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How has the threat of World War III evolved, now that Russia and Ukraine have entered a ‘protracted’ war?”

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(AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)
Ukrainian self-propelled artillery shoots towards Russian forces at a frontline in Kharkiv region, Ukraine, Wednesday, July 27, 2022.

Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine is, after a series of strategic missteps on the part of Vladamir Putin, becoming what many experts are calling a “war of attrition.” 

The term describes a war characterized by the “sustained process of wearing down an opponent so as to force their physical collapse through continuous losses in personnel, equipment and supplies or to wear them down to such an extent that their will to fight collapses,” according to the International Encyclopedia of the First World War. It’s a development that experts have long predicted after reports of Russian military failures revealed just how under-resourced and unprepared Putin’s army was for a ground war in Ukraine—as well as the strength of the Ukrainian resistance. But when the conflict got underway in late February, observers worried it would escalate into a broader world war between NATO and Russia. 

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