The standoff in Crimea has not escalated to the point of military-on-military violence, at least partly because Ukraine's leadership has to recognize that against Russia, it has few military options.
In 2008, the Republic of Georgia took military action against separatist elements officially within its own borders. Russia's army then got involved directly in the fighting on the side of the separatists, and it went badly for Georgia: Its forces were crushed.
It hasn't been much of a leap for commentators to draw parallels with the current situation in Crimea. But while Ukraine's military is much better equipped and trained than Georgia's, security experts say Ukraine's armed forces are no match for Russia.
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"It's really no contest. The sheer size of the Russian forces is just too big, and the Ukrainians must know that," said Peter Felstead, editor of Jane's Defence Weekly, a publication focusing on global military matters, equipment and strategy.