How will Russia’s poor Ukraine showing ripple in the Middle East?

This week’s stunning turn of events in the war in Ukraine was head-spinning, reflected in dramatic headlines in the media around the world.

“Ukraine is turning the tide against Russia,” declared one. “Ukrainian victory shatters Russia’s reputation as a military superpower,” shouted a second. “Russia withdraws more forces from northeast Ukraine as Kyiv presses advance,” read a third.

Seven months after the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the tide seemed to turn in the war, as Ukrainian forces registered victories in the northeast. In a symbolic action that seemed unimaginable a few months ago, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited the liberated town of Izium on Thursday, just 14 km. from the front.

With its bold counteroffensive, Ukraine regained thousands of square kilometers of territory, and pushed Russian forces out of countless towns and villages – including the strategic railway hub of Izium.

If the world was surprised at the initial difficulties the Russians faced when they invaded Ukraine in late February, if it was impressed by the Ukrainian ability to repel Russian advances on Kyiv and on April 2 force a Russian withdrawal from the capital, and if it was shocked by the sinking 12-days later of the Moskva, the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea fleet, then it was completely stunned by this current counteroffensive and the recent turn of events.

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