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Winter Is Coming, and Putin Is Failing

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, Europe has witnessed its most intense fighting since World War II. But a highly successful Ukrainian counteroffensive indicates that the tide is turning decisively against Russian President Vladimir Putin, who cannot deny reality indefinitely.

STOCKHOLM – When Russian President Vladimir Putin launched his war of aggression against Ukraine on February 24, he evidently expected a quick and easy victory. Having implied in his speeches that Ukraine was a flimsy fiction of a nation, he assumed that it was bound to collapse, although he committed almost 85% of Russia’s active-duty army to his so-called “special operation.”

With the sudden success of the Ukrainian armed forces’ counteroffensive in the past weeks, the war has entered a new phase.

Obviously, Putin severely misjudged the country he was invading. He should have known better. In 2014, following his annexation of Crimea, he tried to take much of eastern and southern Ukraine with a combination of proxy forces and direct military intervention; but the Ukrainians marshaled a determined defense of their freedom and independence – and they have done so again this year.

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