Tag

putin

Browsing

(RepublicanWire.org) – President Joe Biden struck a defiant tone on Monday while facing questions from White House reporters about his apparent call for Russian President Vladimir Putin to lose power.

“I’m not walking anything back,” Biden said. “The fact of the matter is, I was expressing the moral outrage I felt toward the way Putin is dealing, and the actions of this man, which is just brutality.”

But Biden clarified that his comments did not represent a shift in US policy.

“But I want to make it clear: I wasn’t then, nor am I now, articulating a policy change,” he said. “I was expressing the moral outrage that I feel, and I make no apologies for it.”

Biden also rejected claims that his comments were escalatory, or that he had weakened or divided NATO by making them.

“No, I’m not. I’m not at all,” he said. “NATO has never ever, ever, ever, ever, ever been as strong as it is today. Never.”

Asked why he made the remarks at all, Biden said he was talking to the Russian people directly.

“The last part of the speech was talking to the Russian people, telling them what we thought,” he said. “I was communicating this to not only the Russian people, but the whole world. This is  just stating a simple fact, that this kind of behavior is totally unacceptable. Totally unacceptable.”

At the end of a speech in front of the Royal Castle in Warsaw, Poland, on Saturday, Biden veered off script and declared that “for God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power,” referring to Putin.

The White House quickly moved to clarify that Biden was not calling for a regime change or articulating a shift in US strategy.

“The President’s point was that Putin cannot be allowed to exercise power over his neighbors or the region. He was not discussing Putin’s power in Russia, or regime change,” a White House official told reporters.

Biden has made harsh remarks about the Russian president following his invasion of Ukraine on February 24. Biden has called Putin a “war criminal” and “a murderous dictator.” He also described Putin as a “butcher” earlier in the day on Saturday.

The president’s remarks drew condemnation over the weekend from French President Emmanuel Macron, a NATO ally, who suggested the comments would make it more difficult to achieve a ceasefire.

“If we want to do that, we can’t escalate either in words or actions,” Macron told France 3.

As tensions have risen to historic heights between Washington and Moscow in recent years, which has been closely tied to events in Ukraine, Russia has often accused the US of seeking regime change. 

A 2017 report on Russia from the Pentagon’s intelligence arm said, “The Kremlin is convinced the United States is laying the groundwork for regime change in Russia.” The Defense Intelligence Agency report also said, “Moscow worries that US attempts to dictate a set of acceptable international norms threatens the foundations of Kremlin power by giving license for foreign meddling in Russia’s internal affairs.”

Along these lines, some experts expressed serious concerns that Biden’s speech would lead Putin to escalate the war in Ukraine. 

“The comments by @potus made a difficult situation more difficult and a dangerous situation more dangerous,” Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations and a veteran diplomat, said in a tweet on Saturday. 

Some GOP critics of Biden have also accused the president of fueling Kremlin propaganda with his remarks in Warsaw. Asked about this at Monday’s news conference, Biden said he was not concerned that he’d aided Putin’s propaganda machine. “I don’t care what he thinks,” Biden said of Putin. “He’s going to do what he’s going to do.”

Responding to Biden’s remarks on Putin in Warsaw, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov over the weekend told Reuters, “That’s not for Biden to decide. The president of Russia is elected by Russians.”

Following up on this on Monday, Peskov said Biden’s comments were “certainly alarming.”

“We will continue to track the statements of the US president in the most attentive way,” Peskov added, per Reuters. 

(RepublicanWire.org) – A group of Russian elites are allegedly conspiring to overthrow Russian President Vladimir Putin and “restore economic ties” with the West, according to Ukrainian intelligence.

“Poisoning, sudden illness, accident — Russia’s elite is considering removing Putin,” declared a Sunday Facebook post from the Chief Directorate of Intelligence for the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.

The ministry claimed that a group of “influential people” has been forming in Russia who want to “remove Putin from power as soon as possible and restore economic ties with the West, which were destroyed by the war in Ukraine.”

The intel alleges that the group has already been eyeing Alexander Bortnikov, the Russian director of the Federal Security Service and a member of Putin’s inner circle, as a successor to the president.

Many Russian elites allegedly are willing to do whatever they can to get Putin out, even assassination.

The directorate claimed Bortnikov and Putin had a falling out after Putin blamed him for “fatal miscalculations” in the slow-going and costly invasion of Ukraine.

“Bortnikov and his department were responsible for analyzing the mood of the population of Ukraine and the capacity of the Ukrainian army,” the directorate said.

The directorate said its intelligence came from Russian sources, who are “considering various options for removing Putin from power,” including a potential assassination.

The leadership change may also “be an attempt to establish cooperation with the Ukrainian authorities” as the war drags on, the post said.

The Russian economy has been strangled by sanctions imposed by the United States and its NATO allies.

