The Russian government inadvertently told us the purpose of the invasion. The historian Timothy Snyder, an expert on Eastern Europe, explains:
Russia has a history of aiming for quick and decisive strikes against Ukraine, failing, then revealing the aims of the operation in media prepared on the assumption of success.
Such a sequences of events unfolded in 2014 during a Ukrainian presidential election. Russia tried to hack Ukraine’s central election commission so that it would present a far-right candidate, who in fact got less than 1% of the vote, as the winner.
The hack failed, but Russian media had been prepared for its success; and Russian television went on air with falsified results and even digital images that matched what the hack was supposed to produce.
Something similar seems to have happened with the invasion of 2022. Like the hack in 2014, the invasion did not lead to the expected result. This left Russian media with prepared material which, since it assumed success, reveals (or confirms) the goals of the Russian invasion.
No doubt most such material was never published or quickly removed. This article seems to have slipped through. It was written for approved Russian media on the assumption of a quick Russian victory, and so reveals the goals of the invasion.
The goals of the invasion described here are destruction of the Ukrainian government, control of all Ukrainian territory, the end of Ukrainian sovereignty, and a solution to the “Ukrainian question.”
Further anticipated is the creation of a unified Russian-Ukrainian-Belarusian entity, and the rebalancing of the world order in a “new epoch” of Russian domination over a humiliated and divided West.
Of course, a divided West and a subjugated Ukraine is exactly what the former president tried to give his “savvy” Russian mentor when T____ criticized our allies, threatened to leave NATO and pressured Zelensky to provide dirt on Biden by freezing military aid (which led to his second impeachment).