A membership in NATO would enable Ukraine to be a country that is prosperous, democratic, and allied with the West militarily and economically. It would then serve as an example to the Russian people that they, too, can accomplish such a feat with a popular uprising similar to Maidan. Putin prefers to stay in power until his death, so that option is not suitable for him - for reasons that are only too obvious.
Ukraine as a member of NATO means viable non-Putin’s Ukraine. It does not affect Russian security. But it affects the security of the current dictator of Russia, former KGB officer Vladimir Putin. The so called NATO threat is a lie that serves to conceal Putin’s true motives.
References/sources provided on request.
[EDIT, May 10 2022]
According to Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Russian military leaders view the "colour revolutions" (Russian: «цветные революции», romanized: tsvetnye revolyutsii) as a "new US and European approach to warfare that focuses on creating destabilizing revolutions in other states as a means of serving their security interests at low cost and with minimal casualties."
Government figures in Russia, such as Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu (in office from 2012) and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (in office from 2004), have characterized colour revolutions as externally-fuelled acts with a clear goal to influence the internal affairs that destabilize the economy, conflict with the law and represent a new form of warfare. Russian President Vladimir Putin has stated that Russia must prevent colour revolutions: "We see what tragic consequences the wave of so-called colour revolutions led to. For us, this is a lesson and a warning. We should do everything necessary so that nothing similar ever happens in Russia".
The 2015 presidential decree The Russian Federation's National Security Strategy (О Стратегии Национальной Безопасности Российской Федерации) cites "foreign-sponsored regime change" among "main threats to public and national security," including
'the activities of radical public associations and groups using nationalist and religious extremist ideology, foreign and international non-governmental organizations, and financial and economic structures, and also individuals, focused on destroying the unity and territorial integrity of the Russian Federation, destabilizing the domestic political and social situation—including through inciting "color revolutions"—and destroying traditional Russian religious and moral values'
Colour revolution - Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colour_revolution
New members must uphold democracy, including tolerating diversity.
Minimum Requirements for NATO Membership. Fact sheet prepared by the Bureau of European and Canadian Affairs, June 30, 1997. https://1997-2001.state.gov/regions/eur/fs_members.html
- Abkhazia is considered a puppet state that depends on Russia. The economy of Abkhazia is heavily integrated with Russia and uses the Russian ruble as its currency. About half of Abkhazia's state budget is financed with aid money from Russia. Most Abkhazians have Russian passports. Russia maintains a 3,500-strong force in Abkhazia with its headquarters in Gudauta, a former Soviet military base on the Black Sea coast. The borders of the Republic of Abkhazia are being protected by the Russian border guards.
- Donetsk People's Republic – is considered to be a puppet state which is supported by Russia
- Luhansk People's Republic – is considered to be a puppet state which is supported by Russia
- South Ossetia has declared independence but its ability to maintain independence is solely based on Russian troops deployed on its territory. As South Ossetia is landlocked between Russia and Georgia, from which it seceded, it has to rely on Russia for economic and logistical support, as its entire exports and imports and air and road traffic is only between Russia. Former President of South Ossetia Eduard Kokoity claimed he would like South Ossetia eventually to become a part of the Russian Federation through reunification with North Ossetia.
- Transnistria – is sometimes considered a puppet state supported by Russia.
Puppet state - Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puppet_state