That´s why Russia should rather turn Lviv into a depopulated wasteland instead of letting it turn into an "independent" rump Ukraine.
If a single village in western Banderaland would join NATO/EU the West would claim victory.
Stopped listening to what the west claims, that doesn't really matter, Kiev wanted Donbass and Lugansk to allow Kiev troops to patrol their border with Russia and to have autonomy but mostly follow their rules... Russia can pull out the Minsk agreement they prefer and use that as a basis for a new agreement with what remains of the Ukraine... of course Germany and France have proven untrustworthy and so has the US so they wont be a party to the agreement at all.
This is going to end when Ukraines army collapses and their "government" in the US embassy shuts up shop and flees to the west along with Ukrainian MPs et al.
There is no negotiations with the west that make any sense.
Russkie presented an extreme pragmatism with this conflict. I am seriously impressed, as didn't expect them to be so much cynical.
I suspect like Hitler, that Putin expected the corrupt system of the Ukraine would collapse when they stepped into the country, and to be fair after about a month or two they did, but after spending 20 years talking to the west about what Russia and the West could achieve as partners, he suddenly realised what scum they really are and about how they saw this conflict of their creation as an opportunity to get rid of Putin and really damage Russia and Russians by destroying their armed forces and their economy.
I am very sure Putin and Lavrov are under no illusions that the west are the good guys any more, they have even stated that they are pretty much done with the west and it is up to the west to come to them with concessions or there will be no talks. Russia will not be making any concessions because they have already paid an enormous price in blood and resources.
This is what Russia really needed to turn away from the west and realise there is actually more money and wealth in the rest of the world and that the west got wealthy by being bastards so there is no hope they will see Russia as an equal or China or India or any other country... they don't even see Turkey as part of the west really, despite using them for their useful geopolitical location.
The west has stagnant old economies that are mostly smoke and mirrors and not based on anything... where a loan counts as income and paying debt is counted as part of your economy, the west is a sham, and Russia would do well to keep as far from them as it can.
No need to talk to the EU, they can buy their gas via Turkey or by ship.
Once the Eastern Pukraine collapses, the Western Pukraine will be relatively easy. So you wonder... should Russia have just gone West to begin with?
No. Their tactics were excellent. No need to take great swaths of territory and then sit by as small bands of nazis mount a guerilla war against your supply lines like the Afghans have been doing to HATO the last 20 years.
Meat grinder to kill off their best and brightest and then when their military collapses then find worthy Ukrainians you can talk to to sort out its future.
Particularly the " Destroy all military infrastructure . " Military related infrastructure : Bridges , Power , Rail , Road , Airfield , Communication , TV , Radio , Internet , Industry , Warship , Tunnels , Military and political apparatus and leadership .
When the enemy military and political leadership decided a course and tactics that allowed Russia to grind meat effectively and efficiently then don't attack the leadership of the military or the political leadership because if that is broken you don't want it fixed.
There will come to a point where factions will start to assert that change is needed, now some will be pro US and pro EU and pro nazi, but there will be factions in there that are pro peace and anti war which is probably about as pro Russia as you are going to get without executions.
When they start to fight amongst themselves openly you know it has started and you see a few heads popping up and saying things aren't working already.
Russians have done surprisingly little in this regard.
If you blow up a truck with ammo on it then you don't know where it was going. If you track that truck and watch where it goes then over time you can work out where it gets ammo and supplies from and where it takes them... after it has made a dozen trips you should know the different places it gets ammo from and the different weapon and ammo and fuel caches it takes them to... blowing up an entire weapon dump is very satisfying and more effective than hitting a couple of trucks, because when you hit a couple of trucks they start using more clever ways of moving the loads like in buses or perhaps horse floats.
Stuff will always get through but knowing where they are keeping it for distribution is useful, but at some stage it just makes sense to destroy all the large motor vehicles.
First footage of German Leopard 1A5 on the Kupyansk front.
That image previously posted on this thread showing a T-62 covered in ERA and with cage armour and camouflage, it was the thumbnail for a video on YT I didn't watch but it was a report by the Daily Fail and claimed Old Russian tanks were getting weighed down by all the extra armour and equipment they are putting on them which is making them sink in the mud and ruin their power to weight ratio, and we look at this Leopard I that hasn't even been painted in camouflage paint let alone add on armour and ERA and Cage armour etc etc. Sending them in naked...
I still think a Russian/Wagner force pushing into the area west of Kiev is a good idea it doesn't have to be massive but enough to cut supplies and panic Kiev into sending forces from the eastern front back to Kiev. Because any resistance in western Ukraine will be from forced conscripts consisting of teenagers, the elderly and women all of which have zero experience and many won't even be willing to fight.
Expect that might be something they might do, but I suspect they will be very careful with their timing to get the absolute best effect from it... large amounts of forces moving from the front line back towards Kiev would be like the Iraqi retreat from Kuwait that the US forces slaughtered from the air.
So even if Russia takes it all, it will be a long drawn out process of re-integration and denazification that they will face a ton of terrorist attacks.
To be fair I thought that about Chechnia and Dagestan... but really... not so much... you separate out the rich and powerful and those with influence and you work out which you can work with and which are dogshit. They don't have to love Russia to cooperate.
But they do need to understand it was the US and EU that dropped them in the shit and pushed their heads under while trying to keep their own boots clean.
This was never about saving Ukraine, it was about selling weapons and making huge amounts of money by selling old stocks of ammo and weapons at brand new prices and doubling the brand new prices for new build stuff and getting weapons and ammo production contracts for the next 30 years.... if you had shares in arms companies this was a good war for you.