Bruised Russia Retreats From Goal To 'Demilitarize' Ukraine
Moscow signaled on Friday that it was scaling back its ambitions in Ukraine to focus on territory claimed by Russian-backed separatists as Ukrainian forces went on the offensive, recapturing towns on the outskirts of the capital Kyiv, bloodying Russian President Vladimir Putin’s nose and weakening his hold on the Kremlin.
Photo Insert: In the month since they launched their invasion of Ukraine, Russian troops have failed to capture any major city.
In the first big sign that Western sanctions on Russia were impacting investment from China, sources told Reuters state-run Sinopec Group, Asia's biggest oil refiner, had suspended talks on a petrochemical investment and a venture to market Russian gas.
In the month since they launched their invasion of Ukraine, Russian troops have failed to capture any major city. Their assault has met stiff resistance from President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's forces and been halted at the gates of Kyiv, Gleb Garanich and Natalia Zinets reported for Reuters.
The Russians instead have been bombarding and encircling cities, laying waste to residential areas, and driving around a quarter of Ukraine's 44 million people from their homes. More than 3.7 million of them have fled abroad, half to Poland, which US President Joe Biden was visiting on Friday.
Battlelines near Kyiv have been frozen for weeks with two main Russian armored columns stuck northwest and east of the capital. A British intelligence report described a Ukrainian counter-offensive that had pushed Russians back in the east.
"Ukrainian counter-attacks, and Russian forces falling back on overextended supply lines, has allowed Ukraine to reoccupy towns and defensive positions up to 35 km east of Kyiv," the report said.
Britain has provided Ukraine with weapons and military training. In an announcement that appeared to indicate more limited goals, the Russian Defense Ministry said a first phase of its operation was complete and it would now focus on two eastern regions claimed by Russian-backed separatists.
"The main objectives of the first stage of the operation have generally been accomplished," said Sergei Rudskoi, head of the Russian General Staff's Main Operational Directorate.