"Ukrainians would be furious that they’d be giving up territory that was rightfully theirs, and that Russia would be rewarded for a brutal invasion."

Ukraine is an arbitrary line on a map and most of the people behind Russian lines are Russians that don't particularly like Kiev. Other than hatred of Russians and wanting to stick it to them, nobody really gives a damn who controls some shelled out villages in the Donbass. Life will be essentially the same for those people whether they are ruled by Moscow or Kiev.

It's pretty clear that if you gave Russia all of the territory is controls right now the war would be considered a big failure by them. That was true from about a month into the war. Face saving would be done but they are never trying this again.

Ukraine has a conscript army and men aren't allowed to leave. We don't have a clue what they would be willing to fight for or be enraged about if they were actually free to leave. People who are stuck in a situation often make up rationales for what they are stuck doing.

I think the #1 true desire for everyone involved is for the war to end. Soildiers pretend they care about terms but they will not give a damn a year after its over.

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