The Ukraine Diaries is a series of personal writings by national security experts who joined The Cipher Brief’s recent visit to Kyiv as part of a delegation led by Gen. David Petraeus (Ret.) This latest trip follows two earlier visits to Ukraine this year by The Cipher Brief team, including The Cipher Brief’s Kyiv Economic & Security Forum that launched in May 2023.
THE UKRAINE DIARIES — When I first visited Ukraine with The Cipher Brief in May, just ahead of the much-anticipated third Ukrainian counteroffensive, western commentators and media had raised expectations for dramatic Ukrainian breakthroughs. By contrast, Ukrainian military and civilian leaders were confident of success, but more muted in expectations. They did not predict or expect a Russian rout. Rather, knowing what they faced and that the going would be tough, they saw this as one phase of a long campaign.
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