This is a special issue of the Rondeli Russian Military Digest dedicated to the Russo-Ukrainian War, composed on the basis of numerous open sources.
Russian forces failed in their attempts to advance on Kyiv from the Hostomel-Bucha-Vorzel-Irpin area, northwest of the Ukrainian capital, during 26-27 February and the morning of 28 February. Heavy battles took place in the area during this period with Russians suffering significant casualties and Irpin remaining under Ukrainian control as of the afternoon of 28 February.
Russian airborne landings at two spots south of Kyiv, designed to facilitate cutting off the city from the western and southern parts of Ukraine, ended in disaster with both airborne forces being destroyed by Ukrainians.
On 27 February, Russians advanced from the north on the area between Kyiv and Zhytomyr in another effort to cut off Kyiv from the west. They crossed Kyiv-Zhytomyr highway and where engaged by Ukrainians. Fighting was ongoing in the area in the afternoon on 28 February.
Static shot from the Russo-Ukrainian War interactive map, battles west of Kyiv. All information on the maps is approximate.
Russians failed to advance on Chernihiv during the same period of 26-27 and early 28 February. They advanced to the west of Konotop on 26 and 27 February, but as of 15:00 Kyiv Time on 28 February failed to develop this advance and move against Kyiv from the east.
Similar to Kyiv, Russians made fierce attempts to advance into Kharkiv during the same period, but were repulsed by Ukrainians. Northwest of Kharkiv, Russians were unable to take Sumy despite heavy presence and activity of Russian forces around the city and attacks against it. Russian attacks also failed in Okhtyrka. Southeast of Kharkiv, Russians took the town of Kupyansk.
Kharkiv and Sumy
In Donbas, Ukrainian forces retreated from the area north of Luhansk to avoid envelopment. They left towns of Schastia and Stanytsia Luhanska which then passed into Russian hands. Russians also advanced against Severodonetsk, and battles were reported near that city.
Russians made significant advances in the south of Ukraine on 26 February, moving north and east beyond Melitopol. It was unclear at the time of writing whether their control over the streets of Melitopol was full, but they certainly were able to control the area around that city. In the north, they came close to Enerhodar city and Dnieper River. In the northeast, they reached Tokmak. Then their progress stalled with fighting reported in both of these areas. To the east of Melitopol, Russians reached the area of Berdyansk, taking over this city on 27 February.
These Russian advances threatened the envelopment of Mariupol, which was preparing for a possible siege during this period. East and north of Mariupol, Russians attacked as well but without much success. The town of Volnovakha, north of Mariupol, was taken by Russians, but then retaken by a Ukrainian counterattack.
Mariupol under threat of being surrounded
In area of Kherson, Russians were able to cross Dnieper River and establish a foothold on its western side. The city of Kherson itself remained under Ukrainian control as of 15:00 Kyiv Time. Russians nevertheless attacked northwest of Kherson, in the direction of Mykolaiv, but were unable to reach that city. Several Russian airborne and seaborne landing attempts were made in the areas of Mykolaiv and Odessa during the reported period, without apparent success.