Far from bogging down in a stalemate, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has evolved into an increasingly dangerous conflict as it passes the six-month mark, with fighting around Europe’s largest nuclear plant, a high-profile assassination in Moscow, escalating threats and daring Ukrainian attacks in Russian-held territory.
“The dynamic of the battlefield” is shifting, said retired Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, former commander of U.S. Army Europe. Armed with increasingly lethal weapons from the U.S. and other allies, Ukraine has been able to occasionally seize the initiative and surprise Russian forces.
It is not clear, however, how long that can last or whether Ukraine can build on those small victories enough to dictate the course of the war.
“The war is far from over,” said Daniel Serwer, a senior fellow at the Washington-based Foreign Policy Institute who specializes in the study of war. “The Ukrainians lack the manpower to conduct a conventional offense but are using their supplies of NATO-origin artillery, drones, antitank missiles and other weapons to batter the Russians and their supply lines.”
The six-month mark in a war that has killed thousands of people and driven millions from their homes overlapped with a normally joyous national holiday. Wednesday marks 31 years since the country broke free from the collapsing Soviet Union.