The New York TimesThe New York Times

Russia's retreat in Ukraine pokes holes in Putin's projection of force

By Anton Troianovski

11 Sep 2022 · 5 min read

Editor's Note

What happens to a strongman when he no longer appears strong? The New York Times reports on the political ramifications of Russia’s battlefield failures in Moscow.

Ukraine’s rout of Russian forces this weekend is creating a new kind of political challenge for President Vladimir Putin: It undercuts the image of competence and might that he has worked for two decades to build.

On Sunday, the Russian military continued to retreat from positions in northeastern Ukraine that it had occupied for months. State television news reports referred to the retreat as a carefully planned “regrouping operation,” praising the heroism and professionalism of Russian troops.

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