BLUF

When Russian President Putin authorised Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Putin and the Russian leadership appeared to believe that Ukraine would be quickly defeated instead of what, for Putin and Russia, has now become an embarrassing and drawn-out campaign with no foreseeable end in sight.

Summary

This article by Nabih Bulos, writing for the LA Times, makes the following points:
  • Unable to take the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, Russia has narrowed its ambitions, focusing on occupying Ukraine's eastern Donbas region.
  • The Donbas region has many Russian speaking Ukrainians, some of whom might support the Russian invasion.
  • The Russian army and its Ukrainian and some Russian speaking separatist allies are now deployed north of Kharkiv to the city of Izyum, stretching along the southern coast to Kherson.
  • Russia has a numerical advantage over the Ukrainian army and benefits from territory already controlled by Moscow-backed separatists.
  • Ukraine has been fighting Donbas Rusian-speaking separatists for the last eight years and already had many troops in the region.
  • Ukraine is now putting more troops into the Donbas region to deal with the Russian invasion force.

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