US: 'Overwhelming evidence' Russia driving E. Ukraine unrest

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says there's "overwhelming evidence" that Russia is fomenting unrest in eastern Ukraine.

However, President Barack Obama has not yet concluded that the actions warrant broader sanctions.

White House spokesman Jay Carney says the administration is "actively evaluating" how the U.S. should respond to the situation. He says the U.S. is also discussing that matter with international partners.

Carney suggests Obama could talk to Russia President Vladimir Putin as soon as today. They last spoke more than two weeks ago. Since then, pro-Russian forces have been on a rampage, storming and occupying local government offices, police stations and a small airport in eastern Ukraine.

Meanwhile, ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych (yah-noo-KOH'-vich) is accusing CIA Chief John Brennan of being behind Ukraine's decision to send troops into the east to quash the pro-Russian insurgency.

U.S. officials deny those accusations, but the White House has confirmed that Brennan visited the Ukrainian capital of Kiev over the weekend.

%@AP Links

219-w-36-(Mark Smith, AP White House correspondent, with Jay Carney, White House press secretary)--President Obama has been working the phones as he and the allies consider new sanctions on Russia over Ukraine. AP White House Correspondent Mark Smith reports. (14 Apr 2014)

<<CUT *219 (04/14/14)££ 00:36

215-a-13-(Jay Carney, White House press secretary, at news conference)-"form of protests"-White House press secretary Jay Carney says Russia isn't fooling anybody with its attempts to stir up trouble in Eastern Ukraine. (14 Apr 2014)

<<CUT *215 (04/14/14)££ 00:13 "form of protests"

212-a-14-(Jay Carney, White House press secretary, at news conference)-"in Eastern Ukraine"-White House press secretary Jay Carney says the U.S. is becoming more and more worried about Russia's actions in Ukraine. (14 Apr 2014)

<<CUT *212 (04/14/14)££ 00:14 "in Eastern Ukraine"

213-a-14-(Jay Carney, White House press secretary, at news conference)-"assessing for ourselves"-White House press secretary Jay Carney says President Obama has been on the phone to French President Francois Hollande as the allies look at imposing tougher sanctions on Russia over Ukraine. (14 Apr 2014)

<<CUT *213 (04/14/14)££ 00:14 "assessing for ourselves"

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