Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) warned Friday that the crisis in Ukraine resembles the geopolitical factors at play when Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin led Germany and Russia.
McCain's comments came after MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell asked him what he thinks President Barack Obama's administration should do given Russia's latest move to welcome a Crimean referendum to secede.
The senator decided to first opine on the Obama administration's handling of the geopolitics at play in the region.
"They have been near delusional in thinking the Cold War was over," McCain said. "Maybe the president thinks the Cold War is over, but Vladimir Putin doesn't and that's what this is all about."
Mitchell asked whether McCain thinks Putin is trying to re-form a "Soviet-style empire," to which McCain responded:
I think that he always has had that ambition. And when Ukraine looked like it was going the wrong way because of recent events, that put his control of Crimea and Sebastopol in jeopardy. And by the way, you know that one of the reasons, whether it's majority Russian population or it's because Stalin moved all the Tartars out -- Tartars out and killed half of them and they came back, 1994 there was a treaty between Russia and Ukraine that the territorial integrity of Crimea would be respected as part of Ukraine. This man is blatant because he has these ambitions for the return of Russia. That's why the next thing we need to worry about is pressure on the Baltic states.
And I believe that the -- that this is the second time now, but particularly now, where the excuse of Russian-speaking people's rights are protected in Romania, in Poland, in the Baltic states, they all have Russian-speaking populations and, of course, this hearkens back to the days of Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin.
Reuters reported Friday that there are now an estimated 30,000 Russian troops in Crimea.