to the other big news of this evening. Ukraine. It was game on between the two superpowers today, after crimea voted to break away from Ukraine. President Obama and Russian president Vladimir Putin,... See More
to the other big news of this evening. Ukraine. It was game on between the two superpowers today, after crimea voted to break away from Ukraine. President Obama and Russian president Vladimir Putin, locked in a kind of duel. And economic pain is the weapon. What happens next? Here's ABC's chief global affairs correspondent, Martha Raddatz. Reporter: Tonight, Vladimir Putin is claiming victory. With his troops poised on the border, it looks like crimea will soon be his. President Obama, hitting back. We're making it clear that there are consequences for their actions. Reporter: The sanctions he launched today targeting a who's who of Putin's close associates, 11 in all, hitting them financially, freezing their U.S. Assets. But the reaction from Russia? The deputy prime minister tweeting that some prankster came up with the list. And even the state department was unable to say whether any of the Russians on the list had any U.S. Assets. Amping up the confrontation further, a popular Russian TV anchor boasted that Russia is the only country capable of turning the U.S. Into radioactive dust. A face-off between the world's top nuclear powers. President Obama made clear today that there would be stiffer sanctions if Putin makes another move. But Putin is clearly not concerned about what happened today. It was just over four hours after president Obama announced the sanctions that Putin officially recognized crimea, Diane, as independent from Ukraine.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.