- Sputnik International, 1920, 25.02.2022
Russia's Special Operation in Ukraine
On February 24, Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine, aiming to liberate the Donbass region where the people's republics of Donetsk and Lugansk had been living under regular attacks from Kiev's forces.

Biden Officials ‘Privately Doubt’ Ukraine Can Claw Back Lost Territories: Report

© AFP 2022 / FAYEZ NURELDINE(FILES) In this file photo taken on March 06, 2022 US military personnel stand by a M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) during Saudi Arabia’s first World Defense Show, north of the capital Riyadh. -
(FILES) In this file photo taken on March 06, 2022 US military personnel stand by a M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) during Saudi Arabia’s first World Defense Show, north of the capital Riyadh. - - Sputnik International, 1920, 28.06.2022
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A shift in tone has been observed among Western leaders in recent weeks regarding the Ukraine crisis, with initial demands that Ukraine defeat Russia on the battlefield replaced by a more conciliatory tenor, including recommendations that Kiev talk to Moscow, and suggestions that Russia and the West must learn to “coexist” in spite of the crisis.
The White House is growing increasingly doubtful that Ukraine will “ever be able to take back” all of the territories it has lost to Russia and its Donbass allies, even taking account of the sophisticated military equipment the West still plans to send to the country, CNN has reported, citing sources familiar with the discussions.
The doubts have been accompanied by an internal debate among aides to Mr. Biden about whether and how President Zelensky might alter his definition of “victory” to account for territorial losses that would “shrink” the country’s size.
Officials assured the news network that the pessimism does not mean that Washington will be putting any pressure on Kiev to stop the bloodshed, and also expressed hopes that Ukrainian troops could still return control over “significant chunks of territory” in a possible counteroffensive sometime later this year.
“Whether Ukraine can take back these territories is in large part, if not entirely, a function of how much support we give them,” such as multiple launch rocket systems, a congressional aide with knowledge of the discussions said. So far, the aide said, Kiev has only been promised eight MLRS batteries despite Ukraine’s request of 48.
Kiev showed off its use of a US-made M270 MLRS in early June. Shortly thereafter, Russian United Nations Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia informed the Security Council that Ukrainian forces were using these longer-range systems to indiscriminately shell civilians in Donbass cities. The Russian military has made Western heavy weaponry a priority target for destruction by precision missile and air strikes.
MLRS fires a Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System rocket. - Sputnik International, 1920, 06.06.2022
Russia's UN Envoy Says Western Long-Range Artillery, Rocket Systems Hitting Donbass Civilians
A source familiar with Western intelligence told CNN that Ukraine’s losses to systematic Russian attacks, which have caused heavy losses in manpower and equipment, has led to doubts among some officials about whether Kiev would be able to amass the forces necessary to mount a new offensive, “especially” any time “this year,” as Mr. Zelensky has publicly promised.
President Biden attempted to put a brave face on the Ukraine crisis, recently telling other leaders of the Group of Seven Western industrial economies that the West needs to “stay together.”
“[Vladimir] Putin has been counting on from the beginning, that somehow NATO and the G7 would splinter, but we haven’t and we’re not going to,” the US president assured.
European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell addresses a video press conference at EU headquarters in Brussels. File photo. - Sputnik International, 1920, 13.06.2022
Russia
After Touting Military Resolution of Ukrainian Crisis, EU’s Borrell Now Wants Dialogue With Moscow
Russian and Donbass militia forces have liberated more than half of the Donetsk People’s Republic, and have engaged Ukrainian forces in heavy fighting in Lysychansk, the last major city in the Lugansk People’s Republic under Ukrainian control. Russian forces also control large swathes of the region of Kherson, north of Crimea, and Zaporozhye, to the west of Donetsk and the devastated Azov Sea coastal city of Mariupol.
The crisis in Ukraine and Russia’s special military operation in the country begun in February 2022 is the culmination of an eight-year-old conflict sparked by a US-backed coup d’état in Kiev in February 2014.
This April 2, 2009 file photo shows shadows cast on a wall decorated with the NATO logo and flags of NATO countries in Strasbourg, eastern France, before the start of the NATO summit which marked the organisation's 60th anniversary.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 28.06.2022
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