Updated Oct 17, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Ukraine marks 600 days of war as Russian assault wears on

A woman crosses herself as she passes the Memory Wall of Fallen Defenders of Ukraine, in Kyiv last month. Photo: Sergei Supinsky/AFP via Getty Images

Ukraine on Monday marked 600 days since the start of Russia's invasion, as the bloodshed stretches on with no clear end in sight.

The big picture: Ukraine's counteroffensive, launched roughly four months ago, has made some headway — but it's had limited success against Russia's larger military, AP reports.

  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky commemorated "600 days of defiance" in a post on X Monday.
  • "I thank everyone who is fighting and working for Ukraine's freedom," he said. "May the memory of everyone who gave their lives to preserve our nation be eternal and blessed.
  • "We will undoubtedly prevail," he added.

State of play: Zelensky has acknowledged that the counteroffensive has progressed more slowly than he'd like, noting that it further highlights the need for Western military equipment.

  • Zelensky confirmed on Tuesday the first known usage of U.S.-supplied ATACMS missiles against Russian forces. "Today I am especially grateful to the United States," Zelensky said.
  • The U.S. reportedly secretly sent a "small number" of the long-range guided missiles in recent days," the Wall Street Journal reported.

Zoom out: A successful counteroffensive by Ukraine would make it easier to reach a negotiated settlement in the war, but also ramps up concerns that Russia could turn to its nuclear arsenal.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional developments.

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