WATCH: White House calls Ukraine rebel request for military assistance a ‘false flag’ op

The White House says the request by Ukrainian separatists for Russian military assistance in the face of supposed “aggression” by Ukraine’s government is an example of the “false flag” operations the West has consistently warned against.

Watch Psaki’s remarks in the player above.

The U.S. and allies have alleged for weeks that Russia would try to create a pretext for an invasion of Ukraine through the use of such operations.

Speaking at the White House briefing, press secretary Jen Psaki said the Kremlin’s announcement Wednesday that the separatists are seeking help “is an example” of such an operation.

She said the administration will “continue to call out what we see as false flag operations or efforts to spread misinformation about what the actual status is on the ground.”

AP-NORC POLL: Majority in U.S. oppose major role in Russia-Ukraine conflict

Fears of an imminent Russian offensive against its neighbor soared after President Vladimir Putin received authorization to use military force outside his country, and the West responded with sanctions.

Psaki said while the administration’s assessment is that Putin’s forces could attack Ukraine “at any point in time,” it also believes Moscow has had to adjust and adapt as a result of the sanctions and “the unity of the global community.”

“We will see we still very much anticipate and predict that he will invade further. But again, we’re also seeing an impact on how he’s behaving,” she said.

Asked why the U.S. has not sanctioned Putin directly, Psaki underscored that all options, including that one, remain on the table

“It remains an option on the table,” she said. “That would be an escalatory step, as would be sanctioning the largest banks, the very largest banks and additional components of the financial sector, as would taking export control steps be. So there’s a range of escalatory steps we have as options.”