Understanding the weapons that have drawn the world’s attention since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

A fragment of a Russian cluster rocket after shelling on the northern outskirts of Kharkiv on March 21. (Sergey Bobok/AFP/Getty Images)

Russian officials claimed Wednesday to have fired long-range naval cruise missiles into Ukraine. If confirmed, that would add to the roster of weapons Russia has used in its invasion — some new or cutting-edge — that have drawn the attention and concern of analysts.

Some Western experts worry that Moscow, amid pressure to escalate in the face of mounting losses, could go even further, using chemical weapons or even tactical nuclear weapons.

But Ukraine has weapons, too, many of which its Western allies have supplied. Antitank weapons, including the Javelin missile sent by the United States, have become a symbol of Ukrainian resistance. Not only have drones made by Turkey hit Russian targets but footage of the strikes has become a win on the social media battlefield.

Here are some of the weapons that are in use, or that experts fear could have a role in the conflict.

What are war crimes — and could Russia be committing them in Ukraine?

War in Ukraine: What you need to know

The latest: Russian President Vladimir Putin signed decrees Friday to annex four occupied regions of Ukraine, following staged referendums that were widely denounced as illegal. Follow our live updates here.

The response: The Biden administration on Friday announced a new round of sanctions on Russia, in response to the annexations, targeting government officials and family members, Russian and Belarusian military officials and defense procurement networks. President Volodymyr Zelensky also said Friday that Ukraine is applying for “accelerated ascension” into NATO, in an apparent answer to the annexations.

In Russia: Putin declared a military mobilization on Sept. 21 to call up as many as 300,000 reservists in a dramatic bid to reverse setbacks in his war on Ukraine. The announcement led to an exodus of more than 180,000 people, mostly men who were subject to service, and renewed protests and other acts of defiance against the war.

The fight: Ukraine mounted a successful counteroffensive that forced a major Russian retreat in the northeastern Kharkiv region in early September, as troops fled cities and villages they had occupied since the early days of the war and abandoned large amounts of military equipment.

Photos: Washington Post photographers have been on the ground from the beginning of the war — here’s some of their most powerful work.

How you can help: Here are ways those in the U.S. can support the Ukrainian people as well as what people around the world have been donating.

Read our full coverage of the Russia-Ukraine war. Are you on Telegram? Subscribe to our channel for updates and exclusive video.

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