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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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February 28th, 2014
06:23 PM ET

What is Putin's game plan in Ukraine?

(CNN) – Tension dramatically mounted in Ukraine's Crimea region Friday as its ambassador to the United Nations warned Russia against any further violation of its territorial borders, a warning that came as the United States urged Russia to pull back from the region or face possible consequences.

Ukraine accused Russian Black Sea forces of trying to seize two airports in Crimea but said Ukrainian security forces prevented them from taking control.

Political tension grows in Ukraine's Crimea region

"A third of Ukraine is of Russian descent, and the history was with the old Soviet Union, and yes there have been Russians on eastern Ukraine soil for years and years, and the KGB has its tentacles out," said Jane Harman, president and CEO of The Wilson Center.

"However that doesn't mean there has been an invasion. It might be there's a plan to try to get this portion of Ukraine to secede, and join Russia. That might be a smart move by Putin," said Harman.

But, Harman added, the European Union and the U.S. have a chance to gain the upper hand in Ukraine. Check out the rest of her interview in the video above.

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