I think it is the other way around.
Right now Ukrainians think they are "part of the West" and that they can integrate to the West and its institutions while demanding that Russia will still keep supporting Ukraine economically.
But that is not the other way around... the people of the Ukraine might think they are Polish and therefore designated European instead of being Russian and therefore half Asian, but the problem with them... along with the west is that they believe their problems in the world stem from Putin and Russia... everything would be perfect except for them.
Ukrainians feel entitled. They feel they are entitled to receive Russian economic support and yet also are entitled to see Russia as an enemy and are entitled to join the NATO.
Well it sounds like Russia dodged a bullet and the west has made a stupid mistake... good for Russia really.
They are not going to feel any gratitude over Russia helping them. It will be seen as a weakness. If Russia will always keep helping Ukraine then Ukrainians will just feel that they have chosen the correct path. Ukraine can continue its integration path with the West while knowing that Russia will be paying for it and supporting Ukraine. It just proves that Ukraine is right. It proves that Ukraine chose the correct path.
For Russia maybe it is for the best?
Russia is not showering them in money, they are paying them a cut of gas payments the west is paying them for gas... it is starvation rations... not a banquet...
But if Ukraine is to made to pay a big socioeconomic price from their choice then there is a slight chance that Ukraine will change its course, or at least make some adjustments.
I don't think there is much chance of them changing course... even the people in the so called break away regions consider themselves Ukrainian and not Russian and are not asking to join the Russian Federation.
They are already paying dearly and it does not seem to matter to most of them.
The current regime of Ukraine hates Russia and won't do anything to improve relations unless the circumstances force their hand.
But that is the key... the rat gets on your boat because they boat they left your boat for has now fully sunk under water... what celebrations would you suggest to get those rats back?
I would say patch some holes in that ship and bail a little water and let them stay on the ship they have chosen... over time relations might improve... or not.
Russia does not benefit from the Ukraine, but she does not want her to collapse because their society might collapse and the entire country might end up some lawless region like a super Stalker zone but without the useful magical artifacts...
If there is a situation that a big part of Ukrainian population will literally freeze to death and the only available help could come from Russia then the regime must think of something.
Their ship and tank building industry would do well to perfect the building of small cheap portable wood stoves perhaps?
But Putin makes it way too easy for Ukraine offering them help without backing them to the corner first.
Putin is a Christian... I realise the west does not understand that, but that is who he is, and I respect him for not going out of his way to make their suffering worse... even if they don't recognise or appreciate it.
For example Russia could at least demand that Ukraine will allow water supplies to Crimea as a pre-condition to any support. But I doubt the people in Kremlin will do anything like this.
They could... but as soon as spring comes... how long till problems start, or perhaps an accidental chemical spill with a truck falling into the water way up stream polluting the water and making it undrinkable...
It might be a short term pain in the ass but over the longer term finding better more sustainable solutions that prevent potential sabotage makes more sense for Crimea.
In the longer term fresh water supplies are going to be critical anyway to both tourism and agriculture... both of which will have enormous potential in the region so work boosting it and making it more solid is a good investment.
I agree they should make demands in return for any concessions made, but not water flow to crimea... that is already being solved.