But I think that if we actually garner some peace through diplomatic means, that'll mean, if we're serious, giving something to the Russians. If the sanctions fail, (and I think they're likely to fail) it's either diplomacy or escalation... or the prolonged state of annexation of Ukraine by Russia while simultaneously a total crippling of Russia and Ukraine in the process. Kind of a worse case scenario for the Ukrainian, which is important to consider since those are the people we're purporting to care about.
I think it's pretty essential that Putin be given several off ramps to divert course from what isn't just an illegal and atrocious military invasion, but one whose highest cost is inevitably going to be exacted against the Russian people. If the incentives for Putin that we create don't include what appears to him as a favorable option he'll have no material reason to change course. The point is there's only so much muscle and braggadocio here can accomplish, given the US overwhelmingly is unwilling to get involved militarily, and even if we were willing it would risk things like WW3 and a nuclear exchange. There's a very real ceiling the West has in terms of what we're prepared to do in support of Ukraine. That's clearly part of Putin's calculus for better or worse.
Meanwhile, much of the people that live in the south and the east of the Ukraine identify as ethnically Russian, primarily speak Russian, and generally show political support for Russophilic leaders. I think it might be a reasonable compromise to cede this territory to the Russians. [Along with reestablishing that series of buffer states between Russia and NATO like Finland, Ukraine, etc.] Especially when it's conceivable that many of those Ukrainians would prefer to be governed by Russia. And even more especially in places like the Donetsk Oblast and the Luhansk Oblast. I'm still doing research on this though. This is all predicated on the idea that those people would prefer Russian annexation to Ukrainian governance or would at least be willing to make that sacrifice to achieve an armistice. Honestly, I think it's going to take at least year or so for anyone to come to terms with what the people of Ukraine especially in these key regions actually want.
---the late great Donald Blake
If the Ukrainians are unwilling to fight for their country despite the endless resources (armament and oil) the West is willing to provide, then perhaps there's not much we can do. But I'm assuming they're determined to continue fighting; and so long that this assumption is true, I don't support giving Putin/Russia an inch of Ukrainian soil. I don't believe in appeasing brutal dictators, and I don't believe his generals would follow orders if he ordered a nuclear attack.
In WWII, the Germans/Japanese lost because they ran out of oil; and in battles of attrition, it all comes down to resources. So long as the Ukrainians are determined to win, and so long as we give them all the resources they need, I don't see how Russia can win. No appeasement!