As of 3/3/22 the U-for-Ukraine War looks like this:
A) Russia’s ‘Desert Sabre’ style blitz into Ukraine has failed. The Russki army is bogged down. Ukraine is resisting harder than anyone expected.
B) The West (including Japan, Korea, etc.) have imposed economic sanctions that cripple the Russian economy. However, Petro and Natural Gas imports not totally cut off.
C) The Russian Army has switched tactics, back to its tried-and-true basics: slow and brutal. Line up the artillery wheel-to-wheel, obliterate everything in front. Move forward and kill everything in sight. Halt, pause, regroup, and repeat. In the late 90s Chechnyan separatists chased Russkis out of the capital Grozny. Yay!! Oops, the Russkis returned.
D) SO: three things: 1) The Russian Army isn’t the Red Army. 2) Ukraine (41 million population) isn’t Chechnya (1.1 million in 02) or Syria (17.5 million.) 3) Putin isn’t Stalin, or even Brezhnev. When the USSR invaded Czechoslovakia in 1968 it sent in 500,000 troops to stomp a little nation of 9.8 million people. Putin has sent in 150,000 to conquer a big country of 41 million.
E) Regarding 3) above: Putin isn’t a Stalin or Xi. He’s first among equals of a group of folks we call ‘oligarchs.’ He controls the state and the levels of force, but he’s not El Supremo.
F) The question: can Ukraine resist and buy time, inflicting enough pain on the invading army, to let the economic sanctions create enough pain to make whatever clique that rules Russia decide this is bad for business and fire Putin?
And “Fire” is a euphemism. When you’re President-for Life, there’s only one way you get voted out.