I see no meaningful similiarities. This is just warmongering western media spewing propaganda without mentioning who started this mess by staging a coup that has gone out of control (hint: leaked conversation between Victoria Nuland and Geoffrey Pyatt - hear this with caution, famous 'F the EU' is least important part of this conversation). I also recommend considering geopolitical context of this situation - Russia could not afford NOT responding to this as NATO bases in Ukraine could pose direct strategic threat to them of the same magnitude that missiles in Cuba posed to the US of A. This is also conveniently overlooked by western media.
Having said that, I view Crimea annexation as some kind of act of aggression, yet compared this to "liberations" conducted by the US (which usualy end up in massacres and drastic atrocities) it was (almost) bloodless. This makes very bad publicity for western warmongers, especialy neocons who look like war criminals by comparison (and in fact some of them are). Maybe this is the reason of recent media frenzy over Crimea issue.
Putin's way to achieve his goals seems to be mostly political (with some military support). First steps after Crimea annexation were to set up conditions for as fast growth of crimean economy as possible. They'll now be governed by russian laws (that are way less intrusive than ukrainian laws). Additional laws are being passed to ease conducting business in Crimea. Crimean firms don't have to pay taxes until the end of 2014. After that they'll have standard russian 13% flat tax (which is quite low compared to other countries in Europe). Russians also pledged to invest 5bn EUR into infrastructure of Crimea. My guess is Putin is trying to make a template for other post-soviet republics that will look easier to achieve and possibly more attractive than joining the EU. Just compare this to how well Greece is doing today under Troika dictate. The same results are not guaranteed anywhere else (first ones have the best bargain), yet it will give others something to thinks, especially in countries that went through color revolutions (all of which failed miserably). This stands in stark contrast contrast with how West (especially US) conducts their politics in other countries, which in most cases boils down to either staging a coup (Ukraine), funding insurgents waging a civil war (Syria, Libia) or bombing the hell out of (perceived) opponent (Iraq, Libia).
I'm trying to guess what Putin will do next but I don't believe in "invade The Free World" myth spewed by western media. With Ukraine descending into chaos, neo-nazis from Svoboda (originaly: Social-National Party of Ukraine - I'm not joking!) in key positions in ukrainian government (deputy PM, defence ministry, security services), ukrainian military mostly NOT obeying their orders (and rightfuly so - should they obey we'd already have civil war), Party of Regions (still having most popular support) being outlawed by force, gangs stopping busses, beating and robbing anyone with russian passport, Putin could just sit there and wait until this whole thing breaks down and people revolt once again and this time request joining Russia in order to improve their miserable life conditions. The other thing he can do is to annex other eastern regions of Ukraine the same way Crimea was annexed and leave Western Ukraine to Europe with all debts, troubles and nationalist gangsters roaming around. He propably doesn't want deal with those troubles when someone else can.
I'm truly asamed of my country politicians (hello from Poland!) who helped creating this mess. Should they not stage this coup, or at least enforce treaties they've signed with Yanukovych in February, Ukraine could go in orderly fashion into elections and - with sufficient monitoring - Ukrainians would elect whoever has popular support. Instead, our politicians are now spreading anti-russian hysteria and supporting ukrainian nationalists praising Stepan Bandera (the man responsible for murdering of some 200 thousands Poles in Ukraine in 1940s). Even taking photos with red-black flags of Bandera movement beind. My perception is polish politicians now act contrary to interests of Poland. Whomever they working for, whoever orders are they taking (um, Washington?) it will cause billions of dollars of losses as Russia will propably retaliate with even higher gas prices (we're already paying one of highest prices thanks to idiocy of polish politicians in the past), and with even more restrictions for polish companies trading with Russia. Even as our financial situation is not pretty, our politicians seem to not give a shit about this - maybe they hope for covering those losses by stealing remaining half of our pensions (as first half they stole several months ago).