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Why Is Russia's Military Advance Slow?

Russia has the firepower to reduce Ukraine to rubble, but its military strategy is backfiring.

Destroyed Russian Military Vehicle in Ukraine
Destroyed Russian Military Vehicle in Ukraine
Why is Russia's advance so slow?

Russian President Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine does not appear to be going as the Kremlin wished. After nearly two weeks of brutal fighting, Russian forces struggle to capture Ukraine's major population centers -- the capital Kyiv and Kharkiv in the east.

Putin drastically underestimated Ukraine's cohesion and will to resist. Russia's cyberwarfare machine has failed to shut down the internet enabling Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky to use social media to keep morale high. In addition, Russia now faces a range of sanctions never inflicted on a superpower before, notably the freezing of $350 billion of assets of the Central Bank of Russia held in offshore accounts.

Putin also underestimated opposition to the war within Russia itself. His fight against fellow Slavs to "denazify" a country with a democratically elected Jewish president is likely the most unpopular decision he has ever made.