Fighting and Winning
If Ukraine defeats Russia, the collective West stands to gain the most. Ukraine’s economy will be completely destroyed and it will be the West (and who else?) who will create it anew, and therefore in its own interests. It will be all the easier because any word can be written on a blank sheet of paper. Ukraine will also be armed by the West. This means that even regardless of its formal membership or non-membership, Ukraine will be both economically and politically dependent on the West.
In the event of Russia’s victory (such a victory is highly unlikely, but theoretically we should consider it), it will be China, and not Russia (it has already lost, the only question is the extent of the loss) that will win. The question, “Was it possible?” will be answered positively, and the Far Eastern countries will start ingratiating themselves to China in order not to share the fate of Ukraine (China has no more respect for someone else’s sovereignty than Russia does). This would mean a transfer from the American sphere of influence to the Chinese one. Incidentally, that is one of the reasons that makes a Russian victory almost impossible — the US simply cannot afford to allow that victory.
That said, neither Ukraine nor Russia are puppets of the US and China. Russia is solely ruled by Putin, who got involved in this senseless, common sense and unprovoked war; Ukraine is just struggling to survive. I even doubt very much that China and the United States would want this showdown. But what has grown is what has grown.
Wars have been fought with other people’s hands since long ago. But it is now that they have a fashionable name: “Proxy wars”. I just do not know if wars like that fall under that name, or if we are talking about cases where the ones who benefit from it consciously manipulate the warring parties, and not just happen to be the beneficiaries (the beneficiaries). And in the latter case, what should we call the Russian-Ukrainian war? Quasi-proxy? Pseudo-proxy? Crypto-proxy? Whatever you call it, the essence will not change.