I recommend that you take a look at a recent interview with former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter. As a former U.S. Marines intelligence officer who later worked with the UN he has an interesting perspective.
He notes that Putin appears to be motivated in part by a commitment to protecting ethnic Russians regardless of national borders, so as long as your country is not mistreating ethnic Russians who live there you should be okay. Our media tends to neglect the part of the story where Ukraine outlawed its ethnic Russians from speaking their own language and where it killed thousands of ethnic Russian civilians over eight years, making use of literal Nazis to do so.
He also notes that the Russian invasion of Ukraine has been quite restrained because they appear to be taking steps to avoid unnecessary harm to civilians, even at a significant cost to their own personnel, and that what has appeared to be Russian weakness is in large part a result of the fact that they never intended to hold territory in Ukraine and so have been leaving civilians alone as far as possible. Of course, this should be compared to how Russia usually conducts such operations, not how western powers do.
There is much else to take into account but I think it's pretty clear that the western media narrative is deliberately misleading.