Yes, achieving the original goals of the SMO are important, but Russian security will remain threatened as long as any independent Ukrainian state with ties to the west survives. If Putin finally understands that the west cannot be trusted, then he must also understand that all of Ukraine, with the exception of a demilitarized Galicia, must be absorbed into Russia.

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Dec 20, 2023·edited Dec 20, 2023

The provocations of mid 2022 were designed to prevent any such talks, and they worked. I.e., Nord Stream, terrorism inside Russia, and shelling of the largest nuclear power plant in Europe.

If these actions are attributed to US, then how can a deal be possible? The basis would be by neutralizing the instrument US is comfortable using against Russia. Thus comprehensive *demilitarization*, would be a hard prerequisite to a peace.

Alternatively, suppose the above actions are attributed to ultra-nationalists dominating Ukraine government (ie US lacked the ability, not will, to set limits). Strains credulity, but let's suppose. Then one has to conclude that UA ultranationalists have the power to moot any deal with the US. Therefore *denazification* would be a hard prerequisite to a peace.

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