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What is at stake in Ukraine’s counter-offensive? 

Bolstered by Western weapons and training, Ukrainian forces are about to begin their most important fight.

The Ukrainian army this week announced gains around Bakhmut, its first substantive advances in about six months. That progress has prompted analysts to ask: has Ukraine’s much-vaunted counter-offensive already begun? Not yet, perhaps. But it is coming.  

Katie Stallard in Washington DC and Ido Vock in Berlin discuss what the next phase of the war could look like. Will Ukraine’s army make rapid progress – as it did in the Kharkiv region last September – or get bogged down in attritional battles, as has been the case at Bakhmut? Katie and Ido also discuss Wagner Group head Yevgeny Prigozhin’s increasingly voluble complaints about the Russian ministry of defence, and whether the cracks in Vladimir Putin’s system are starting to show. 

Read more:

Katie Stallard on what to expect from Ukraine’s coming counter-offensive 

Ido Vock asks: has Prigozhin turned on Putin? 

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Ido again, on the Wagner Group’s brutal tactics 

Lawrence Freedman on Russia and Ukraine’s attempts to control the narrative of the war 

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