The world's most authoritative magazine on US foreign policy and international relations, Foreign Affairs, published a report on the 3 most likely options for ending the war. It is noteworthy that each of them is a defeat for Russia.
"War is inherently unpredictable. Indeed, the course of the conflict has served to invalidate widespread early prognostications that Ukraine would quickly fall; a reversal of fortunes is impossible to discount. It nevertheless appears that Russia is headed for defeat," Foreign Affairs.
Russia has admitted its defeat and is going to sign peace. This option is unlikely, as the number of Russian war crimes is so extensive that it makes any diplomatic dialogue almost impossible unless Russia surrenders.
In this same point, a long and hidden game is possible: Putin or his successor will try to save both Crimea, and face, and the possibility of returning to the war against Ukraine.
"It could blame its underperformance on NATO, arguing that the alliance's weapon deliveries, not Ukraine's strength, impeded a Russian victory. For this approach to pass muster within the regime, hard-liners—possibly including Putin himself—would have to be marginalized. This would be difficult but not impossible."
But this option is unlikely, since Putin, who did not have much time left, wanted a brilliant blitzkrieg and the eternal glory of the emperor.
Scenario 2 — "failure amid escalation." In this case, Russia will continue the war and sabotage on the territory of the states that support Ukraine. Maybe even uses nuclear weapons.
"Russia would transform from a revisionist state into a rogue one, a transition that is already underway, and that would harden the West's conviction that Russia poses a unique and unacceptable threat."
A nuclear step will lead to a direct confrontation between Russia and NATO, which will undoubtedly lead to the defeat of the aggressor country.
3. The fall of the Kremlin regime. "Russians will continue marching behind their inept tsar only to a certain point." Putin's blind stubbornness in the war against Ukraine is destroying the walls around him. And when these walls fall on Putin, a coup d'état, a civil war may break out in the country, and in the best case — the transformation of chaos into a modern state system.
No matter how the war ends, it will be for the benefit of all participants. A good future awaits Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia, which will finally be able to develop following the example of the post-Soviet countries of Central Europe. Belarus will finally be able to get rid of the dictator and elect a progressive leader.