I think that part of the problem for Ukraine is that those favoring an autocephalic patriarchate happen to be a minority in the country, at least that is how it seems. If they were a definite united majority they would eventually get what they hope for.
I have no horse in this race, I don’t care whether the Ukrainian church is totally autocephalic or not. I would like to see them as unified.
As westerners we are generally inclined to sympathize with Ukrainian separatism. Perhaps we would like to see Ukraine integrate into NATO, and we are happy to read that the Black Sea fleet is broken up between the Russian state and the Ukrainian state, that sort of thing. So we are predisposed to think of these as two people with separate languages, customs and traditions (when perhaps they are not so different after all, at least it is under dispute by people much closer to the situation than I). And we root for the Ukrainian Orthodox Patriarchate (perhaps even when we think the Ukrainian Catholics should not have one).
That is what makes the situation so political. Certain political factions within Ukraine want to see a complete and absolute guaranteed permanent separation from the Russian state and that has to take this church situation into account. The church is not thinking of it as two peoples (Ukrainians and Russians, as such), but one flock which have always been linked together. This may be the Russian church’s equivalent struggle with historic Gallicanism in their eyes.
Interestingly, at this point it appears to me (not really certain) that a majority of the people of Ukraine are also thinking of themselves as one flock with the rest of the Russian Synod. If that is the case, and religious affiliation is considered an important political factor in future elections, then there is going to be a lot of effort to separate the people from the ROC-MP. If they have to try very hard to do this, the effort is going to make the establishment of a separate canonical Patriarchate seem very artificial. Especially if it represents a clear minority of the people.
Of course, it is possible that the three schismatic churches in Ukraine together number more than half the religious population, and a merger of them would make a majority, but I am inclined to doubt it.
If anyone has access to the numbers it would be nice to see them.