The Russians have been buffer zone obsessed for centuries. That tends to happen when you’ve been invaded many times, resulting in your country being ravaged and destroyed in the process. Any US foreign policy expert knows this. It’s one of the first things you learn about the Russians/Soviets when you study their history/foreign policy. There is no reason, none, strategically or geopolitically or economically for the US to need to have Ukraine and these other formerly neutral countries in NATO.
There is no economic or military value for us. In fact, they’re dead weight. Their economies are tiny and their military capabilities don’t add much, if anything to NATO. This whole exercise is a poking your enemy, much like the Soviet attempt to place missiles in Cuba was. And, worse, it’s being done because Zelenskyy has the goods on several US politicians, due to their nefarious business dealings in that country, and that includes the Biden crime family. I have never seen such groveling by US politicians to some two bit leader of a small country in my entire life, save for the Obama administration clowns and Iran. There’s a reason for this, and it’s a result of grift, graft, and corruption.
A US military officer, a mediocre one at that, was offered the position of defense minister in the Ukraine. Even after many fine general officers emerged after WWII, none were offered such positions. What kind of corruption was going on for a two bit Lt Colonel (Vindman) on the NSC staff to have been offered such a position? We can’t turn a blind eye to this just because someone calls you a Putin apologist. That’s a diversionary tactic akin to being called a “racist.” This entire situation smells. We shouldn’t be letting our military be for hire whenever our politicians’ grift, graft, and corruption puts them in a tight spot.