So I have an honest question that I'll pose since I don't seem to hear anybody out there talking about it.
Crimea being a fairly autonomous republic with its own parliament, constitution etc., and apparently chock-full of Russophiles, what exactly would be the acceptable approach to secession for them? Let's say the parent country would never, ever grant permission because, hey, what country would want to lose territory -- does that mean the region would never, ever be allowed to break away?
You'd think if Ukraine wanted to fight a civil war over it they'd have made moves at the first signs of Russian incursions. Instead it appears they stood back and allowed the Ruskies to flood the peninsula, protesting with hands firmly under buttocks. Makes it a little harder to ratchet up your response when Putin can sit there saying "They voted to break away, became free, and we annexed them. If you want it, come and take it."
P.S. And as a U.S. American I have very little interest in expending our own lives and resources to mediate this dispute by force.