The Russian invasion of Ukraine is a difficult issue that many people have a monocultured stance to in America. In all instances, across the entire timeline of the event, the relentless conclusion is that Russia is the bad actor and is vilified constantly. That is true, for most of the event's timeline. And I can understand that a person wanting to generalize a concise opinion will take the average of the time-base spectrum of opinion and present it as their finalized one. Ambiguity is messy and it doesn't sound as nice to yell on TV.

I think that if you divide the timeline up, your opinion on different sections of the event doesn't have to be consistent. Changing your opinion when facts are revealed is honest. Stubbornness and dishonesty to present a fascade of consistency is not a strength, but a kind of infirmity. Before Russia invaded Ukraine, it is reasonable to believe that their concerns of Ukraine joining NATO was legitimate. For a long time they've voiced their concern, and NATO did prod Ukraine to instigate a major conflict. This does not excuse Russia from invading Ukraine though, and probably committing war crimes in cities like Bucha. The war crimes committed by individuals do not reflect on the country as a whole, but in an international sense the country must recognize and apologize for them. There are many opportunities for whataboutisms here, and just that possibility itself should convince you that these acts of atrocities are not an isolated case, and they are not a condemning badge of vilification.

In the current situation, an altruistic actor in this conflict will seek to end the conflict. Not win it, not try to get their losses repaid with minor victories -- but end it.

Right now, it does not seem like either side is looking to end it. The only actor who has a legitimate call to arms is Ukraine itself. Defending their sovereignty is honorable. Their means to do relying on other countries' support is a messy issue. But that help should be limited and supplied only on a defensive basis, with the ultimate goal being towards a diplomatic settlement. The goal should not be victory for any un-invested party.