True but a lot of people have been overestimating Russia a bit too. They did almost take Kyiv if it wasn't for Ukraines elite paramilitary retaking the Hostomel airport they may well have succeeded in toppling the Ukrainian government. But a lot of the elite Russian units have also been wiped out conducting offensives in Ukraine. Their 1st mechanized brigade which was their pride and joy at parades was decimated in Bucha/around Kyiv. Apparently when Russia attacked Kyiv they outnumbered the Ukrainians 12 to 1 but Ukrainians were able to hold out because of their artillery.
The Ukrainian army’s counteroffensive around the city of Kharkiv in northeastern Ukraine starting on Sept. 6 destroyed half of the best tank division in the best tank army in the Russian armed forces.
The smart money seems to be that a WWI trench warfare situation is looming. That is neither side will make significant advances from here on.
That could change if NATO supply a lot more tanks, especially the Merkin Bradleys. However that does not seem to be happening anytime soon, if it happens at all.
That is why the Merkins are giving Putin the hint, negotiate or get done like a dinner.
By that I mean they might accept a smaller Ukraine state, make it a member of NATO, and make another east west border, arm it to the teeth with nukes and heyzeuss help any Russian military that pokes their nose over that line.
That will kick Putin and any right wing nut job right in the goolies. Russia will remain an international pariah. NATO will use seized Russian funds to rebuild the Ukraine.
Locals will return in droves and make the Russians over the border as envious as fark.
So Putin will end up with exactly what he said he didn't want.
NATO on his doorstep, a prosperous Ukraine on his doorstep, a failing local economy and a thoroughly pissed off population.
just saying like.