There’s an element of the fact that the west is generally on Ukraine’s side, and that we’re therefore seeing a Ukraine-centric perspective
But at the same time, the maps don’t lie: Russia was expected to roll Ukraine over in a matter of days or weeks, yet is now 7 weeks into the war and have clearly not steamrolled Ukraine or even achieved their likely/apparent goals
There’s no way around the fact that Russia clearly (despite their new “You didn’t dump me, I dumped you, I didn’t even want to date you in the first place” narrative) wanted to take Kyiv and enforce regime change. And not only did they not achieve that in the first few days as they clearly expected, and not only have they not achieved it at all… but they’ve even retreated away from the area and given up on the objective entirely. There’s no way to realistically paint that as anything other than an abjact failure
Even if this had been a near-peer conflict (a war between two sides expected to be of roughly equal strength) then the attacker would expected to achieve some major objectives, otherwise why are they attacking at all? But Russia was one of the most feared militaries on the planet and Ukraine barely even a blip on the regional map, and Ukraine fought them to a standstill well short of Russia’s objectives.
That’s not to say Russia can’t get anything out of this war or will have entirely failed – but thus far they’ve tanked their economy and killed 5-10k of their own men, shattered their military reputation on the world stage, united NATO and the EU, started Germany on a re-militarization path, pushed Finland and Sweden into NATO’s hands, and is still nowhere near to even achieving their “fallback” goals of taking the entirety of Donbas.
It’s possible that Russia could have a successful offensive in the east and take the rest of Donbas and secure Mariupol (which looks inevitable), on top of the canal supplying Crimea’s water which has already been captured. You could consider that Russia has, at that point, achieved enough objectives to be worth the invasion – but the cost for that has been huge and it’s hard to argue that it’s been worthwhile
The only thing Russia has really achieved is to secure the Crimean water supply, and to ensure Ukraine doesn’t join NATO… but that was already off the table since 2014, all Russia had to do was continue quietly supporting the existing war in Donbas and Ukraine was going to stay out of NATO anyway