It's not an "if" question. Crime WILL vote yes to independence from Russia. Whether they become part of the Russian federation or become an "independent" state is another issue.
Ehm, there is nothing to do. We must all understand that the right of self-determination trumps geopolitical considerations. And the majority of people in Crimea don't want to be part of Ukraine and if they express that view this saturday/sunday in the referendum, then that's that. We have to respect that. To be clear, I'm not saying that the referendum will fair and handled properly... I'm saying that regardless whether there will be corruption at the votes or not, the outcome will still be the same. But instead of having a, say 60% "YES" you'll have a 80% or more.
Hopefully it ends there. Pray that it ends there. I do mean it. Ukraine will have to accept that is the desire of the majority in Crime and maybe, you know, if ukrainians in Crimea will want to get out, there should be some sort of govt program to facilitate repatriation. Other than that, there is nothing we can or should do. You must understand that despite your objections, or mine for that matter, Crimea is ethnically Russian and the ethnicity of a region makes that region.
There is no "cold war".
Let me put it this way. If this were a "cold war" scenario, it should have started with Georgia, not now. This is just a superpower flexing it's muscles. The difference between this Ukraine situation and georgia is that mainly, for Ukraine, the EU (and more recently the USA)is willing to put itself on the line to keep Russia out of it where as no superpower was willing to put it's ass on the line for Georgia. That's why Putin could easily chop 1/4th of Georgia off. But now since he's meeting massive resistance and very real dangers from the EU (the russian stock market has been dropping like a brick for a week now, even today, it's crashed by 5% or smth like that), the real kind of danger -> econimic danger. That is the kind that will cripple Russia. the EU has an abundance of trading partners and trading possibilities. You tell me one country or region on this planet that wouldn't want to sign up trade agreements worth almost 200bil euros -> that's about as much money Russia makes from trade with the EU. Losing even a fraction of that will cripple Russia' economy.
Our Grand and Glorious Republic has a cherished history of invading at gunpoint to enforce trade/treaty/corporate deals. (Commodore Perry in Japan and the Marines in the 'Banana Wars' comes to mind. Can't recall anyone in government renouncing those actions) Let's not forget the CIA attempts to overthrow democratically elected presidents, assassination attempts and the World Bank dictating severe economic upheavals as part of any aid given. We seem to be the pot looking hard at a kettle.
But given that the Crimea has not been a historic part of the Ukraine I'd say these people get to decide who they want to snuggle with.
Our nation doesn't give aid with no strings attached in places we care about. The HUGE bribes we give Egypt and Israel to play nice is a good example. The Ukraine has been helped to a far greater extent by the Russians than by the Europeans or USofA. This doesn't mean the Russians get to invade (like we did throughout the Caribbean when Reagan was our President- to include illegal support for right wing terror squads in the Iran-Contra scandal) because they want the Ukraine to toe the Russian line. But it does show how important the Ukraine is to the Russians and how much it didn't, until now, matter to the Europeans and 'Mericans.
There was some talk of an aid package for the Ukraine in Congress- how is that going?
"We ain't a sharp species. We kill each other over arguments about what happens when you die, then fail to see the ******* irony in that." - Justin Halpern