Predictions in war are always risky, but “the tide seems to have turned” in Ukraine, said The Economist. “Russia’s occupation is everywhere held in check”, and Ukrainian forces are “gradually – and sometimes suddenly – rolling it back”. Eventual victory seems likely.

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While Russia is running down its stocks of weapons, Ukraine’s are growing more plentiful and more powerful, thanks to its Western allies. In terms of manpower, Ukraine has its whole population to call on; its army is well-trained; morale is high.

Russian losses have been terrible: 50,000 to 80,000 of its soldiers have been killed or wounded; efforts to replace them seem increasingly desperate. Last week, a video emerged apparently showing Yevgeny Prigozhin, an associate of Vladimir Putin who heads up the mercenary Wagner Group, recruiting convicts in a Russian prison. After the video went viral, Prigozhin declared: “It’s either private military companies and prisoners, or your children. Decide for yourself.”

Under pressure on all fronts

Putin is under pressure on all fronts, said Clara Ferreira Marques in The Washington Post. The “stunning” Ukrainian offensive early this month in Kharkiv province has effectively thwarted one of the main aims of his “special military operation”: retaking the whole eastern Donbas region, to the south of Kharkiv.

Last week, “what was supposed to be a gathering of like-minded leaders in Uzbekistan” only underlined his “weakened status”: Putin had to publicly acknowledge China’s “concerns” about the conflict in a meeting with Xi Jinping; India’s PM Narendra Modi chided him, telling him to “move onto a path of peace”. At home, Putin is being criticised ever more freely by liberals, and by nationalists who are furious about Russia’s inept military …read more

Source:: The Week – All news


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