McCain: ‘We Are All Ukrainians’

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., left, accompanied by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., speaks with reporters outside the White House in Washington, Monday, Sept. 2, 2013, following a closed-door meeting with President Barack ... Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., left, accompanied by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., speaks with reporters outside the White House in Washington, Monday, Sept. 2, 2013, following a closed-door meeting with President Barack Obama to discuss the situation with Syria. President Barack Obama, working to persuade skeptical lawmakers to endorse a U.S. military intervention in civil war-wracked Syria, hosted the two leading Capitol Hill foreign policy hawks for talks and directed his national security team to testify before Congress in a determined effort to sell his plan for limited missile strikes against Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) MORE LESS
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Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) declared Friday that “we are all Ukrainians” in response to the news that Russia had taken over parts of Ukrainian Crimea.

“We are all Ukrainians,” McCain said in an interview with TIME magazine published Friday. The comments came ahead of President Barack Obama’s announcement that he would address the events.

McCain said that Russian President Vladimir Putin thinks “this is a chess match reminiscent of the Cold War and we need to realize that and act accordingly.” The senior senator from Arizona added that that didn’t mean he foresaw “a conflict with Russia, but we need to take certain measures that would convince Putin that there is a very high cost to actions that he is taking now.”

The comment was a near carbon copy to what McCain said in 2008 when Russia invaded Georgia. At the time McCain said, “I know I speak for every American I say to him today, we are all Georgians.”

Later on Friday afternoon McCain tweeted that TIME had only partially gotten his what he was saying.

This story was updated.

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