If there were westerners on the phones with Ukrainian politicos, they could not have been active players from afar, but rather were seeking information. Which only seems logical, there is no secret that various peoples in the west were very interested in Ukraine.
Biden - to Yanukovich: "it's over, you have to leave Kiev". Or, as Biden put it - "I ordered him to leave Kiev". This is NOT information gathering. Anything but. And Nuland in American embassy with her infamous "f@ck the EU; we are in the game" - is that also information gathering?
You really have to accept the obvious fact that Yanukovych was driven out by grass roots Ukrainian rejection of him and his programs. To this day the vast majority of Ukrainian people stand behind the concept of turning towards the west.
There is nothing to accept; there never was such a fact, and still there is not. Before this bloody mess, it's been fluctuating 50-50 between pro-Western position and a rather neutral one (which was marketed as pro-Russian, but truly pro-Russian political parties were a minority there not exceeding 10% at their best times). 50% support for Western integration were fueled largely by talks of EUR 2000 pensions and EUR 4000 salaries (and those promises fueled Maidan as well), plus images of strolls around Paris. Now those dreams in the society are broken completely, and turn towards the West associates in their mind with poverty, shut down markets and war. Majority of Ukrainians just want to return to where they were before, including desires to return Yanukovich. I even think if he was to run in a democratic election, free from "right sector" gangs, he has a strong chance.
The evolution from regressive societal structures of the past takes place at a glacially slow pace. A few years of leaning towards western Europe could not create conditions that had never existed before in an ex-CIS state.
It's not a few years, we are talking almost 3 decades here. This is generous amount of time for at least something to emerge. And - the former Regional party had some politicians in it on secondary roles (vice-PMs, visible MPs) that were capable of improving the country and improving governance drastically. Without this coup, it would have taken 2-3 more electoral cycles in order for quality of governance to improve noticeably. But now these emerging institutions are destroyed, and the poor territory is thrown back by a few decades of developoment. The Regional party was just about to start performing a role of an institution, as opposed to a party created for an ambitious politician or an oligarch (which almost all of existing parties there are). And they should not have been told where to lean - they should make this decision themselves. And frankly, it's pro-Western politicians that were the most corrupt. In addition, they don't have and never had a pro-Western political party that could have eventually emerged as an institution; they were all "chieftain" type parties assembled under a specific person or people.
Even if Russia withdrew from their country and became a friendly peaceful neighbor, and Ukraine remained on the track of bringing itself into the European community, it would take many decades before they could be free from the past.
Aren't you yet annoyed at these talks of "Russia being in Ukraine"? Very few in Ukraine believe that. In addition - nobody there has ever seen even a single "aggressor", neither dead nor alive, for all of these 4 years. In the recent prisoners exchange, every single one of about 400 people from both sides is a Ukrainian citizen. Ukrainian military officials stated number of times that they don't conduct any operations against regular Russian troops. What more do you want?
Speaking of being free from the past - those nations who don't have their history generally don't have any future either. Yes, Soviet times were part of Ukrainian history. This time was harsh in some ways, but also full of glorious achievements. They themselves must determine how to treat this period in their history, and not be offered to "free themselves from it". Speaking of European track - in CIS, countries who do follow it (Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine) are significantly poorer than those who do not, and more corrupted.
Speaking of the territory's future - I think it's in hands of Russia. It's the only neighbor that has force resource to rebuild institutions shattered by all recent mess, provide financial resources for that, and provide markets for Ukrainians to sell their products so that they can earn $$$ to invest into their statehood. Provided that at some point Russia will care about it. Without that - they'll become yet another failed statehood that Eastern Europe has quite a few of.