LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton likened Russian President Vladimir Putin's actions on the Crimean peninsula of Ukraine to those of Adolf Hitler in the 1930s.
Clinton made the comments Tuesday during a fundraising luncheon for local Boys and Girls Clubs, the Press-Telegram of Long Beach reported.
Putin contends ethnic Russians in Ukraine need to be protected. Clinton said that's what Hitler did when he maintained ethnic Germans outside Germany in places such as Czechoslovakia and Romania were not being treated right and needed to be protected.
"Now if this sounds familiar, it's what Hitler did back in the 30s," Clinton said, according to the newspaper. "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."
The newspaper quoted Clinton as saying Putin is a man "who believes his mission is to restore Russian greatness."
"When he looks at Ukraine, he sees a place that he believes is by its very nature part of Mother Russia," she said at the private event.
Clinton continues her California tour Wednesday with an address at the University of California, Los Angeles.