Says Franz-Stefan Gady of the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies, “It is unlikely that the Leopard 2 will play a significant role in any spring offensive." Germany simply stonewalled for too long.

The next move in the bloodied ring of the mismatched Russia-Ukraine contest, then, would seem to be Putin's. Another mass conscription could be domestically perilous for the genocidal dictator, especially coming so soon after the last one, which resulted in a mad Russian exodus. It would also signal to everyday Russians that his costly war may endure for years — meaning everyday Russians, too, must endure.

But on paper, at least, throwing several hundred thousand more hapless young Russians into this human meatgrinder could overwhelm Ukrainian troops in the northeast, east and south. Some analysts suspect this was the motivation behind Putin's rather abrupt sacking of Army Commander Sergei Surovikin — "Gen. Armageddon," who turned out to be apocalyptic for Russian troops instead — and re-appointing Gen. Valery Gerasimov. 

The next four months, most likely, will determine one of two eventual outcomes: because of the West's chronically inadequate supplies of necessary armaments for Ukraine, Russian authoritarianism and military aggression triumphed, or a free, democratic, plucky little nation that screamed for Western assistance all along, but always received it too late, won the war anyway.