The direction of victory is unclear. In four months, Russia has not conquered even one area of ​​Ukraine

On Midsummer’s Day, when the Ukrainians retreated from Severodonetsk, it was the fourth month since eight years of Russian military aggression gained a new dimension. “During this time, the Russians have shown that not only are there biological wastes, but also that their army is not as strong as it is large and of low quality,” Oleksiy Khodzenko, a veteran of frontline fire, tells me.

Four months ago, Ukraine gathered new energy for existential opposition, immediately gaining the support of most countries of the world. The Ukrainians suffered heavy losses in Severodonetsk, and the fall of Lisichansk is likely only a matter of time. Russia, on the other hand, has lost McDonald’s, car airbags, last creditors and, according to Ukrainian estimates, about 35,000 manpower on the battlefield since the city-ruining invasion, but continues to advance kilometer by kilometer.

Khodzenko lost his father several years ago on the Donbas front. “The main thing for us is people, so every loss is painful. I have lost many friends and acquaintances,” he notes. When I met the soldier two years ago in Mariupol, he had been given a few days’ leave. When the full-scale invasion began on February 24 of this year, Khodzenko was no longer in the same trenches only five kilometers east of the large city on the Sea of ​​Azov, but further north. In the battles, his unit gradually retreated and, when the siege of Mariupol closed at the beginning of March, it was saved from being caught in a loop.

The Russians are dying

The fall of Mariupol was a natural but morally heavy turning point in the course of the latest invasion. This allowed Russia to redeploy a significant part of its forces to the rest of the Donbass front, which resulted in the just-experienced fall of Severodonetsk and the encirclement of Lisichansk. However, these successes, although they are actual territorial gains for the Russian side, are insignificant compared to the goals set by Russia itself.

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