The Atlantic: Liberation Without Victory

SNF Agora Senior Fellow Anne Applebaum recently interviewed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on what Ukraine needs to survive and the price it has paid.

Kyiv is halfway normal now. Burnt-out Russian tanks have been removed from the roads leading into the city, traffic lights work, the subway runs, oranges are available for purchase. A cheerful folk orchestra was performing for returning refugees at the main rail station earlier this week, on the day we arrived to meet Volodymyr Zelensky, the president of Ukraine.

The normality is deceiving. Although the Russians botched their opening campaign, they continue to bombard the capital and are now gathering in the east for a renewed attack on Ukraine. Zelensky has to prepare his country, and the world, for battles that could be deadlier than anything seen so far. The general in charge of the defense of Kyiv, Alexander Gruzevich, told us during a tour of the ravaged northwestern suburbs that he expects the Russians to try to return to the capital using intensified “scorched earth” tactics along the way: total destruction by ground artillery and air strikes, followed by the arrival of troops.

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