Normalcy Returns to Kyiv as Russia Doubles Down in Eastern Ukraine


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Russia’s invasion of Ukraine grinds on into its third brutal month, with no end in sight. But, in ways large and small, the conflict has shifted. At the start of the war, the Russian military hoped to seize Kyiv and decapitate the Ukrainian government—but then quickly retreated in the face of sustained resistance. The fiercest fighting is now in the eastern Donbas region, but Russian troops have also occupied the southern Ukrainian city of Melitopol since February, upending civilian life in other ways. The New Yorker contributing writer Joshua Yaffa, formerly the magazine’s Moscow correspondent, has been reporting from Ukraine throughout the war. He spoke to the guest host Susan Glasser from Kyiv about the state of the conflict. “This is a war against the totality of a country, against the totality of a people, and, even if there is a moment of relative peace in the capital, that doesn’t mean that Russia’s aims have in any way narrowed in their ambition, narrowed in their scope,” Yaffa says. “And if Russia is able to cleave off the Donbas, as seems to be its major or central military goal at the moment, that doesn’t mean the war ends there.”

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