Apologies for the controversial question, but this is something I'm curious about.
Historically, and particularly in recent history, invasions of one country into another are generally justified as "it will be better for the residents of country B if they are ruled by country A instead of their current rulers". This was the case with both Iraq and Afghanistan, and, as it's played out by history, has actually somehow more or less turned out to be true in those 2 examples. Now, the situation in Ukraine is confusing, because news media are alternately claiming Ukraine to be a Western-style democracy but also a corrupt oligarchy (not that those two things are entirely incompatible with one another, but I digress), so it's difficult to determine to an outside observer.
It seems to be the case that it is commonly agreed upon that this is not true of the current Russia-Ukraine conflict, that there is no possible way that Ukraine will be "better off" under Russian control than under its own control. However, I am unfamiliar with the specifics of that argument, only that it is so stated and agreed. So my question is, as someone who knows very little about the internal workings of Russia or of Ukraine: If Putin were to make a similar claim to the above, that the lives of Ukranians would be better under Russian rule as opposed to their own rule, what evidence to we have to falsify that statement? Obviously general considerations of one country being taken over by another include the right to self-governance, which is certainly one issue, but I'm wondering more specifically regarding the particular parties of engagement in this conflict rather than general considerations. What, specifically, is it believed that Russia would do negatively to Ukraine, if it was to take over?
I'm specifically looking for examples of things that Putin and/or other Russian or Soviet regimes have said or done with regards to Ukraine in the past as indications of what they might do again. Of course anything is hypothetically possible, but I'm interested in likely outcomes, not simply possible or hypothetical ones.