Thuggery is defined by doing what one wishes without any repercussions. Russian frustrations of becoming less globally important after the collapse of the Soviet Union have materialized by the Russian forces taking over Crimea. Pure and simple. If Russia wants it, Russia gets it.
Russian forces have occupied Crimea and then organized a highly biased referendum for either increasing Crimean autonomy from Ukraine or for accepting that Crimea become a Russian territory. This happened without much debate and time for the Crimean residents to understand the meaning of this Russian takeover of Crimea.
How is this a free choice, Russia? You have your army on the ground and then pretend that you intervened to 'defend' the Russian minority in Crimea from the oppressive Ukrainian authorities. Nobody ever heard of any such abuses. Ever.
I hate Russia and I equally hate the fact the West will not be able to cope with Russian aggression in an effective fashion. Russia is an energy power house and Europe depends on Russian energy far more than any other region. Without the participation of the European nations in the economic sanctions against Russia these will not work.
Russia can do more economic harm to Europe than the reverse by refusing to sell its energy to Europe. This is true at least in the short term. Russia has started an action countdown clock and I hope that Europe will massively divest from the Russian economy since what Russia has done to Ukraine can be repeated, without much warning, with almost any other country of the former Soviet Union. It is only a matter of time, and Europe needs to be ready to pounce and hit the Russian bear on the snout to send it back to Siberia, where it belongs.