The narrative is eroding because the Russians are winning, and have been from the outset. Winning in this case means they are accomplishing their objectives, not the ones the Western press and policymakers thought they had. From Andy Corbley at antiwar.com:
In an interview with Newsmax, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has painted a grim picture of the war as it recently-passed its 100th day. 60-100 of his soldiers are becoming casualties every day, while a separate interview saw him say that Russian forces control 20% of the country’s east and south.
These figures clash from the narrative the West has been receiving by a whole host of retired or active-duty Western military officials, international security reports, and expert analysts, who for months have been seeing that Russia “can’t win” or has “already lost.”
On February 28th, a mere four days after the war began, major Western media and think tanks started up a can’t win/already lost narrative that continued almost until present day.
Author of the successful book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, Yuval Harari, started it off when he wrote in The Guardian “less than a week into the war, it seems increasingly likely that Vladimir Putin is heading towards a historic defeat,” claiming that his aim in invading Ukraine wasn’t security concerns, but “a dream… of rebuilding the Russian Empire.”