Foreign policy should not be based on the opposition between democracy and autocracy.
For those of us that just don't want to world to end, nuclear war with Russia or a shooting war with China are basically the only two things that could fuck that up.
So to risk either, even if the probability is exceedingly low, requires a really massive offsetting risk.
I don't have much confidence that people using "appropriateness" to evaluate that tradeoff can make anywhere close to a reasonable decision, based on their track record.
I have to disagree with you; it's obvious that the "Orange Revolution" was entirely about placing a American puppet regime in Kiev and weaponizing the Ukraine against Russia. Also, when you discuss the double standard of Western foreign policy; I am amazed you ignore the Turkish invasion and occupation of northern Cyprus in 1974 with a complete non-response by so-called "liberal democracies", they did not even expel Turkey from NATO! Lastly, I think the very term "liberal democracy" has become as misleading as the name "Holy Roman Empire" was in its last two centuries. The "liberal democracies" are increasingly illiberal and oligarchic.
Unfortunately, we see that poor foreign policy and failure in several military conflicts by a democracy(ies) (of which Afghanistan is the very recent example) does not serve a good material for reflection, as they teach us in management, for example. Instead of analysing the previous experience and changing behavior to get closer to sucessful and prosperous development, the world's "democratic" minority opted for another, and even much more dangerous, escalation with a major nuclear state. That said, maybe the goal of the democratic elites is different from general public's expectations?