(CNN) – Vladimir Putin will "look seriously" at consolidating Russia's position in eastern Ukraine if the opportunity presents itself, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday.
Speaking in Florida, the potential Democratic presidential candidate said she was still in contact with some of her former government colleagues on the issue.
And she believes the United States needs to support a "unified Ukraine" with no division between the east and the west of that country.
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Many are struggling to come to grips with the rapid political upheaval that has unfolded there in recent days, after months of protests and last week's bloody clashes between protesters and security forces.
There is broad divide between those who support events in Kiev, where a new government is leaning toward the West, and those who back Russia's continued influence in eastern and southern Ukraine.
Clinton said Russia's President is a man who "sits as the absolute authority now in Russia and it is quite reminiscent of the kind of authority exercised in the past by Russian leaders, by the czars and their successor Communist leaders."
On Ukraine, she said Putin could consider making a move.
"I believe, and this is just my opinion, if there is an opportunity for him to consolidate the position of Russia in eastern Ukraine, he will look seriously at doing that," she said.
Speaking in Washington this week, Secretary of State John Kerry said officials were "deeply engaged in trying to help this extraordinary transition that is taking place in Ukraine."
Everthing go's down hill fast with her an 0bama!! ! Ration stamps are comeing! Y0ur watching it live on H.D. t.v. for now ? stay out of my globle warming frozen garden . left !
Where's Obama? Has he taken a few moments out of his busy golf schedule to try and keep the Ukraine pointed in a western direction? Oh yeah, he's out campaigning to fix pot holes in Minnesota.
i think Obama should send the Atlantic fleet near the border of Ukraine, to allow Putin to think twice about attacking this country. i am not a hawk, but we have to think about the future of our country's reputation. some times you have to stand up and make a statement that we are not going to roll over and run in our holes, if Russia can come up with some bogus excuse to put a hundred thousand troops at the border of Ukraine then America can find some bogus excuse to sit the their Atlantic fleet near the Ukraine border also. show Putin and the world that America still the undisputed power on this planet. because force is only what these people understand.