Russia’s Mystery Missile

Rikki NovetskyMichael Johnson, Will Reid, Asthaa ChaturvediKaitlin Roberts and

John Ketchum and

Marion Lozano and


Three months since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, one of the biggest surprises has been the inability of the Russian military to achieve some of its basic goals.

One clear example: A failed attempt to cross the Donets River in eastern Ukraine earlier this month left hundreds of Russian soldiers dead.

Its aftermath is raising doubts in Russia, even among the military’s most ardent supporters.


Anton Troianovski, the Moscow bureau chief for The New York Times.

A destroyed Russian vehicle in Bucha, Ukraine. Battlefield failures have exposed what some Russian bloggers are saying is incompetent leadership.
Daniel Berehulak for The New York Times
  • The disastrous Russian attempt to cross the Donets River resonated with some pro-Russian war bloggers who did not appear to hold back in their criticism of what they said was incompetent leadership.

  • It appears that much of the military culture and learned behavior of the Soviet era has repeated itself in the war in Ukraine, including corruption in military spending and the longstanding practice of telling government leaders what they want to hear.

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Anton Troianovski contributed reporting.

The Daily is made by Lisa Tobin, Rachel Quester, Lynsea Garrison, Clare Toeniskoetter, Paige Cowett, Michael Simon Johnson, Brad Fisher, Larissa Anderson, Chris Wood, Jessica Cheung, Stella Tan, Alexandra Leigh Young, Lisa Chow, Eric Krupke, Marc Georges, Luke Vander Ploeg, M.J. Davis Lin, Dan Powell, Dave Shaw, Sydney Harper, Robert Jimison, Mike Benoist, Liz O. Baylen, Asthaa Chaturvedi, Kaitlin Roberts, Rachelle Bonja, Diana Nguyen, Marion Lozano, Corey Schreppel, Anita Badejo, Rob Szypko, Elisheba Ittoop, Chelsea Daniel, Mooj Zadie, Patricia Willens, Rowan Niemisto, Jody Becker, Rikki Novetsky and John Ketchum.

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