CNN (among other news outlets) is reporting today:
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia had every right to intervene in Ukraine if Russian-speaking people there asked for help, but he denied any plans to invade.But both President Obama and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in separate news conferences today said Russia was violating Ukraine’s sovereignty and called for Russia to “de-escalate” the situation.
Of course Putin is denying any plans to invade - in his world, this is a liberation effort. He's protecting Russians. Whether he believes that or it's simply rhetoric doesn't matter. The fact is anyone in the West who sees Putin's words as a de-escalation of tensions and action, is being naive.
Putin is of the Russian mindset that still sees Ukraine as part of Russia. Any action taken to reinforce that while appearing on the surface to be honoring Ukrainian sovereignty is not just justifiable, it's practically obligatory. Don't forget, he's from the Soviet KGB.
This problem is not going away simply because president Obama has declared Russia's actions not legal. Maybe he could put Putin on trial in New York...