The war in Ukraine began under a faulty assumption shared by many, including the United States, that if Russia invaded, it would defeat Ukraine, and it would do so quickly. The Russians deployed their forces carelessly, without much regard for the Ukrainians. When the Russians encountered resistance against their disorganized armored and infantry forces, operating pretty much without air support, they acknowledged problems but continued to assume that the problems they faced were simply the friction of the battlefield rather than something that risked the outcome they assumed was theirs.
The United States still tended to share that view but sent supplies to Ukraine via Poland, a move meant to show that Washington was committed more to the resistance than to a belief that Russia was at risk. Moscow continued to press on three fronts: from Belarus in the north, through the Donbas in the east, and from Crimea in the south. It was a chaotic advance thanks to a lack of coordination of the fronts and the inability to supply three separate fronts simultaneously. The Russian failure was symbolized by the 40-mile backup of tanks moving south from Belarus toward Kyiv.