Your question begs for a highly complex answer that is currently so hot it is igniting the world: could we have avoided the war in any way, such as with American leaders accepting Russian leaders demands?
As you can expect, you will only find simplistic, often biased answers here. There are only a few experts worldwide on this question, and they wouldn't be able to answer in the limited span of a StackExchange's post. Some answers here imply simplistic reasons, but obviously no country would start a war that can lead to World War 3 just because they are being unreasonable, geopolitics is a discipline that is immensely more complex than "the good, the bad and the ugly" cinematic, but unrealistic, scenario.
If you want to delve deeper into this question, I'd suggest to read the works of (Western) independent scholars, and even then, don't expect a simple answer. Works on politics remain mostly opinion based even by scholars, but they at least have an extensive historical and theoretical knowledge that allow them to write more informed and contextualized opinions than what you will typically read elsewhere.
As for your question, I'd point you more specifically to the liberalism vs realism political ideologies of States security. Here are some relevant excerpts from the works of established western scholars:
The great tragedy is this entire affair was avoidable. Had the United States and its European allies not succumbed to hubris, wishful thinking, and liberal idealism and relied instead on realism’s core insights, the present crisis would not have occurred. Indeed, Russia would probably never have seized Crimea, and Ukraine would be safer today. The world is paying a high price for relying on a flawed theory of world politics.
At the most basic level, realism begins with the recognition that wars occur because there is no agency or central authority that can protect states from one another and stop them from fighting if they choose to do so. Given that war is always a possibility, states compete for power and sometimes use force to try to make themselves more secure or gain other advantages. There is no way states can know for certain what others may do in the future, which makes them reluctant to trust one another and encourages them to hedge against the possibility that another powerful state may try to harm them at some point down the road.
Liberalism sees world politics differently. Instead of seeing all great powers as facing more or less the same problem—the need to be secure in a world where war is always possible—liberalism maintains that what states do is driven mostly by their internal characteristics and the nature of the connections among them. It divides the world into “good states” (those that embody liberal values) and “bad states” (pretty much everyone else) and maintains that conflicts arise primarily from the aggressive impulses of autocrats, dictators, and other illiberal leaders. For liberals, the solution is to topple tyrants and spread democracy, markets, and institutions based on the belief that democracies don’t fight one another, especially when they are bound together by trade, investment, and an agreed-on set of rules.
After the Cold War, Western elites concluded that realism was no longer relevant and liberal ideals should guide foreign-policy conduct. As the Harvard University professor Stanley Hoffmann told Thomas Friedman of the New York Times in 1993, realism is “utter nonsense today.” U.S. and European officials believed that liberal democracy, open markets, the rule of law, and other liberal values were spreading like wildfire and a global liberal order lay within reach.
Read more: Liberal Illusions Caused the Ukraine Crisis, by Stephen M. Walt, January 19th 2022
Once the discussions over NATO expansion began in earnest, Russia registered its objections—early, frequently, and emphatically. But considering that the alliance’s membership will have increased from 16 in 1991 to 30 once North Macedonia is formally admitted in 2020, Moscow’s objections clearly have made little difference to those driving the policy. Richard Holbrooke, writes his biographer George Packer, ‘brushed off’ arguments that expanding NATO would provoke Russia and dismissed the idea that Russia had reason to feel threatened by the West. But as Packer observed, Holbrooke’s inability to imagine how other countries might view US actions given their past experiences—in Russia’s case repeated invasions across its western frontier—and current apprehensions meant that ‘his doctrine risked becoming a kind of liberal imperialism’ (Packer 2019, 399).
Holbrooke’s attitude is instructive because it marked the thinking of other advocates of NATO expansion (and still does). They believed that Russians, especially the democrats among them, could not truly believe that an enlarged NATO posed a threat to their country. Stated differently, US officials committed to expanding the alliance seemed to believe that the only reasonable way Russia could view their policy was the way that they themselves viewed it. In consequence, they regarded Russian objections as, in the main, rhetoric designed for domestic consumption, the result of misunderstanding of US intentions, or simple paranoia. They also believed that Russia’s leaders could be won over by a variety of means, whether economic aid and inclusion in the Partnership for Peace or inclusion in security forums such as the Russia–NATO Consultative Council, and that personal chemistry between Russian and US presidents, notably Boris Yeltsin and Bill Clinton’s bonhomie, would calm Moscow’s anxiety.
This view discounted the possibility that Russian leaders would regard the alliance’s movement eastward toward their country’s borders as provocative—and disingenuous given US assurances that the Cold War was over and that Russia was a partner.
[...] Opponents of NATO expansion had warned that Russia’s leaders would interpret expansion precisely that way and would be unmoved by the argument that it was needed to provide security to and foster democracy in the lands to NATO’s east (Mandelbaum 1996, 1997; GovInfo 1997).
Read more: NATO enlargement and US grand strategy: a net assessment, Rajan Menon and William Ruger, 2020
[...] Supporters of enlargement have argued that it would help to stabilize Eastern Europe in at least three ways. First, a strong Western commitment to former communist states in this region would deter any future Russian aggression. Second, enlargement would reduce the likelihood of conflict among NATO members, ameliorating security dilemmas and forcing them to accept current borders and pursue the peaceful resolution of disputes. Third, it would further democratization in the region, which in turn would help to stabilize the area because democracies are unlikely to fight each other. As former United Nations Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick explained, "There is ... only one reliable guarantee against aggression. It is not found in international organizations. It is found in the spread of democracy. It derives from the simple fact that true democracies do not invade one another and do not engage in aggressive wars... Preserving and strengthening democracies in Central and Eastern Europe should be the United States' central goal and top foreign policy priority in Europe [...]".
Read more: Why NATO Enlargement Does Not Spread Democracy, Dan Reiter, 2001
TL;DR: According to these scholars, american leaders had a fundamentally different view than russian leaders on how to implement international security in Europe: americans viewed institutions as obsolete and strongly believed in the liberal ideals of democracy as the core values to ensure mutual security. Unfortunately, the economically and military weakened russians post world war 2 were in an entirely different mindset and viewed the world from a very different perspective, a "realistic" one as scholars term it, in which ideals didn't matter at all in face of the militaristic and political forces placement on the world map. Americans did not understand russians' viewpoint, continuing their enlargement plan in presumably good faith of trying to increase the security of European countries, but this miscommunication is now backfiring hard.
(Addendum: Reminder: Geopolitics is the study of countries interactions, not only by their official statements, but also by their actions. When scholars qualify one State's behavior as following an ideology or framework, this represents an analysis of both their communications and actions -- and both public statements and confidential cables where available.)
I'd recommend you to look for more scholar works, you may find other opinions, some differing. Do not stay in an echo chamber.