There’s no doubt that Putin’s invasion is not going as planned. As Kori Schake writes in The Atlantic: Putin Accidentally Revitalized the West’s Liberal Order. “Vladimir Putin has attempted to crush Ukraine’s independence and “Westernness” while also demonstrating NATO’s fecklessness and free countries’ unwillingness to shoulder economic burdens in defense of our values. He has achieved the opposite of each. Endeavoring to destroy the liberal international order, he has been the architect of its revitalization.” The pace at which Putin thought he could take Kyiv instead was the pace at which Europe and America reacted. In just 72 hours, Europe overhauled its entire post-Cold War relationship with Russia. The sanctions have been harsh. The unity against Russia has been stong. And the trend continues. Major oil companies have pulled out of the Russian market. Diplomats walked out of Sergey V. Lavrov’s speech at the U.N. in Geneva.

But we could still be early on in this rolling war crime. Putin has reached a fork in the road. If his history is any indicator, he’ll take the low road and increase the violence in coming days. For now, that low road is manifested in a “serpentine armored convoy, some 40 miles long, bristling with tanks and troops,” slowly approaching Kyiv. Fiona Hill on Putin, targeting civilians, and nukes. “Every time you think, ‘No, he wouldn’t, would he?’ Well, yes, he would.'” And Bill Browder on Putin: When You Believe Your Time is Almost Up, You Start a War. On MSNBC on Monday night, Alexander Vindman predicted that Putin’s reaction to setbacks would be to double down. And from the reports on the ground, he appears to be doing just that. (This seems like a good to time to be reminded that Trump forced out some of our best experts on Putin and Ukraine because they told the truth.) Here’s the latest from CNN and BBC.

+ “President Donald Trump was willing to see pro-Russian kleptocrats return to power in Ukraine because they served his corrupt political ends, and because he and his followers despise liberal democracy and admire naked ‘strength,’ especially when it’s exercised to break rules and heads. It was no accident that Trump’s first impeachment had its origins in Ukraine, with his attempt to blackmail President Volodymyr Zelensky to obtain political favors. The two countries are entangled, not just because of the war with Russia but because Ukraine is where the battle for democracy’s survival is most urgent.” George Packer in The Atlantic: Ukraine Is Redefining America’s Interests.

+ What’s happening in America and what’s happening in Ukraine are part of the same battle between democracy and dictatorship. As I explained yesterday, From Kyiv to Mar-a-Lago, It’s All Connected.