Missile strikes against air defences and critical military infrastructure, a rocket bombardment against major troop locations followed by a three-pronged land attack: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began just as western military intelligence had predicted.
Within hours of President Vladimir Putin’s vow to “de-Nazify” Ukraine with a full invasion of the country, Russian tanks and troops were rolling across the border in what threatens to be the largest conflict in Europe since the second world war.
The critical question that could determine the fate of the war is whether Ukraine’s forces organise a strategic retreat to avoid encirclement or find a fallback line from which they can successfully resist or delay the Russian advance westward, said Michael Kofman, senior research scientist at CNA, a US-based think-tank.
“Quantitatively and qualitatively, Russia has considerable supremacy here. Ukrainians are facing a grim situation,” Kofman said. “We should not be surprised by early Russian ground advances, as the question is when will Ukrainian forces choose to hold the line.”
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