By Rebecca Shabad - 03/05/14 07:31 AM EST
Former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonTrump floats opposition to debate schedule 100 days to go in volatile race Trump: I wish Ivanka and Chelsea Clinton weren't friends MORE on Tuesday compared Russian President Vladimir Putin’s latest actions to those made by Adolf Hitler in the late 1930s, according to the Long Beach Press Telegram.
“Now if this sounds familiar, it’s what Hitler did back in the 30s,” she said, according to the report. “All the Germans that were ... the ethnic Germans, the Germans by ancestry who were in places like Czechoslovakia and Romania and other places, Hitler kept saying they’re not being treated right. I must go and protect my people, and that’s what’s gotten everybody so nervous.”
She made the comments at a private event for the Boys & Girls Clubs in Long Beach, Calif.
Putin is a man “who believes his mission is to restore Russian greatness,” she said. “When he looks at Ukraine, he sees a place that he believes is, by its very nature, part of Mother Russia.”
The former secretary of State and potential 2016 presidential candidate said it’s important to find a diplomatic solution to the crisis between Ukraine and Russia.
“So everybody is hoping that there will be a negotiation, but a negotiation that respects Ukraine and doesn’t ratify a reoccupation by Russia of Crimea,” Clinton said. “So it’s a real nail-biter, right now, but nobody wants to up the rhetoric. Everybody wants to cool it in order to find a diplomatic solution, and that’s what we should be trying to do.”
The Obama administration, meanwhile, announced a $1 billion aid package for Ukraine to reinvigorate its economy and help its new government’s transition. The United States is also weighing imposing sanctions against Russia for violating Ukraine’s sovereignty.