(NBC News) – New this morning: Russia is losing money as a result of the crisis in Ukraine, and the U.S. is exerting new pressure, suggesting more sanctions could be just around the corner.
Just this morning we learned Russia’s credit rating was downgraded and investors are fleeing as sanctions from the U.S. and around the world begin to kick in.
Standard and Poors cut Russia’s credit rating for the first time in five years.
The country lost $70 billion dollars in the first quarter – more than all of last year – after sanctions from the U.S. and Europe.
Now another round may be coming soon. “Let me be clear: If Russia continues in this direction, it will not just be a grave mistake, it will be an expensive mistake,” said Secretary of State John Kerry.
The U.S. says there’s growing evidence Russia is behind the militants taking over parts of eastern Ukraine.
There are recorded conversations between the militants and top Russian operatives even bragging about it on social media.
Now Russia’s flexing its muscles exercising thousands of troops along the border: “The force that is there is very sizable and it’s very capable.” Gen. Philip Breedlove/ U.S. Air Force
Ukraine is fighting back. Two militants were killed at a checkpoint Thursday.
But the U.S. warns: time is running out: “The window to change course is closing[.] We are ready to act,” said the Secretary of State.
The pressure on Russia’s economy – America’s answer to stopping the violence.