Ukraine Update: Russia planned to capture Chasiv Yar by May 9—and failed

Ukraine Update: Russia planned to capture Chasiv Yar by May 9—and failed

From the start of Russia’s illegal, unprovoked invasion, the Ukrainian government’s goal has been clear: not just pushing Russia back beyond the boundaries that existed on Feb 24, 2022, but recovering the land stolen by Russia in an earlier 2014 invasion. Using Google Maps to view Ukraine’s boundaries, the borders don’t just include recently captured locations like Avdiivka and Bakhmut. They also include cities like Donetsk and the whole of Crimea, which fell to Russia almost 10 years ago.

That border is the official Ukraine, the boundaries of the nation as recognized by international law. And President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is determined to reclaim those boundaries.

However, as The Economist reports, the failed counteroffensive in spring 2023 and the slow but steady Russian advance that began over the winter have many people—even people in Ukraine—rethinking whether the lines on the map are achievable. Starved for both equipment and manpower, Ukrainian soldiers have been conducting a slow retreat. More U.S. supplies are on the way, but their arrival won’t reverse Russia’s advantage in raw numbers. As Ukraine digs in to weather the storm, restoring the country to its 1991 borders seems more of a dream than ever.

But that doesn’t mean Ukraine is ready to concede defeat—or another centimeter of ground.

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