Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has accused Russia of seeking to start World War III with its actions in Ukraine, RFE/RL reported.

He said Russia aims to occupy Ukraine "militarily and politically" and spark a war in Ukraine that "will lead to a military conflict in Europe."

Yatsenyuk was speaking to the cabinet on April 25 in remarks broadcast live.

Yatsenyuk's comments came as acting Defense Minister Mykhailo Koval said Russian troop maneuvers have come within one kilometer of Ukraine's border, adding that Ukraine's armed forces stand "ready to repel any aggression."

Russia has come under international criticism for massing an estimated 40,000 troops along the Ukrainian border as pro-Russian rebels continue to occupy government buildings in a dozen eastern Ukrainian towns.

Meanwhile Moscow says it is simply conducting military exercises.