The Saker explains that Russia wouldn’t take Ukraine even if it could do so without firing a shot:
Russia is much weaker than what most people think. Her landmass is immense and her military arguably the best on the planet, but population is relatively small, and her economy a struggling one. Yes, the future does look bright for Russia, but presently she simply does not have the means to single handedly rescue (resurrect, really) the Ukraine. Not even close.
The reality is that even Crimea has presented Russia with major challenges. After 25 years of total neglect, Crimea basically needs to completely rebuilt most of its infrastructure. The Kremlin has poured billions of Rubles into numerous and large modernization programs, including an immensely expensive but vitally needed bridge over the Kerch strait, and she will continue to rebuilt Crimea in spite of the immense costs involved. Down the road, of course, Crimea will end up being very wealthy, courtesy of an immense tourist potential, the presence of a much expanded Black Sea fleet and because of its strategic location. But for the foreseeable future, Crimea will remain a major burden which Russia will struggle to deal with.
The situation in the Donbass is even bleaker. If Crimean was neglected, the Donbass has been almost totally destroyed. Right now the Russians are paying the pensions of the local population because the Ukronazis have stolen them, in direct violation of the Minsk Agreements. Russia is also alone in supporting the Novorussian republics with humanitarian, medical, technical, administrative and military programs. And while the Novorussians have done an amazing job rebuilding much of Donetsk and a few other cities, most of what lies within artillery range of the Ukronazi forces still lies in ruins and the economy is more or less at a standstill. This will not change until peace truly returns to the region.
What is already quite evident that regardless of who will be in the Kremlin and regardless of how much good will and self-sacrifice the Russians will have, Russia simply does not have the means to salvage the Ukraine. It just ain’t happening. Furthermore, polls show that most Russians are categorically opposed to a full reintegration of the entire Ukraine into Russia. Who could blame them? They are not only acutely aware that the Ukraine has turned into one bloody hell of a mess, but that an entire generation of Ukrainians has now been terminally brainwashed with russophobic hatred. And, frankly, Russia has no use for Nazis of any kind, even if they are fellow Slavs or even if they are basically the very same nation as the Russian one.
So even if tomorrow Petro Poroshenko and his gang decided to invite the Russians to come in an fix this bloody mess, the Russians would decline (so much for the warnings about a Russian invasion!). Oh sure, there are a lot of Ukrainians who kid themselves and think that “the Russians will come and fix this”, but this is a pipe-dream: the Russians ain’t coming. At most, Russia will let the DNR/LNR get back the territories which belonged to their regions and Mariupol might be liberated. But that’s about it. And even if by some miracle the Novorussian tanks end up in Kiev, I don’t see them staying there for very long because the Kremlin fully understands that if they grab it, they own it and they have to fix it. Eventually Russia will, of course, simply be forced absorb the Donbass and make it a part of Russia, mostly because there is no way the Donbass will ever go back to the Ukraine again, but even this process will take time.
So, why is the Obama administration beating the drum about a Russian invasion of a) Ukraine, b) the Baltic States, and c) Western Europe? Because the USA is doing what it has often done before, attempting to cover its own aggressive actions by portraying them as necessary defensive ones.
However, the fact that it is US troops that occupy dozens of other countries, and that it was the US that overthrew the elected Ukrainian government makes it very clear that while the Russians are not the good guys, the US, and to a lesser extent the EU, are the bad guys of the scenario.
And believe me, none of this has escaped the attention of the people of both Eastern and Western Europe. Putin and the Russians may not be on their side, but unlike the USA and the EU, they are not actively encouraging and enabling the one-million-strong invasion of Europe by warriors of Islam.