The New York TimesThe New York Times

What 70 years of war can tell us about the Russia-Ukraine conflict

By Max Fisher

16 Jan 2023 · 7 min read

Editor's Note

Like many conflicts before it, the fighting in Ukraine comes down to attrition, the NYT writes. There's a lot we can learn from the past, including the ways in which such wars typically end—or don't.

Any Russian invasion of Ukraine was long expected to play out as a kind of postmodern war, defined by 21st-century weapons like media manipulation, battlefield-clouding disinformation, cyberattacks, false flag operations and unmarked fighters.

Such elements have featured in this war. But it is traditional 20th-century dynamics that have instead dominated: shifting battle lines of tanks and troops; urban assaults; struggles over air supremacy and over supply lines; and mass mobilization of troops and of weapons production.

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