Today it seems a mistake that for a long time people in Berlin, Paris and Brussels did not assume that Vladimir Putin would attack Ukraine again after 2014, the consequences for Moscow being too dramatic. The Eastern Europeans saw it differently. They didn't fall for Putin's lies about not wanting war because they had been listening for years when he spoke about his basic stance on Ukraine.
From this they concluded that Putin is no longer aligning his foreign policy with rational goals, but is instead prioritizing ideological projects. So if the West had taken Putin's remarks seriously, it would have been prepared. Can anything be learned from this about China's future course?