It's a commonly held opinion in NATO countries. I can only recommend a comprehensive study of non Communist Russian history. Note that Communism was surgically inserted into the USSR from Germany. Trotsky wanted it to be in Germany, not Russia.
I cant give a factual statement as this is a hypothetical, NATO is there and it has overthrown and sabotaged hundreds of elected and unelected cabinets and dictators, Russia has a smaller but also impressive record; this is will to power. Valuer wars - what makes NATO so great?
I dont think for a second Putin would be as stupid as to walk straight into world war 3, (Crimea had half their fleet when the NATO coup came, the annexation was just a 'oh, youre invading again? Fine, we'll run with it, again...- which is how they usually win their wars - Clinton has gone down like Hitler, over trying to take Russia like a rabid bitch)
I think Russia is a more culturally elevated country than all of the Eastern European states combined, and politically far more elevated than all of the western European states combined - all of whose governments are at least in part owned by Saudi Arabia. So the question is, how is Europe going to prove to be worthy of not being dominated by Russia? theyve all sold out. Most of their working class populations like or appreciate Putin. By now half of the intelligentsia even likes Putin. Because he is a nationalist, which means that he takes care of his people. They may be poor, but theyve always been lofty in culture. The USSR took us into space, people forget that. They defeated the nazis. They did a lot of massively powerful advances. They abolished God from the State. Now theyve helped us saved America from the fascists within.
Value wars - what values does NATO represent? Most definitively not human dignity, freedom or democracy -their record is one of one toppled state after another.