As to an end date.
Much of the USA press eg:USA Today expects that Putin needs a victory by May 9th, a big holiday in Russia and ex-Soviet countries, commemorating the end of WorldWarII. A date only three weeks away. Would be appropriate to declare a victory on that date. If only Putin had a victory. Guess Putin is working on that.
Another suggested end date is Easter, by the old calendar, this Sunday. Only five days away. Many of the troops sent in by Putin belong to the Russian Orthodox Church. They will celebrate on the same day as many Ukrainians. Maybe the Russian Orthodox Church will ask Putin to stop? Unlikely whilst Kirill is in charge. Guess the church in Moscow needs some work.
Maybe Putin will stop?
Putin is selling the story “On the historical unity of Russians and Ukrainians”. Harvard ran a review of that idea.
My thoughts are simpler, “Rubbish”!
You will see in the Harvard article that Russia adopted an authoritarian society. However, and I quote, “Ukraine is an outlier in that sense. It’s maintained its democratic institutions. It’s paying a price for that, but the society is quite committed to keep going as a democratic country. There were two attempts — one under President Kuchma, which resulted in one Maidan, and one under President Yanukovych, which resulted in another Maidan — attempts to strengthen the presidential branch and join the post-Soviet authoritarian sphere. Both attempts were rejected by the Ukrainian society.” And that is all of Ukrainian society. Including Crimea and the Eastern provinces. None of which fits in with Putin’s narrative. Guess Putin’s narrative needs some work.
Maybe sanctions will cause Putin to stop?
The European Union is still buying energy from Russia. €35 billion since February 24th. Guess sanctions need some work.
Maybe the UN will intervene?
Not done much so far. According to CNN, the UN is unlikely to do anything. Russia, having a permanent seat in the UN Security Council, can block any and all resolutions. Nobody will dispute that, including the other countries with a permanent seat. If Russia has to give up power, then the USA, UK, France and China would have to do so too. Guess the UN needs some work.
Which leaves Ukraiina all alone.
Guess Putin does not need to stop.