As I recall, the US sprung the Maidan Coup when Russia was hosting the Winter Olympics. And so we're told by US Imperialists, Putin wanted to invade Ukraine and retake Crimea exactly at a time when they went through those costs and responsibilities looking for good PR to promote tourism.This is a common western lie about the reasons for Putin’s lack of support. If there is discontent over Ukraine, then this is because the Russian army is not yet in Kiev and the Ukrainian Nazis do not hang on the lamp posts on the avenues. And action in Syria fully understood and supported - better kill terrorists on foreign soil, then see them in Russia. Dissatisfaction is completely due to internal problems. The problems of ordinary capitalism. Oh, protesters! I forgot about protesters. Bunch of fricks, supported by less then 2% of most stupid (because lots oif them too young) population.
Putin's popularity grows when he does at least something or at least says something, that gives the impression that he wants to return socialism. And it falls when people are realise that this puppet of Das Capital behaves as it should
What I learned from a few who were from the Eastern Donbass that I didn't know before was that Ukraine was always a divided nation as soon as the Soviet overstructure collapsed and....like so many other regions of eastern Europe: fascist nationalists were looking to reignite the flames of sectarianism....the most notable example was the US/Euro supported collapse of Yugoslavia after the Soviet Union collapsed and a "moderate" communist ally was no longer needed!
Russia had already declared when Yeltsin was still alive, that Crimea was a redline because of its Navy and military bases located there. I've never given a crap about whether or not the rushed referendum was legit or not, because with a clear Russian majority, the last thiing Crimeans would accept would be joining an independent bankrupt Ukraine that cut pension payments and declared they were banning the Russian language as well!
Similar situation in the Donbass, where the greatest grievance...as a couple of friends have told me was that one oligarch (Rinat Akhmetov) the richest man in the independent nation of Ukraine owned almost everything...the coal mines, the steel mills,the manufacturing that he bought up on the cheap when everybody went capitalist. So, to my pro-Russian/anti-Kiev friends, life in the east Ukraine got much worse just as it did in the Galacian west! The only difference for those working in the mines and the mills, was that wages declined, the unions were banned, while one man owned all of the production....instead of the communist state. And that's a big reason why most eastern Ukrainians consider themselves communists today, and language aside, want nothing to do with the Svoboda, Pravy Sektor and other Kievan Nazis who were paid to invade and try to retake Donetsk and Lugansk and are still trying today, as artillery and ,mortar attacks are still fired at them after a supposed ceasefire was agreed to!
Worth noting that today, a majority of younger, working age Ukrainians have left home and are working...or looking for work elsewhere. Only difference being that most East Ukrainians crossed into Russia looking for work, while those in the west, went to Poland, Germany, England and France. So, they have that much in common!
It is likely today that...even if this moderate...Zelensky is able to hold on and exert any power over the Nazis that dominate parliament and receive most of the support from the billionaire oligarchs, the eastern provinces will never rejoin Ukraine voluntarily without a fight! So, by continuing the war, Trump is just trying to outdo Obama, who cut off arms sales because of war crimes committed or blamed on to the Nazi militias...who have been the only group dedicated to fighting to invade the east...and no doubt try to ethnically cleanse out the population!
In the end, like so many geopolitical quagmires that the US has started around the world,and is still mired in, the Ukraine will never improve until they give up on their wars and get to work on developing an economy, rather than continue on as the poorest country in Europe.