There is a reason why Putin may have already won and not have to start shooting up the Ukraine. Russia has always been after one thing; access to the Black Sea. The following timeline helps you see the back and forth one the last 160 years.
1853-1856 Crimean War: Russia on one side versus the British, French and Ottomans on the other. Everyone wanted to control the Black Sea.
1921-Soviet Union (following the Russian revolution) takes over.
1941-WWII and Nazi Germany takes over
1944-Soviets take control again. As punishment for allegedly conspiring with the Nazis, Joseph Stalin exiles Turkish Tartars to Central Asia. Over 46% percent of those exiled died along the way from disease and hunger.
1954-By decree from Khrushchev, Crimea is placed under Ukraine control. The exiled Tartars are allowed to return but find their homes and lands gone.
1991-Fall of the Soviet Union sees an the creation of an independent Ukraine.
2014-Crimea seized by Russian troops. Russia 1, West 0