Ukraine and Russia have continued to edge closer to resuming talks for a ceasefire, but both parties continue to seek a decisive outcome in the Donbas to strengthen their position.
Amidst deliveries of heavy weapons arriving in the coming weeks, Ukraine has begun several counteroffensives across the line of contact to stall for the materiel’s arrival. Along with the recent counteroffensive near Kherson, there are reports of a new Ukrainian counteroffensive in Sievierodonetsk. Ukraine now claims 50% of the city to be in their hands following the counteroffensive, after claiming Russia had taken up to 70% of the city just days ago. Though some Russian sources, including Chechen warlord Ramzan Kadyrov, claimed victory, mainstream Russian state media declined to confirm the capture of the city.
Though constant shelling is having serious effects on Ukrainian morale, a window of opportunity exists, carefully timed with the arrival of heavy weapons, to shock Russia’s advance and force a dialogue on Ukraine’s terms. In order to do so, Ukraine must have the complete backing of the West, receiving the weapons necessary to dislodge and dislocate Russian forces. With Western analysts and recent refugees confirming Russia’s lack of control over the populace in several occupied territories, their level of entrenchment can be called into doubt.R
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