Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.
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(CNN) – President Barack Obama placed blame for the violence in Ukraine on Russia Wednesday.
"The violence is encouraged by Russia. The separatists are trained by Russia; they are armed by Russia; they are funded by Russia," he told reporters in Washington.
Calling sanctions against Russia already in place "effective," he said it would face additional costs and consequences for its ongoing incursion.
"Russia is already more isolated than at any time since the end of the Cold War," Obama said.
Jerusalem (CNN) - Israeli airstrikes pounded targets in Gaza, killing scores of people Wednesday as dozens of militant rockets streaked into Israel.
The continued Hamas barrage prompted Israel's Prime Minister to step up the offensive against the militant group.
Jerusalem (CNN) - Israel intercepted a rocket fired at Tel Aviv on Tuesday and killed militants who stormed into Israeli territory, the military said, as people on both sides of the Gaza border were living under a barrage of attacks from the air.
In a dramatic escalation of the conflict, militants fired more than 130 rockets at Israeli civilians, Israel said. Palestinians reported 16 people in Gaza were killed in Israeli airstrikes targeting militants. Israel said it targeted about 150 "terror sites" in Gaza.
Simferopol, Ukraine (CNN) - Political tension roiled in Ukraine's Crimea region Friday, as U.S. officials received assurances that Russian military activities there were routine and not intended as a threat to Ukraine sovereignty.
At the same time, Ukrainian officials grappled with rising secessionist passions in the Russian-majority region and faced major disruptions to airport and communications services.
The region's airspace was closed Friday. Further, the government accused Russian Black Sea forces of trying to seize two airports in Crimea but said Ukrainian security forces had prevented them from taking control.