- remain in Ukraine as a federal region or
- unite with Russia, or
- form a People's Republic of Donetsk (see http://news.ninemsn.com.au/world/2014/05/08/21/13/ukraine-rebels-vow-to-hold-referendum )
Such disagreement and fragmentation appears to be increasingly like the Balkans in the early 1990s (where Croats, Serbs and Bosnian Muslims fought each other and borders shifted).
Many in eastern Ukraine want an Independent or Russian Eastern Ukraine referendum on 11 May 2014 while there also seems to be some agreement between Kiev and Moscow on national Ukrainian elections on 25 May 2014.
In terms of standards of living uniting with Russia may have advantages. Ukraine has a nominal GDP per capita of $3,862 (even lower in eastern Ukraine) while the Russian figure is $14,818. See right sidebars of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ukraine and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russia
The Ukrainian standard of living might take a couple of decades to move from poverty to the Russian level.
Money versus independence?
Below is an article I wrote. It was published today on ON LINE opinion - Australia's e-journal of social and political debate - at http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=16286
Ukraine: can anything save it?
Much has been written about Russia’s slow motion domination of Ukraine. The gradual nature of this process and the tactics Russia is using makes it all the more difficult for the West to respond effectively. This article in part argues that a major Russian objective is to dominate Ukraine in order to protect Russia’s diminishing strategic buffer zone. This buffer zone is principally valued because it protects Russia’s heartland from aggressive foreign forces. In this context these forces are military but to a much lesser extent, in Putin’s xenophobic Russia, they may be economic and cultural forces.