What I find surprising about the American aspect of this issue is how bumbling we've been. Where are the realists in the State Dept? Why wasn't this scenario gamed out long before?
Instead we've been championing World World Gay against the Russians, patting ourselves on the back for sending Billie Jean King to Sochi. Oh, that will show the Russians.
From the outside it sure looks like a smug group think has metastasized in our foreign policy establishment. The days of annexation are far past, no one would do this. Why not? What are the downsides? What effective stick can be wielded to deter such annexation? If there is no effective deterrent, then why would countries refrain? Because the new standards of international affairs frown on this and because it hasn't happened in a long while. Well, why hasn't it happened in a long while? If those deterrent conditions change, then why expect a behavior to remain checked?
Everyone in the world doesn't think like a Westerner nor like a liberal Westerner.