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Continued Russian military presence on Ukrainian border threatening

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Weeks after a Russian takeover of the Ukrainian capital city of Crimea, Russian military tanks and artillery menace Ukraine by what Russia calls military exercises. This Week with George Stephanopoulos called it a “showdown” on Sunday, March 30, reporting that as Putin amasses a significant number of troops at the border with Ukraine, Obama demands he pull back. In an ABC News exclusive with George, Russian Federation ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak, claimed that Crimea “is a part of Russian Federation” and that because of “a lot of things that have happened … and one has to be very realistic about it” the troops are there for the security “of people living in Crimea.”

Friday, March 28, The Wall Street Journal reported that according to the Associated Press, more than 20,000 Russian troops have been deployed along the Russian border with eastern Ukraine under the guise of conducting military maneuvers, based upon estimates of U.S. and European security agencies. On Sunday's This Week it was reported that “U.S. intelligence agencies now estimate there are up to 40 – 50,000 Russian troops along Ukraine's eastern border.”

In an interview in Vatican City on Friday, March 28, U.S. president, Barack Obama, told CBS This Morning that the moves might be no more than an effort to intimidate Ukraine, but also could be a precursor to other actions.

President Obama said in the CBS interview Friday,

"You've seen a range of troops massing along that border under the guise of military exercises. But these are not what Russia would normally be doing."

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is currently in Paris to engage in “some last ditch diplomacy” talks with Russia's prime minister, according to Stephanopoulos on Sunday's program.


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