As can be expected, the entire Western discourse over Ukraine completely ignores history, the fact that NATO’s eastward expansion after 1989 constitutes Western aggression [in violation of the assurance George Bush Sr. gave Gorbachev that in exchange for German reunification NATO would not expand east] and the fact that the whole "crisis" started when a f***ing coup overthrew Ukraine’s government and installed the current pro-western billionaire oligarch ruler.
To hear Obama or any American government official or mainstream media personality discuss Ukraine, one wouldn’t know that the current government in Kiev is a coup regime. And the complete ignorance of Russian history, Russian interests, legitimate Russian concerns and so forth is of course ubiquitous through American government, media, and society. Russia was almost destroyed twice in the 20th century due to German invasion. After WWII Russia understandably wanted a buffer zone in Eastern Europe to protect itself from a 3rd German invasion. Unfortunately Russia was a brutal dictatorship under Stalin and other Soviet leaders and the people of Eastern Europe suffered under tyranny. Nobody disputes that. But the basic idea that Russia should have some security after suffering tens of millions of casualties during WWII is lasting and I think obviously a just position. NATO is a Cold War-era military alliance, hostile to Russia, and its post-1989 eastward expansion, again in violation of informal US-Soviet arrangements, is the real context for what’s happening now.
What is Russia supposed to do? Sit there and let a pro-western billionaire turn Ukraine into a NATO outpost on Russia’s border? For Crimea to become a NATO naval base? But such considerations would require the average flag-waving American to actually put his/her core nationalist bias aside and actually look at the situation in proper historical context. The flag waving American would have to set aside his/her government/media manufactured hatred of Russia and demonization of Vladimir Putin and actually think for him/her self.
I strongly urge everyone to read the following article by John Mearsheimer (political scientist, University of Chicago) printed in Foreign Affairs magazine Sept/Oct 2014 issue.