This was predictable as f***. The only question now is who the next target of this "Russia only protecting their citizens" strategy will be. I wouldn't be surprised if it was a NATO member, let's say Latvia (because large portion of it's citizens are pro-Russia) and I would be even less surprised if NATO did nothing. Also, wasn't this how Germans gained foothold in Europe pre-WW2? i.e. allies doing nothing while axis invading countries left and right?