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In the seventeenth century, Poland was one of the key players in Eastern Europe. Together with Poland, Ukraine has been following the western course of development. However, Polish policy has led to the most brutal uprising leaded by Bogdan Khmelnytsky, Taras Bulba, etc. As a result, the vector of development has changed drastically to the opposite direction, from the west to the east, from Poland to Moscow.
This situation lasted for almost four hundred years.
Today, the achievements of Russia are at roughly the same level. Even if Russia returns Donbas, Crimea, plus gives Kuban and pays contributions, it does not matter. It is already done. The vector of development of Ukraine is changed. For at least decades if not centuries. Therefore, the situation would never be the same as it was. We might hope for some kind of relationships, like in the case with Finland. A hundred years have passed, and no one is saying that Finland was part of the Russian Empire, right? And no one says that Russians and Finns are one nation, although all Moscow toponyms are Finno-Ugric.
After efforts of involving Ukraine into its New Great Empire ("the Russian world"), Russia has lost Ukraine for centuries.
Trying to "protect" the Russian language in Russian-speaking countries, this empire makes Russian language the language of the Diaspora.
Trying to take back a piece of a land surrounded by water on three sides, "Russian world" has lost not only the country, but the whole region! More than one region.