From the Russian perspective we've done some provocative things, including the expansion of NATO eastward. Russia made it quite clear it didn't want this Western alliance, a product of the Cold War, going up against its borders. Georgia and Ukraine, two former Soviet republics, are the next in line to become NATO members, and the U.S. has done a lot to aid Georgia in its effort to join NATO. There's also now this recent signing of a missile defense shield with Poland, but also strengthening democratic institutions in Russia. (Regarding the expansion of NATO, why does the U.S. need to still honor the former Soviet bloc?) If Russia were expanding and it wanted to include Mexico and Canada, the U.S. would be unnerved with that. (Even if a missile defense shield wasn't aimed at Russia?) Sure, but technology can be changed, but it also affects deterrents. We could say the shield is pointed at Iran, but we know it could be changed. (What would it have said about the U.S. if it had not pursued this missile defense shield in Poland?) I think it would've strengthened Russia's hand even further. Russia has a lot of balls in its court right now, so the U.S. is saying we do have other friends in the neighborhood and we can diplomatically and militarily go to their aid. The U.S. has felt it needs to do something and not let Russia get away with its recent actions. Militarily, we can do nothing, so most of our actions will be diplomatic.