Five months after Russia invaded Ukraine, the war is now reduced to one of attrition. The current dirty, grinding slog is fought mostly with artillery and rockets. Everything from Ukraine’s shopping centers to apartment buildings — and the civilians in them — are Russian targets.
Most outsiders have already forgotten the heroic Ukrainian winter repulse of the botched Russian shock-and-awe effort to sweep into Kyiv, decapitate the government, and declare the eastern half of the country a Russian protectorate within mere days.
Months later, the long war devolves further into a contest of mass and weight — tons of explosives blowing up pathways for massed troops grabbing a few more charred miles of ruined landscape.
Russian President Vladimir Putin bets he can throw in more men and more shells than Ukraine and its Western suppliers can match. He is quite willing to “win” by laying waste to eastern Ukraine even if it means losing three Russian soldiers for every Ukrainian.
When war becomes such gridlocked carnage, each side looks to new game-changing diplomacy, strategies, allies, or weapons to break the deadlock.
For Putin, such escalation means more flesh, steel, and explosives. His country is 28 times bigger than Ukraine, and over three