What kind of response would we expect to see from Obama and the west? I can't imagine there will be an army sent in to intervene. I also agree with the article's point here:
Sanctions, of course, top the list of options, but the United States will need to prepare for the backlash. Former presidential adviser David Gergen says Putin would consider any sanctions "small potatoes" compared to keeping control of Crimea, while Putin could pull his support for Obama's initiative to reduce nuclear threats in the world, including in Iran. Christopher Hill, former U.S. ambassador to South Korea, Macedonia, Iraq and Poland, says imposing sanctions also raises the risk of alienating a superpower. "That means 20 years of trying to work with Russia down the drain," he said.I'm not going to pretend that I know the best solution to international situations. That said, I do know something that could be done to make sure Russia isn't rewarded.
If Western countries did want Russia to suffer some negative consequences for their transgressions, there is certainly one thing it can do - increase fracking in the US, Europe, and China.
This would lower demand and (therefore) natural gas prices for Russia's natural gas, which is a huge part of their economy. This would definitely harm Russia, while at the same time potentially helping billions with lower energy prices. It might also provide environmental improvements, especially if natural gas use replaces coal use.