McCain: Putin Should Be Nervous About Ukraine Uprising

Sunday, 23 Feb 2014 02:56 PM

By Greg Richter

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Russian President Vladimir Putin should feel a little nervous after the Ukrainian parliament ousted his ally, President Viktor Yanukovych, this weekend, says Sen. John McCain.

Appearing Sunday on "Face the Nation," McCain said he has talked with former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and other officials.

"They are, of course, overjoyed. But there's a sobering reality here that they recognize," McCain said.

Story continues below video.

Yanukovych has said he is still the legitimate president of Ukraine, but nonetheless packed up his belongings and attempted to fly to Russia on Saturday. His flight was not allowed to leave, and his location is currently unknown.

Russia backed Yanukovych's government and has supplied gas and oil to the country, as well as monetary aid. Some Ukrainians favor ties with their former Soviet partner, but others want closer ties with Europe. Dozens were killed in protests last week that led to the ouster of Yanukovych and the freeing of Tymoshenko from prison.

"If I were Vladimir Putin today at the end of the Olympics, I'd be little bit nervous, because the people of Russia have watched this transpire, and they're tired of the crony capitalism and kleptocracy that governs Russia today," McCain said.

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