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Ukraine's former president Petro Poroshenko has compared Vladimir Putin to a modern-day Adolf Hitler after the Russian leader launched attacks against Ukraine.
Poroshenko spoke outside parliament today, February 24, after gunfire and explosions started to sound in the capital of Kyiv and several other cities.
The former president, who served from 2014 to 2019 and now works as a lawmaker, described today as a 'tragic day' as MPs held crisis talks in the country's capital.
Halyna Hryn, president of the US branch of the nonprofit Shevchenko Society, told the New York Post the Ukrainian-American community in New York was 'appalled', saying: 'It’s reminiscent of Hitler taking over the Sudetenland, and it won’t stop there.'
Last week, UK Labour MP Chris Bryant wrote on Twitter: 'The real parallel with the 1930s is surely Putin’s argument about Russians and Ukrainians being the same people. Which is strongly reminiscent of Hitler’s argument about the Sudeten Germans.'
Prior to his comments today, Poroshenko warned 'nobody knows where Russia would stop' following an invasion of Ukraine, telling Sky News that the Russian leader may set his sights on Poland, the Baltic states, the Czech Republic, Romania or Bulgaria in future.
The real parallel with the 1930s is surely Putin’s argument about Russians and Ukrainians being the same people, which is strongly reminiscent of Hitler’s argument about the Sudeten Germans.— Chris Bryant (@RhonddaBryant) February 13, 2022
The former president claimed the best way to provide security for Ukraine would be for it to have membership of the European Union and NATO, adding that the country was standing 'shoulder to shoulder' with the US, UK and European allies in a bid to resolve the crisis.
Putin announced the invasion of Ukraine in a live broadcast this morning, February 24, in which he also urged Ukrainian forces to go home. He claimed that Russia's plans were 'not to occupy Ukraine', though issued a threat against 'those who may be tempted to intervene'.
As cited by CNN, Putin said: 'Whoever tries to interfere with us, and even more so to create threats to our country, to our people, should know that Russia's response will be immediate and will lead you to such consequences as you have never experienced in your history.'
Explosions began to sound in Ukraine at about 5.00am local time, resulting in immediate condemnation from the United States, the UK and other countries in the West.
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