Russia appeared to be making incremental gains in its offensive in the Donbas region and Ukrainian officials admitted that Russia has the “upper hand” in fighting in the country’s east. The besieged Ukrainian city of Severodonetsk was reported to be almost completely surrounded by attacking Russian forces. The war began three months ago this week, but there appeared to be little progress on peace talks; an Italian peace plan was dismissed by Russia. Western military assistance to Ukraine remained contentious, while military and civilian casualties in the conflict continued to mount. The first war crime trial in Ukraine reached a verdict, but Russia was threatening a military tribunal for Ukrainian POWs as a counter-process. Meanwhile, at Davos, George Soros warned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine threatened to be the “beginning of the third world war".
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