NewsWorldRussia-Ukraine war hits six months

Russia-Ukraine war hits six months

Six months into the Russia-Ukraine war, the entire world is losing.

Putin and Russia “will not just go away,” one expert says. But Zelensky, NATO and the U.S. aren’t going away either.

Ukraine is on life support, Russian troops are taking massive casualties, and the rest of the world is saddled with severe food shortages, spiraling inflation, the risk of a nuclear disaster and other hardships fueled by a savage war that shows no sign of soon ending.

Russia’s callous invasion of Ukraine six months ago ignited a conflict the entire world appears to be losing.

The Kremlin can claim modest gains on the ground, but at least three top generals have been replaced in the past month as the Russian military struggles to make meaningful progress toward President Vladimir Putin’s belligerent ambitions.

“His overall objective was to overrun the entire country, to engage in regime change in Kyiv, to snuff out Ukraine as an independent sovereign and independent nation,” Colin Kahl, the U.S. undersecretary of defense for policy, said at a recent briefing. “None of that has happened.”

And Putin, who included NATO expansion concerns on his list of reasons for the invasion, has likely driven neighbors Finland and Sweden to join the military alliance.

In Ukraine, morale remains remarkably high, says Dale Buckner, a retired U.S. Army colonel and CEO of the international security firm Global Guardian.

In Kyiv and the surrounding cities, the majority of the population believe they are winning tactically and strategically, says Buckner, whose firm supports a team of intelligence analysts in Ukraine.

Buckner says President Volodymyr Zelenskyy won over his nation by staying in the country when he could have easily fled.

“When he used the mantra, ‘I don’t need a ride, I need ammunition,’ on a global platform, he won over parts of the Ukrainian population that had not previously supported him,” Buckner told USA TODAY.

Putin claims to be fighting for the rights of ethnic Russians in Ukraine. But Buckner says most Russian nationals who have lived in Ukraine for an extended period of time do not support the invasion. All they see is their homes, businesses, schools, workplaces and cities being destroyed.

“The Russian forces are not being viewed as liberators, or fellow countrymen coming to their rescue,” Buckner said, “but as aggressors destroying everything in their path.”

Zelenskyy has unabashedly begged the West for more and better weaponry, and the equipment that has begun rolling in is providing a ray of hope.

Ukrainian forces using U.S.-supplied precision artillery in recent weeks severely damaged bridges vital to the Russian military’s supply lines in occupied Kherson, a primary target for Ukraine’s counterattack plans in the south.

 

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