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Clara Ferreira Marques

Frustrated and Snubbed, Putin Is Running Out of Options

Facing setbacks on the battlefield and the diplomatic stage, the Russian president is being pressed to call for nationwide mobilization. It’s already too late.

More than 200 days of war.

More than 200 days of war.

Photographer: Juan Barreto/AFP/Getty Images

It’s been a bad few weeks for Vladimir Putin. 

First, a significant strategic defeat in Ukraine, after a stunning counteroffensive that dealt a blow to the Kremlin’s ambitions in the east. Then, what was supposed to be a gathering of likeminded leaders in Uzbekistan mostly served to remind him of his weakened status, as the Russian president was given short shrift by China and then chided by India. Meanwhile, in a neighborhood where Moscow is supposedly security guarantor, there has been fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and clashes continue on the border between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.