Murphy warns of Putin's ambition beyond Crimea

Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyLawmakers feel pressure on guns Trump to take steps to ban bump stocks Kasich’s campaign website tones down gun language after Florida shooting MORE (D-Conn) said on Sunday that the mood in Ukraine was “tense” just before a “sham” referendum in Crimea to join Russia or become an independent state.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee member spoke to ABC’s “This Week” after returning from a trip to Ukraine.

“The mood is tense, clearly we’re watching events in Crimea,” he said. “This sham referendum isn’t fooling anyone.”

Murphy said he thinks Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ambitions go beyond Crimea.

“Ultimately, I think his ambition is to try to keep control of the entire Ukraine,” he said.

“The Ukrainians we talked to … are clear: The Ukrainians aren’t going to go down with out a fight,” he added.

“If Russia really does decide to move beyond Crimea, it is going to be bloody and the fight may be long.”

Murphy said lawmakers must be ready to “stand together” to pass economic aid for Ukraine and sanctions against Russia following what is expected to be a lopsided vote.

“I’d be surprised if it’s not 70, 80, 90 percent,” he said.

Murphy’s comments echoed those of Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainLawmakers worry about rise of fake video technology Democrats put Dreamers and their party in danger by playing hardball Trump set a good defense budget, but here is how to make it better MORE (R-Ariz.), who on Sunday called the referendum in Crimea to gain independence from Ukraine and join Russia "bogus."

"Look, it is a bogus thing. We used to call it plebiscite in the days of Hitler and Stalin. It is a done deal," he said on CNN's "State of the Union.”

McCain and the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine have a running bet on how lopsided the vote will be.