Big countries want their sphere of influence. They don’t want to be “assumed to be defeated”. For instance, the Soviet Union went down, and the US was “so convinced of its defeat” it expanded NATO to Poland and lately tried to even get Ukraine.
However, what were we thinking when we thought Russia wasn’t coming back? You mean a nation that’s the largest in the world with massive natural resources – especially petroleum?
Small nations like Ukraine have rights. They are independent nations. What good is their independence, if it isn’t real sovereignty? Nonetheless, in reality, total independence of smaller countries is only on paper. In fact, even big nations that lack nukes or enough nukes (Brazil, India) simply are going to have choose sides with some bigger nations as big brothers.
Anyway, most Americans don’t like Putin’s aggression; the problem is that Ukraine is as far away as Vietnam, and unlike in the Vietnam War, this conflict is going to massively sink the US economy further than what is going on now via massive inflation and gas prices.
I’m reminded of the movie Air Force One with Harrison Ford with the angry Russian pissed off cause his homeland was reduced to nothing. Well, that man is back.