The Russian dollar-traded index RTS was down 1.49 percent, and ruble-traded MICEX fell 1.29 percent by midday.
Outside the political arena, declines in a pair of technology stocks added to the cautious tone on the day.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index excluding Japan lost 1.6 percent to 155.61 as of 4:57 p.m.in Hong Kong, set for its longest losing streak since July 4, as five stocks declined for each one that advanced.
"From a geopolitical perspective, we understand why the escalation in tensions will have shaken some of the complacency out of investors", said Eric Wiegand, senior portfolio manager at U.S. Bank Private Client Wealth Management. South Korea's KOSPI fell 1.8 percent to almost a three-month low. Nine of the index's 10 main groups ended lower.
Several financial sector companies also helped pull down the market. MetLife fell 75 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $47.56, while Charles Schwab slid 69 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $41.33.
J.C. Penney slumped as much as 18.25 percent to a record low after the retailer reported a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss. Kohl's like Macy's did beat estimates for earnings and revenues while Dillards delivered a loss of 58 cents per share as a result of deep discounting to shed inventory. Kohl's also declined, sliding $3.62, or 8.6 percent, to $38.31. Economists had expected prices to rise by 0.2 percent.
In the latest economic data, the consumer-price index (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-consumer-inflation-remains-soft-in-july-cpi-shows-2017-08-11) rose a seasonally adjusted 0.1% in July, its fifth straight month of softness, raising more questions about whether inflation will eventually rise to hit the Federal Reserve's 2% annual rate target.
OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude gained 13 cents to $49.69 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, added 21 cents to $52.91.
The local currency closed at 1,143.50 won against the US dollar, down 1.50 won from the previous session's close. The index is bouncing off its lowest closing level in six months. The euro fell to $1.1735 from $1.1752. While the German DAX Index has edged down by 0.1 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index are both down by 1 percent. Its rouble-based peer MICEX shed 1.2 percent to 1,937 points, its lowest since August 1. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 was down 1.13%.
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