Real losses, real tragedy, vicious attacks on civilians and another nuclear power plant. And the world is standing by, watching, claiming unity but afraid to take any next step that looks too aggressive, for fear of what Putin would do next. Sanctions, shmanctions.

All the media attention to Russian efforts getting bogged down, the kindness of Ukrainians toward captured Russian troops, confusion and low morale among invading troops, running low on fuel and food—it’s all in the service of trying to keep world morale up, trying to hint at a glimmer of hope that the Russian effort is destined to stall, that Putin is getting more than he anticipated in the way of resistance.

But the reality is that Russia won’t fail. They’re claiming more territory every day, and in a ruthless, scorched earth manner. Ukraine will be in ruins, Russia will have achieved its objective, I guess, and then we will have to ask, “What next? Moldova?”

Where and how does this end? Are we at the beginning of a long slog, or is there something in the wings that will bring a cease fire? My money is on the former.

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