How the Times improved its Ukraine war maps

Originally published at: How the Times improved its Ukraine war maps | Boing Boing


Reminiscent of those maps showing the results of the 2016 election. There’s the map Trump loved to share because it showed a bunch of big red areas, then there were maps that actually showed distribution of votes.


The map should show the territories held by the DPR and LPR, though, in the same way that Crimea is marked.


I think the main reason for the difference is that Putin flat-out annexed the Crimea, but made his puppets in Donetsk and Luhansk into “independent republics” that can’t control the territory that they supposedly will govern.

The DPR and LPR were established in 2014, and since then they have controlled most of Donetsk Oblast and Luhansk Oblast respectively.

Ah, but they weren’t even recognised by Russia until the eve of the war. And even then, only as republics, not as part of Russia itself like the Crimean peninsula.

All moot anyways, as Putin’s murderous blunder may have ruined the Russian army so badly that the 2014 gains may also have to be returned. Not probable, but suddenly possible.

The point I was trying to make was that the “republics” should be shown as fully under Russian/separatist control, not just the main roads and individual cities.

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I get what you are saying, the question is just how much of the territory did the separatists control before February? I recall them having set up border controls and things like that, forcing civilians to cross lines to collect their pension payments and things like that for eight years. But at the other time, in those eight years they still hadn’t settled on a border.

It’s all very confusing at the moment, especially with the Ukrainian army now finding the ability to strike deep in Russian held territory. And the Ukrainian army now ironically has more tanks and armoured vehicles than they did when the war began, thanks to capturing so many Russian vehicles that ran out of juice.

I think the latest BBC map is better at showing that there are few actual borders, the fog of war. And the real irony is how we have come full circle, war maps looking like weather maps, where modern weather maps were inspired by military maps — that’s why we talk about “fronts”.

The first NYT map shows the territory controlled by the DPR and LPR before February 24th. The front lines were the de facto borders. They have their own governments, legal systems, banks, utilities, radio, television, postal services, etc.

Don’t dis Dad’s Army. Like many British comedies it did decline into flogging a dead horse with catchphrases, but the early years were gold.

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