He has and he. knows it. Can he crush Ukraine? Short answer is yes. The complete answer is he will pay a high price for it.
1. He has had to lie at home as to what he is doing in the Ukraine. 2. He has had to lie about sending conscripts. Why? Because the relation between Russians and Ukrainians is more like cousins than enemies.
Putin fears the young Russian conscripts coming back in body bags. And he fears that as Russian citizens learn the truth and stop accepting Putin's fairy tale that Russian boys are there to help the Ukrainians and realize their sons are participating in wars crimes against people they never believed were really their enemy.
It is the desperation that resulted from the early Russian losses and stagnation of the convoy to Kyiv
broken down, mired in gas shortages, and broken down vehicles.
This has put Putin in overdrive to get a handle on things -- after all his economy has gone straignt to hell. The Ruble is flatter than Kansas. 0.0075 against the American dollar. To buy a 3.15 gallon of milk would cost 422.10 rubles.
Russia's own stock mark went into free fall and and closed down as a safe guard on February 25th and remains closed today 3-11.22.
Russian Olagarchs have been squeezed and some have denounced the invasion and want to wash their hands of it.
Putin is more isolated than ever. He courted China and forged an alliance the last week of the Olympics, One that China seems to be thinging. Using their veto power and voting with Russia at first on the UN Security Council they have sence abstained. Putin like necular waste. No one wants there hands in it.
Sadly Ukrainians are dying horrable deaths. But the world court has come down hard on Putin and at some point he will face the International Court over very blatant war crimes.
I suspect other Russians will see the writing on the wall and turn on him. I see no up side for him. Ukraine will be a monstrosity to occupy. The animus will be so great.
People forget that one of the contributing factors in the disolusion of the Soviet Socialest Republic and the splitting away of the satallite states came from the economic catraastophy of their long struggle in Afghanastan. The bodies coming home, the strapped economy. They had nothing to show for it. When Russian Citizens realize what their country did to Ukraine, the will be sick and they will try to distance themself as a nation from the horrable ward Putin Inflicted on a neighbor, for no reason other than wanting to be a NATO member, a status that could have saved them this massive losee of. civilian lives.