Here is a little video on Ukraine.
Here’s how I think this is going to go down at this point. Crimea will leave Ukraine and become part of Russia again. For Crimea this is probably a better deal, but surprisingly, I think it might be better for Ukraine as well. Why? Because basically Crimea is the poor, impoverished part of the country that depends on the rest of the nation to hold it up. Basically this would be like the US losing Alabama and Mississippi. Ukraine will then spin toward the EU as fast as it can possibly go, because they certainly aren’t going to want to have anything further to do with Russia.
Meantime, Russia will have taken on a place where about 15% of the population is made up of Tartars; an ethnic group very hostile to Russia. Say hello to the new Chechnya. And Dagestan. And other such places. They also will have a large ethnic Russian and Ukrainian population that might not be too happy to be a part of Russia. Remember, just because your parents were Russian and lived in Russia doesn’t mean you want to. The younger generation certainly doesn’t want to.
It is also important to understand the limits of American power. There is not now, nor was there ever, anything we could really do to stop this, other than not expanding NATO. To Russia that was a bad idea. It’s like if Mexico had joined the Warsaw Pact. We wouldn’t have tolerated that, and they weren’t going to tolerate NATO in their backyard forever. We can and should suspend Russia from the G8 for a few years and not attend the G8 summit in Sochi, but beyond that, we can’t really do anything more, and shouldn’t do anything more, especially sanctions.
All that said, this is going to be a net loss for Russia. Five, ten years down the line, this is going to look even to most Russians (who are, at best, lukewarm on the idea), as a mistake. I could be wrong, but I’m fairly convinced that this is a short-term victory, and a long-term loss.