If we assume Putin isn't failing, what is his objective? Is there a coherent hypothetical strategy?
Simple: generating veterans.
The longer the "war" continues, the more battle-hardened soldiers he gets. Easily worth whatever it's costing him.
"Why the conscription?"
The experience farming was going so well he decided to expand the program. He has a bunch of folk he wants battle ready and he's giving them a taste of the fight. Ukraine offers a nice soft target and an excuse to keep the kid gloves on.
How wonderfully anti-Christian.
Of course 'hypothesis' is a pretentious way of saying 'guess.'
There's an issue when it comes time for the final push. If he suddenly changes strategies to playing for keeps, he will need a fig leaf. One of many ways this guess can be refuted: he never changes strategy and genuinely gets bogged down.