I sort of get the official reasons why the West did not just let Russia to just swallow Ukraine:
- Invading other countries and taking what's not yours is bad (even if some of it used to be yours in the past). Whoever attempts to do so needs to be stopped and educated, even if they have nukes.
- Not keeping your promises is bad. Again, whoever does so needs to be taught some good manners.
- The modern Ukraine is fresh, democratic, shining and promising. It would be a pity see it go down the maw of a big, rogue, filthy & totalitarian bully.
But. Let's just step back and see what would have happened if the West stayed absolutely neutral and did not support Ukraine at all. Imagine no military supplies, no money, no training/advice, nothing:
- Russia would have squashed Ukraine forces, removed Zelenskyy and put a puppet in his place (e.g. Yanukovych).
- Ukraine would have de-facto become just yet another part of
- There would have been virtually no civilian blood (comparing to how much has spilt by now).
- There would have been virtually no destruction of buildings/infrastructure.
- There would have been virtually no new influx of refugees.
- Europe would have continued buying Russian oil & gas. The prices would stay stable, no energy crisis would occur.
- The inflation would stay normal.
And, arguably, Russia wouldn't have continued invading further in Europe. Unlike Ukraine, that would have been a direct aggression against NATO: Russia may be blatantly impudent but not suicidal. Also, whereas trying to conquer Ukraine sort-of makes sense in the light of it being the common historical ancestor land, trying to get other parts of Europe wouldn't have that sort of "justification".
So, the above was the alternative scenario which by all means was available to the West, and I struggle to believe that the availability of it wasn't clear. No rocket science or quantum mechanics here.
Yet the West has chosen the costly and bloody option.
Was it really about standing on principle of what is right and what is wrong?
Somehow it seems way too naive to accept that as the real motive (no matter how I may personally agree with the principles).
Rather, wasn't the whole thing indeed just about leadership on this planet? Childish power game? Aiming to establish/maintain a single main leader nation/agenda/philosophy vs allowing multiple ones?