Note that my stance is really of non-aggression towards any country. Had the country gained its independence, she has the right to pursue her destiny as a sovereign. So I want to let you know what lead to this event in an historical perspective.
Late 1980s: Ronald Reagen and Mikhail Gorbachev agrees to unite East Germany with the Western part. An verbal agreement is reached on no father expansion of NATO in the Eastern Europe.
1991: Soviet Union breaks up. All Eastern Europe and former Soviet Union plunges into deep recession.
1992: Boris Yeltsin make a trip to the USA. Addresses the joint session of congress. Offers to join hands in friendship, alliance, and partnership. USA responded coldly.
1997: NATO decides to expand into the former Warsaw Pact nations of Eastern Europe.
1999: Yeltsin vows to make Russia stronger than ever in the wake of further expansion, despite years long friendly overtures to the West, in the hope to integrate Russia into Europe.
Late 1999: Vladimir Putin, then a completely unknown and a political outsider appointed as acting President of Russia.
2000: Putin wins the election in his own right. Engages with the USA to mend and cement ties. While meeting Bill Clinton, Putin floats the idea of joining NATO. He doesn’t receive a solid response.
2001: 9/11 happens, Russia offers it bases in Central Asia, along with any kind of military assistance. Again, the USA ditches this offer.
2001-2008: Russian economy progresses and is mentioned alongside China and India. During this time, he also asks to join the European Union. And is rebuffed by saying that Russia is too big for the bloc.
March 2008: NATO meeting in Bucharest, Romania, concludes with the aim of integrating Ukraine and Georgia into the military alliance. Moscow rejects the possibility. Reminds the USA, they agreed on no further expansion. US responds that those assurance were to Gorbachev and the USSR. Putin is enraged.
August 2008: Putin attacks Georgia, wins the War and also supports Abkhazia and South Ossetia in independence. (Note that both were historically pro-Russian and still are not recognized in the wider int’l community.)
2013: EU extends a hand to Ukraine for initiating the process of joining the union. Russia on other hand tries to lure away Ukraine with a more comprehensive deal without any preconditions.
2014: The Ukrainian president, Victor Yanukovych, accepts Russian offer, sparking nationwide protests. He ultimately resigns, flees to Russia. Crimea is invaded by Russia. Sanctions ensued and Russia plunges into economic crisis.
2014-2022: Russia allegedly supports breakaway regions of Luhansk and Donetsk. Minsk agreements are signed to ceasefire. Blame-game starts on either side of Russian-Ukrainian border.
2021: Military built up starts. US gather intelligence. Warns Russia of any misadventure.
2022: Invasion on Ukraine begins.
After the collapse a uni-polar world emerged, with the USA recognized as the sole superpower. And, they had always two ways of dealing with Russia. Either accept them into their world, let them join NATO and the EU. And just like the Marshall plan for the post-WWII Europe, they could just fold Russia into democratic layers. Or, try to humiliate them as the losing side and reminding them of their past again and again.
Unfortunately, the USA chose the second one. So, I guess the egoistic approach started from the USA. Also, from 1991 to 2007, there was not a single thing from the Russian side which offended the West. NOT A SINGLE EVENT.
Had Russia done the same in Mexico right next to the US border, Americans would have gone nuts. Just remember what happened during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
On the contrary, US is a boogeyman, always has been. They intervened in Guatemala, Cuba, Panama, Nicaragua, Honduras, kept a vigilant on on all of the Americas. They invaded Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Korea, Syria. They have enabled corrupt regimes to destroy whatever they like. Israel to Palestine; Saudi Coalition to Yemen. They dragged Pakistan in an unwanted war. They sanctioned Iran, who know their truths of coups all too well.
And not to forget encirclement of their greatest rivals: supports South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, India, and Australia against China. As mentioned above, NATO around Russia.
So when the other plays the game using your rules, your sabre-rattling resonates the entire globe. The hypocrisy at its best.
Always there was a clash of ideologies, egos, revenges throughout. Leaders unknowingly drag their entire national apparatus to wars, and the people have always burnt the heavy loss. At the end of day, the masses are there who truly suffer.
Negotiate or at least talk. Engagement is the best strategy to avert any crisis.