"On a cold February morning, 500 days ago, Russia launched a full-scale
invasion of Ukraine. It was Thursday, the day after Defender of the Fatherland
Day, a very popular holiday among Putin’s nostalgic Soviet supporters. The date
was deeply symbolic given its significance for Putin’s military. Being in
Moscow at that time, I had serious fears that the invasion would begin on
February 23. I was 24 hours wrong. Putin chose a blitzkrieg strategy, a
lightning strike using elite forces. No one in Russia (or in the world) was
preparing for a long war.
Kremlin leaders cherished hope for a quick “special military operation” but 16
and a half months later the fighting is still raging with no immediate end in
sight. Kyiv didn’t surrender in three days (it didn’t happen in thirty days and
even in three hundred). Volodymir Zelensky didn’t flee the capital. None of the
Ukrainians greeted Putin’s troops with flowers; the strength of their
resistance shocked the world.
Ukrainian society consolidated in the face of aggression and the global world
demonstrated an unprecedented level of support for Ukraine.
Many Western nations, initially reluctant to provide Kyiv with heavy weapons,
have since reversed course and are stepping up deliveries of equipment ranging
from heavy tanks to advanced air defense systems.
The West also presented projects to train Ukrainian pilots for the possible
delivery of F-16 fighter jets, a demand Kyiv has been making since the
beginning of the year.
Western military support for Kyiv continues to grow as the Russia-Ukraine war
stretches into its 500th day."
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics