Pretty much the usual reason for imperialist ventures. Vladdy-Boy is trying to hold onto the leverage he has over Europe (said leverage is the natural gas Russia exports), and as you’ll see below, Ukraine has a LOT of gas pipelines:

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Now for the fun bit: other countries want to make money, too, so they would love to sell Ukraine some gas:

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This is what Putin’s bitch stooge assclown partner-in-crime Yanukovic was trying to stop, and why he got run out of Kiev on a rail. And now Vlad is mad, sad, and bad, so he’s taking Crimea to sooth his hurted feewings. Plus to intimidate, and gain greater leverage to negotiate.

It’s all about money and power. It’s why the Shrub tried to take over Iraq, and it’s why Putin tried to take over Ukraine. No conspiracy theories needed.

As soon as Western companies started drilling gas wells in Ukraine, Russia’s power and influence were threatened, so Putin tried to take over: first via a puppet government, and now with guns.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky