The West is ready to negotiate the normalization of relations with Russia. It is not ruled out that the West will eventually admit Russia's sovereignty over Crimea and the Donbass republics (DPR and LPR). These concessions suggests that Volodymyr Zelensky's days as President are numbered.
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken told The Wall Street Journal that Ukraine must rebuff Russian aggression and retrieve the territories that were captured after February 24.
"Our focus is on continuing to do what we've been doing, which is to make sure that Ukraine has in its hands what it needs to defend itself, what it needs to push back against the Russian aggression, to take back territory that's been seized from it since Feb. 24, to make sure as well that it has the support economically and on a humanitarian basis to withstand what's happening in the country every single day,” Mr. Blinken said in early December.
It just so happens that the United States agrees to the idea of Russia's control over the Crimea and even over certain territories of the Donbass region.
American political heavyweight Henry Kissinger spoke about this too in his much talked about article "How to avoid another world war" that he penned for The Spectator. In the article, Kissinger said that he suggested a ceasefire in May, when Russia would retreat to the front lines prior to the February 24th invasion, whereas Crimea and the southeast of Ukraine would be subject to negotiations. Kissinger proposed holding internationally supervised referenda in those territories.
European officials reiterated the wording of their American counterparts, The Washington Post wrote.
"Some Western officials hold out hope that a deal on Crimea could be the key to ending the war, and said they believed that Zelensky and his advisers were more open to potential concessions than their rhetoric has suggested," the newspaper said.
British officials say that the West will support peace talks if Putin's forces continue to occupy Crimea and the positions they occupied inside the borders of southeastern Ukraine on February 23rd.
They called it the "absolute minimum" in order to give Putin a chance to save his face.
Even Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan demanded Russia should return to Ukraine the territories that had been "captured after the February 24 invasion."
Thus, the West distances itself from the goals declared by the Kyiv regime — a return to the 1991 borders. Moreover, the West alludes to cutting assistance to Ukraine should Zelensky reject its conditions.
Recent statements from German Chancellor Olaf Scholz are especially indicative at this point. Scholz named three reasons why Germany should not supply tanks to Ukraine.
Russia has made it absolutely clear to everyone:
The more the West supports the Kyiv regime, the more territories Ukraine may lose.
Interestingly, the head of the Donetsk People's Republic Denis Pushilin said last week that Kyiv, Chernihiv, Poltava, Odessa, Dnepropetrovsk, Kharkiv, Zaporozhye, and Lutsk must be liberated as well. Kremlin's official spokesman Dmitry Peskov later commented that all would depend on the will of the people.
This appears to be a multi-move combination.
"The Kremlin believes that it is necessary to liberate Ukraine from all kinds of manifestations of neo-Nazi sentiments in general. It all depends on the choice of citizens, the decision of people. The priority is to protect people in the LPR and DPR," the Kremlin spokesman said.
What does it all mean for Zelensky? It appears that Zelensky will have to relive the fate of former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili. He will flee to the West, try to make appearances on the political scene and then end up in a prison hospital.
The Americans came to realise that they would have to either leave the region or weaken their presence there. It is Russia that is filling the vacuum now