What the Russians initially wanted was to:
- Short-circuit the imminent Donbas invasion – which they did.
- Scare the Zelensky regime into negotiating a political settlement – which they failed to do.
Kiev had no intention of negotiating a ceasefire because of orders given to them from Washington: “Fight Russia to the last Ukrainian!” Also, the Neo-Nazi goons around Zelensky threatened him if he negotiated and surrendered because they are terrified of the Russians.
So Zelensky launched a massive PR and propaganda campaign, primarily to motivate AFU forces to fight to the death. Myths were created (Ghost of Kiev), false flags were carried out (Bucha, Kramatorsk) and relentless media stories were flogged relentlessly.
The Russians kept negotiating and trying to NOT destroy Ukraine infrastructure. In fact at first they were even trying to minimize AFU casualties. The evidence for this is overwhelming: The RF did not hit civilian infrastructure – water, electric, phone, transportation. They did not hit AFU barracks, command centers, government buildings, etc.
The Russians’ initial priority was for a *negotiated settlement*. But by late March, they realized this was impossible.
This is why the RF withdrew from Kiev. There was no sense putting men near the city when they were not doing what they were supposed to do – putting political pressure on the Zelensky regime to negotiate. This withdrawal was claimed as a “victory” in the “Battle of Kiev”! lmao