Russia's invasion of Ukraine was largely stalled on the 28th day of the assault Wednesday, with no major advances and Ukrainian forces even able to counterattack in places.

Western sources said it was still possible that Russian forces could regroup to make new assaults despite what appears to be a string of military setbacks.

Here is a summary of the situation on the ground, based on statements from both sides, Western defence and intelligence sources, and international organisations.

There was little movement around the mostly encircled city of Kharkiv which Russia has bombed heavily after attempts to capture it were thwarted.

That city would be a key link in the chain if Russia aims -- as many analysts believe -- to encircle Ukrainian forces in the country's east.

The city of Sumy further to the north and close to the Russian border is also encircled.

Russians have been reinforcing their positions around the capital, which has not yet been fully surrounded and has been subjected to heavy bombardment on occasion.

There were also reports of Ukrainian forces launching counterattacks against Russian forces on the outskirts of the city.

The British defence ministry said the battlefield across northern Ukraine is "largely static" with Russian forces "likely conducting a period of reorganisation before resuming large-scale offensive operations."

Chernihiv to the east of the capital is meanwhile encircled by Russian troops.

Russia continued its siege of the port city of Mariupol, a key Russian target to link up the annexed Crimea and separatist-controlled Donbas regions.

President Volodymyr Zelensky said the city still has nearly 100,000 people living in inhumane conditions.

A US defense official said Russian troops had been seen inside Mariupol but the "Ukrainians are fighting very hard to keep Mariupol from falling".

Map of Ukraine locating areas where major explosions, strikes and fighting have been reported and under Russian control. Updated as of March 8, 2022, at 2000 GMT
Map of Ukraine locating areas where major explosions, strikes and fighting have been reported and under Russian control. Updated as of March 8, 2022, at 2000 GMT AFP / Kenan AUGEARD

Russian forces earlier in the campaign took the city of Kherson just north of Crimea, the only major city they have captured so far.

Although Russian troops are trying to push west along Ukraine's Black Sea coast towards Odessa, they have so far failed to encircle the city of Mykolayiv that stands in the way.

There is Russian naval activity in the Black Sea off Odessa but this does not mean that an amphibious assault on the city is imminent, according to the US Defense Department.

After deadly airstrikes in Ukraine's west last week, there have been no reports of significant military action in the region or around Dnipro.

The west of Ukraine, including the region's main city of Lviv, is still far from the ground offensive but has been the target of air strikes.

According to the office for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, at least 953 civilians have been confirmed killed in Ukraine, including 78 children. It warns this is likely an underestimate.

Moscow has given no toll for casualties among its armed forces since announcing on March 2 that 498 troops had been killed.

Ukraine says around 15,000 Russian soldiers have been killed. Western sources generally give a lower figure but still numbering several thousand.

Kyiv has also not given an update on the number of Ukrainian soldiers killed since Zelensky announced a week ago that around 1,300 were dead.

The war has sparked Europe's worst refugee crisis since World War II, according to the UN refugee agency.

More than 3.6 million refugees have fled Ukraine since the Russian invasion, with more than two million of them heading to neighbouring Poland, according to the UN.

A total of 10 million are believed to have fled their homes, according to the world body, representing over a quarter of the population in regions under government control.