He's basically up shit creek on further big bucks from the US government, as Israel-Gaza sucks the oxygen out of the room. Plus, if new wingnut-squared Speaker of the House Mike Johnson is holding new money for Israel hostage to the rest of Genocide Joe's budget, that applies in spades to new money for Ukraine, no matter how much Biden doubles down on linkage.
So, it should be no surprise that Nato officials are pushing peace talks now. NATO and the EU don't say boo without running it past Washington first, first of all, so everybody holds this line. Second, as a possible recession looms, especially in Russian gas-less Germany (guess in using the Minsk Accords as appeasement, Iron Ass Chancellor Angela Merkel forgot to diversify the German energy economy more) there's other reasons beyond Ukraine to look for peace. Of course since somebody blew up Nord Stream 2, Russian gas will be harder to come by anyway.
Meanwhile, on the cluelessness? NATO is reportedly also going to start the formal accession process for Ukraine. Unless this is anything more than a negotiating ploy stick, this is idiotic indeed, and quite arguably idiotic even with that caveat.
On the Realpolitik side, referencing the sausage grinder etc., anybody wtih a foreign policy brain knows Ukraine's been running out of troops for months. And, terrorism expert Malcolm Nance hasn't offered to deliver 10,000 mercenaries, and all the NAFO fellas, I mean Nafo Nazis, are still just Fighting 101st Keyboarders. And, it continues to be funny to petard-hoist them, as the American portion of them is surely primarily BlueAnons who, if they're 35 or older, were applying that to BushBloggers during Shrub's Iraq War salad days. People who know how to Google demographics aren't surprised by the shortages. Despite the NAFO Nazis talking about Russia facing a demographic crisis, it's worse in Ukraine by shorter life expectancy and greater rate of decline in population.
He's also in a corner as his own top commander, Gen. Valery Zaluzhny, says the war is deadlocked, drawing an official Zelensky rebuke and shitcanning of one of his top aides. Zaluzhny's crime? Admitting that use of drones by both sides had stalemated mechanical force advances. In other words, those new high-dollar Western tanks can't do anything.
In reality, I suspect the rebuke, and the firing of Gen. Viktor Khorenko, happened as PR moves to keep things like this contained away from NATO. Reality? They know fair chunks of this already. And, the possibly political nature of the firing only hurt Zelensky more.
Now, per the piece at top, is Putin going to be that reluctant to make a deal? Depends on what's offered.
The post-invasion sanctions have to be lifted, of course, first of all. Frozen Russian bank accounts have to be unfrozen. Previous, post-Maidan sanctions have to be at least lessened.
Second, even though Putin knows in reality that they won't be worth the paper they're written on, IMO, he had to get real security guarantees. And, real ones, not the fake ones the West proffered in pre-Maidan days.
Now, the biggie?
First, the West accepts Crimea is Russian.
Second, it accepts the Donbas lands are Russian.
Third, Putin accepts the plebicites held elsewhere are a nothingburger and those lands remain Ukrainian.
Now, "poor Zelensky."
Just as he, like previous Ukrainian leaders, refused to implement Ukraine's side of Minsk, he stands a good chance of being a dead man with such a treaty. That's made worse by him being Jewish. No other way to put it. That said, he lied down with the Bandera-Azov dog and got their fleas in the first place.
Would there be a way to implement this?
A UN peacekeeping force, even if not of fun interest for many.
Stipulations on that?
No Russians, Ukrainians, or any NATO or EU member states can have troops in that force. Nor China. Ideally, it all comes from General Assembly states that never condemned the invasion in the first place.