Friday Briefing

As U.S. lawmakers spar over sending more aid, Ukraine is fighting to hold Russia at bay.Credit…Tyler Hicks/The New York Times

Two years of war in Ukraine

Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022. Two years later, the war is in an uncertain phase.

Ukraine exceeded the expectations of many around the world by surviving and then driving back Russian forces in the first year of the war. But the second year was largely defined by brutal clashes, with no major breakthroughs on land by either side.

The war’s third year opens with Ukraine on the defensive and struggling to hold the line as it finds itself outmanned and outgunned, much as it was in the first days of the war.

To get a sense of where the war stands and where it is going, I spoke with Marc Santora, who is in Kyiv and has covered the war since the beginning.

Amelia: Russia just took Avdiivka, winning a major symbolic victory. Does that mean it has the momentum right now?

Marc: This winter is probably the most precarious position that Ukraine has found itself in since the first weeks of the war. And, as we get into this third year, the advantage is definitely with Russia.

The Russians know that this is a moment of Ukrainian weakness. There are two main reasons for that.

First: The U.S. military aid has been stopped for months, and it’s unclear if or when more will come. On my trips to the front, whenever you talk to any commander, it is the No. 1 thing they talk about: lack of ammunition and resources.

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