President Biden says Russia has clearly started an invasion of Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered troops into two breakaway regions of eastern Ukraine. Speaking at the White House, Biden said Putin is crafting a rationale to take more Ukrainian territory by force. He called it a flagrant violation of international law and unveiled a round of tough financial sanctions against Russia. Biden warned that more severe sanctions will follow if Putin continues his aggression.
Putin declared the affected Ukrainian regions independent and said his troops would be acting as so-called peacekeepers. Biden called Putin's claims bizarre. He also announced additional U.S. military movements to help strengthen Baltic allies in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Biden called them "totally defensive moves" and said the U.S. has no intention of fighting Russia. He also expressed hope that "diplomacy is still available" to quell the growing crisis.