Russian President Vladimir Putin is pursuing a strategy in Ukraine that is similar to Nazi leader Adolf Hitlerâ€™s moves in the 1930s prior to invading Eastern Europe, Hillary Rodham Clinton said at a California fundraiser Tuesday evening.
Putinâ€™s claim that ethnic Russians in Ukraine are threatened, and Russian efforts to issue passports to ethnic Russians in southern Ukraine, echo Hitlerâ€™s assertions that an ethnic German minority in Eastern Europe needed protection, Clinton said, according to the Long Beach Press Telegram.
â€œNow if this sounds familiar, itâ€™s what Hitler did back in the 30s,â€ Clinton said at a Boys & Girls Club fundraiser in Long Beach, Calif. â€œEthnic Germans, the Germans by ancestry who were in places like Czechoslovakia and Romania and other places, Hitler kept saying theyâ€™re not being treated right. I must go and protect my people and thatâ€™s whatâ€™s gotten everybody so nervous.â€
Putin said this week that he had sent soldiers into Eastern Ukraine to protect ethic Russian populations who were threatened by crime and gangs after the fall of the pro-Russian government there.
Putin, who last week drastically increased the number of troops at Russian bases in the Crimea, giving Russia effective control over southern Ukraine, â€believes his mission is to restore Russian greatness,â€ Clinton said. â€œWhen he looks at Ukraine, he sees a place that he believes is by its very nature part of Mother Russia.â€
Clinton got support from Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., via Twitter on Wednesday.