Russia’s failure to score a quick victory has led to a grimmer phase of the war, and much still hangs in the balance
On 24 February, shortly before dawn broke in Moscow, Vladimir Putin made the latest in a series of televised addresses. His previous appearances had contained increasingly ominous tirades about Ukraine. Now here was the culmination: the declaration of what the Russian president euphemistically called a “special military operation”.
The goal, said Putin, was the “demilitarisation and denazification” of Ukraine.