The GuardianThe Guardian

Russian forces could regain initiative as Ukraine war drags on

By Dan Sabbagh

02 Feb 2023 · 3 min read

Editor's Note

Western intelligence officials believe the war in Ukraine will last through 2023, and that Russia is playing a long game to wear down Ukrainian resistance, according to this Guardian analysis.

A fresh Russian assault around the southern Donbas town of Vuhledar, which began towards the end of January, demonstrates that Moscow’s forces are becoming more capable before a critical – and increasingly uncertain – spring period.

Russian forces have not yet made significant gains across the open fields of the region, where the Ukrainians have been dug in for months. But in parallel with the seemingly never-ending Wagner Group-led assault on Bakhmut, 70 miles to the north-east, it shows the invaders trying to push forward at a second point.

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