One can sense and detect a new kind of commotion in the force and in the universe.
Thanks to the Minsk Deal, which Michael Kofman appraised as the West's "brilliant" political and diplomatic success and Russia's "political capitulation," the West did start talking in December about "reparations" and Russia's and Putin's "defeat" in Ukraine (dutifully recorded at that time on my timeline and also noted in my twitters). In exchange, Moscow wanted basically only two or three things in return: 1) agreement that Crimea is Russia's, 2) some assurance (like that one given to Gorbachev?) that Ukraine will stay neutral--hence no more expansion of NATO, and 3) no visible humiliation of Russia. Thinking that this is already a home run, the US, NATO, and the EU effectively rejected all these "minimum" demands or requests of Moscow.
1) With respect to Crimea, the most the West was willing to do was "recognizing" Crimea's current de facto status for NOW, but nothing de iure and nothing really obliging. More like, OK, we agree that for now we will not necessarily talk about it, but you know that our position is principled (unlike yours, obviously), and we can never change it or say publicly that we could or even should. And you are not exactly doing anything to make us change our mind. Briefly, it is a no barely masked as "well, maybe." But "not really." Otherwise, "sure; don't worry about it; read our lips/take our word for it."
2) Again neither the US nor NATO would ever honestly and seriously commit themselves to anything like compromising on its Drang nach Osten and expansionism. It is like asking a devil to promise to do something good at least once.Expansion and the attempt to finish off Russia is in NATO's DNA. Moreover, in the eyes of the US and NATO, it was Russia that was or would be thus losing, and the winner is entitled to all that comes with the win, which brings us to point 3.
3) Defeat and humiliation of the other (Russia) has been part of the Empire's quest, program and war plan from the beginning. Such humiliation is also seen as indispensable for the West's Shadefreude and the sense of its entitlement (what makes the winning ultimately for them so spicy and worth it i the end), but, politically even more importantly, indispensable for the next step and goal, which is the overthrow of the Russian government and a new, undoubtedly also Naziod regime change in Russia or/and on its disintegrated territories. In Moscow, after months of trying, they started to see what Strelkov and few others (no need to mention names) saw from the beginning--that they cannot afford such a great Mephistophelian/Faustian deal unless suicide and self-effacement is their new existential wish, overriding any other concerns, oaths, and sense of self-preservation. In addition, at that moment--to deliver a further nudge in sealing the deal--the US ordered its Kiev Banderite puppets into a very short-lived offensive the very next day after Lavrov recertified his faith in the Minsk deal at the meeting in Berlin.
Now, the West is realizing that, in its hubris and imperial exuberance, they overshot a bit and so Western leaders and diplomats are scrambling to salvage as much of Russia's would-be "capitulation" and Minsk as possible, trying as a good car salesman to throw some quick and inessential teasers and extras.
And, of course, the West and Western liberals and even faux lefties do approve of Putin's apparent approval of someone like Ivan Ilyin who deeply admired the anti-Bolshevik "greatness" of Nazism. Of course, esoteric "conservatives" (or secret friends and fellow-travelers of the Right Sector) also find in Ilyin their kindred (and somewhat safely more widely unknown) spirit.
Furthermore, Putin and his advisers (Glazyev excepted) did believe--much like the West--that they did have a deal. Selling it to Moscow was one thing. Selling it to the Russian people was a circle that did not quite submit itself to being squared.
The gist of the "new (and allegedly final) peaceplan" which Hollande and Merkel are bringing to Moscow (and of which the US conveniently claims that it is not in any way involved in it) consists of trading new added-on for-now promises ("federalization," language status, "France's opposition to Ukraine joining NATO") for Russia's commitment to stop assistance to the Donetsk and Lugansk Republics and for Russia's and the two breakaway republics's recognition of the Nazi, anti-Russian junta's sovereignty over (the whole of) Ukraine and Donbass. The US insistence that it has nothing to do with the latest/last bid to "save peace" (to save the junta and the programmed Drang nach Osten) means that the US is reserving for itself to disregard and dismiss whatever promises (mistaken as agreements) Merkel and Hollande can make in the name of the West.