Sweden, Finland move toward NATO membership
POLTAVKA, Ukraine — There was an air of levity on the firing range as Ukrainian Territorial Defense soldiers took their first breather from the war in weeks. One by one, they took a knee to test their rocket-propelled grenades as watching comrades cracked jokes. Others turned their faces to the sun and enjoyed a moment of calm between explosions.
“You guys don’t have long before you get back out there,” a commander reminded the group. “Rest while you can.”
Almost three months into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Moscow’s forces are stalled in eastern regions that President Vladimir Putin promised to “liberate.” In Donbas, which Russia no longer recognizes as part of Ukraine, Moscow’s gains have been limited. To the west near Kharkiv, it has lost territory. Here in the southeastern region of Zaporizhzhia, the front lines have almost completely frozen.