LOS ANGELES (CBS/AP) — Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton mentioned the showdown between the U.S. and Russia over Ukraine before beginning her remarks at UCLA Wednesday.

“I know that we are dealing with a tough guy, with a thin skin. I’ve had a lot of experience, well, not only with him, but with people like that,” Clinton said.

Clinton called on Putin to back down from any aggression toward Ukraine, also said his actions on the Crimean peninsula of Ukraine threaten stability in the region.

She said she supports President Obama’s current diplomatic efforts to de-escalate the crisis.

Her remarks Wednesday at UCLA came a day after the potential 2016 presidential contender likened Putin’s actions to those of Adolf Hitler in the 1930s.

Putin contends ethnic Russians in Ukraine need to be protected. Clinton said in Long Beach Tuesday that’s what Hitler did when he maintained ethnic Germans in places such as Czechoslovakia and Romania needed to be protected.

Clinton said at UCLA she wasn’t making a direct comparison although Russia’s actions were “reminiscent” of claims Germany made in the 1930s.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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