Obama aide: ‘Possible’ Russia could enter Ukraine

  • Pro-Russian soldiers in unmarked uniforms arrange a position on top an APC near Ukrainian marines base in the city of Feodosia, Crimea, Sunday, March 23, 2014. On Sunday, the Russian Defense Ministry said the Russian flag was now flying over 189 military facilities in Crimea. It didn't specify whether any Ukrainian military operations there remained under Ukrainian control. (AP Photo/ Pavel Golovkin)

    Pro-Russian soldiers in unmarked uniforms arrange a position on top an APC near Ukrainian marines base in the city of Feodosia, Crimea, Sunday, March 23, 2014. On Sunday, the Russian Defense Ministry said the Russian flag was now flying over 189 military facilities in Crimea. It didn't specify whether any Ukrainian military operations there remained under Ukrainian control. (AP Photo/ Pavel Golovkin)

  • Pro-Russian soldiers in unmarked uniforms arrange a position on top an APC near Ukrainian marines base in the city of Feodosia, Crimea, Sunday, March 23, 2014. On Sunday, the Russian Defense Ministry said the Russian flag was now flying over 189 military facilities in Crimea. It didn't specify whether any Ukrainian military operations there remained under Ukrainian control. (AP Photo/ Pavel Golovkin)

    Pro-Russian soldiers in unmarked uniforms arrange a position on top an APC near Ukrainian marines base in the city of Feodosia, Crimea, Sunday, March 23, 2014. On Sunday, the Russian Defense Ministry said the Russian flag was now flying over 189 military facilities in Crimea. It didn't specify whether any Ukrainian military operations there remained under Ukrainian control. (AP Photo/ Pavel Golovkin)

  • Pro-Russian soldiers in unmarked uniforms arrange a position on top an APC near Ukrainian marines base in the city of Feodosia, Crimea, Sunday, March 23, 2014. On Sunday, the Russian Defense Ministry said the Russian flag was now flying over 189 military facilities in Crimea. It didn't specify whether any Ukrainian military operations there remained under Ukrainian control. (AP Photo/ Pavel Golovkin)
  • Pro-Russian soldiers in unmarked uniforms arrange a position on top an APC near Ukrainian marines base in the city of Feodosia, Crimea, Sunday, March 23, 2014. On Sunday, the Russian Defense Ministry said the Russian flag was now flying over 189 military facilities in Crimea. It didn't specify whether any Ukrainian military operations there remained under Ukrainian control. (AP Photo/ Pavel Golovkin)

WASHINGTON — A top White House aide says it’s possible that Russia could invade eastern Ukraine, and even U.S. military assistance would be unlikely to prevent it.

Deputy national security adviser Tony Blinken says Russia seems to be trying intimidate Ukrainians by massing thousands of troops along the border.

But Blinken also tells CNN’s “State of the Union” that “it’s possible they are preparing to move in.”

He says the U.S. is looking at providing military assistance to Ukraine. But he also says “it’s very unlikely to change Russia’s calculus and prevent an invasion.”

Russia’s defense chief has told Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel that Russia had no intention of crossing into Ukrainian territory.

Blinken says economic penalties are working to isolate Russia.

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