Global Affairs

The battle that nobody believed would last so long: Putin's war at the half-year mark

Russia's Feb 24 invasion did not yield a quick victory against Ukraine. As both sides dig in for a prolonged conflict, certain questionable assumptions are at play.

Service members of pro-Russian troops stand next to a howitzer during an exhibition of Ukrainian army hardware and weapons in Luhansk Region, Ukraine, on July 8, 2022. PHOTO: REUTERS
New: Gift this subscriber-only story to your friends and family

When Russian troops launched their attack on Ukraine back in February, nobody - not Russian President Vladimir Putin, not the Ukrainians and certainly not all the Western leaders and their intelligence agencies monitoring these developments - believed that the war would last more than a few days, or at most one week.

President Putin planned for a lightning operation to topple the Ukrainian government, followed by the country's rapid occupation. And Russia's military superiority was so overwhelming that this objective seemed a foregone conclusion.

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

  • 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.