History Repeats Itself.

Europe has the ball now. But it seems that the politicians in Europe are more concerned about their jobs than the future of Europe and are inept in a crisis situation. And the fact that they are cowards does not help.

Putin is a product of Russian mentality, of Russian Nationalism.
"A large part of the population sees happiness only in Russia's past.  They are completely disillusioned by the present and see no hope for the future.  Roughly half of Russians are trying to walk forward with their heads turned back to the past."  http://www.themoscowtimes.com/opinion/article/back-to-stalins-soviet-union/475589.html
Quarter of Russians want Stalin
Good old times

At least 25% of Russians want Josef Stalin back.  Stalin is considered the most brutal dictator of the 20th century.  "It is estimated that the death toll directly attributable to Stalin’s rule amounted to some 20 million lives (on top of the estimated 20 million Soviet troops and civilians who perished in the Second World War), for a total tally of 40 million." http://www.ibtimes.com/how-many-people-did-joseph-stalin-kill-1111789
I suspect that the current Russian dictator, Vladimir Putin, looks at the famous Russian Tsar, Ivan the Terrible, and the brutal Soviet dictator, Stalin, as role models.
Putin's role model Ivan the Terrible.
Ivan the Terrible
"Similar to Stalin, Ivan IV faced a hurdle in his path to absolute power:  the corrupt boyars, aristocrats whom he could not trust.  Stalin was fascinated by the historical parallels.  In Russians' eyes Ivan the Terrible was "a man who for the first time united our country and created a powerful state."

"Stalin, too, had subjugated the power apparatus with terror and waves of bloody purges.  Where resistance was not demonstrated, he had it fabricated.  Confessions were forced out of people with torture.  Show trials against leading men from the party and the state signaled to the country from 1935 on that opposition to Stalin's politics, whether open or concealed, would not be tolerated.  On one day alone, December 12, 1938, Stalin's trials sentenced 3,167 people to death.  Even the Soviet secret police, responsible for so much of the terror, was not spared from the purges -- just like the Oprichniki, the personal police of Ivan the Terrible."

The sword of the dictator circled around army leadership as well.  In a few years, more than 10,000 officers were executed and three out of five marshals and 15 army commanders were imprisoned. 
Pro-Russian crowd greets invaders
Putin, the little thug, dreams of greatness.  He wants to be the next Ivan, the next Stalin.  And he has almost unanimous support from the Russian people.
There is a world wide discussion on what to do to rein in Putin, to stop his expansionist adventures.
Economic sanctions.  I think Obama and the EU have the right approach.  Broad economic sanctions will hurt the Russian economy and the average Russian.  So what?  Who cares?  Not Putin.  He will blame the West.  And Russian people are used to suffering and blaming the West.  These people have been brainwashed for generations.
Russia is a Kleptocracy.  And the sanctions should be applied to the oligarchs, the ones that help and support Putin.  And to Putin personally - he has money all around the world.
And it is a good idea to cut high-tech military exports to Russia and it needs to be done.
I am afraid that economic sanctions will not stop Putin from "fulfilling his destiny to return Russia to her former glory". 
Military support.  If the EU and the US will provide Ukraine with a loan guarantee then Ukraine can purchase weapons from the West.  That will not deter Russia from invading Eastern Ukraine but it will make this adventure painful, just like it happened in Afghanistan. 
The bottom line is that the world should have learned history lessons from WWII and be proactive in preventing WWIII.  The world cannot just stand by and talk tough.  Words from the West mean nothing to Russians, mean nothing to Putin.  But actions might.
Hitlers annexation of Czechoslovakia.
German-speaking Czechs greet Hitler
Here is a scary similarity between the 1938 Hitler invasion into Czechoslovakia and Putin's impending invasion in Ukraine.  "Czech Sude­ten­land was offered up to Ger­many on a platter of appease­ment after Hitler loudly com­plained that Czechs dis­cri­mi­nated against its Ger­man-speaking citi­zens.  Ever the master of in­trigue and deceit, Hitler set out to en­courage in­ter­nal un­rest in the rest of Czecho­slo­va­kia.  He focused on the east­ern pro­vinces of Slo­va­kia and Ruthenia, which enjoyed a fair degree of auto­nomy from the cen­tral govern­ment in Prague, en­couraging them to de­mand even greater inde­pen­dence." http://ww2days.com/hitler-invades-czechoslovakia-2.html  
History shows that any occupation is doomed.  Some last longer than others but all occupations fail...all of them.  The same facts tell us that if people want to get rid of the occupiers they will, sooner or later.
The problem is that in order to stop the occupation, immense resources and loss of life occur if we wait too long.  Like a WWII example:  Europe and the Soviet Union tried to appease Hitler with disastrous results.
Munich Pact
Hitler and Chamberlain.  One of them is a fool.
"On this day in 1938, Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, French Premier Edouard Daladier, and British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain signed the Munich Pact, which sealed the fate of Czechoslovakia, virtually handing it over to Germany in the name of peace.  Upon returning to Britain, Chamberlain would declare that the meeting had achieved "peace in our time."
"Although the agreement was to give into Hitler's hands only the Sudentenland, that part of Czechoslovakia where 3 million ethnic Germans lived; it also handed over to the Nazi war machine 66 percent of Czechoslovakia's coal, 70 percent of its iron and steel, and 70 percent of its electrical power" http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/hitler-appeased-at-munich
Europe has the ball now.  But it seems that the politicians in Europe are more concerned about their jobs than the future of Europe and are inept in a crisis situation.  And the fact that they are cowards does not help.