The only thing I liked (or I should rather say loved, admired, and was ecstatic to hear) about McCain's campaign was his unwavering dedication to defending Ukraine from Russia's imperialist politics. In the second presidential debate, McCain said in no uncertain terms that Ukraine was now in Putin's sights (a great insight that I'm yet to hear Obama replicate) and that any aggression against its neighbors coming from Russia needed to be penalized. I never heard Obama take a position that would even come close to this dedicated anti-Russian imperialism stand.
In the aftermath of Obama's visit to Russia, I feel that he has forgotten about Ukraine and the constant danger that Russia's dream of imperialist expansion still represents for all its former-USSR neighbors. All talk about stopping the NATO expansion as a sign of goodwill towards Russia once again leaves Russia's smaller neighbors out to dry. Of course, Russia is big, scary, and unpredictable. It has a huge number of nuclear weapons that it will never let go. The question is whether the Obama administration will give up on Ukraine's independence in order to placate a much stronger Russia.
Russia's entire national identity is constructed around its imperialism. Of course, the US also have a strong imperialist agenda. If you take imperialism out of the US national identity, however, there will still be a lot left. Not so for Russia. In the recent years, Putin and now Medvedev have been promoting an agressive pro-imperialist ideology. Talking to the Russian leaders about democracy, goodwill towards its neighbors, and respect for their national sovereignty is a waste of time. They are not going to stop. They will keep trying to meddle in Ukraine's affairs and nothing less than the restoration of the Russian Empire will be enough. Remember, the empire always needs more.
I truly hope Obama understands this even though he isn't saying it out loud at the moment. I have to believe this because it's the only thing that can save independent Ukraine.