Just to recap: since the tail end of last year the Americans have been sponsoring the overthrow of the Russia-aligned government of the Ukraine. A couple of weeks ago they finally managed to kick out the old government and put their people in. The ousted president Yanukovych fled to Russia where he is still regarded as the legitimate Head of State.
By way of response the Russians sent forces onto the Crimean peninsula - forces wearing no badges and flying no flags, somewhat illegal under the Geneva Conventions - and these forces, driving vehicles with Russian number plates, took over various military establishments. The Russian government laughably claimed these forces were local militia which had spontaneously formed.
Now the Crimean parliament has called a referendum on whether Crimea should be Russian or Ukrainian, to be held in ten days time. The result will of course be a resounding "we want to be Russian!" Moscow has already promised fast-track Russian citizenship for the locals and transfer into the Russian military with preservation of rank and salary for military personnel. (Interesting to note the contrast between the Scots having to wait three years for a referendum on independence after the SNP had been elected and the Crimeans waiting just ten days.)
Voting day will be Sunday 16th March. Give them a day or two to "count" the votes and by midweek we should see a matching vote in the State Duma (Russian parliament) accepting Crimea into the Russian Federation, after which the tanks will roll in for real and make it happen on the ground.
Thereafter the points will be counted and it will be seen that the Americans have made a small gain but the Russians have made a big one and henceforth will be a much bigger player in the Middle East.