Ukraine's current predicament, including the possibility of conflict with Russia
Quick summary of the current situation in Ukraine: All Western powers are currently removing people from their embassies in Ukraine. A smart approach may be to collect your belongings and relocate to Poland, Hungary, or Romania for a few months, after which you can decide whether or not to return to Kyiv. Putin seems primarily interested in getting to KHARKIV (at this point). Even with 200,000 troops, Russia would have difficulty securing Kharkov. Six out of seven personnel are required for support duties such as logistics, medical, and administration. Only one out of every seven soldiers in a regiment fights. It's not much, and it would be expensive for them. Putin wants into areas where he has local support, as he did in Ossetia, Georgia. Donbass and Crimea have sizable Russian communities some of may have been bribed to cooperate. The Russians will only enter where there are Russian loyalist.
Many others believe Russia is simply putting enormous pressure on the United States and its allies to agree not to allow ex-Soviet states to join NATO....or any other anti-Russian security organization. But I think Putin is more interested in the fresh water from the Dnipro River north of Crimea. He needs it for any future development of Crimea as well as to support the military installations there (not to mention the seaside estates Russian oligarchs are planning). Back in the spring of last year, the water situation was dire. The approaching spring is only a little more than two months away, and with the ongoing military build-up in Crimea, conditions will be significantly worse. There is virtually no other option than to capture the land running south from the Dnipro just east of Kherson and into Kalanchak, where a dam was built to prevent water from entering Crimea. The Dnipro River supplied Crimea with 85 percent of its drinking water.
America, on the other hand, would welcome a full-fledged war to consolidate dominance. Taking Ukraine to the Dnipro would need at least the whole Russian army and would bankrupt Russia. There economy is smaller than California. My guess is that they will make it official that Donbass and Crimea are unquestionably Russian, and the army will sit there while life goes on. If Russia does anything more, the United States will be able to restart major fracking and the Keystone pipeline, causing oil to fall below $30 and sending the Russian economy into a tailspin.
Then, ten years of guerilla warfare and CIA insurgency would secure the demise of an already frail Russia.