Russia is losing the Ukraine war. Though Moscow is poised to capture the eastern city of Severodonetsk, it again has proven itself incapable of attaining a broader conquest over its smaller neighbor. The Russian army’s so-called victory is the latest installment in its humiliating military display and comes with a crushing human cost.
“The Russian military is getting weaker by the day, with little prospect of overall replenishment or meaningful reinforcement,” a senior Defense Intelligence Agency official tells Newsweek. “Meanwhile, Ukraine is holding on … [and] standing on the brink of major western augmentation of its offensive capability.”
Most experts predict the war will continue to grind on for months, and many analysts are saying the tide has turned in Vladimir Putin‘s favor. It hasn’t. Even as Severodonetsk falls, it’s important to remember that Russia has already suffered three major embarrassing losses. First was Moscow’s inability to reach Kyiv, depose the government there, and its subsequent withdrawal from the north. Second was its failure to take Ukraine’s second city, Kharkiv, with another retreat from its environs. Third is its inability to move forward in the south, contrary to Kremlin predictions. Odesa and Mykolaiv are no longer threatened by Russia.
The fighting in Severodonetsk will likely go on for a week or more, and even longer if it turns into another Mariupol. “Even if Russia manages to take all of Donbas in the coming weeks, we’ll still see a standoff where Ukraine increasingly has an advantage,” the DIA official says.
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