Speed Reads

the i-word

White House describes Russian movements as an invasion after initially resisting term

After initial resistance toward doing so, the White House has decided to start referring to Russia's military movements in eastern Ukraine as an "invasion," The Associated Press, NPR, and The Wall Street Journal report.

Though the administration had, at first, held off on using such rhetoric to see what Moscow might actually do, it now feels the situation on the ground now warrants it, AP writes, according to a U.S. official.

"We think this is, yes, the beginning of an invasion," Principal Deputy National Security Adviser Jonathan Finer told CNN on Tuesday morning.

"An invasion is an invasion and that is what is underway," he added, noting, however, that "Russia has been invading Ukraine since 2014."

As recently as Monday, American officials had declined to use that term to describe the situation, despite Russian President Vladimir Putin ordering troops to areas in Ukraine controlled by Russian-backed separatists, Politico reports.

In response, President Biden is expected to announce new sanctions against Moscow on Tuesday, which will work in tandem with those being prepared by the European Union and the U.K.