Author: Pavel K. Baev / Eurasia Daily Monitor

The tide of the Ukraine war has subtly shifted as the Russian offensive has exhausted itself and the Ukrainian pushback has started to gain momentum. In retrospect, the pitched battle for Severodo-netsk and Lysychansk in late June and early July could perhaps be recognized as the high-water mark for Russia’s violent intervention aimed at exterminating...

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Russia’s attack on Ukraine has clearly lost momentum, but the intensity of its multi-prong confrontation with the West keeps rising. Russian military command announced an “operational pause” in the Donbas after the hard battles for Severodonetsk and Lysychansk, implicitly admitting that a regrouping of battalions, which have not been rotated in four months of fighting,...

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The post-Soviet transformation took Russia from a fledgling democracy to a corrupt autocracy, but since the start of the war against Ukraine the Kremlin has taken a new turn, which amounts to a resolute top-down effort at reversing what progress has been achieved in modernizing the state system, economy and society. This experiment is unique...

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The West’s fears of humiliating Russia too much by ensuring its defeat in the war against Ukraine run much more deeply than the unfortunate turn of phrase uttered in recent weeks by French President Emmanuel Macron (see Eurasia Daily Monitor, June 13). On June 16, Mr. Macron traveled to Kyiv, together with German Chancellor Olaf...

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The full-scale reinvasion of Ukraine, ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin on February 24, came as a shock for many groups within the Russian elite. They are still assessing the consequences of that autocratic decision and adapting to the fast-deteriorating political and economic environment. Meanwhile, Putin persists with rigidly confronting the West and apparently expects...

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Russian military strategists argue that modern wars are decided in the high-intensity initial period, and the multi-pronged large-scale offensive into Ukraine was indeed launched on February 24 with the aim of achieving a decisive success in the first couple of weeks. Yet as the war crossed the symbolic 100 days milestone last weekend, on June...

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In the seemingly deadlocked but, in fact, fast-evolving war in Ukraine, two impactful events coincided in mid-May, altering the course of the battles and political stand-off. The first one was the end of the months-long resistance of Mariupol, as the last defenders of the city’s Azovstal steel plant emerged from their underground fortress. The second...

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Russia’s aggression against Ukraine has energized the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in every possible way, reviving the alliance’s purpose and unity, and granting it new attractiveness in Europe as well as greater prominence in the Indo-Pacific. The prospect of Finland and Sweden joining the 30-member bloc was hypothetical at best last autumn, when Moscow...

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For weeks leading up to May 9, Russian President Vladimir Putin was widely expected to announce a major decision during the annual Victory Day military parade on Red Square. Over the years, he had altered the meaning of this holiday, from celebrating the Allied triumph in the struggle against Nazi Germany to celebrating the might...

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The deadlocked war with Ukraine has pushed Russia into an irreconcilable dilemma: it can neither accept reality nor keep denying it. This contradiction can be seen both in the official discourse on the unfolding disaster and the societal response to it. As one example, rampant patriotic mobilization persists alongside the pretense that normal life continues...

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Predictions of a decisive offensive in the eastern Ukrainian region of the Donbas on the one hand, and speculation about peace talks, on the other hand, have gained new intensity in both Russian propaganda and Western commentary in recent days – however, neither makes much sense. Russian artillery and air strikes against the solid Ukrainian...

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Triumphalist rhetoric coming out of Moscow notwithstanding, Russia’s war in Ukraine is not progressing according to plan (see Eurasia Daily Monitor, April 11). Nevertheless, President Vladimir Putin repeated yet again last week (April 12) that the central objective of the massive re-invasion of Ukrainian territory starting on February 24 purportedly was always limited to seizing...

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