Putin says Ukraine's future in doubt as cease-fires collapse

APTOPIX Russia Ukraine War
Posted at 3:02 PM, Mar 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-05 18:02:13-05

LVIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that Ukrainian statehood is in jeopardy and pinned the blame on that country's leaders.

Putin also said Saturday that Western sanctions are akin to “declaring war,” but added, “But thank God, we haven’t got there yet.”

The Russian leader's tough talk came as the first attempts at cease-fires to evacuate desperate civilians from two besieged Ukrainian cities quickly collapsed.

The struggle to enforce the temporary cease-fire in the port city of Mariupol and the eastern city of Volnovakha showed the fragility of efforts to stop the fighting across Ukraine.

Officials from each country blamed the other, though they're expected to resume talks Monday. Meanwhile, the number of people who've fled Ukraine has reached 1.4 million.