Okay, I understand what your saying. Russia simply invaded Ukraine and stole its land, because it was defending itself against Ukraine not wanting to be allied with it anymore. Russia essentially needs a ring of occupied countries around for simple self-defence, and not as a way to bring some of its perceived past importance and international prestige.
And before you start with the Crimea spiel
*A vote under duress, can never be free*
That is the essence of people’s problem with the Russian occupying force holding, essentially, an annexation referendum, while simultaneously imprisoning any dissenting voices.