Russian forces were routed and fleeing, and Ukrainian forces were able to sweep deeper into the once-occupied territory. In the past day, Ukraine’s general staff said its soldiers had recaptured over 20 towns and villages, making it the first time the tide has appeared to turn against the Russians.
In Moscow, Russian leaders avoided discussing the rout, even while some political elite allegedly pushed for Putin to hand over control of the war. This week’s push by Ukrainian forces marks the most successful resistance efforts since the early days of the war.
In the far north of Ukraine, troops have moved into Udi, once an impassable zone littered with landmines, grenades, and discarded weapons. It still remains unsafe, but it’s a sign that things are starting to shift.
Residents in the region are slowly returning to homes in the once-occupied territory while keeping an eye on the Russian troops in nearby areas. It’s a bittersweet moment, returning to a home you no longer recognize. But perhaps more than an end to something, it symbolizes hope for the start of something new.