- Pentagon spokesperson says Russia is ready and positioned to invade Ukraine
- Stocks have fallen to their lowest point since June 2021 as bitcoin’s losses mount
As Ukraine's plight intensifies, equity and crypto markets continued their downturn Wednesday.
John Kirby, a spokesperson for the Pentagon, said Russian forces have continued to amass along the Ukrainian border.
"Russian forces continue to assemble closer to the border and put themselves in an advanced stage of readiness to act and to conduct military action in Ukraine at virtually any time now," Kirby said. "We believe they are ready."
Asked if Russia had continued its advance into the pro-Russia regions in Donbas, Kirby said the Pentagon can't confirm "with any great specificity" the numbers, but "we certainly believe that that's happening."
Latvian Prime Minister Arturs Krisjanis Karins, however, told CNN that Russia is moving more forces and tanks into the territories.
"By any definition, that's a crossing of a sovereign territory into a neighboring country," Karins said.
Investors have continued selling as uncertainty builds, driving the S&P 500 to its lowest point since June 2021. The Nasdaq and Dow have also dropped to lows of nearly eight months.
Bitcoin extended losses by the close of stock trading, dropping around 0.7%. Other cryptos managed to stay mostly flat or marginally in the black. Ether rose by half a percentage point, while the layer-1 altcoin LUNA booked a considerable 12% gain.
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As tensions between Russia and Ukraine rise by the hour, the economic road ahead looks rocky. Investors will be on the lookout for Wednesday's initial jobless claims report — plus, core and PCE inflation metrics are due out Friday.