Six days into Vladimir Putin's assault on Ukraine, the urgency of the Russian forces has stepped up again.
This may be due to two strategic failures. One, the Russians did not first seize control of the airspace over Ukraine. It may be that Putin underestimated Ukraine's resistance and his plans to take command by ground would have necessitated less shelling and collateral carnage.
Secondly, Ukrainians remain connected to the outside world and each other, with the Russians failing to stifle communication. Ukrainian forces are able to readily co-ordinate scant resources to the most need - and the outside world is receiving consistent coverage of Ukrainian courage, need, and suffering.
Meanwhile, attempts by the United Nations to get a grasp on the situation have triggered a round of high-level meetings with little to show beyond highly vocal but ultimately frustrated condemnation.
The 193-nation UN General Assembly adjourned its first emergency session in decades in an effort to deal with the invasion. Assembly President Abdulla Shahid called for an immediate ceasefire, maximum restraint by all parties, and "a full return to diplomacy and dialogue". Ambassadors from dozens of countries backed a proposal demanding Russia halt its attack on Ukraine.
In Geneva, the UN Human Rights Council voted to hold its own urgent session. Ukrainian and Russian delegations have reportedly met on Ukraine's border with Belarus.
Meanwhile, Western nations have frozen Russia's hard currency reserves, in an effort to press the Russian economy to heel. The US, European Union, and Britain also agreed to block selected Russian banks from the Swift system, which facilitates the moving of money around thousands of banks and other financial institutions worldwide.
Attempts to curb Putin's aggression risk pushing an increasingly cornered and stymied Russian leader into lashing out — and also may inflict pain on ordinary Russians.
Some believe Russians will push back against Putin if the war comes home to roost, but they have likely misread the mood of the majority who will want Putin to avenge any hardship.
Putin is not completely isolated and has spoken with a number of heads of state, including a 90-minute call with French President Emmanuel Macron, who seeks a truce. Putin has also spoken to the leaders of Israel, Armenia, and other nations.
Meanwhile, Russia's Central Bank is working to resuscitate the ruble, doubling its key rate to an all-time high of 20 per cent, according to state-run Tass media.
Wider ripples are occurring. The United States announced the expulsion of 12 members of the Russian Mission at the United Nations, accusing them of being "intelligence operatives" engaged in espionage.
This is likely to trigger tit-for-tat reprisals in diplomatic terms but does little for the Ukrainian cause.
Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia says his country's intentions are being distorted and thwarted. "Russia is seeking to end this war," he said. No one can be in any doubt about what end Putin desires.
If Ukraine can hold out, it's to be hoped international pressure may force Putin to reassess what he wants.