The seizure and annexation of Crimea. The sham elections which legitimized the Russian takeover. The rebellion backed and supplied by Russia. The irregular military involvement by deniable troops sent in by Russia to professionalize the proxy rebel army. When is enough truly enough? Yes. Ukraine has neither the money nor military resources to declare a war is upon them. But what choice do they have? The dismemberment of prized strategic territory and industrial capacity is not the privilege of Russia. Russia cannot redraw the world map as it sees fit to feel secure. If Russia fears NATO encroachment, then Russia should declare war against NATO while they are militarily weak and disorganized. The EU economy is in tatters and in no shape to wage war. But the Budapest Memorandum is torn to shreds. Russia believes NATO and the West first in expansion east, violated that agreement. Now given the right to assert its own security by creating buffer puppet states and systematically weakening its neighbors so they cannot become viable allies to Western Powers, Russia is fulfilling its goal to dominate its borders.
Ukraine is the biggest kid to pick a fight with, because beating him up will show all the others that leaving Russian influence has a steep price. But therein lies the truth: Russia is weak and fearful of breakup.
Ukraine risks inviting a larger war on not just the eastern provinces but all its lands if it declares Russia its real enemy. But Russia already has shown aggression and taken actions to undo Ukraine as a nation. If it is already an existential threat to Kiev, why not act like it.
If Russian planes bomb Kiev and Lviv. If Russian troops invade openly across the entire border, will it finally convince Europe that this doctrine of Putin’s will not bring peace?
What Ukraine needs is to form a Central European Bloc or Confederation which includes the Baltic States, Poland, Moldova, and Slovakia. Western Europe will not commit land forces to fight in the east unless there is a viable coalition ready to join them in a real fight. Russia can be deterred if it sees the Central Bloc as a force to be reckoned with that does not owe allegiance to the West.
Will a new Warsaw Pact be formed?