Nightly News   |  March 07, 2014

Cold-War Style Standoff Turns Hot

The tension between Ukraine and Russia grows after Russian troops move in on a Ukrainian military installation.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> good evening, there are reports tonight that what has been a cold war style standoff between russia and ukraine has turned hot. apparently after russian troops have moved in on a ukraine military installation . now that the russians have taken effective control of the crimea region, no one really expects they will ever give it up. the larger question perhaps is how far this goes and how much now of ukraine does russia consider its own. our chief foreign correspondent andrea mitchell has more from our d.c. room, good evening.

>> reporter: good evening, brian, until now both sides were avoiding a military clash in crimea . but ukraine said that russian forces escalated the crisis, tonight, armed men, ukraine army says that russians ran through a gate at a military defense post. even as vladimir putin back in sochi was kicking off the paralympics and telling the ukraine delegation he hopes the games will help to reduce tensions between their country. the ukraine athletes will compete, but in protest sent only their flag-bearer to the opening ceremony, he was cheered when he entered. the flash points of the u.s. and nato is crimea 's threat to secede and become unlinked to russia . putin countered the kremlin said today that last month's uprising was an unconstitutional coup. and putin told president obama that they are imposing sanctions on the ukraine , russia cannot help this matter. john kerry flew home after getting russia to agree to talk to ukraine 's new leaders, tried again, calling the russian foreign minister , sergei lavrov . others call on the president to get tough er.

>> i wish the president would speak up and label putin for what he is, i hope that he understands that when lavrov lies to his face, when the troops moved in, lavrov told him they were not doing anything. should not we understand these people? doesn't that remind us of a bygone era?

>> reporter: in fact, they said the west needs to protect ukraine from russia .

>> we are pretty much sure that the civilized world will not leave ukraine alone from such an uncivilized aggressor.

>> reporter: and how aggressive will he get? they are studying body language for clues, perhaps they could look back at this photo, ronald reagan at the summit, now holding the same job as obama, souza looks like a young kgb officer, vladimir putin . tonight, they have authorized the return of family members from ukraine and they issued another travel warning against americans going there. brian?

>> andrea mitchell from our d.c. news room, thank you.