The sanctions have put increasing pressure on Putin, who believed his Ukraine invasion — now in its third week — would be over in a matter of days. 

Across the globe, influential Russian oligarchs have had their valuable assets seized by Western countries, and many have fled back to the motherland or to friendlier nations.

US Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) was rebuked earlier this month after he called for the assassination of Putin from the inside.

“If [Putin] continues to be their leader, then he’s going to make you complicit with war crimes,” Graham said, addressing the Russian people. “You’re a good people, you’ll never have a future, you’ll be isolated from the world, and you’ll live in abject poverty.

“So I’m hoping somebody in Russia will understand that he’s destroying Russia, and you need to take this guy out by any means possible.”

He later tweeted, “Is there a Brutus in Russia? Is there a more successful Colonel Stauffenberg in the Russian military? The only way this ends is for somebody in Russia to take this guy out. You would be doing your country — and the world — a great service.”

Graham was slammed by politicians from both sides of the aisle for the suggestion. White House press secretary Jenn Psaki denounced Graham’s inflammatory comments.

“That is not the position of the United States government. And certainly not a statement you’d hear from — come from the mouth of anybody working in this administration,” she said.

(RepublicanWire.org) – Fox News host Judge Jeanine Pirro went scorched earth on President Joe Biden this week, calling him a “wuss” who is “responsible for the decline of the west.”

During a segment on “The Five,” Pirro and co-host Geraldo Rivera had a tense exchange during a debate over Russian President Vladimir Putin ramping up his attacks in Ukraine.

After Rivera said the war wasn’t about Biden and was instead about Putin, Pirro disagreed and asked: “Why didn’t Putin do this when [former President Donald] Trump was president?”

“And I don’t bring up President Trump that much,” Pirro explained. “Okay? But I tell you right now that he didn’t do it when Trump was president because he knew that Donald Trump would come in ‘if you touch one hair, on one innocent civilian.’ He wouldn’t care about NATO or Non-NATO. And don’t tell me that Putin isn’t afraid of someone.”

“Biden is responsible for the decline of the west,” she added. “What we are seeing right now is … I can’t say the word, is a wuss. We’ve got a bully in the … playground yard, in the schoolyard, and everybody’s back at the fence.”

“Wait a minute, let me finish,” Pirro hit back.

“All we have to do is we have enough oil in Canada, the United States, and Mexico, and we could be our own superpowers. But right now the Biden administration’s not only hurting the Americans and all this #BlamePutin TikTok nonsense. All this is crap. All he (Biden) has to do is turn towards America and let us be the strength. He is destroying the west,” Pirro continued.

Geraldo kept interjecting and asked how the judge knew if Putin wasn’t “playing Trump” the four years he was in office, and the judge replied, “He didn’t invade when Trump was president.”

“It’s not about loving Trump,” the Fox News host told Rivera when he told her he loved “Trump too.” “It’s about the fact that Trump had everybody against the wall. And don’t think it was anything different.”

Geraldo then tried to ask her how she knew if “Putin didn’t think that Trump would give him Ukraine away,” and she said she didn’t “give a damn” what the Russian president thinks.

“I only care about what Putin did,” the judge shouted. “And he was a wuss when Trump was president and that’s the end of it.”

(RepublicanWire.org) – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested on Tuesday that Russian President Vladimir Putin may be suffering from some physical ailment as the result of COVID-19.

While speaking with MSNBC anchor Andrea Mitchell, Pelosi weighed in on whether something deeper was behind Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“I don’t know what is the matter there,” Pelosi began. “I’ve talked to head of state who have met with him, and they just take at face value the evil that he is putting forth is something that we have to deal with, they’re not making a diagnosis of his health.”

Pelosi then suggested that some have speculated about whether or not there was an underlying cause with Putin.

“Some people say he has cancer, and some people say brain fog from COVID. Other people just think he’s a complete raging bully. But whatever it is, the people of Ukraine are paying the price for it,” she added.

As noted in a report from The Hill, the White House has also openly questioned Putin’s mental state.

“Experts, analysts, lawmakers, and even administration officials have speculated that Putin’s isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic has raised his paranoia. They’ve pointed to decisions he’s made such as the invasion itself and his move on Sunday to put his nuclear forces on alert in suggesting he is not making rational decisions,” The Hill reported.

During an interview on ABC News, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked about Putin’s mental state and whether she had any information to share.

Psaki didn’t offer any specifics, but it’s telling that she was even asked about it.

“I’m not going to make an assessment of his mental stability, but I will tell you, certainly the rhetoric, the actions, the justification that he’s making for his actions are certainly deeply concerning to us,” she said.

Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who serves on the Senate Intelligence Committee, issued a dire warning about Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The senator said he believed that “something is off” with Putin, who he said has become “even more dangerous” than he was before, in a tweet shared on Twitter on Monday.

