Now that Russia is actually invading Ukraine, thoughts about what both sides could have been doing to de-escalate the situation and avoid war become irrelevant. It's a clear case of a large country bullying a smaller one, and the Russian leader deserves to be reviled. There was a lot of nonsense spoken about how such military intervention and aggression is no longer possible in the 21st century, and that the build up we were seeing was "actually the war". Subtlety of that sort doesn't exist in Putin's world; people were forgetting his long record. I also feel incredulous at wars and military campaigns. I feel like that every time Israel embarks on its periodical campaigns against Gaza. But it is dangerous to project one's personal value system and think that leaders and nations share it. They don't. It's the same group violence we have known for 10,000 years, using the technological means and systems of the current era. It isn't likely ever to stop, just to adopt new forms.
The question is now what the world needs to do now. I'm stumped. I will wait to see what develops.