The New York TimesThe New York Times

Putin’s war: The inside story of a catastrophe

By Michael Schwirtz, Anton Troianovski, Yousur Al-Hlou, Masha Froliak, Adam Entous and Thomas Gibbons-Neff

17 Dec 2022 · 53 min read

Editor's Note

The NYT delivers a sweeping account of how Russia mismanaged its invasion of Ukraine based on leaked battle plans and intercepted communications. A captivating long-read.

They never had a chance.

Fumbling blindly through cratered farms, the troops from Russia’s 155th Naval Infantry Brigade had no maps, medical kits or working walkie-talkies, they said. Just a few weeks earlier, they had been factory workers and truck drivers, watching an endless showcase of supposed Russian military victories at home on state television before being drafted in September. One medic was a former barista who had never had any medical training.

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