As stories have emerged over the past several days of invading Russian soldiers peeling off their uniforms, putting on civilian clothes and fleeing a Ukrainian military onslaught in the Kharkiv region by stolen bicycles and cars, the scale of Moscow’s collapse in the face of a Ukrainian counteroffensive has shocked the world.

After six months of grinding fighting, how could parts of the supposedly mighty Russian military have been overrun so suddenly?

The answer, experts concur, comes down to a combination of Ukraine’s adept use of billions of dollars in advanced Western weaponry, intelligence and logistical support, as well as Moscow’s overestimation of its own warfighting capabilities and its consistent underestimation of Kyiv.