The evidence is overwhelming. Russia’s new military strategy is starting to bear fruit. Just as the interest of the world starts to wane, the Russian army is starting to exert its will on the battlefields of eastern Ukraine. This might be startling and surprising news to many Americans.
Back when Ukraine dominated the Google charts, it was militarily ascendant. It hadn’t just stopped Russia’ initial drive against Kyiv, it had completely routed Russian forces in the northern Ukraine. It not only inflicted staggering losses on the Russian military, it had chased its forces back to the start line. The Ukrainian capital was safe, and much of the striking power of the Russian army lay in ruins on the streets and in suburbs outside Kyiv.
But if you know anything about Russian military history, you know this early setback is nothing new. For more than a century its army has made a habit of failing early before it regroups, recenters around its strength—overwhelming firepower—and gradually (and brutally) exerts its will. And that’s exactly what seems to be happening now.
After Russian troops retreated from Kyiv, Moscow focused its military efforts on eastern Ukraine. Not only are the supply lines into Russia shorter, its new offensive reinforced and doubled-down on its only clear successes from the initial invasion—the creation of a land bridge from Crimea to Russian-occupied regions of the Donbas.