Published in Russian state-owned media, an article by a pro-Moscow Ukrainian 'political technologist' in exile on his vision for the future of the country. Which, if it reflects official thoughts and intentions, is pretty hair-raising. Here translated by Ukrainian activists:
I've changed my mind about the situation in Ukraine after reading some stuff and talking to well-informed people.
The Russian negotiations are largely a sham, with no chance of success if Kyiv doesn't pretty much give in to all of Moscow's demands.
Instead they want to fight a grand encirclement battle in the east of the country, which they think will lead to the destruction of a large part of the Ukrainian army and win the war. Whether that hope may be realistic is another matter, but the terrain is much more open than north of Kyiv, less suited to the ambush tactics which have cost them so heavily.
Meanwhile China is in a bind. They don't want Russia weakened and the West strenghtened too much, as it tilts the power balance against them. They are acutely sensitive to their own options for seizing Taiwan militarily should they feel the need to - while also not encouraging separatist urges within their own territories. But they also strongly do not want to upset the global commercial environment which is the basis of their own prosperity and it's Westerners who have the money to spend, far more than Russia's fairly modest economy.