For weeks now the Ukrainian army has been carrying out “shaping” or tactical operations around a vast 600-mile frontline, stretching from the south to the north-east. The goal is to wipe out Russia’s military potential. Ukrainian units have used attack drones to destroy enemy tanks and positions in night-time missions. There have been longer-range strikes against weapons depots and fuel dumps. Kyiv has used British Storm Shadow missiles to target eastern cities such as Luhansk, taken over by Russia in 2014, and the occupied ports of Mariupol and Berdiansk.