Carol J. Williams is a retired foreign correspondent with 30 years' reporting abroad for the Los Angeles Times and Associated Press. She has reported from more than 80 countries, with a focus on USSR/Russia and Eastern Europe.
Putin’s failure to take Bakhmut after eight months of stalemated combat and casualties in the tens of thousands dealt an embarrassing blow to the Kremlin leader during last week’s WWII Victory Day celebrations.
While the Russian president gives no indication of reconsidering his Ukraine calamity and cutting his losses, the fractious leaders of his motley war-fighting force could erode unity and commitment among the Russia factions in the stumbling campaign on the battlefields.
The prevailing theory among human rights activists about what is motivating the poisonings is the Islamic regime’s intentional punishment of predominantly young and female protesters of endemic misogyny that have shaken Iran for six months.
Even in the throes of a reinvigorated Russian offensive in the Donbas industrial heartland, expectations remain high that Ukrainians’ motivation to defeat Putin’s aggression will end with Kyiv recovering at least the territory seized by Russia since its Feb. 24, 2022, invasion.
The galvanizing message of the Biden Doctrine is much like the founding principle of NATO, that an attack on any one of the alliance’s 30 member states is an attack on all and must be collectively defended.