PICTORIAL: 6 Months Into War, Ukraine and Russia Are Both Reshaped
It has been six months since Russian forces swept into Ukraine. This is what the conflict looks like for the combatants.
For six months, a major land war has sown horror in Europe.
It is a war in which violence and normality coexist — death and destruction at the 1,500-mile front and packed cafes in Kyiv, just a few hundred miles to the west.
It is a war fought in trenches and artillery duels, but defined in great part by the political whims of Americans and Europeans, whose willingness to endure inflation and energy shortages could shape the next stage of the conflict.
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And it is a war of imagery and messaging, fought between two countries whose deep family ties have helped turn social media into a battlefield of its own.
No one knows how it will end. President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, having silenced dissent, has proclaimed that “by and large, we haven’t started anything yet in earnest.” President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine, emboldened by a defiant populace and a mostly united West, has played down the chances of a settlement and urged his people not to bend.
Will Western backing hold as Europe braces for the possibility of a winter with little Russian oil and gas? Will Mr. Putin, after strikes in Crimea and the killing of a nationalist commentator, escalate the war? And will Mr. Zelensky be able to sustain his nation’s determination against a nuclear-armed foe?
Mr. Putin now controls about 20 percent of the country. But he appears as far as ever from bringing Ukraine back into Russia’s fold — and there is little indication he is prepared to stop fighting.
Half a year after Russian forces massed at their neighbor’s border made their move, here is how the conflict appears to the combatants, and to a continent plunged into turmoil.
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