Almost as surprised as the west underestimating a swift, well organised, and non contested reoccupation of foreign territory.
I’m not sure that’s so much underestimation on the part of the west, seeing as Russia pulls that move once every eight years (Transistria, Abkhazia thrice, South Ossetia, Chechnya, Crimea and the East), and more it wasn’t worth it to fight a war with a nuclear armed nation over a crappy port they’d have trouble holding in an actual war and would make them look like international D-bags any how. (NOTE: Author does not share this opinion).
Or it could be incompetence, you can never tell these days
People were surprised about the Crimean situation? I mean, they are still a potent fighting force… Surely people noticed the Georgian conflict from 2008?
The Georgian army was much smaller and in a pretty bad state in 2008. They were basically still the leftovers of the Soviet forces. You should not take the conflict as an example of the “potency” of Russian forces.