Putin could have stumbled into a war he can not win, and Ukraine’s civilians are victims of Russia’s folly

Vladimir Putin’s invasion force occupy new positions around Kiev. The city has been transformed into unrecognizable in fourteen days.

Half of its inhabitants have fled – the eerie images of families falling apart at train stations, not knowing when or if they will meet again, touching with their fingertips through a car window. Those who are left behind are preparing to fight or hide.

Our Chief Reporter, Cahal Milmo, has testimonies from people who have been trapped on the outskirts of Kiev. They describe Russian forces systematically attacking civilians while trying to find food or flee, leaving streets filled with corpses. A woman tells him, “If you get out of your shelter or take your car, you’ll be killed.”

On a day of further rapid developments on the ground, the Kremlin expanded its bombing of Ukraine’s cities and attacked three more beyond the front line.

Tyrants stumble into wars they can not win, writes I‘s correspondent Patrick Cockburn. Then the others pull in after them. Putin has committed war crimes, caused global chaos and severely damaged his own nation.

The conflict has no end in sight. Russia is using cynical ceasefire talks to regroup. There is no obvious way for any of the sides to win without pulling in other countries. And yet, as Patrick warns, “total demonization of an enemy comes at a price because it makes compromise impossible and ensures that wars will be fought to an end”.

The economic war will be prolonged – it must be so that Western sanctions can have a lasting deterrent – and the military conflict seems to be heading in the same direction.

A fragment of good news, however, in the midst of reports from Ukraine. The pregnant Instagram star rescued from the rubble from the Mariupol hospital bombing has given birth. On Thursday I contained a photograph of Marianna Podgurskaya. Later in the evening, the beauty blogger got a little girl. Mother and child are still stuck in the besieged city. We will try to report on what they do next.

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