Waiting it out is Russias best strategy. I honestly doubt they planned for the possibility of Donbass revolt and the foolish response of regime, since Russian response arrived some time later (the exact moment is obvious). Fact is, had there only been relatively bloodless (auslander can brief us on revealable details) Crimean return, Kiev regime couldn't cry about invasion, war, "terrorists", betrayal etc. and have the focus of nation turned towards the conflict. Even with all this, they aren't fooling anyone at home, ratings are single-digit, draft-dodging, emigration everyday practice. And the most difficult is yet to come.
How to sell mass "privatization", EU "values", utility cost increases, life quality drop, social expenditure decreases etc. to a population sick from patriotic fever?
It's not the same propping up a rebellion force near border and a country of ~40 million people, while keeping in mind all those sweet speeches and promises made to them.
NAF might have Hannibal military skills, but it doesn't have the ability nor opportunity for Cannae battle, while regime simply doesn't have the time or resources to be Cunctator. This isn't a war of total destruction, Russia made repeated statements about there being no military solution to the conflict. The way encirclements were handled is telling.
I know it is painful to watch and listen to reports about suffering and destruction, but in current geopolitical and economic situation and power disposition in the world, Russia simply doesn't have a lot of options to choose from. Of course, that is all my humble opinion, nothing that I can back with substantial proof.