Yascha Mounk in Persuasion:
Yascha Mounk: It’s been a month since the beginning of the war. What is the state of war today, and how is that different from what we might have expected four weeks ago?
Anne Applebaum: We know exactly what the Russians expected four weeks ago. We know because the US Defense Department had a leak of some kind. There was a very specific battle plan, which involved the taking of Kiev in three to four days, and then the conquest of all of Ukraine (including Western Ukraine, all the way up to the Polish border) within four to six weeks. We know that after three or four days, already there were articles written celebrating the conquest of Ukraine and the reunification of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, one of which accidentally appeared on a Russian website and was quickly taken down. So we know what the plan was. And I have to say that that was also what most American analysts thought would happen.