Obama urged to be firm, but is he tough enough to rein in Russia?

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Posted: Monday, March 3, 2014 12:00 am

WASHINGTON — As Russia dispatched more forces and tightened its grip on the Crimean Peninsula on Sunday, President Barack Obama embarked on a strategy intended to isolate Moscow and prevent it from seizing more Ukrainian territory even as he was pressured at home to respond more forcefully.

Working the telephone from the Oval Office, Obama rallied allies, dispatched Secretary of State John Kerry to Kiev and approved a series of diplomatic and economic moves intended to “make it hurt,” as one administration official put it. But the president found himself besieged by advice to take more assertive action.

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