Along with the action in the Crimean peninsula, some foreign experts say Russia is eyeing eastern Ukraine as well, with Putin saying Russia will do what it must to protect ethnic Russians.
But one MSU student from eastern Ukraine says that isn't the case.
Oleksii Myronets is a business management senior at MSU, an international student from Luhansk, Ukraine, one of the nearest major cities to the Russian border.
He says the talk of defending ethnic Russians in the east is nothing more than a bad excuse for aggression that aims to reclaim the lost republics of the Soviet Union.
Myronets says, "It's already started. It's started already. It's the Cold War. These events that happened the past couple of days - Russia officially annexed Crimea - Wow. Ukraine is an independent, sovereign country, with it's own people and own borders."
But there are close ties between the Russians and Ukrainians, and although he doesn't believe these actions should go unpunished, military action is out of the question.
"I have a lot of friends in Russia. My grandpa still lives in Russia. I can't fight against a brotherly people. I strongly believe it should be only diplomatic, political and economic tools that are used in this crisis. No war."
The events in his homeland have Oleksii questioning whether he'll return to Ukraine when the semester is over.
"I'm extremely worried about my future. About the future of Ukraine. I can't see any solution."