Prepare for Putin to escalate war

In Ukraine, Putin's goal is a war of attrition in the hope that over time, war weariness will drive Ukrainians to quit fighting for their freedom

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Editorials

September 19, 2022 - 3:57 PM

China's President Xi Jinping, right, Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and Mongolia's President Ukhnaa Khurelsukh, unseen, hold a trilateral meeting on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) leaders' summit in Samarkand on Sept. 15, 2022. (Alexandr Demyanchuk/SPUTNIK /AFP/Getty Images/TNS)

Russia’s imperious president, Vladimir Putin, may have just endured his worst week since the collapse of the Soviet Union, which he says was the greatest tragedy of the 20th century.

His vaunted army, including a tank force once considered one of Russia’s best, collapsed in the face of a Ukrainian offensive in eastern Ukraine. Some Russian soldiers fled after ditching their uniforms and donning civilian clothes they stole from homes, according to local residents.

In southern Ukraine, Russian units defending the strategic city of Kherson struggled to hold their positions against persistent Ukrainian attacks.

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