Russia-Ukraine: What to know as world awaits next moves

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BRUSSELS (AP) — World leaders are waiting to see if Russian President Vladimir Putin casts the die and orders troops deeper into Ukraine.

At the same time, they are working to maintain a united stance and vowing to impose tougher sanctions in the event of a full-fledged invasion.

Fears of an imminent offensive were further heightened late Wednesday when the Kremlin said rebel leaders in eastern Ukraine have asked Russia for military assistance to help fend off Ukrainian “aggression.”  

Just after midnight, Ukraine’s president made a passionate plea for peace, telling Russians that Ukraine is not an enemy.

The Pentagon says the Russian force arrayed along Ukraine’s borders is in an advanced state of readiness.

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