The Two Telling Numbers: In Ukraine, Russia is both struggling and making progress.


Before invading Ukraine on Feb. 24, Russian forces already controlled about 30 percent of the eastern Ukrainian region known as Donbas. Russia had taken the territory — with help from local separatist forces — as part of a sporadic, often low-grade war with Ukraine that began in 2014.

Today, Russia controls closer to 75 percent of Donbas. Some of the most recent Russian gains have come around Sievierodonetsk.

Together, those two statistics — 30 percent and 75 percent — offer a useful summary of the war.

Yes, the war has gone much worse for Russia than almost anybody expected: Rather than overrunning Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, in mere days, the Russian military had to backtrack and narrow its goals to Donbas, a long-disputed border region. But Russia is nonetheless making progress there. It may yet accomplish the more limited goal of dominating Donbas. And Vladimir Putin is betting that he will prove more patient than Ukraine’s Western allies.

Today’s Times has several notable pieces of Ukraine coverage. Helene Cooper looks at the military mistakes that Russia is repeating, and Carlotta Gall profiles the Ukrainians choosing to stay in their homes in Donbas. Three photographers — Lynsey Addario, Finbarr O’Reilly and Ivor Prickett — have published images and stories from the front lines.


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