The future fate of war and peace is determined by the position of Ukraine's Western allies. Of course, it is not consolidated, there are different opinions, but for now the mainstream has already been outlined. And it does not bring Kyiv joy.
Western elites are very afraid of three options for the development of events:
1. Western elites fear the defeat of Ukraine: this means the political failure of all those who supported Ukraine and the strengthening of the global authoritarian axis, with a high probability of the spread of Russian aggression in Europe and the beginning of Chinese aggression.
2. Western elites fear the defeat of Russia: this means disintegration, collapse, humanitarian catastrophe, a large-scale refugee crisis, uncontrolled proliferation of nuclear weapons and excessive strengthening of China.
3. Western elites are afraid of prolonging the war: this means accumulation of fatigue in their societies, aggravation of internal political confrontations, and ultimately the defeat of Ukraine with all the consequences from the first point.
If you are afraid of the defeat of Ukraine, the defeat of Russia, the prolongation of the war – then what remains?
(I'll note that if all the scenarios are bad for you, then you've already lost, at least in your head. Instead, the one for whom all the scenarios are good or at least acceptable, which is currently China, has won. But if for you all scenarios are bad from the very beginning, so you had an inadequate picture of the world from the very beginning)
So what is left for the Western elites?
First, there remains a dream of how everything would have been fine if Ukraine had capitulated within a few days or weeks in the spring of 2022. Because then there would be no problems, there would be no war (in fact, on the contrary), there would be no need to take money from the budget of one's country, etc. With its stability, Ukraine made a problem for all of them (in fact, on the contrary).
Secondly, we have to live with myths that allow us to continue to use the old flawed picture of the world. Example:
a) Putin will die (actually, Putin will not die, because a person who has several doubles controlled by people from the closest circle cannot die);
b) after the death of Putin, Alexei Navalny will become the president of Russia (in fact, no, because the real power is in the hands of the FSB and other clans, and even if Navalny is released and appointed president, it will not change anything);
c) after the death of Putin and the election and inauguration of Navalny, he will democratize Russia within 1-2 years (in fact, no, because democracy requires citizens and institutions, and there is neither one nor the other).
Thirdly, in addition to the defeat of Ukraine, the defeat of Russia and the prolongation of the war, one can come up with a fourth option – the freezing of the war. But for negotiations and freezing, it is necessary to somehow obtain the consent of the Ukrainian and Russian sides, and none of them agree to this: Ukrainian society will not approve of such behavior of Ukrainian political leaders, and Putin also does not want negotiations, because he believes that time is playing against him – he'd rather just wait for Ukraine's exhaustion.
Fourth, in the end, you can do nothing and hope that something will happen that will change the situation or lead to new information. For example, Putin will die (see above). This is exactly what the Western elites are doing right now, proclaiming the slogan "we will stand with Ukraine as long as it takes" – as long as it takes for what?
So, not having a vision of how the war will end makes ending the war quite difficult, I would even say impossible. (I hope that no one has any illusions that the advance of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to the 1991 borders means the end of the war).
What shall we do?
There is only one way: Ukraine must show maximum subjectivity and initiative in the matter of ending the war. Understand, analyze and show our allies the possible scenarios of the post-war world. Agree on the desired scenario and formulate a request for resources and mechanisms needed for its implementation. To overcome Ukraine's inferiority complex, as well as the colonial mindset and mental traps of Kyiv's allies. To attract Western intellectuals and public figures to its side. Send a strong and clear message to non-Western countries (which are not very correctly called the "Global South"). Form an anti-imperial bloc within the Russian Federation. Gather an international coalition for lasting peace, as Ukrainians gathered a coalition to defend Ukraine. Otherwise, this marathon will turn into running in circles.