Nightly News   |  March 28, 2014

Obama Urges Putin to Remove Russian Troops from Ukraine Border

The phone call between the two presidents may have won Ukraine a short reprieve from a Russian invasion.

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

>> williams: let´s turn to news from overseas. there´s late word tonight of a phone call from russian president vladimir putin to president obama , who is traveling overseas right now. white house says putin called to talk about u.s. diplomatic proposals to resolve this crisis in ukraine . officials are telling us the president urged putin to move his troops back from the border. this is important because the pentagon has been very worried about the opposite -- worried that putin is about to move on the rest of ukraine . jim miklaszewski is at the pentagon for us tonight. jim, good evening.

>> miklaszewski: brian, that phone call tonight between the two presidents may have won ukraine at least a short reprieve from a russian invasion. defense officials here tell us that, as of tonight, the russians already have in place enough military firepower to invade ukraine . there´s an estimated 40,000 heavily armed russian troops that are positioned near the border. they´re armed with tanks, attack helicopters, even field hospitals to treat any possible wounded. now, all of those troops are currently buttoned down and out of sight at three remote russian military bases that are located about 40 to 60 miles away from the ukrainian border. intelligence officials believe that russia wants to seize a large portion of southeastern ukraine . that would provide the military with a direct and open land route from russia to crimea. now, if those upcoming u.s. talks with russia should break down for any reason, u.s. officials here warn that russia would still be able to launch an invasion without warning and admit the u.s. and ukraine would be unable to stop it. brian.

>> williams: jim miklaszewski at the pentagon, where they´ll be keeping eyes on this all weekend.