Lord Flight is Chairman of Flight & Partners Recovery Fund, and is a former Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury.

Vladimir Putin clearly thought he would have an easy ride dealing with the USA, the UK and the EU, where NATO has spent too little on defence for too long.

Putin has also had the current advantage of a strong Russian economy, largely reflecting the rise in gas and oil prices. The Russian economy is in one of its relatively rare periods of strength. Putin has, therefore, been building up the resources, the manpower and organisation to have a go at taking over the Ukraine.

He did not, however, take account of the massive international and domestic hostility to a ‘Ukraine grab’ by Russia, nor the bravery and organisation of the Ukrainian armed forces determined to resist Russian invasion.

Russia’s move forward on Ukraine and other fronts has taken longer than Putin vowed with damage to Russian tanks and unhappy Russian soldiers not wanting to be involved. It has so far proved impossible to take Kiev.

I previously argued that Putin would be wise to settle for a Finland type deal for the Ukraine, but this opportunity has been missed. The citizens of the Ukraine are determined to see the restoration of an independent, democratic state.

Ukrainians defend their independence; but they do not have the resources to “see off” the Russians quickly. But Putin made it clear at the outset that if the West engaged in a military confrontation, he is prepared to escalate.

He  has a reputation of being cautious by nature and never doing anything without weighing up the possible consequences in depth. He has laid sufficient groundwork and defences such that he expected to get what he wants without going to war.

But the strength and efficiency of the Ukrainian response, and now the growing impact of the freezing of external Russian finances, as well as oil, all threaten the Russian economy. At the time of writing there has been, not surprisingly, a run on Russian banks. This is the other side of the coin of freezing the large financial assets owned by Russian banks in London. Joe Biden is also introducing sanctions against anyone who trades with the separatists in Donetsk and Luhansk.

Putin’s tactics of the last few months look to have been to build up his attack plans and resources in order to wear down the Ukrainian forces and force them to accept a deal which is acceptable to Putin.

He has allowed himself to believe that he could achieve his lifelong ambition of restoring the Russian Empire – where once he has Ukraine, what he has left to “mop up” is relatively modest. Yet it is apparent that Putin has seriously underestimated the determination of the Ukrainian military and leadership.

Some commentators have warned of warfare continuing for several years. I think this is unlikely, and that Putin and his supporters will seek to do a deal relatively soon. It is clear that he does not have the support of the Russian people. The Russian army is also under equipped with food and other basics.

The US, the EU, and the UK have presented a common front and have been well organised in providing provisions to their supporters. Most surprising has been the huge increase in Germany’s contribution to NATO, again something which Putin did not reckon on.

Putin should also have paid more attention to the financial penalties which the rest of the world are inflicting upon Russia. It has taken only a week to freeze Russian assets sufficient to produce a major banking run.

He clearly thought he could get away with conquering the Ukraine relatively quickly, such that it would be too late for the West to react militarily. Instead, Putin is meeting far more global and Russian criticism and opposition than he expected.

A key factor in the way events are turning out, is the much wider flow of information provision, with all the new technology and where people and especially the young, know what is going on relatively quickly. I anticipate the Ukraine putting up an effective fight for some time to come, but they may eventually be forced to accept a Finland-type deal.