwelcome anniversary follows significant developments in the conflict in recent weeks.
Last month, tensions inside Russia escalated as the Wagner mercenary group, lead by Yevgeny Prigozhin, staged a brief rebellion by leading troops towards Moscow. The uprising was abandoned some 24 hours later but the prospect of challenge in itself is likely to have weakened the authority of Russian president Vladimir Putin.
The situation around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant also threatened to spiral over the past week, with both Russia and Ukraine suggesting the other side was planning an attack on the plant and sparking concerns about a potential fallout from the largest nuclear power station in Europe.
That followed the destruction of the Nova Kakhovka dam in Ukraine last month, unleashing a torrent of flooding. Kyiv described the bursting of the dam as an "environmental bomb of mass destruction" and laid the blame squarely at Russia's door. Moscow, in turn, blamed Ukraine.
And with Western powers continuing to pump weapons and money into Ukraine and Putin seemingly unrelenting in his pursuit of victory, Yahoo News looks at the major recent developments in the conflict.
To understand who is "winning" the territorial war in Ukraine, we need to understand the objectives of each side - for Kyiv the objective is to regain territory taken by Russia (including Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014), whereas Russian president Vladimir Putin said at the beginning of the war that his aim was to "demilitarise and denazify" Ukraine.
More practically, the Russian goalposts have moved as the conflict has continued, with its geographic aims expanding from the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics to include Kherson and Zaporizhzhia, among others.
"From the Russian perspective, I think they're a little bit closer to achieving their objectives because of the territory currently under their control," Marina Miron, a researcher at the Department of War Studies at King's College London, told Insider.
"Even if they hold onto it and don't go any further, it will be very difficult for Ukraine to retake that land.
"Territory-wise, I don't think Zelenskyy has budged on his objective of liberating all of the occupied territories, and I don't actually think that that's ever going to be possible."
Russia-Ukraine war at a glance: what we know on day 499 of the invasion (The Guardian, 4-min read)
Hearts and minds
Globally, Ukraine has garnered widespread support from the international community, with 41 countries providing military, financial and humanitarian support to Ukraine, according to the Kiel Institute. Additionally, in March 2022 when the United Nations held an emergency session, 141 countries voted in favour of the resolution demanding that Russia withdraw its military forces from Ukraine, 35 abstained and five voted against.
Internally, Ukrainians widely back the government, with a March 2023 survey by the International Republican Institute’s (IRI) Center for Insights in Survey Research (CISR) showing president Volodymyr Zelenskyy polling with a hugely popular 91% approval rating.
And while Putin has previously enjoyed internal support from Russians (with a May 2023 Statista poll showing him with an 80% approval rating), the recent attempted rebellion from Wagner mercenaries has hit his reputation hard and also nods towards a growing discontent from inside Russia with the ongoing conflict.
Prigozhin revolt raised fears of Putin's toppling – and a nuclear Russia in chaos (The Conversaton, 6-min read)
The Ukrainian backing has extended to its coffers. The US alone has given $75 billion in aide to Ukraine spread across military, humanitarian and financial support, while the UK's aid package totals around £1.5 billion.
And as Ukraine receives financial aid, a number of countries have slapped Russia with sanctions, with the EU putting restrictions on trade that are intended to strangle Russia's economy.
However, several countries have upped their interactions with Russia - including Iran, Syria and China - while Putin recently said: "Russia counters all these external sanctions, pressures and provocations and continues to develop as never before".
“We don’t know how much money Moscow has left, but it is reasonable to believe there is not much,” Oleg Itskhoki, a sanctions expert at the University of California, told The Guardian.
Both Ukraine and Russia's GDP fell in 2022, although Ukraine saw a larger drop, and both countries are experiencing ongoing high inflation although this will likely slowly fall.
Former CIA chief: US needs to ‘tighten the screws’ on Russia’s economy (CNN, 4-min read)
Experts believe success in Russo-Ukrainian negotiations will very much depend on the territorial victories achieved by either side - and thus how much power they will bring to the table.
With concerns the war could yet continue for several years, the University of Birmingham's Russia expert Jaroslava Barbieri warned that unless Kyiv's counteroffensive was widely successful "there's a high danger that there will be more calls from Western governments to pressurise Ukraine to sit at the table of negotiations, based on the acknowledgment that this war cannot be won through military means".
The Kremlin, meanwhile has said it is open to negotiations but maintains that it will only join such discussions if Ukraine gives up Russia-occupied territories - while Ukraine will only talk if Russia abandons its offensive. Ukraine has also made it clear it does not see Putin as the person to lead any such negotiations.
“We knew long before the ICC arrest warrant that talking to Putin made no sense," Ukraine's foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba told Politico. "Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council adopted a legal resolution on September 30 of last year declaring that any negotiations with Vladimir Putin were impossible in response to Russia’s attempted annexation of additional Ukrainian territories."
Italy's Defence Minister advocates Ukraine-Russia negotiations mediated by China (Ukrayinska Pravda, 2-min read)