Daily Review: Could This Be a Breaking Point for Ukraine?

Daily Review: Could This Be a Breaking Point for Ukraine?
A Ukrainian military commander raises the Ukrainian flag as a symbol of liberation of the frontline village of Andriivka, in the Donetsk region, Ukraine, Sept. 16, 2023. (AP photo by Alex Babenko).

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is in Kyiv for a surprise visit meant to reassure Ukraine that the military aid approved three weeks ago by Congress will make a “real difference” on the battlefield. The visit comes amid a Russian offensive in Ukraine’s northeast that has been advancing for several days. (AP)

Our Take

Russia’s advances since Friday amount to a whiplash development for Ukraine. In less than three weeks, Kyiv has gone from seeing $60.8 billion in long-delayed military aid finally approved by the U.S. Congress to seeing Russian troops surge across the northeastern border, capturing around 50 square miles near Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, in just a few days.

The offensive makes clear the degree to which Russia has been able to regroup, shore up its position and retake the initiative since its misfires in the war’s early stages. In doing so, it has largely relied on its advantage in mass when it comes to munitions and personnel. But the Russian military has also made effective tactical adjustments on the battlefield, even as Moscow has retooled the Russian economy to put it on a war footing.

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