Thursday, April 20, 2023

Map: Which Countries are in the European Union in 2023, Which Aren't, and Which Want to Join?

This map and article have been revised and updated to April 2023. No new countries have joined the EU since our last update in 2020, but there are three new candidate countries and one new "potential candidate".

Map of the European Union, including all member countries, official candidate countries, and potential candidate countries, as of April 2023, updated for the recognition of Ukraine, Moldova, and Bosnia as membership candidates, and Georgia as a potential candidate (colorblind accessible). Also file under: Map of European Union Member Countries.
Map by Evan Centanni, from blank map by Ssolbergj. License: CC BY-SA

Sunday, April 9, 2023

Map: Finland Joins NATO

Map of NATO allies in 2023, with all members color-coded in dark blue including the newest country to join, Finland.  Also labels Sweden which hoped to join at the same time as Finland, and Russia, whose invasion of Ukraine led to Finland and Sweden choosing to join. The map is projected to appear as if the viewer is looking at a globe, with the North Atlantic Ocean in the center. The left side is dominated by large NATO members the US and Canada, while on the right side the smaller continent of Europe is mostly made up of blue NATO member countries, with a few noticeable gaps. Finland is located at the far upper-right corner, stretched out north-to-south adjacent to the border of non-member Russia, while just to its left, Sweden forms the largest gap in European NATO, surrounded by member countries Finland, Norway, and (across a narrow strip of sea) Denmark, Germany, Poland, and the Baltic countries (colorblind accessible).

Graphic modified by Evan Centanni from this map by Wikimedia user Addicted04 (CC BY-SA).

New NATO Ally: Finland

The northern European country of Finland has been admitted as a full member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Its membership officially went into effect on Tuesday, April 4 after the final paperwork and exchange of documents was completed. Finland is the 31st country to join NATO.

Last week major news outlets incorrectly reported or implied that Finland wouldn't become a NATO member until July, when the organization hopes to welcome both Finland and Sweden to its annual meeting of the member countries' leaders. (Sweden has also applied to join, but its membership is currently being blocked - see below for details.)

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

2022: Donetsk & Lugansk People's Republics Stop Claiming Independence

Most of our readers will already have heard of this story last year, but because PolGeoNow is committed to providing a record of all changes to the world's list of countries, and because this aspect of the story hasn't been much discussed, we're still publishing an article about it now. Parts of this article are adapted from our story on Recognition of the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics from one year ago.

Map of territorial control within the claimed borders of the self-declared Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) and Lugansk People's Republic (LPR) as of September 26, 2022, a week before they stopped claiming independence after their claimed merger with Russia (annexation). Map shows that all of the LPR, otherwise known as Ukraine's Luhansk province, was under the control of Russian and LPR forces, while Russian and DPR forces controlled over half of the DPR, or Ukraine's Donetsk province, including the major central and southern cities of Donetsk, Horlivka, Makiyivka, and Mariupol. Colorblind accessible.
Actual military/administrative control within the DPR and LPR's claimed borders just before their governments' agreed merger into Russia. This was also roughly their greatest extent of control during the period they claimed to be independent countries, if including territory held by their close ally the Russian military. This map was originally published as part of our subscriber-exclusive September 2022 Ukraine control map report.

Partial Recognition

For eight years, from 2014 to 2022, the so-called Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) and Lugansk People's Republic (LPR) said they were independent countries, despite most of the world considering them to be parts of Ukraine. Then late last year, they stopped claiming independence, instead saying they had now become part of Russia, after Russia controversially agreed to take them in. Read on for the full story, explained in plain English...

How Many Countries Are There in the World in 2023?

This article, originally from 2011, has been revised and updated to March 2023. You can view older versions of the article in our archives. The main update from last year is the so-called Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics no longer claiming to be independent countries.

How many countries: map of the world
A world political map published by the US government.

One of the most basic questions for map-lovers is "How many countries are there in the world?" But anyone who just gives you a simple number isn't telling the whole truth. It actually depends a lot on how you define a "country". Here are six of the most common answers, each correct in its own way:

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Ukraine: Map of Russian Control in March 2023 (Subscription)

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Research by Djordje Djukic. Map by Evan Centanni and Djordje Djukic

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Thumbnail previewing map of Russian-controlled territory in Ukraine on March 26, 2023. In addition to the Crimean peninsula, which Russia had already seized in 2014, and parts of the far eastern Donetsk and Luhansk provinces (the Donbas region) already controlled by Russia-backed separatist rebels (and formerly declared independent as the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics), Russian forces still control a wide belt of territory just north of Crimea, including large parts of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia provinces, as well as large additional areas of Donetsk and Luhansk provinces. Meanwhile, all of those provinces are now claimed by the Russian government as parts of Russia, creating a new claimed international border through what was until recently undisputed eastern Ukraine. Map includes key locations from the news, such as Bakhmut, Marinka, Kupiansk, Potemkin Island, and more. Colorblind accessible.

In the past month almost all territorial changes in Ukraine have been in favor of Russia, and mostly all within the Donetsk region. Though most of Russia's advances have been too small to show up on our maps, it's made major progress towards capturing the small city of Bakhmut.

See all this and more on the latest update to PolGeoNow's concise, professional Ukraine war control map, which includes a detailed chronicle of changes and events since our previous Ukraine map report of February 21, with sources cited, as well as a close-up map of control within the claimed borders of the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics (now claimed to be self-governing regions within Russia).

This map and report are premium content, available to paid subscribers of the PolGeoNow Conflict Mapping Service.

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Exclusive map report includes:

  • Up-to-date illustration of current territorial control in Ukraine, color-coded for the Ukrainian government on one side and the Russian military and allied forces on the other side, with areas of uncertainty indicated. Colorblind accessible.
  • Darker color indicating which areas were already under Russian or allied control before the 2022 invasion began
  • Lines showing Russia's newly-claimed border after its annexations of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson provinces.
  • Preview thumbnail of map of territorial control within the claimed borders of the self-declared Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) and Lugansk People's Republic (LPR), which now consider themselves part of Russia, updated to March 26, 2023. Map shows that the vast majority of the LPR, otherwise known as Ukraine's Luhansk province, is now under the control of Russia, while Russian forces also control over half of the DPR, or Ukraine's Donetsk province, including the major central and southern cities of Donetsk, Horlivka, Makiyivka, and Mariupol. Includes key locations from the news, such as Bakhmut, Marinka, Torske, Pervomaiske, and many more. Colorblind accessible.
    Donbas close-up map
    Close-up map of territorial control within the self-proclaimed boundaries of the Donetsk People's Republic and Lugansk People's Republic, which now claim to be part of Russia
  • Detailed indication of city-by-city control, including key towns and other locations important to current events
  • Locations of recent control changes and other important events, including Bakhmut, Marinka, Pervomaiske, Torske, Potemkin Island, and many more
  • Detailed timeline of important events and changes to territorial control since February 21, 2023, with links to sources.

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