'At war with the whole world': Why Putin might be eyeing a long conflict in Ukraine

Stalling peace talks and new offensive suggest the Kremlin could escalate its 'special operation' into a 'war' against the West

New: Gift this subscriber-only story to your friends and family

Despite Russia's failure to break down Ukraine's defences, heavy casualties and a series of military defeats, the Kremlin has kept up a refrain: The goals of President Vladimir Putin's invasion will be reached in full.

Russia's territorial targets have appeared to shift depending on the short-term gains Mr Putin feels his troops can achieve on the battlefield. He scaled back an initial plan to seize central areas including the capital, Kyiv, in favour of a new assault focused on the eastern Donbas region.

Already a subscriber? 

Read the full story and more at $9.90/month

Get exclusive reports and insights with more than 500 subscriber-only articles every month

Unlock these benefits

  • All subscriber-only content on ST app and straitstimes.com

  • Easy access any time via ST app on 1 mobile device

  • E-paper with 2-week archive so you won't miss out on content that matters to you

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 29, 2022, with the headline 'At war with the whole world': Why Putin might be eyeing a long conflict in Ukraine. Subscribe