KIEV, Ukraine, Sept. 15 (UPI) -- Russia is seeking to restore the former Soviet Union by reclaiming control of Ukraine, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk asserted Friday.
Speaking at the annual Yalta European Strategy meeting, Yatsenyuk laid out his observations regarding the military maneuvers of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"I clearly understand the ultimate goal of Vladimir Putin -- not just to take Donetsk and Luhansk; his purpose is Ukraine as a whole.
"He cannot accept the fact that Ukraine will become a part of the large European community, he wants to restore the Soviet Union."
According to Yatsenyuk, Russia's first step was to annex Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula, followed by the "frozen conflict" in eastern Ukraine.
The international community has largely condemned Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea and military aggression in Donbas, and has called upon Russia to cease its escalatory actions and respect the sovereign territorial integrity of Ukraine.