After 2014 Germany got a lot of Ukrainian migrants. I knew a few in person — 4, and at least 3 of them are not Maidan supporters. One of them told me that a lot of Ukrainians try to find a place in Germany, pretending that they seek political asylum, but in fact wanting any job or simply welfare.
Germany also has not bad sociologists and intelligence. By now they know that Ukrainian break-up was for real, Crimea was happy to switch to Russia, Donbass separatists are mostly local etc.
Also Germany has business with Russia (Mercedes, Siemens etc), and does not have much business in Ukraine. “Punishing Russia” will result not only in more expensive gas, but also in drop of their own sales. I think there are more elegant ways to shoot your own foot.
Also I think that like half or even more of Ukrainian citizens also want cheaper gas whatever it takes and do not want to support Ukrainian government (also whatever it takes). So if you offer to people who didn’t come to elections of 2019 or voted for pro-Eastern parties return to political reality of 2013, cancelling all laws, appointments, and arrangements after that, including European association — YES, YES PLEASE.
The people who want to “punish Russians” are rather minority, like 15–20%. No call of boycott of Russian goods in Ukraine was successful without threats of “activists and veterans” and government top-down action prohibiting this or that. If the government does not prohibit… 7.76 million of Ukrainians visited Russia as tourists in 2019 and 8 million in 2018. Also, by estimates, 3 million of Ukrainians work in Russia. That numbers dwarf all numbers of those who “fought Russia”.
Why Germans should pay more for what the majority of Ukrainians does not what to pay more?
Roman Podolyan, 1977-born Soviet Ukrainian from Kiev, have friends in Russia