“But note well that Putin hasnt had the balls yet to push his own forces across the border.”
A strong leader is not one who declares war every week. Putin is a KGB spy, he prefers to do things by cloak and dagger. He declares war when he has no other way to get his way. Here he seems to be succeeding without the need for open invasion (so far).
It would be foolish for him to invade and set himself up as an occupier. Russia has support on the ground in Eastern Ukraine and all they need is weapons.
Ukraine government will fail eventually when the IMF rules start to bite.