As Russian troops were retreating in northeastern Ukraine amid a fierce counteroffensive by Kyiv, Muscovites were celebrating the 875th anniversary of the city's founding. Fireworks boomed and President Vladimir Putin inaugurated a huge Ferris wheel, a new transportation link and sports arena.

The Russian capital's festive holiday weekend stood in stark contrast to the military debacle unfolding in Ukraine that seemed to catch the Kremlin by surprise in the nearly 7-month-old war.

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