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Special Report: How Ukraine is Winning the War

A closer look at how Ukraine's outmatched military is far exceeding expectations in its ongoing war with Russia.
Special Report: How Ukraine is Winning the War

Ukrainian military forces have significantly outperformed expectations in its 45-day conflict with Russia, and is "perhaps the most important story of this war," writes Phillips Payson O'Brien for The Atlantic. "A close look at Ukraine’s successes illuminates a strategy that allowed a smaller state to—so far—outlast a larger and much more powerful one," he says.

O'Brien contends that Ukraine is winning the war by utilizing a "few foundational elements" such as "contesting air supremacy, denying Russia control of cities, complicating the Russian military’s communications and logistics, allowing Russian forces to get strung out in difficult-to-support columns, and attacking those columns from all sides."

Why Ukraine Is Winning (Phillips Payson O’Brien - The Atlantic)

Excerpt from The Atlantic: The Ukrainian way of war is a coherent, intelligent, and well-conceived strategy to fight the Russians, one well calibrated to take advantage of specific Russian weaknesses. It has allowed the Ukrainians to maintain mobility, helped force the Russians into static positions for long periods by fouling up their logistics, opened up the Russians to high losses from attrition, and, in the Battle of Kyiv, led to a victory that has completely recast the political endgame of the Russian invasion.
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According to the Pentagon, "Ukraine can 'absolutely' win the war against Russia as Moscow continues to struggle to make key breakthroughs," reports Sky News.

Russian leader Vladimir Putin "has achieved zero of his strategic goals" and is "really only taking control of a small number of population centers," Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said.

Ukraine war: Putin has 'achieved zero' and Ukraine can 'absolutely' win, says US (Sky News)

US officials say at least 24,000 Russian troops have completed their withdrawal from around Kyiv, but fears remain that they are now refitting and resupplying in preparation for a future deployment in Ukraine. The threat of (a) ground invasion (of Kyiv) is clearly gone for the moment, but it's not clear what their longer-range goals are," a US defense official said.
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This podcast from the Ezra Klein Show features foreign policy expert, Fiona Hill, on whether Ukraine can win this war and what happens if Russia loses.

Klein writes in his introduction to the podcast that he had Hill on the show a few weeks ago to help him make sense of the Russia-Ukraine conflict as it was developing at the time, and "it was one of the most illuminating perspectives I’d heard on the topic." So, he "invited her back to discuss how the situation has changed, where we are now and how the conflict could develop moving forward."

Fiona Hill on Whether Ukraine Can Win – and What Happens if Russia Loses (The Ezra Klein Show)

Excerpt from The Ezra Klein Show podcast introduction: The Russia-Ukraine war has changed considerably in recent weeks. Vladimir Putin is no longer talking explicitly about regime change in Ukraine. The Russian military has shifted its focus away from taking Kyiv and toward making territorial gains in Ukraine’s east. The prospect of an outright Ukrainian victory is no longer out of the question. And negotiations between the parties over a possible settlement appear to be making some progress.
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Finally, Daniel Michaels writes a special report for The Wall Street Journal about the "little-publicized effort by countries of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization that transformed Ukraine’s military up and down the ranks, from foot soldiers to the defense ministry to overseers in parliament."

Michaels argues, "It is one big reason why Ukraine’s nimble fighting force has surprised the world by fending off a much larger and better-equipped invading army, say Ukrainians and their Western advisers."

The Secret of Ukraine’s Military Success: Years of NATO Training (Daniel Michaels - Wall Street Journal)

Excerpt from Wall Street Journal: The Western assistance, while never secret, wasn’t trumpeted to avoid riling Russia. It also remained low-key because it was a valuable source of intelligence for the U.S. and its allies. Ukraine has been fighting a shooting war with Russian-backed separatists in parts of its east for years, meaning Kyiv fields some of Europe’s most battle-hardened soldiers. Their front-line experience made them sponges for NATO training—and offered NATO commanders a window into what it would be like to fight Russia, say Western officers involved in the programs.
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