“I wish I could share more, but for now I can say it’s pretty obvious to many that something is off with #Putin He has always been a killer, but his problem now is different & significant It would be a mistake to assume this Putin would react the same way he would have 5 years ago,” the senator said.

The indication is that Rubio has some classified information that he cannot share.

The senator has more to say about Putin and how important it is for him to be perceived as strong.

“This is the most dangerous moment in 60 years #Putin’s is facing a humiliating military fiasco & he has triggered extraordinary consequences on #Russia’s economy & people that will not be easy to reverse,” he said. “And his only options to reset this imbalance are catastrophic ones.”

“Understand for #Putin being seeing [sic] as ‘strong’ is essential #UkraineRussiaWar has been humiliating. He is using cluster bombs & other terror tactics to break the will to resist,” the senator said.

“DANGER #Putin’s legitimacy built on image as the strong leader who restored #Russia to superpower after the disasters of the 90’s Now the economy is in shambles & the military is being humiliated & his only tools to reestablish power balance with the West is cyber & nukes,” he said in a dire warning.

(RepublicanWire.org) – There has been a ton of news that Russian President Vladimir Putin has not liked since he started his invasion of Ukraine, but this may be the worst for him.

During an appearance on “Fox News Live” on Saturday, retired Army Lieutenant General Keith Kellogg said to anchor John Roberts that he believes Vladimir Putin “has lost this war,” Mediaite reported.

There were not many who anticipated the resilience of the Ukrainian military or its citizens and, the retired general said, some may have the perception that Putin is losing, but he believes he has lost.

“There’s an old axiom, it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog that counts, and you’re sitting there with Ukraine, and with the Ukraine fighting and the leadership of Zelenskyy,” the retired general said.

“I think Putin is losing. I think Russia is losing. He’s thrown his first line units against Ukrainians, and they’re beating him. And it’s the heart that they’re showing is incredible. And that’s the reason why the world is rallying there. They see what they’re doing. You see they’re fighting for their homeland and they’re seeing President Zelenskyy stand up and say, ‘I don’t need a ride. I need ammunition,” he said.

“And I think Putin’s got a real problem right now because I think that he’s going to be on the losing end of this.

“He may throw a lot more forces at it, and he may take the city of Kyiv that that is entirely possible just by sheer numbers. But the occupation of that country, now, they will fight back. There will be an insurgency. We could help that as well. And I think if the Soviet Union thought Afghanistan was bad, well, Putin, better look at Ukraine because it’s going to be a real hornet’s nest for him,” he argued.

“And I will tell you right now, I think he’s lost his war. And it’s stunning to me because I don’t think anybody thought that. I thought when I looked at the forces, the numbers that he had his first-line units, one hundred and seventy thousand, all of his air throwing them against Ukraine, and they’re standing up to him. I think the world is just stunned by it, and I’m glad everybody’s pushing back,” he said.

And Putin may see that to as, yesterday, he began making overtures towards peace talks.

“Kremlin says Russia ready to send a delegation to Belarus for talks with Ukrainian officials following invasion,” The Associated Press reported in a one sentence story.

But the damage has been done and the Ukraine capital of Kyiv is under fire from Russian troops.

“I would like to address the president of Russia once again … let us sit down at the negotiation table to stop people dying,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a video.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said earlier in the day that his nation was prepared top negotiate with the Ukraine.

“We are ready for negotiations. At any moment, as soon as the armed forces of Ukraine respond to the call of our president (Vladimir Putin), stop resisting and lay down their arms. No one is going to attack them, no one is going to oppress them, let them return to their families,” he said.

After Zelenskyy’s call for negotiations Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov said that the regime was prepared to negotiate.

“In that context and in response to Zelenskyy’s proposal, Vladimir Putin is ready to send a Russian delegation to Minsk with representatives of the ministries of defense, foreign affairs and the presidential administration for negotiations with the Ukrainian delegation,” he said.

But, he said,. the Russian goal remains the “demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine” and that Ukrainian neutrality would be a part of that.

And Russian President Vladimir Putin informed Chinese leader Xi Jinping that he was prepared to negotiate with Ukraine, NPR reported.

In the second high-level call between the two countries in as many days, Putin apparently aimed to shore up relations with his Chinese counterpart. The two have drawn closer in the runup to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with China being one of the few countries to lend even qualified support to Putin’s actions in Ukraine, which have been widely condemned.

Beijing and Moscow, once Cold War rivals, have grown increasingly ideologically aligned in recent years. During a visit by Putin to Beijing for the Olympic Opening Ceremony, he and Xi issued a joint pact declaring that their partnership had “no limit.”

(RepublicanWire.org) – The Internet is forever and that is a lesson that President Joe Biden is learning in a humiliating way.

