Nightly News   |  April 17, 2014

Putin Refers to Ukraine as ‘New Russia’

On Thursday there was more violence in eastern Ukraine as Presidents Obama and Putin shared very different visions for the country’s future.

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

>>> breakthrough in the ukraine crisis that could ease the standoff that's been underway for weeks now. tamping down fears that russia will invite ukraine full out and trigger an all out war but there is also unsettling news coming out of ukraine , leaflets that have showed up in one town where russian militants took over asking jews to register. andrea mitchell watching it from the newsroom tonight. good evening.

>> good evening, brian. there was more violence in eastern ukraine , but starkly different approaches from president obama and vladimir putin . overnight in eastern ukraine , government troops repelled a prorussian attack on a national guard base. three russian militants were killed. at least a dozen injured but despite russian influence a peaceful government rally. presidents obama and putin on stage today with very different visions. in geneva as diplomats met for the first time, agree to disarm illegal forces and find a diplomatic way in. putin was belligerent. in his news conference denying the uniformed militia is russian even as he said about controlling ukraine and called it new russia . leaving obama skeptical.

>> my hope is that we actually do see follow through over the next several days, but i don't think given past performance that we can count on that.

>> reporter: if russia did invite ukraine , it's no match. russia out numbers ukraine eight to one in active forces , 20 to one in reserves and has 40,000 tanks to ukraine 's 3,000 and far more rocket launchers , ships and combat aircraft. another ominous note today, pamphlets telling jews to register.

>> in the year of 2014 after all of the miles traveled and journey of history, this is not just intolerable but grotesk.

>> and putin enjoyed sticking his thumb in president obama 's eye today, a chance to ask a question by edward snowden.

>> does russia analyze or store in any way the communications of millions?

>> i used to be part of secret services so let us speak professionally. we do not allow ourselves to do that and i hope we never do. we do not as much money and as many devices as the u.s. to do that.

>> president obama said the u.s. and europe will impose more sanctions if the situation in ukraine doesn't improve. critics say the white house is too slow to react, letting putin think he can destabilize ukraine and get away with.

>> andrea, thanks.