According to an Associated Press article, Russian President Vladimir Putin "ordered forces Monday to 'maintain peace' in separatist regions of eastern Ukraine in a further escalation of tensions that followed the Kremlin's recognition of the areas' independence despite warnings of sanctions and international condemnation."
The Kremlin decree left unclear when or whether troops would enter Ukraine, but fueled fears of invasion and underscored the steeps challenges the U.S. and other Western nations face in fending off military conflict.
U.S. Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the U.S. has "anticipated a move like this from Russia" and is "ready to respond immediately." Psaki also said President Joe Biden will "soon issue an Executive Order that will prohibit new investment, trade, and financing by U.S. persons to, from, or in the so-called DNR and LNR regions of Ukraine."
Psaki said the White House is continuing to consult with Allies and partners, including Ukraine, on the next steps.