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Cutting Their Losses?

KHARKIV, UKRAINE - MARCH 13: A destroyed office building in the centre of Kharkov, Ukraine, on March 13, 2022 as Russian attacks continue. (Photo by Diego Herrera Carcedo/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
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March 25, 2022 11:20 a.m.

The Russian Ministry of Defense just announced that, in Reuters’ wording, the “first phase of its military operation in Ukraine was mostly complete and that it would focus” on “liberating” (Russia’s word) the Donbas region in Ukraine’s east. It’s hard to know precisely what this means. It could mean close to nothing and in fact things continue as they have for weeks with no clear change. But it could also mean admitting that most of the military operation in Ukraine has failed or met much more resistance than was anticipated and they are now focusing on cleaving off a large chunk of territory in the east.

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