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By Holly Williams
/ CBS News
There are more and more signs that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could be unraveling.
One of the most glaring setbacks in its war is its recent big call-up of more troops — a plan that doesn’t appear to be working. Russia’s mobilization has caused anger at home, forcing the old and inexperienced into uniform, with claims they’re short of even basic equipment.
The call-up followed weeks of embarrassing setbacks for Russian forces, as Ukraine has retaken swaths of its territory. And in the Russian-occupied city of Kherson, officials appointed by Moscow have evacuated civilians ahead of another expected Ukrainian counter-offensive.
On Russian state TV, at times the tone seems close to despair. Russia miscalculated its strength and for eight straight months can’t win in its war on Ukraine, said one commentator.
Perhaps another sign of Russian desperation is its new tactic: targeting the Ukrainian power grid, which has led to blackouts in Ukraine — but no collapse in morale.
As Russia’s nuclear forces started annual drills this week, President Vladimir Putin repeated his government’s allegation that Ukraine could detonate a radioactive device — a so-called “dirty bomb.”
Some fear Russia is planning a false-flag operation, staging an incident and blaming Ukraine, perhaps as a pretext for using a nuclear weapon.
“I’m not guaranteeing you that it’s a false flag operation yet, don’t know,” said President Joe Biden. “But it would be a serious, serious mistake.”
Ukraine’s defense minister told CBS News Russia is exhausted, and trying to force Ukraine and the West to negotiate.
In a bizarre speech this week, Putin railed against the West, including gay pride parades and so-called cancel culture. But he also said that it would make no sense for Russia to use a nuclear weapon.
Biden’s response to that was: If he has no intention, why does he keep talking about it?
First published on October 29, 2022 / 8:39 AM
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