Russia’s retreat into Ukraine disrupts Putin’s force projection

The rout of Russian forces by Ukraine this weekend creates a new kind of political challenge for President Vladimir Putin: it undermines the image of skill and power he has worked for two decades to build.

On Sunday, the Russian army continued to withdraw from positions in northeastern Ukraine that it had held for months. State television reports called the retreat a carefully planned “regrouping operation”, praising the heroism and professionalism of the Russian troops.

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