The president tweeted, two years to the day that Russian President Vladimir Putin gave the order for, what he calls “peacekeeping troops,” to move into Ukraine, a message that insinuated Putin was frightened of him and not President Donald trump who he was campaigning against.

“Vladimir Putin doesn’t want me to be President,” he said in the Feb. 21, 2020 tweet. “He doesn’t want me to be our nominee. If you’re wondering why — it’s because I’m the only person in this field who’s ever gone toe-to-toe with him.”

Conservatives on Twitter reminded him of this tweet, not so nicely.

“Two years to the day this tweet aged like … well like Joe Biden,” yours truly said.

“Exactly 2 years ago today. Look at this fool,” former Assistant Secretary to the Treasury, Monica Crowley, said.

“This is the worst Tweet of all time. OF ALL TIME,” journalist JD Rucker said.

“I hope CNN and MSNBC are happy with themselves,” Newsbusters editor Curtis Houck said.

“How’s this tweet aging?” former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer tweeted.

“This did not age well…,” Republican Texas Rep. Pat Fallon quipped.

“You were saying…?” Republican Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs said, tongue in cheek.

“This tweet did not age well,” British conservative Nigel Farage mocked.

“Joe, Vladimir Putin thinks you’re a joke. Joe, Xi Jinping thinks you’re a joke. Joe, the Supreme Leader of Iran, thinks you’re a joke. Joe, Kim Jong-un thinks you’re a joke. Joe, our adversaries, think YOU’RE A JOKE,” Republican Florida Rep. Byron Donalds said.

“Any update on this Sleepy?” Sebastian Gorka said.

“Always remember that the DC media pushed this narrative. @maggieNYT led the way with this phony partisan message. Putin didn’t invade Ukraine when Trump was President. Putin did it twice – when Obama and Biden were in charge,” former Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell said.

On February 20 it was reported that the United States has intelligence that says Russian troops have been given orders to invade Ukraine, CBS News reported.

The U.S. has intelligence that Russian commanders have received orders to proceed with an invasion of Ukraine, with commanders on the ground making specific plans for how they would maneuver in their sectors of the battlefield, a U.S. official told CBS News. 

The orders don’t mean an invasion is a certainty, as Russian President Vladimir Putin could still change the orders if he changes his mind, the official said.

“The President was very clear that he is convinced by U.S. intelligence that this invasion will happen, that President Putin decided to do it,” CBS News “Face The Nation” host Margaret Brennan said to  CBS News correspondent David Martin. “How was he that certain?”

“Because the intelligence says that Russian troops have actually received orders now, to proceed with the invasion,” he responded. “So not only are they moving up closer and closer to the border into these attack positions, but the commanders on the ground are making specific plans for how they would maneuver in their sector of the battlefield.”

“They’re doing everything that American commanders would do once they got the order to proceed,” he said.

The United States embassy in Russia has advised Americans to have an evacuation plan, citing a threat from Moscow, Reuters reported.

“According to media sources, there have been threats of attacks against shopping centers, railway and metro stations, and other public gathering places in major urban areas, including Moscow and St. Petersburg as well as in areas of heightened tension along the Russian border with Ukraine,” the embassy said in an alert to United States citizens.

Citizens were advised to “Monitor local and international media for updates avoid crowds, notify friends and family of your safety, be aware of your surroundings, stay alert in locations frequented by tourists/Westerners, review your personal security plans, carry proper identification, including a U.S. passport with a current Russian visa and have evacuation plans that do not rely on U.S. government assistance.”

(RepublicanWire.org) – Here is what Biden is trying to do…

The U.S. State Department has announced it would block the Russia to Germany Nord Stream 2 pipeline should Russia invade Ukraine.

Speaking on Wednesday, State Department spokesman Ned Price vowed, “if Russia invades Ukraine, one way or another, Nord Stream 2 will not move forward.”

Discussing the plans with NPR, he said he would not be going into specifics but revealed the U.S. would “work with Germany to ensure it does not move forward.”

It appears that Germany is backing the U.S.’s tougher stance as Emily Haber –– Germany’s ambassador to the U.S. –– revealed through a brief Twitter statement, that “The U.S. and Germany jointly declared last summer: if Russia uses energy as a weapon or if there is another violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty, Russia will have to pay a high price.”

She added that German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock had agreed that “nothing will be off the table, including Nord Stream 2.”

In a later tweet, she said the efforts “go hand in hand with the tracks the US has been pursuing with partners and allies” in NATO and OSCE, in addition to the “bilateral conversations with the Russians.”

Nord Stream 2 has become Europe’s most divisive energy project as it would double the amount of gas Russia delivers to Germany while bypassing Ukraine, a traditional transit nation.

Many have also expressed concern that the project would make Europe more energy-dependent on Russia and eradicate Ukraine transit fees from Russia.