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BREAKING: White House Labels Russian Troop Movements An Invasion

 The White House called the movement of Russian forces into Ukraine an “invasion” on Tuesday morning, setting up the possible implementation of strict U.S. sanctions on Russia.

The White House on Monday appeared hesitant to use the strict economic levers that President Joe Biden had promised should Russia invade Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin unilaterally recognized the independence of separatist regions in Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts on Monday, ordering Russian troops into the areas on a “peacekeeping” mission.

The White House strengthened its language on the events Tuesday morning.

“We think this is, yes, the beginning of an invasion, Russia’s latest invasion into Ukraine,” principal Deputy National Security Adviser Jon Finer said, according to the Associated Press. “An invasion is an invasion and that is what is underway.”

The Biden administration responded to the Russian invasion of Donetsk and Luhansk with sanctions on the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics as recognized by the Kremlin.

“President 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,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement Monday. “This E.O. will also provide authority to impose sanctions on any person determined to operate in those areas of Ukraine.”

This is a breaking story. Check back for updates.

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