Will Putin survive his 'catastrophic' Ukraine war?

There are really only three ways the war can topple Putin himself: He could die, resign or be involuntarily retired

Portrait of Vladimir Putin
There have been rumors that Putin is seriously ill, though the Kremlin denies such speculation
(Image credit: Illustrated / Getty Images)

When Russian President Vladimir Putin launched his three-pronged invasion of neighboring Ukraine in February 2022, his goal was to erase Ukraine as a sovereign nation in a matter of days. At the time, it seemed a plausible goal, in Russia and in the West. More than a year later, Ukraine's survival is a much safer bet than Putin's.

Ukraine has systemically and strategically taken back half the territory Russia seized, inflicting humiliating loss after debilitating setback. As Ukraine's battlefield victories pile up, the U.S. and its NATO allies are giving it increasingly sophisticated weapons.

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