The war in Ukraine continues to be waged nearly two years since the commencement of hostilities. Both Russia and Ukraine’s governing institutions and state-leaders have undoubtedly acted questionably. Nations across the European and North American continents have painted Putin as a warmonger and an international aggressor threatening the sovereignty of an unprovoked and peaceable Ukrainian nation. While this remains debatable, serious problems within the Russian military have been brought to light, as what was thought to be an easy victory for the nation has become a drawn out, stalemated conflict. As the death toll continued to rise heading into this summer, mercenary soldiers serving the Russian cause marched on Moscow in June.
In what was viewed as the most serious challenge to Putin’s authority in twenty years, Yevgeny Prigozhin led soldiers under his command towards Moscow in rebellion. After a tense period, a deal was brokered which ended the revolt and forced Prigozhin out of mainland Russia and into Belarus. In the immediate aftermath of the action, Putin vowed to take action against Prigozhin, but no further conflicts between the two individuals occurred as the summer progressed. Despite this, it appears Prigozhin has passed away after being identified as one of ten passengers on board a plane that crashed in mainland Russia while on route to St. Petersburg.
The war has been a nightmare for Russia and Vladimir Putin. In recent reports, a French Think Tank known as the French Institute of International Relations (or IFRI) has claimed that Russia is losing its “military advantage” in the Baltic states. As the large eastern European nation remains “bogged down” in Ukraine in what has become a long an drawn out conflict, it appears weak and its military clearly is not as strong as it was thought to be by many other nations. Since Ukraine has held on in the face of difficult odds, other smaller nations are taking notice of this.