LOS ANGELES - Russian President Vladimir Putin is a tough but thin-skinned leader who is squandering his country's potential, former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said today, a day after she likened his actions on the Crimean peninsula of Ukraine to those of Adolf Hitler in the 1930s.
Clinton, a potential 2016 presidential contender, warned during her a speech at the University of California, Los Angeles, that "all parties should avoid steps that could be misinterpreted or lead to miscalculation at this delicate time."
Putin has said he was protecting ethnic Russians by moving troops into Crimea.
Clinton said Tuesday at a closed fundraising luncheon in Long Beach that Putin's actions are similar what happened in the Nazi era in Czechoslovakia and Romania.
"Now if this sounds familiar, it's what Hitler did back in the '30s," Clinton said, according to the Press-Telegram of Long Beach. "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."