Ukraine is my adopted home, and I favor Ukrainian independence and joining of the European community so that Ukraine follows Poland, and ends being the only poor white Christian country in Europe. But there is nothing that can stop Russia in a land war expansion. There is every strategic reason for Russia to at least capture the Don basin, and possibly everything east of the Dnieper.
The USA and Europe are divided and in the final stages of the second ‘Bolshevik’ revolution, this time under neo-Marxist identity politics instead of Marxist class politics. A near majority of the American population favors separation which would end the military and political power of the Federal government. The US has a terminally weak president who is little more than a puppet of interests that are opaque to us. Our military has been intentionally undermined by Clinton, Obama and the woke movement. Our equipment is at the end of its lifecycle. While the Russians are ahead but too poor to fund military expansion, and the Chinese are a bit behind, both have chosen superior strategic investments and neither needs more investment to win.
The Europeans couldn’t field a boy scout troop by comparison – all of Europe is effectively as passive and unprepared as pre-ww2 France. Western military doctrine has been one of policing, but Russian doctrine is one of rapid territorial conquest with the opposite strategy: doing as much damage as needed. The Russians have repeatedly succeded at colonization and institutional replacement where Americans have failed. The east of Ukraine is ethnically Russian because they were relocated there from across Russia to be near the coal mines, rivers, and military-industrial complex.
If Russia moves then China will move, because the USA cannot handle both of those events at once. I’m ‘out of the business’ so I don’t have much insight on Russia-China cooperation that’s other than public knowledge, but it would be in their interests for Russia to move first, and China to move second.
If this were to happen the Pax American would be over at the first shot. This would open a strategic advantage for Iran, Turkey, Russia, and China to resolve long-standing conflicts over tribes vs borders that have been artificially held in place by the anglosphere in the postwar period. It would cause the current political crisis in the USA to exacerbate loss of faith in the federal government. It would cause Europe to have to rearm and take responsibility for its own defense.
In other words – I can’t think of a single reason for Russia and China NOT to act.