Nightly News   |  April 14, 2014

US Accuses Russia of Stoking Unrest in Ukraine

Tensions are rising as Russia continues to deny having any role in the Eastern Ukraine protests.

Share This:

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

>>> to news overseas in ukraine , there were growing concerns about prorussian forces tightening their grip in the eastern part of that country as they move in effect, building by building. they have already taken over another government building in another city as a decision pass. am ayman joins us.

>> reporter: as the take overs grow, they come more emboldened. to use force, some are saying it could be just as bad as doing nothing at all. the crowd cheers, the russian flag is raised over another building in eastern ukraine . the police station seized by prorussi prorussian. video on the internet unverified by nbc news shows ukrainian police given orders by a russian military officer. he says he's a lieutenant colonel. even shows id. we saw separatests giving orders to police. we were not allowed to talk to them. outside young men build barricades, some brought money, food, supplies. this is what the people of eastern ukraine want. one of the separatest wants a referendum to break away from the government. why are you hanging the russian flag outside. it's for protection he says, everyone here wants to be russian. in a few hours that they have been in control at this police station , you can't help but wonder who is behind the coordination. look at the tires, sandbags. there is a tremendous amount of discipline and coordination among the men securing this position. on saturday, well-armed uniformed men in formation occupy the police station . more evidence the u.s. and ukraine say that russia is behind a sort of slow motion invasion of eastern ukraine . as many as a dozen cities and towns now have government buildings controlled by prorussian separatest. the government warned it would retake the building and position convoys but let its own deadline pass today so far without using force, worried any violence would give russian forces just across the boarder an excuse to move in. brian, from what we've been seeing and hearing from the ground, there is no good military option for the government. this evening the president turned his sights to the united nations asking them to send peace keepers to the eastern part of the country to try and help stabilize the situation. aman mohyeldin. reports today of a russian fighter jet buzzen an american russian ship at sea for an extended period of time as low as 500 feet. for more on that and the diplomatic sight, such as it is, we're joined by andrea michigtc mitchell. good evening.

>> reporter: tensions did increase dramatically after the buzzing of a jet. it happened saturday in a stand off that could easily spin out of control. in the black sea , off the coast of romania, the russian attack plane made 12 passes over the uss donald cook for 90 minutes ignoring radio calls, diving just above sea level very close to the destroyer. today the white house also accused russia of the unrest in eastern ukraine .

>> the similarities are striking. the evidence is coampbelling that russia is supporting the efforts and supporting them.

>> reporter: john brennan was sent to ukraine but denies russian claims he was helping mobile wise the military. with tensions rising president obama and vladimir putin talked. russia says russia blamed the kiev government and claiming russia 's alleged interference was based on inaccurate information. tonight the white house responded saying that call was at russia 's request and was frank and direct. and the president made clear during the call that the diplomatic path was open. the u.s. is preferred way ahead but that russia 's actions are neither consistent with or conducive to a diplomatic solution. this, brian, was clearly a very tough call.