UKRAINE (WTRF) — It’s Europe’s first major military conflict in decades…and now it’s entering its ninth month.

Ukraine has been fighting off Russian forces ever since the invasion began on February 24.

And just as the new season begins, Russia has attacked about 40 percent of Ukraine’s infrastructure.

But is it a strategic targeting…or a sign of desperation?

Dr. Brian Fitzpatrick at West Liberty University says Ukraine has been gaining ground.

They’ve taken back territory in several areas Russia annexed earlier this year, and President Zelenskyy says his goal is to take back Crimea after eight years of Russian occupation.

Dr. Fitzpatrick says Putin expected more support for his war from eastern Ukrainians.

You’ve seen a lot of pushback and even people turning away from Russia who Russia thought might support them. It’s always important to distinguish between identifying with a culture and people in a country versus identifying with that government. Which that’s what they’re really pushing back against.

Dr. Brian Fitzpatrick – Assistant Professor of Political Science, West Liberty University

With the incoming Congress, it’s possible America’s financial aid for the conflict may decrease.

The leading candidate for new House Speaker, Kevin McCarthy, says Ukraine will not have a blank check when Republicans control the chamber.