They forget it is the US military umbrella that has kept them safe and free to let their armies atrophy for decades.
Free from what exactly... the Cold War was just a lie... the idea that after living through and dealing with the consequences of Stalin and the German invasion, the Soviet Union did not want war, and the way it was built up and designed clearly was not prepared for or planning a war against Europe that would involve occupation... they simply didn't have the logistics... they would have needed to be equipped more along the lines of HATO in fact with their mobile IADS and attack system based around AWACS and JSTARs aircraft that could go anywhere for spreading communism.
The west played the greatest magic trick of all... made the world think they were the good guys by blaming everyone else for doing things they had done or for things they were planning to do.
Europe became a prison with the guards being the US instead of the Soviets as the US constantly suggested. The threat of invasion by the Soviet Union allowed them to control and spy on europe at an unprecedented level... and they have used it ever since to control who the west trades with and more importantly who they don't.
The US keeping Europe safe... my arse.
For now while there are still politicians in power that think more rationally about global events, this can be mitigated.
Are you kidding... the UK essentially admitted they had former intel people operating a so called think tank whose express purpose was to find any politicians in the entire EU that might not be hard line anti putin and anti Russia and start actions against them to make sure they never get into any positions of power by spreading rumours to make sure they never get elected. Would you believe there is only one such organisation? The UK government funded this group to the tune of several million pounds over a rather short period of time. Do you think there are not dozens of other groups doing the same thing... ensuring the EU does as it is told and does not consider alternatives... or they will get accusations of being anti semetic like Corban in the UK or accused of rape like Assange was...
But really.... who cares... why would Russia want good relations with the EU... they have been doing the wrong things so long they don't understand the difference between right and wrong anymore anyway.
However, we also have conscription and efforts by citizens and government to promote patriotic education. Yes, people on the street in Moscow can't even name a single WW2 battle, but the people in the small towns and the villages still live and breathe like Russians. That has always been the case, our state is held up on the backs of people who fill the voids between the few large europeanised metropolises.
I think that is more a problem... what the west calls westernisation is just urbanisation... there is nothing particularly western about urbanised people becoming detached from reality.
I remember having a chat in the 1990s to a guy who lived in a big city in South Korea and we were talking about military units using ropes and what sort of boots to wear and that sort of thing. He couldn't believe that anyone could fall over when moving cross country on uneven ground carrying a heavy pack and rifle... (to be clear I have never served in the military but I have been out in the bush hunting with a rifle and a heavy pack). When moving through serious mountains sometimes it makes sense to have one guy leave his gear and climb down and then up a ravine with a rope which he can secure on the other side and then move the entire group across by rope rather than having everyone climb down and up with full kit... in fact most of the time that is easier where there are no tracks.
He couldn't agree... he thought it was stupid to use ropes, and didn't accept that every soldier wasn't much better than any mountain climber but with a heavy pack and rifle as well. He also didn't think people fell over in the bush... of course he had seen all sorts of videos and read books but had never been out in the bush himself but only a loser or clumsy person would fall over moving cross country in heavy bush or long grass on uneven terrain and a big heavy backpack and rifle don't matter either...