Contrary to popular world belief, 72% of Russians agree with Putin in retaking Crimea. This is because Crimea was Russian until the Soviet Union Collapsed. Even Gorbachev who was instrumental in the end of the Soviet Union agrees with Putin retaking Crimea. This has made Putin more popular in Russia than he ever has been in three years.
Begin quote from: Time Magazine on page 12 of the March 31st 2014 issue:
"For Putin, punishment pales before the political prize. The annexation of Crimea has pushed his popularity higher than it's been in three years---to a stunning 72% in two nationwide polls, up almost 10% since the invasion of Crimea began. Roughly the same percentage of respondents said at the start of February that they did not want Russia to intervene at all in Ukraine's internal affairs. But, for Russians, the conquest of Crimea was not seen as an intervention. It felt like the rightful return to the status of empire that Russia had lost after the fall of the Soviet Union."
So, it is very unlikely that Putin will ever give back Crimea to Ukraine ever. However, what happens in the rest of the Ukraine by Putin is anyone's guess.
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