Global Affairs

Ukraine war: How Russia's boa constrictor strategy turned against it

The invasion of its neighbour was supposed to strengthen Russia’s security and rekindle its past glories. Instead, the latest military setbacks are shredding Russia’s credibility worldwide.

Ukrainian soldiers sit on infantry fighting vehicles as they drive near Izium, eastern Ukraine on Sept 16, 2022. PHOTO: AFP
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It's too early to predict - as some Western commentators and politicians seem to be doing - that Russia faces a decisive military defeat in Ukraine. For although a Ukrainian counteroffensive has succeeded in liberating the Kharkiv region in the north, and seen Russian-held key supply towns such as Izyum and Kupiansk retaken by Ukraine's troops, Russia's armed forces could still recover lost ground.

Still, the latest Ukrainian advances are a serious political blow for Russia and could transform the military confrontation. We are not yet witnessing the beginning of the end of the Ukraine war. But, to paraphrase British prime minister Winston Churchill, we may be at the end of the beginning.

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