The recent advances of the Russian army have taken their toll on society and are a major setback for the leadership’s motivational efforts
By Vladislav Ugolniy, a Russian journalist based in Donetsk
Ukrainian soldiers of the Azov battalion who have surrendered at the Azovstal steel plant walk on a road in the Russia-controlled port city of Mariupol, Donetsk People’s Republic. © Sputnik/Russian Defence Ministry
Ukrainians appear to be losing unity amid military defeats in the Donbass and the economic crisis in the rest of the country. The surge of patriotism that arose when the Russian army was close to Kiev appears now, in the last days of May, to have been exhausted. Along with it, the national consensus that saw all political groups rallying behind the Ukrainian army, rather than struggling against President Volodomyr Zelensky seems to have disappeared.
Now, the Western-backed leader looks to be in big trouble.