With Ukrainian troops launching a major assault on a rebel stronghold Friday, just a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Kiev to withdraw its troops from the east and south of the country, it looks like the Ukraine crisis is entering a new stage.
As The Post's Michael Birnbaum reported from Moscow, "it seemed possible that even a small spark could ignite a tinderbox regional conflict."
Given this escalation, The Washington Post is publishing a new map that shows, using information from the Royal United Services Institute and our own analysis, recent troop movements in the region. The graphic illustrates how military exercises conducted by Russia have left a big build-up of troops on Ukraine's border. It also shows Ukraine's own military moves to its borders with Russia and Moldova's Russian-dominated enclave, Transnistria.
It'd be wrong to assume that military conflict between Russia and Ukraine is inevitable: There remains plenty of hope that a diplomatic solution can be found. That said, the graphic provides an important look at the military reality of the crisis.
Click the image to see the full graphic.
(Gene Thorp/The Washington Post)