Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “special military operation” in Ukraine was an attempt to stop the spread of Western influence to the east and potentially weaken NATO. Three months into the Russian invasion and it appears that Putin has not only failed to achieve any of his goals but has made the situation worse for Russia.

Former US Army General Curtis Michael Scaparrotti said that the drawn-out fighting had left Russia “vulnerable” with the barrage of sanctions dealing significant blows to its economy and resources.

He believes that Russia needs to come to terms with the consequences of its aggression and that Putin has lost all chances to regain the status of a “respectable leader” among the international community.

After failing to make significant advances in Kyiv, Moscow has shifted its war goals from blitzing the Ukrainian capital to occupying as much of Ukraine’s eastern region as possible.

Scaparrotti, a former commander of NATO deployments in Europe, predicted that the next phase of the war would be”grinding and destructive” but said that there is still a chance for the underdog to win in a war of attrition.

“I think normally you’d say [time is on the side of] the larger country with the greater resources available — that being Russia. But Russia has committed a substantial portion of particularly their ground forces to this campaign, and they’ve not done well,” Scaparrotti said, noting the effective use of asymmetric warfare tactics by the Ukrainian forces.

He also advised Ukraine that they should opt out of a peaceful resolution until it has a significant advantage on the ground.

“I think Ukraine should not seek that until it’s in a position of advantage, one that provides it a position to go into negotiations with the belief they can achieve what’s acceptable to them as an outcome of this conflict,” he said.