Wars and Military Conflicts

Putin will take over eastern Ukraine: Strategist

Putin's bad intentions
Putin's bad intentions

As news out of Russia rattled the markets Friday, Euro Pacific Capital's John Browne told CNBC it's not even near the beginning of the end of the conflict in Ukraine.

The Ukrainian government said it attacked a military convoy from Russia that crossed onto Ukrainian soil during the night. Russia denied any military vehicles had even entered Ukrainian territory, and accused Ukraine of attempting to disrupt its humanitarian aid mission to eastern Ukraine.

"[President Vladimir] Putin is very firm. I don't think this is even the beginning of the end of the Crimean offensive, and I think Putin will take over the eastern part of the Ukraine," Browne said in an interview with "Closing Bell."

Read MoreUkraine attacks Russian incursion, jolting markets

Stocks closed mixed Friday as investors worried about whether the fighting would escalate.

Former U.S. Navy Admiral Joe Sestak, also a former congressman, told "Closing Bell" the next 24 hours are very important.

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with Russian and local figures of culture at the Chekhov museum in Yalta, Crimea.
Serbei Chirikov | AFP | Pool | Getty Images

"[Putin is] a macho guy. He's going to have to make some sort of a belligerent move," he said.

Read MoreUkraine hits at Russians: Here's what may be next

"On the whole, I think what we're waiting for is to see if he'll pull those 20,000 military troops away from the border, otherwise his words he said in Crimea are absolutely meaningless."

On Thursday, Putin said he signed off on establishing a Russian military task force in Crimea, which Moscow annexed from Ukraine, but said the presence would not be too heavy or costly.

What will Putin do?
What will Putin do?

Sestak believes the U.S. should take some quiet steps with NATO, like building up the command center in Poland. He also said economic sanctions need to be stepped up in order to stop the violence.

However, Browne cautioned that sanctions pose a difficult quandary for the West.

"The sanctions are driving the recessionary forces even harder," he said, noting that European companies have warned about the impact sanctions will have on earnings.

"The European Union and the West in general has got to think really tough about what they should do. I believe it means you have to show the fortitude of NATO," Browne added.

—By CNBC's Michelle Fox. Reuters contributed to this story.