Despite flawed planning, poor intelligence, barbarity and wanton destruction, Putin's forces have made significant gains on the ground.
For Michael Schwirtz's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Orikhiv lies among a small constellation of tidy farming villages standing right in the path of Russian troops advancing from the south and east.
Battles over the past seven weeks raged in populated areas near Kyiv, but the war is moving into wide-open flatland, which will drastically change combat strategy.
The slow going and the heavy toll of Putin’s war in Ukraine are setting off questions about his military’s planning capability and his confidence in his top spies.
That number of Ukrainian marines killed in the missile strike would make it one of the single deadliest attacks on Ukrainian forces since the start of the war three weeks ago.
Initial reports of the fighting suggested that Russian forces had crossed into Ukraine at multiple points, with helicopter-borne troops flying in under the cover of machine-gun fire.
In a speech, President Vladimir Putin bent Ukraine’s complex history into his own version that served as a justification for his cleaving off more of its territory.
Across the country, Lenin statues and hammer-and-sickle emblems of the Soviet past have been toppled, replaced by monuments to Ukrainians killed in the 2014 uprising.
Putin appeared to be trying to dial down tensions slightly in a crisis that has ignited fears of a full-fledged Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Russia has deployed tanks and artillery, fighter jets and helicopters, advanced rocket systems and troops by the thousands all across Belarus.