Overall, we can see what’s happening in Ukraine mostly through 2 different angles. The Russian’s “spheres of influence” and the geopolitical imbalance of power within Europe. Through this angle, someone would mostly favor the Russian position.
On the other hand, one could see this conflict through the right of sovereign countries to decide with whom they want to be aligned with. In this case, people would mostly understand the Ukrainian side.
Regardless of the point of view one sees the conflict, it would be great if we could all solve this conflict diplomatically. However, someone like Putin only understands the language of power and prey on weakness.
As an example. Look what happened when Obama showed weakness in not using force in Syria after the use of chemical weapons….Russia roll over Syria.
When Turkey started using drones in Libya against rebels supported by Russian mercenaries, it turned the tide without any Russian major reaction, it even killed some Russians in the process.
Putin believes Biden (and Democrats in general) are weak. He is testing them and showed much appreciation for Trump (like it or not, someone who is constantly trying to transmit strength).
If the West fold under Russia pressure, tomorrow it will be the Baltic countries which will have “Russian peacekeepers” crossing its borders on the excuse of defending ethnic Russians. As the invasion of Sudetenland by Hitler just before the Second World War proves, an aggressor will only stop expanding if confronted.
The European Union knows it. That’s why Ursula von der Leyen (President of the European Commission) and Josep Borrell (High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy) have said recently that the European Union (or western countries by extent) has to start using the language of power if it doesn’t want to be bullied by other actors and finally achieve strategic sovereignty.
As someone who served in the military and have visited and have friends in both Russia and Ukraine, I so much wish we could all solve all our geopolitical problems through dialogue and diplomacy. That’s the world we want. Unfortunately, that’s not the world we have (and never had). As long as there are wolfs in this world, we can’t deal with them with empty hands. Power is still king. If NATO concedes and let Putin decide who is in and out, it’s over for NATO.
Diplomacy and dialogue have to be supported by military and economic strength in order to achieve results.
Regarding China, if the US/NATO show weakness, it will be an invitation for China to invade Taiwan. And since Taiwan is the biggest producer of semiconductors in the world, the US won’t allow it. It’s a matter of national security.
So, what happens in Ukraine will have global repercussions, and all the actors involved know it.