I propose to you that Russia has already lost it.
If Russia had entered Kiyv with cheering crowds of Ukrainians throwing flowers at their feet, they would have won. If they had taken Kiyv in three days, or five days, as they expected, Russia would have won. If Europe and NATO were so divided they were paralyzed to do anything about it, Russia would have won.
But it didn’t work out that way.
Instead, Ukrainians fought back with the hearts of lions.
The West shipped in truckfulls of weapons for them to fight with. Ukrainians used the years from 2014 til now, to build a modern, highly-trained army, and the many years of fighting in Donbas provided more than 400,000 (only half active at the war’s start) of battle-hardened veterans.
The West, rose as one, no longer divided, no longer bickering amongst themselves, and enacted crippling sanctions. There’s more coming, you know, and soon Germany and other nations will wean themselves off Russian oil and gas, permanently.
Russia could not afford a prolonged war before this one started. With the sanctions, Russia can barely afford to pay its bills, much less engage in the adventures of Empire.
Russia could default on its debt within days
Russia has sent the clearest signal yet that it will soon default — the first time it will have failed to meet its foreign debt obligations since the Bolshevik revolution more than a century ago.
Not only has Russia already lost a war, they may have lost their country.