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Putin’s Options Narrow After Ukraine Scores Battlefield Rout

  • Russian army bolsters defenses as Ukrainian advance presses on
  • Criticism of Kremlin’s handling of foundering invasion grows
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Russian Forces Outmatched in Ukraine, Cohen Says
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Humiliated by lightning Ukrainian gains on the battlefield, Russian President Vladimir Putin faces narrowing options as he seeks to turn the tide in his struggling nearly seven-month-old invasion.

Criticism in Russia of the sudden retreat in the northeast Kharkiv region over the last week has spread from nationalist bloggers to mainstream political figures. But its forces are still holding key positions in Ukraine’s Donbas region and putting up a fierce fight against its troops near Kherson in the south. There are signs the Kremlin may also be redeploying forces to protect Crimea, which Russia annexed as the main prize of its 2014 campaign, in the event Ukraine is able to break through its lines.