Earlier, on Facebook, I posted, "Remember a couple weeks ago when Russia was just weird, not scary?"
Mostly, this was just a joke about a comment I made during the Olympics, saying the reverse and not meant to be a real conversation about the current geopolitical situation.
The truth here, this is all negotiating tactics right now and it is a little scary that Russia is going this big in the opening round.
Most likely, the end result will be a functionally independent Crimea with a Russian puppet government and increased military presence to secure Russia's only warm water Atlantic naval base.
I could get more into the nitty gritty details here, but I really don't have the time.
It is still a pretty scary situation, though, because these things could go south with some really bad effects that essentially take us back to a Cold War relationship with Russia, but I think (hope) both sides are too smart to let that happen.
If played well, the US and the west will receive some important concessions from Russia in return, concessions they'd never receive unless something this critical to Russian state security was at stake.
Since these sorts of things will never be disclosed by either side, though, expect Obama to get roasted by the right for letting Crimea fall on his watch.