Moving trucks have begun transporting furniture and equipment from a U.S. diplomatic property in Moscow, in the first sign of compliance with a Kremlin order to slash the American presence in Russia as retaliation for new sanctions. Matthew Larotonda reports.
A parade of moving trucks: The first sign the White House is complying with an order by Russian President Vladimir Putin to cut its diplomatic presence in Moscow. Carrying furniture and equipment from a compound owned by the U.S. embassy. The dacha -- used as a weekend retreat and special events site -- is one of two properties being seized by the Kremlin as the two countries' relationship plummets to yet another low. The other site, this warehouse blocked by Russian police. It's retaliation for a new package of sanctions approved by U.S. congress as further punishment for the annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, and alleged intervention in the 2016 presidential election -- a charge Russia's always denied. President Donald Trump intends to authorize the sanctions. Putin's ordered the U.S. cut roughly 60 percent of its 1,200 diplomatic staff. A source at the American embassy telling Reuters a mood of pessimism and depression has hit employees coming to terms with the situation. But the impact won't be as heavy-handed as the symbolism could suggest. The majority of those who work at the embassy are local Russia citizens - it may be no U.S. diplomats are forced out at all. And Russia hasn't retaliated in a way that would affect its economic relationship with the States, or big American investors. The leaders not burning their bridges to each other completely, for now.