Despite optimism from Kyiv, international military experts remain skeptical about Ukraine's chances of taking back Kherson in the foreseeable future.
As Russian warships blockade Ukrainian ports, Russian officials have begun accusing the government in Kyiv of creating a global food crisis.
"We know that Russia has larger goals, and clear signs of support from outside powers can serve as a necessary obstacle to those...ambitions," an expert said.
In a sign that Western sanctions are not having the desired effect, the price of the U.S. dollar has fallen below 60 rubles, its lowest since March 2018.
"The most effective way for us to fight is to simply grind down the enemy in a firefight," Russian military analyst says.
"The question of mobilization only needs to be raised when the situation has gotten out of control," a Russian military expert told Newsweek.
"After securing the Donbas, phase three of the war will focus on the liberation of Mykolaiv and Odesa," Russian military analyst says.
"Our team simply had no right to lose," a Ukrainian soccer fan said. "They were playing for every murdered child, for every fallen soldier."
"There's never enough for somebody like Putin unless you make clear that it's over and he simply cannot get any more," Ambassador Yovanovitch tells Newsweek.
"The loss or gain of a single square kilometer along the Donets River could have dire consequences for either side," analyst says.
"When my children ask me what I did to resist my country's invasion of an innocent neighbor, I want to be able to look them in the eye," Russian volunteer says.
"This is all thanks to our heroic soldiers driving those evil spirits away from Kharkiv," the mayor of Kharkiv said.
"Until February 24, we did not see any Nazis," A Kherson resident told Newsweek. "Then the real Nazis came."
"Lukashenko talks like the village idiot, but after everything that's happened, it's always possible that he's really voicing Putin's private thoughts."
"If before the war Odesa was around 40% pro-Russian, now it's 90% pro-Ukrainian," Odesa resident tells Newsweek.
"We want to go back home someday, only to a different Donbas," an elderly couple told Newsweek, "one where they don't use people like us as human shields."
Russian state media pointed to tweets from Rep. Jason Crow as "confirmation that the United States is at war in Ukraine."
"Textbooks are being delivered to the schools. Importantly, they are Russian...they do not contain lies or falsifications of history," First Channel reported.
"80% of the guys in our unit speak Russian amongst themselves, but 100% of us are united against Russia and against Putin," Ukrainian soldier says.
The spate of explosions comes days after Russian Major General Rustam Minnekayev spoke of creating an "exit" to the breakaway Moldovan territory.
Russian television salutes the Soviet "red banner with yellow hammer and sickle and star" flying over Ukraine that once signaled the defeat of Nazi Germany.
Ukraine outlined three possibilities for the Russians: try to hold onto occupied territory, leave Ukraine, or return to peace talks.
"The resulting Ukrainian state will be similar to Belarus in its geopolitical orientation and domestic administration," a Russian source reveals.
"We are forming ... a 'coalition of countries free from American domination,'" the Duma deputy said. "It's the only way to stop this evil."
"We have to make the collective West understands that they have no chance of winning this war," Russian Duma deputy warns.
While many say Putin will survive as Russia accelerates toward what seems like Stalinist totalitarianism, others see a faster end to his reign.
The Kyiv offensive "created the necessary conditions for the final stage of the operation to liberate ... the Donbas," a Russian official said.
"I stole some cosmetics for you," a Russian soldier tells a relative in a phone intercept. "That will make for a nice 'hello from Ukraine,'" she replies.