"Mr. Putin’s request, largely a formality, signaled publicly for the first time the Kremlin’s readiness to intervene militarily in Ukraine, and it served as a blunt response to President Obama, who just hours earlier pointedly warned Russia to respect Ukraine’s sovereignty. Even as Mr. Putin submitted his request to the Senate, formally called the Federation Council, it was clear that forces allied with Moscow were largely in control of the disputed peninsula." NY Times
It is becoming clear that the Nuland/neocon/NED campaign against Russia in Ukraine was probably a covert action intended to punish Russia for not supporting US/Israeli/Saudi and Turkish policy in Syria and to some extent with regard to Iran. I have no specific knowledge of US actions in this but "back azimuths" run into events and actors make the true story obvious. Was there to be a second phase of the spread of revolution, a phase aimed at Russia itself? We will probably never know.
In any case Putin has called Obama's bluff. You should not threaten if you are not prepared to act. The Russian Strategic Missile Forces have the ability to end civilization in North America. The same is true with regard to the capabilities of US missile forces if they were applied to the Eurasian land mass. for those who have forgotten or never knew, this is called MAD (mutual assured destruction). Russian and US ICBM forces cancel each other out as instruments of war.
Obama threatened penalties for Russia for disobedience to his warnings.
What could they be?:
– Conventional war conducted by the US in Russia's back yard would be very foolish. The risk of escalation to nuclear war would loom large.
– The editorial board of the Washington Post suggests diplomatic and economic sanctions against Russia.
-We would close our diplomatic posts in Russia and withdraw our ambassador?
-We would boycott the G-8 meeting in Sochi?
– We would persuade the Europeans to boycott Russian natural gas?
– We would seek UN sanctions against Russia? They would veto anything like that.
– We would not allow them to participate in diplomacy involving Syria and Iran?
You get the picture. pl