Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday denied sending members of his military into Crimea or that any of the up to 25,000 Russian troops already stationed in the country had any role in the standoff, according to the state-run RIA Novosti news agency. He insisted his military isn't planning to seize the Crimean Peninsula - but didn't close the door on action "to protect local people."
But senior U.S. officials estimate Russia has moved as many as 6,000 troops to the region. Ukraine's U.N. ambassador, Yuriy Sergeyev, claims Russia used planes, boats and helicopters to flood the peninsula with 16,000 troops. Ukrainian officials also say disguised Russian troops have laid siege to military installations.
What's Putin's next move?
Former NATO Supreme Allied Commander General Wesley Clark is OutFront.
President Obama is taking on Wall Street again.
After sending his 2015 fiscal year budget to Congress, President Obama said he planned to close tax loopholes benefiting the rich.
"Closing tax loopholes that, right now, only benefit the well-off and well-connected," Obama said.
Obama has often called on Congress to close tax loopholes including the carried interest loophole, which he promised to close during his first campaign.
The idea of closing this loophole has appeared in President Obama's budgets over and over, but it never makes it to the final draft.
Erin Burnett thinks the carried interest loophole is "one of the most ridiculous tax loopholes in America."
It has netted billions of dollars for a very select few Americans.
It's the loophole that gives loopholes a bad name, and makes arguments of special treatment hold up.
Burnett explains how it works:
OutFront: Democratic Congressman Brad Sherman - he sits on the House Financial Services Committee. He is also a Certified Public Accountant.
Pretoria, South Africa (CNN) - A defense attorney Tuesday tried to poke holes in the highly emotional testimony of the first witness in the murder trial of Olympian double-amputee Oscar Pistorius, as another witness said she also heard screams the night model Reeva Steenkamp was killed.
On the second day of the trial, testimony continued with the questioning of Pistorius' neighbor, Michelle Burger, who said Monday she was awakened by screams, followed by gunshots, when Pistorius shot and killed his girlfriend on Valentine's Day last year.
Defense attorney Barry Roux attacked Burger's credibility, accusing her of using her husband's statement to craft her own.
Paragraph by paragraph, Roux pointed out similarities between their two statements. Burger repeatedly explained that the statements were similar because they both heard the same thing. "I'm as honest as I can be to the court," she said.
Pistorius has admitted he killed Steenkamp but pleaded not guilty, saying that he mistakenly believed he was shooting a burglar. He only realized after firing four shots that his girlfriend was not in bed but in the bathroom he was firing at, his defense team said on his behalf Monday.
Burger cried when she described the gunfire. "It was awful to hear the shots," she said through tears.
On Monday, Burger testified that, "Something terrible was happening at that house." She called the shouts and screams "petrifying."
Roux questioned how Burger had heard the screams from far away: "You heard that out of a closed toilet in a house 177 meters away?
It seems everyone has an opinion on what Russian President Vladimir Putin is doing with regards to Ukraine and why he's doing it:
President Obama: There have been some reports that President Putin is pausing for a moment and reflecting on what's happened.
Madeleine Albright: He's living in some other world.
Michael McFaul: Putin is saying, I'm here, and you're going to have to deal with me.
Sen. John McCain: I think he loves to strut on the world stage.
Who is the man behind the tiger? The shirtless man on the horse?
OutFront: Ariel Cohen is a Senior Research fellow, Heritage Foundation. He's met with Putin close to a dozen times, and he was born in the Crimean region.
The U.S. and its allies are waiting for Vladimir Putin's next move.
As Russian forces tighten their hold on the Crimean Peninsula, the next few days will be crucial.
Both the Russian and Ukrainian forces are poised to react to the slightest provocation.
More than 100 unarmed Ukrainian soldiers tried to return to a Ukrainian military base north of Sevastopol Tuesday morning when about a dozen Russian soldiers fired warning shots over their heads.
An eerie mood on the ground in Crimea
Video shot by one of the Ukrainian soldiers showed the Ukrainians continuing to move forward. In the video, a Russian, holding his weapon, orders them to halt their advance: "I have orders; I will shoot you in the legs if you come any further."
Just how powerful is the Russian military?
CNN's Barbara Starr has a detailed look Putin's forces.