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(CNN) – A defiant Russian President Vladimir Putin denied having designs on seizing Ukraine's Crimean peninsula, while defending his country's right to intervene to protect ethnic Russians and others he said were under threat.
"I'm not worried that a war will start, because we're not going to go to war with Ukraine," he said. "I want you to understand clearly: If we do this, it will only be to protect local people."
But on the ground, the Russian siege of Ukrainian military facilities continued.
"It's going to be very difficult to get the Russians out of Crimea," said Sen. Bob Corker, ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
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CNN's Jake Tapper and Matthew Chance discuss Secretary of State John Kerry's tour of Independence Square in Kiev. He arrived in Kiev earlier today to meet with Ukraine's prime minister and acting president, to discuss financial aid.
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