Finally, as the first anniversary of the launch of the Russian invasion approaches, Vladimir Putin is due to deliver a major annual speech to the Russian political elite on Tuesday, an event that should be largely devoted to the war in Ukraine. The offensive launched on February 24, 2022, which was to be lightning, quickly bogged down and, from the spring of 2022, the Russian leader had to give up taking Kiev, withdrawing his forces from northern Ukraine.
At the end of the summer, faced with a Ukrainian army reinforced by very significant Western military aid, the Russians had to abandon the northeast, then in November the city of Kherson in the south. Since then, the front has been largely stable, although Russian forces have redoubled their efforts in eastern Ukraine, particularly with a view to taking the town of Bakhmout, which is now largely destroyed. The Russian military has suffered heavy casualties, though these have not been officially acknowledged, and Moscow is now portraying the war as a Western-orchestrated proxy conflict against Russia.