Aug 10, 2022
On February 24, the day Russian troops crossed the borders to Ukraine, I wrote about the potential end state of the operation:
Looking at this map I believe that the most advantageous end state for Russia would be the creation of a new independent country, call it Novorussiya, on the land east of the Dnieper and south along the coast that holds a majority ethnic Russian population and that, in 1922, had been attached to the Ukraine by Lenin. That state would be politically, culturally and militarily aligned with Russia.
This would eliminate Ukrainian access to the Black Sea and create a land bridge towards the Moldavian breakaway Transnistria which is under Russian protection.
The rest of the Ukraine would be a land confined, mostly agricultural state, disarmed and too poor to be build up to a new threat to Russia anytime soon. Politically it would be dominated by fascists from Galicia which would then become a major problem for the European Union.
On March 19 I revisited the question and added Kryvyi Rih (Kriwoi Rog in Russian), the yellow part of the map, to the list: