The Russian prime minister (Dmitry Medvedev) recently gave a public speech before the Russian parliament, details of which were distributed nationwide by the state controlled media. Medvedev admitted that the military operations in Ukraine had cost Russia over $100 billion so far and would probably cost more before it is all over. He also mentioned that the sanctions made it impossible to borrow abroad. Russians also know that over $150 billion in cash held by Russian businesses has left the country because the owners felt this money would be safer abroad. Medvedev told Russians to expect the current economic depression caused by all these Ukraine related losses will probably continue into 2016.
What is interesting about this speech is that Medvedev is a close ally of Russian leader (since 2000 in one form or another) Vladimir Putin who is the one who ordered the attacks on Ukraine. Both Putin and Medvedev still maintain that Russia is in the right and is merely responding to NATO and American aggression. But both men also know that a growing number of Russians are beginning to doubt that and also doubt if the effort is worth the cost to the Russian economy. In Russia it is typical and traditional to alert the population to a major change in policy with a confessional speech like this. Depending on the public reaction the government will go ahead and make major changes, or back off.