Russia invaded Ukraine in February 24, hoping to take over the country in a brief blitz lasting just days or weeks. Many Western analysts believed the same.
Moscow seems to be stuck in what appears increasingly like a war by attrition with little success on the battlefield, as the conflict marks its third month Tuesday.
The Russian President Vladimir Putin's powerful and unwavering forces did not win a quick victory. There was no way for the Kremlin control over most of Ukraine or to establish a puppet government.
Instead, Russian troops became entrapped in the outskirts Kyiv and other large cities, despite stiff Ukrainian defenses. Long stretches of highway seemed to be the only way for Russian armor convoys to move. Troops ran out supplies and became easy targets.
Russia acknowledged that its invasion was unsuccessful just over a month ago and pulled troops from Kyiv. It also declared a shift in focus to Donbas, an eastern industrial region where Moscow-backed separatists had been fighting Ukrainian forces since 2014.
Russia has taken large swathes of territory surrounding the Crimean Peninsula, which Moscow annexed eighteen years ago. It has also managed to isolate Ukraine from the Sea of Azov. After a siege that prevented some of its soldiers from fighting elsewhere, it finally holds full control of Mariupol.
The offensive in the east appears to be stalled as well as Western weapons flowing into Ukraine to support its outgunned military.
Russian artillery, warplanes and aircraft relentlessly bombard Ukrainian positions in an attempt to penetrate the defenses that were built up during the separatist conflict. Their gains have been incremental, which is a result of both Russia's inadequate troop numbers and the Ukrainian resistance. Russia lost hundreds of troops and dozens combat vehicles as it tried to cross a river to construct a bridgehead.
John Kirby, Pentagon press secretary, stated Friday that the Russians remain far behind the point they believed they were at when they launched this revival effort in the eastern region of the country. He also said that small villages and towns were constantly changing hands in the Donbas.
In Ukraine, Russian forces have targeted Western ammunition, fuel depots, weapons, and infrastructure to weaken Kyiv's economy and military.
Russian forces also tried to gain ground by relentlessly bombarding cities and laying siege to others. According to Ukrainian authorities, 200 bodies were discovered in a Mariupol building that had collapsed Tuesday, the latest sign of war's devastation.
The Kremlin seems to have a larger goal, which is to cut Ukraine off from the Black Sea coast to the Romanian border. This would give Moscow access to Transnistria, the separatist region in Moldova, where Russian troops are stationed.
Russia seems to be aware that this goal is not possible with the resources it has.