Russian President Vladimir Putin signaled during a press conference Tuesday that he was only trying to bring stability to Ukraine after protests led to the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovych, warning about the danger of Nazi elements in opposition forces.

Putin warned that a nationalist figure could rise to power in such moments, reminding reporters of Nazi units who helped Adolf Hitler take power before World War II.

Similar elements, he noted, existed among the protesters in Ukraine.

"We've seen lots of people, you know, with those signs -- armbands with swastikas," he said via a translator. "There could be some unknown personality who could grab the power who could have serious consequences."