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(CNN) – The pro-Russian government of Ukraine's southeastern Crimea region declared independence Tuesday ahead of a scheduled referendum on whether to join Russia, ignoring international warnings that the vote won't be recognized.
It seems that Russian President Vladimir Putin is trying to wait things out, hoping this becomes accepted as the new normal. To some, it appears – for now at least – like Putin is winning.
"He's not winning," said Democratic Senator Chris Murphy, member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
"A couple of weeks ago he had the president of the entire country under his thumb. He had prevented them from joining the EU. Today, he's essentially lost the rest of Ukraine. He's become an international pariah," said Murphy.
There will also be economic consequences for Putin's incursion into Ukraine, as the Senate prepares to pass legislation giving President Barack Obama broad sanctions authority over Russia, its government, and perhaps its economic enterprises, said Murphy.
For more of our interview with Sen. Chris Murphy, check out the video above.