Just over a week into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the shock has begun to fade, while the outrage continues to mount. The tenacious resistance of Ukraine’s military, its president and its people in the face of what have become increasingly indiscriminate attacks by Russian forces has created a rising tide of support and solidarity across Europe and the world. That has translated into stepped-up deliveries of military aid by European countries, mass rallies in capitals across the continent and an open-door policy for the hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian refugees now fleeing the war.
While the Russian military continues to underperform expectations—particularly in the attack on the capital, Kyiv, in the north—its advances in the south will in all likelihood soon force President Volodymyr Zelensky to make some difficult choices. Saving the Ukrainian military, the bulk of which risks encirclement in the southeast, would mean surrendering huge swathes of the country it is defending so valiantly. And the slow pace and limited successes of the Russian advance so far only increase the likelihood that Russian President Vladimir Putin will resort to the kinds of brutal tactics used by the Russian military in Chechnya more than 20 years ago, and more recently in Syria. Zelensky will have to weigh the humanitarian costs of resisting to the end should the battle devolve into urban warfare, as seems likely.
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At WPR, in addition to examining the direct impact of the war itself, we have begun to turn our eye to some of its indirect effects on other countries and crises, as well as its broader implications. But true to our mission of covering the entire world in all its complexity, we haven’t stopped covering other issues, which you can find below in the highlights section. Here’s a rundown of our coverage of the war in Ukraine this week, all of which you can find here.