MOSCOW, March 18 (UPI) -- Russia aped "fascists of the last century" by annexing Crimea and committed "a robbery on an international scale," Ukrainian leaders said Tuesday.
The comments came after Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a treaty, reuniting the Crimean peninsula with Russia.
Ukraine's interim President Oleksandr Turchynov told reporters in Kiev Putin is "mimicking the fascists of the last century" by annexing Crimea, CNN reported.
"The political leadership of Russia will have to answer before the whole world for crimes they are committing today in our country," Turchynov said.
Interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk called the annexation of Crimea -- which voted overwhelmingly to break away from Ukraine -- "a robbery on an international scale."
Yatsenyuk warned the situation was shifting from a political standoff to a military one.
Also Tuesday, Ukraine's defense ministry said a Ukrainian military officer was wounded at a base in the Crimea when masked gunmen opened fire. Yatsenyuk blamed Russian forces.
Leaders of Crimea and Russia have refused to recognize the new government in Kiev that came to power after ouster of pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych last month. Crimea declared its independence and said it would seek reunification with Russia, which sent thousands of troops to the peninsula, despite Putin's denials.
Yanukovych, who maintains he's Ukraine's legitimate leader, surfaced in Russia soon after he was ousted.
Vladislav Seleznyov, a spokesman for Ukraine's Defense Ministry, told CNN by phone from Crimea at least one Ukrainian officer was injured in an assault on a base by "armed people in masks" near Simferopol, Crimea's capital.
"There was shooting. There are injuries. At least one Ukrainian officer has been wounded," he said, noting the Ukrainian officers were unarmed and standing with their hands behind their backs.
In Moscow, Putin and Crimean leaders signed a treaty that reunified the peninsula with Russia.
In an hour-long speech at the Kremlin, Putin argued Crimea's vote to secede -- condemned as illegal and illegitimate by western powers -- was legitimate and stressed the historical and cultural ties between Russia and Crimea.
"In our hearts we know Crimea has always been an inalienable part of Russia," he said.
Putin also denied Russia had been militarily involved in Crimea, contrary to what has been said by authorities in Kiev and international observers.
"We have not used our armed forces in Crimea," Putin said.
He also said that Russia's military forces did not enter Crimea in the current crisis, but "were already there" in accordance with previous international negotiations.
Putin also accused Western leaders of "double standards" and following their own interests.
Earlier, Putin formally notified his nation's lawmakers of Crimea's accession request and signed a draft order on the agreement. On Monday, Putin signed a decree recognizing Ukraine's Crimea region as a sovereign state.
Russia's Parliament is expected to vote on ratifying Crimea's accession to the Russian Federation by the end of the week.
Western powers slapped sanctions on more than two dozen Russian officials and their allies in Crimea. Lawmakers in Russia's lower house, the Duma, drafted a statement calling for all its members to be listed on the sanctions list, CNN said.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague told the House of Commons Tuesday Russia was "choosing the route of isolation, denying the citizens of his own country and of Crimea partnership with the international community."
Hague also warned of "a grave danger of a provocation elsewhere in Ukraine that becomes a pretext for further military escalation."
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the "so-called referendum" and the annexation of Crimea by Russia violated international law, CNN said.
Also, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and a French delegation have postponed a planned visit to Moscow because of the Ukrainian situation, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.