Ukraine Prime Minister's plea to the world: We're "on the brink of disaster"

The country is getting "combat ready" as tensions escalate across Crimea

Lindsay Abrams
March 2, 2014 6:57PM (UTC)

Acting Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said Sunday that his country was "on the brink of disaster," appealing to the international community to pressure Russian President Vladimir Putin to remove troops from the Crimean peninsula, which they took over Saturday.

"If President Putin wants to be the president who starts the war between two friendly and neighboring countries, he has [almost] reached this target," Yatsenyuk told reporters at the Ukrainian parliament. "We are on the brink of disaster. There was no reason for the Russian Federation to invade Ukraine."


Earlier Sunday, Ukraine's national security council secretary called up military reserves, saying that the country needs to be "combat ready."

President Obama spent 90 minutes on the phone with Putin Saturday afternoon, telling him of his "deep concern" over Russia's military invasion and warning him that the troops' continued presence in Crimea would lead to “greater political and economic isolation" for Russia.

According to a short response released by the Kremlin, Putin “spoke of a real threat to the lives and health of Russian citizens and the many compatriots who are currently on Ukrainian territory” and “stressed that in case of any further spread of violence to Eastern Ukraine and Crimea, Russia retains the right to protect its interests and the Russian-speaking population of those areas.”

Lindsay Abrams

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Crimea Obama Russia Ukraine Vladimir Putin

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