CNN's Erin Burnett speaks with Gen. Jim Jones, former National Security Adviser to President Obama about the first time President Barack Obama met Vladimir Putin.
On Tuesday, President Obama announced the U.S. is slapping Moscow with new sanctions in retaliation for Putin's support of rebels in Ukraine.
Are these new sanctions going to make a difference?
OutFront is Ben Judah. He's spent the past three years researching Vladimir Putin and wrote the recent Newsweek article, "Behind the Scenes in Putin's Court: The Private Habits of a Latter-Day Dictator."
According to U.S. officials, the tally is now up to 40,000. A Ukrainian official puts the number much higher at 88,000.
Was Crimea only the beginning? Will Russia President Vladimir Putin invade eastern Ukraine? U.S. officials tell CNN Putin can act with little warning. CNN's Karl Penhaul is near the Russia, Ukraine border with the latest on troop movements.
A new classified intelligence assessment concludes it is more likely than previously thought that Russian forces will enter eastern Ukraine, CNN has learned.
Two administration officials described the assessment but declined to be identified due to the sensitive nature of the information.
The officials emphasized that nothing is certain, but there have been several worrying signs in the past three to four days.
“This has shifted our thinking that the likelihood of a further Russian incursion is more probable than it was previously thought to be,” one official said.
The buildup is seen to be reminiscent of Moscow’s military moves before it went into Chechnya and Georgia in both numbers of units and their capabilities.
U.S. military and intelligence officials have briefed Congress on the assessment.
Pres. Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin, talked for an hour Thursday afternoon, with the U.S. president stating "Russia's actions are in violation of Ukraine's sovereignty" and that there is a diplomatic way out, according to the White House.
The call came after Obama issued another warning to Russia and signed an order to impose economic sanctions after the Crimean parliament voted to separate from Ukraine.
The president says the U.s. and it's allies will not just stand by and watch.
"The proposed referendum on the future of Crimea would violate the Ukrainian constitution and violate international law," Obama said. "Any discussion about the future of Ukraine must include the legitimate government of Ukraine. In 2014, we are well beyond the days when borders can be redrawn over the heads of democratic leaders."
Russia continues to solidify its position with its military, moving a partially-sunk Russian ship, to block seven Ukrainian vessels in Crimea.
In addition, Russia is conducting large-scale defense drills about 280 miles from the Ukrainian border. Russian authorities said the drills are part of a regular combat training cycle, according to the news agency. The show of force is the backdrop of a deteriorating relationship between the region of Crimea and the UKrainian government.
The White House turned up the pressure with the announcement of new economic sanctions that also include expanding visa restrictions.
Both the U.S. and Russia continue to try to find a diplomatic solution, but after a second meeting between Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov. Russia says it has not found any common ground.
They agreed to continue talking "over the course of the next hours, the next days" to try to find a political solution to end the crisis, Kerry told reporters following the meeting.
OutFront: Jen Psaki, the spokesperson for the U.S. State Department.