The Herald reports:
Tensions also mounted in Crimea, in Ukraine’s southeast, where pro-Russian politicians are organising rallies and forming protest units demanding separation from Kiev. The region is now seen as a potential flashpoint because of its deep strategic significance to Moscow.
US President Barack Obama’s National Security Adviser, Susan Rice, said it would be a “grave mistake” for Russian President Vladimir Putin to send soldiers into Ukraine to restore a friendly government after the upheaval. Nobody would benefit if Ukraine were to split apart, she said. “It’s in nobody’s interest to see violence return and the situation escalate.”
Who knows what Putin will do. Obama has warned of consequences if Russia invades, but as one (left leaning) commentator said, “Not even the President’s daughters fear him, when he talks of consequences”. This is in relation to his strong talk of the use of chemical weapons in Syria crossing a red line, and then nothing happening when they did use them.
The biggest thing holding Putin back may be the Ukranians themselves. While Russia may be welcome in the Crimea, the rest of the Ukraine would resist them strongly. The most likely outcome is the country splits in two. But this would then mean the rest of Ukraine would then be a country very hostile to Russia.