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Can Putin pull limited victory from jaws of stalemate?

As Moscow lifts its siege of Kiev, the war’s center of gravity is shifting eastward to a battlespace that may prove less hostile to Russia’s preferred tactics.

Ukraine’s strategy of defending cities by putting rifles into all willing hands has kept Russian troops at bay in all major urban areas, bar Mariupol in the south. A reluctance to assault the city center has led Russian units to besiege them, while pounding them from afar.

These tactics have not, so far, delivered. More than one month into the war, no significant Ukrainian city has fallen. Still, this situation ties Ukrainian forces to city defenses, raising the question: Can Moscow regain momentum by returning to maneuver warfare?

With an apparent Russian disengagement underway in the north, while successful operations are conducted in the south, all signals point to the key target of Donbas in the east.  

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