Having suffered a complete tactical defeat in Ukraine, Russia is forced to reconsider its further actions at the front. Having failed to quickly occupy key Ukrainian cities, as originally intended, Russian troops are strengthening their presence in the territories they occupy. Contrary to Putin’s earlier words that “Russia does not plan to seize the territory of Ukraine,” the actions of Russian troops are a classic occupation with the gradual economic, political and demographic integration of the occupied territories into the Russian Federation.
Russia has found itself under unprecedented political and economic pressure, its army is not well equipped and has no real ground movement capability. Under such circumstances, the Kremlin may abandon plans to further seize of Ukraine, but would try to seize the already captured territories.
Putin may attempt to unite the occupied territories of the Kherson and Zaporizhzhya regions with the territory of the so-called L/DPR republics. A certain prototype of the “Korean scenario” for the sake of the artificial division of Ukraine. Theoretically, this is the consolidation of de facto territories controlled by Russia and a chance to take a tactical pause before further offensive. On a large scale the chance to implement such a project in practice is impossible. The occupiers faced complete rejection and resistance from local residents. In addition, from a socio-political point of view, to unite Kherson with the L/DPR is pure utopia. In addition to huge financial losses, Russia will get a partisan underground in the rear and get bogged down in an asymmetric war, where the resource-strong side of the conflict has little chance to win.
The “Korean scenario” is also unrealistic because the territories of Ukraine currently held by Russia are small fragments dispersed along a 1,800-kilometer front line. Often these are just roads where Russian convoys move chaotically and whose borders are constantly changing due to hostilities. Therefore, the concept of the division of Ukraine with the seize of the southern and eastern regions is purely technically impossible. Russia holds relatively small areas in the north, east and south of Ukraine. At the moment, it is simply physically impossible to combine them.
Russia is on the verge of an imminent default. Any additional territories in its composition is a financial and economic burden. There are already talks about a possible freezing of bank deposits of Russians. Subsidizing Ukraine is an extremely unpopular and draining step for the Russian treasury.