Russia Has 'Lost' Ukraine War, Analyst Says, but Poll Shows Most Blame U.S.

As the conflict in Ukraine continues to escalate, one Russian political analyst said on social media that the war is "lost" and that Russia made many mistakes when deciding to invade.

The war, which has been raging in the region for nearly three weeks, has turned out to be extremely costly for Russia in terms of both the number of Russian casualties and the financial repercussions. Some Russians have reportedly accepted their country's responsibility for the crisis, while others say they believe outside forces are to blame.

Kirill Rogov, the analyst, posted a statement to his Telegram account saying the war was an "epic failure" for Russia, the Associated Press reported. The statement outlined four key mistakes he believes the Russian government made in invading Ukraine.

The first was assuming that the West "was unwilling to resist aggression" and "that it was lethargic, greedy and divided." Rogov also said Russia made mistakes in judging "the quality of the Russian army" and in thinking the Russian economy "is self-sufficient and secure."

"And the main mistake was the idea that Ukraine is a failed state, and Ukrainians are not a nation," he wrote, adding that "four mistakes in making one decision is a lot."

However, not everyone in Russia was as quick to blame their country for the war. Shortly before the invasion began, the Levada Center, an independent Russian opinion research company, conducted a poll that found 60 percent of people thought the "initiators" of conflict in eastern Ukraine were the United States and NATO. Another 14 percent said Ukraine initiated the conflict, and 3 percent said Russia was responsible.

The Levada Center has not released any polls on the topic since the invasion began, though Russian media has worked to maintain the message that the invasion was justified. Roskomnadzor, the Russian media and communications watchdog, has restricted terms like "war," "invasion" and "assault" when describing the conflict, instead favoring terms like "special military operation."

Roskomnadzor also blocked access to sites like Facebook, causing VPN sales in Russia to skyrocket as citizens look to use the internet freely.

Western measures have had severe negative effects on Russia's economy, with a credit rating agency slashing the country's credit rating to "junk status," multiple nations removing Russia from its "most favored nation" trade status and the ruble dramatically falling in value. All this comes in addition to a multitude of sanctions imposed on Russian officials and oligarchs.

Besides economic losses, the estimated loss of Russian life continues to increase. Though Russian officials last estimated that just under 500 troops have been lost, Ukraine's Foreign Ministry puts its estimate closer to 12,000. A U.S. official gave an estimate of between 5,000 and 6,000 Russian troops.

Update 03/14/22, 11:10 a.m. ET: This story was updated to add more information and background.

Firefighters In Kyiv, Ukraine
A poll found that 60 percent of people in Russia thought the "initiators" of the conflict in eastern Ukraine were the United States and NATO. Above, firefighters work in a destroyed residential area in the Obolonskyi district of Kyiv on March 14. Photo by Anastasia Vlasova/Getty Images