Over the last year, the war in Ukraine has morphed from a multi-front invasion that included Kyiv in the north to a conflict of attrition largely concentrated along a 600-mile stretch in the east and south.
Ukrainian troops pushed the Russians back from Kyiv last spring. Russian President Vladimir Putin then shifted the focus of his military’s fighting to what is now the front line, while still launching airstrikes across the country. Analysts note that Moscow’s capabilities appear to be declining — though it now has more than 320,000 troops in Ukraine, according to Ukrainian and Western intelligence, roughly double the number at the start of the invasion.
“The Russian military will be throwing poorly trained and potentially poorly equipped forces forward,” said Max Bergmann, director of the Europe, Russia, and Eurasia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “It is doubtful they will be able to conduct complex offensive maneuvers.”
Nevertheless, the war is poised to be punishing and bloody as it enters its second year. “[Putin] likely hopes to severely degrade Ukraine’s forces and break their will to continue,” Bergmann added.
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