With an amazing 85% voter turn out, the people of Crimea have made their choice be known. They have by a large margin decided to become part of Russia. There were 2 choices on the ballot, 1. To secede from Ukraine and Join the Russian Federation, or, 2. To remain a part of Ukraine and enjoy a greater degree of autonomy.
97% voted to join the Russian Federation. The next step, the Russian Pariament will vote within the next month on the request of Crimea to join the Russian Federation.
Furthermore, the U.S has agreed with a demand from Russia for a federalization of the Ukraine in which the federal states will have a strong autonomy against a neutralized central government. Putin had offered this “off-ramp” from the escalation and Obama has taken it.