To save many lives it would be hoped that Kiev will see that it is over and, at least secretly to save face, negotiate a way to end this that does not involve collapse of junta and loss of oligarchs empires.
A few scenarios:
A: Kiev offers to recognize that Crimea is legally part of RF in exchange for Donbass. Probably LDNR would be offered some federal or confederation deal to sweeten this, and Washington/EU could dangle hope of end of sanctions. This would probably seem a good realpolitik solution to many in EU and America, but would be unacceptable to Donbass. This would be a difficult position for Russia as at face value it will seem a good deal, and failure to give up Donbass will seem like pointless intransigence, particularly with promise of end of sanctions. This of course could also be seen as a bitter pill for Kiev to take as well, but the leadership and people know that Crimea is lost forever no matter what happens, so really loose nothing for them. This, other than war scenarios, is the worst as it seems the most "reasonable", but I do not believe Putin will give up Donbass and that this scenario will never happen. And of course Putin does not hold Donbass to give it away, it's inhabitants do.
B: Kiev, seeing the possibility of rapprochement between Russia and America, if not the end of all possibility of America putting serious weapons and even troops into Ukraine, and the end of this dangerous slide to WWIII, will try to stop any rapprochement before it even happens, and that would not occur before inauguration of Trump. I have long said that in the end result, whoever is American president, they have nothing to loose over Ukraine except false pride, and that it is Poroshenko and his gang that have everything to loose, including their lives if they cannot get out in time. Therefore I still believe that Poroshenko may take matters into his own hands and attempt to cause serious damage to LDNR by inflicting localized military defeat and loss of important territory. This would be difficult but not impossible. This will be a huge gamble of course, but election of Trump, IMO, has made this more likely. If, for instance, Obama still had a year or more left in office, or that Clinton had won, then likely Poroshenko would keep to the same plan he has now, whatever it is.
But Poroshenko now faces this possible rapprochement beginning next January, and potential loss of support and no possibility of taking LDNR. If Poroshenko attacks before Trump inauguration he can hope to achieve one or two results. He can attempt to organize a credible "Gleiwitz" incident, and it does not even need to be very convincing for western media, and then launch limited offensive to take Makeevka/Gorlovka or to strike across to border from Dokuchaevsk/Volnovakha, or at least north of Telmanovo. I doubt any serious attempt to take any LNR territory except maybe along the west, Pervomaisk, Alchevsk, if there is an attempt to take Debaltsevo while encirclement of Gorlovka takes place. And I do not doubt LNR would be attacked at least as diversion and to prevent forces being redeployed to Donetsk. If there is no intervention and there is some success and another Illovaisk/southern pot is avoided, then this will cause severe problems for LDNR, and loss of Makeevka and or Gorlovka will be a nightmare and possibly cause evacuation of many civilians from Donetsk city. Loss of Telmanovo and the south would be hard, but not as bad, tho the loss of a large area of arable land will be a serious problem. However, this depends on ability of ukrops and lack of intervention. The first seems lacking, the second, not. Therefore, if Poroshenko takes any action it could be action to provoke intervention on an obvious scale, and so very likely further damage relations between Russia and EU and end hopes of rapprochement between Russia and America. The big gamble for Poroshenko is that he does not provoke the threatened march on Kiev and Odessa. If not, it is "business as usual" for Kiev, and playing the "Victim of Russia card", and that there would even in a limited offensive be many ukrops mothers without sons, life in LDNR would have become a lot harder as there will also have been casualties, and also destruction of houses and infrastructure and possible further loss of territory.
C: Kiev simply gives up on Crimea and Donbass and walks away. Sensible thing to do of course, but will lead to revolution in Kiev and possible breakup of all Ukraine. For the sake of lives, this is the preferred scenario, as I am certain this situation will not end without bloodshed, and less lives may be lost in revolution in Kiev than full scale war if there is a march to Kiev and Odessa. But by the time it comes to any such march Kiev will have collapsed, Transcarpathia rebelled, uprisings in Kharkov and Odessa.
It will all end well, but unfortunately there is a matter of some horror before the end. It is always so.
I'm sure other scenarios are available....