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March 2, 2014

With headlines like "Ukraine readies for an invasion by Russia" and "PM says Ukraine on the brink of disaster," media outlets in the U.S. and Western Europe have largely condemned Putin's military intervention in the Crimea. But Russians are hearing a very different story.

That's from Russia Today, the Kremlin's English-language news site, which went on to say that "contrary to expectations, security in Crimea has actually become more stable" since Russia invaded. For those of us who don't read Cyrillic, RT can give a taste of what Russians are seeing and hearing.

Here's a selection of other headlines from the site:

- "Ukrainian troops dispatched in Crimea switch to region's side - sources"

- "675,000 Ukrainians pour into Russia as 'humanitarian crisis' looms"

- "Will be a war crime to use force against Ukraine civilians, Russia warns self-proclaimed president"

- "Russia's UN envoy: Radical forces destabilising Ukraine must be stopped"

RT also has been running live footage of a pro-Russian rally in Simferopol, a city in southeastern Ukraine.

As Reuters outlines, the Russian press — which research organization Freedom House has simply labeled "not free" due to Putin's stranglehold on it — has been swamped with the Kremlin's messaging of the invasion.

On Russian television, weeks of footage of wounded policemen and burning tyres have given way to sober pictures of politicians and Ukrainians predicting Ukraine will split after opposition forces took control in Kiev and the president fled.

In a sign the Kremlin is shaken by losing a struggle for influence with the West in its neighbor, the language has been set against the us-or-them background of the Soviet victory against Adolf Hitler — a source of national pride. [Reuters]

Of course, Putin's critics have also been quick to invoke comparisons to World War II, with one calling the invasion his "Sudetenland," a reference to Hitler's invasion of Czechoslovakia. Nico Lauricella

2:19 p.m. ET

Larry David and Bernie Sanders appeared alongside each other on Saturday Night Live, but the real highlight of the night didn't involve Sanders at all. In this pre-taped sketch, watch David play a cranky, neurotic Sanders in the cleverly titled "Bern Your Enthusiasm." Julie Kliegman

1:48 p.m. ET
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The United Nations Security Council condemned North Korea on Sunday for defying international warnings in launching a long-range rocket that many believe is a cover for a test of a ballistic missile that could reach the United States mainland.

All 15 Security Council members approved a statement at an emergency meeting emphasizing that using ballistic missile technology violates four resolutions, The Associated Press reports. The group also vowed to adopt a new resolution soon with "significant" sanctions for North Korea. Julie Kliegman

1:18 p.m. ET
Sean Rayford/Getty Images

In a Monmouth University poll released Sunday, Donald Trump leads the Republican field with 30 percent of the support from likely New Hampshire primary voters. Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush are tied for 13 percent, with Ted Cruz notching 12 percent.

On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders leads Hillary Clinton, 52 percent to 42 percent.

The poll's margin of error is 4.4 percentage points. On Tuesday, New Hampshire will be the second state to vote in the primaries. Julie Kliegman

12:28 p.m. ET
Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Bernie Sanders distanced himself Sunday from "Berniebros," a wide-ranging term that some have used to describe sexist supporters of the Vermont senator.

"It's disgusting," he said on CNN's State of the Union. "We don't want that crap. Anybody who is supporting me and doing sexist things, we don't want them. I don't want them. That's not what this campaign is about."

See more of Sanders' interview here. Julie Kliegman

11:45 a.m. ET

Saturday night's Republican presidential debate featured a lot of heated conflict — once all of the candidates finally made it out on stage. Watch The Washington Post break down just how delightfully awkward the whole introduction process was. Julie Kliegman

11:26 a.m. ET

At Saturday's Republican presidential debate, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio attacked President Obama. A lot. To be exact, Rubio attacked Obama four times with some version of, "Let's dispel with this fiction that Barack Obama doesn't know what he's doing. He knows exactly what he's doing."

His performance was widely mocked.

But Sunday on ABC's This Week, Rubio stood by his talking point.

"It's what I believe and it's what I'm going to continue to say, because it happens to be one of the main reasons why I am running," he said.

In other words, Rubio knows exactly what he's doing. Julie Kliegman

11:00 a.m. ET

Beyoncé released a new single and music video Saturday, marking her first major release since she surprise-dropped her self-titled album in 2013. "Formation," which heavily references Hurricane Katrina and the Black Lives Matter movement, centers on black pride.

Two filmmakers have called out Beyoncé, claiming she used footage from their documentary, That B.E.A.T., without permission, The New York Times reports.

Beyoncé's representative countered that the footage is properly licensed. Julie Kliegman

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