Setbacks force Russia to scale back ambitions – Times of India

NEW YORK: As President Volodymyr Zelensky saluted a small group of Ukrainian soldiers who reached the Russian border near Kharkiv — a powerful symbolic moment in Ukraine’s pushback against Russian invaders — President Putin met with his five closest allies on Monday. Only one of them spoke up in support of his war. Three months after launching its invasion of Ukraine, Russia has suffered repeated setbacks and Moscow’s isolation has deepened.
After failing to seize Kyiv, Russian forces regrouped last month for a broad assault in eastern Ukraine, but they have yet to secure a single major strategic gain. In the last week, they suffered another major setback, forced to retreat from the suburbs of Kharkiv, preventing Russia from capturing a major urban center from where they could try to move south and encircle Ukraine’s army. The Ukrainian troops who reached the border did so near Kharkiv, evading pockets of Russian troops. Now, Russia appears to be focusing on an even narrower objective: widening its holdings in Donbas. But even in the Donbas, Russia may be forced to scale back its military ambitions amid fierce Ukrainian resistance, according to the Institute for the Study of War.

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