When news of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine first reached the world, everyone had doubts if Ukraine could defend itself. 

Ukraine’s military capabilities, after all, were nowhere near that of Russia. Plus, with over five thousand nuclear warheads in its arsenal,  Russia winning the war, if push came to shove, seemed like a foregone conclusion. Talking heads and even a handful of analysts did not ask who was going to win the war, but how quickly the Ukrainian forces would hand over a win to the Russian military, and on a platter. 

Ukraine certainly hasn’t won the war yet, but they have so far overcome many of the odds stacked against them. They have proven that though military power is important, it means very little if your troops don’t know how to wield that power. Russia making so many decisive mistakes tells us as much.

Here’s how the Ukrainian Army managed to thwart Putin’s main war objectives, demonstrating their remarkable counteroffensive abilities and essentially making their undersized military better than Russia’s larger, more equipped one.