Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022 with a clear intent to decapitate the Ukrainian state at both the national and local level, capture key cities and infrastructure, and presumably put a compliant pro-Russian client government in place to facilitate Ukraine’s de-facto absorption into a ‘greater Russia’ alongside Belarus.
The strength and responsiveness of Ukrainian defenders, coupled with extremely poor planning, morale and coordination among Russian forces ensured that Russia’s initial plan failed.
That failure has so far cost the Russian Army 5,000 to 8,000 troops killed in action, with probably three to four times that many wounded, captured or missing, along with at least 1,350 vehicles, heavy weapons and aircraft destroyed or captured.
There is significantly less clarity on Ukrainian military losses, but they are also likely to be in the low thousands due to the heavy Russian use of artillery and other heavy firepower on all their axes of advance.
Nevertheless, after three weeks of fighting, the initial Russian aims of overthrowing the Ukrainian government in Kyiv and setting up a client state in its place are no longer achievable.
The Russian Army has struggled to make progress in the muddy terrain in the north and north east of Ukraine since the invasion began. It has so far failed to completely encircle and cut off either Kyiv or Kharkiv.