How many territories and millions of people will you excuse getting annexed into Russia before the shooting begins? And how many hundreds of millions do you want killed in the resulting shooting war?
What you say is true that Ukraine is an independent nation. I do not think that Putin is using the historical ethnicity excuse; there are other issues like port access. Crimea is 60% Russian.
Russia has assets to protect in Sevastopol. Ukraine and Russia signed a treaty that allowed Russia to keep its fleet in Sevastopol. The agreement is that the Russian fleet is set to remain there until at least 2042.
Hence, I do not think that the Hitler analogy applies. I do not know when the West will stand up. I do not know enough to even guess where this is headed. Will it be constrained to Crimea? Where is Ukraine headed to settle the issues and unrest? How real is the worry that Russia is bent on rebuilding its empire?
“You don’t get to erase national boundaries just because you think some percentage of that territory should belong to another nation... “
Really now? Lots of people will be fascinated that this is our position. Examples include Serbia, where we broke away Kosovo. Israel, where at this very minute we are trying to redraw their borders. And not to mention that Europe has changed borders so many times that it’s almost been a hobby. Syria will also find this quite interesting.
And I would submit another law. Rock and firebomb throwing crowds should never get to assert authority over people who disagree, simply because they happen to fall within the nation state area the crowd has seized.