The Ukrainian flag outside the European Parliament in Brussels, June 2022
Yves Herman / Reuters

The surprising success of Ukraine’s offensive to retake territory Russia seized since its invasion February has left Russian President Vladimir Putin with precious few choices to turn the tide of war. Without a mass mobilization, which Putin has ruled out for fear of domestic opposition, Russia is running out of men and materiel to keep the territory it still holds, let alone regain the initiative. Putin’s best hope—perhaps his only hope—is that Western support for Ukraine will crumble as the costs of war, including energy shortages and rising prices, begin to hit home in Europe.


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