Russian leader Vladimir Putin ordered his country to launch a wide-ranging attack on Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022, hitting cities and bases with airstrikes and shelling. The attacks are leaving some to wonder if Putin is insane while others, including some U.S. conservatives, praise him as a genius.
Putin ignored global condemnation and threats of new sanctions, initiating a major military operation into Ukraine. He also appeared to refer to his country’s nuclear arsenal when he threatened any foreign country attempting to interfere in the attack with “consequences you have never seen,” The New York Daily News reported.
Some say Putin’s behavior changed dramatically during the covid-19 pandemic, bringing his sanity into question. People have noticed that Putin “has fundamentally changed amid the pandemic, a shift that may have left him more paranoid, more aggrieved, and more reckless,” The New York Times reported.
“In apparent warning to the United States and NATO, Putin says in televised speech announcing war: ‘A couple of words for those who would be tempted to intervene. Russia will respond immediately and you will have consequences that you never have had before in your history,'” tweeted Jennifer Griffin (@JenGriffinFNC), national security correspondent for Fox News Channel.
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Putin, 69, has been isolated for the last two years, meeting with cabinet officials mainly via video. He has also kept his trips abroad to a minimum. People who travel to Moscow to meet face-to-face with Putin, such as Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and French president Emmanuel Macron, must first pass through a “disinfection tunnel” and then sit socially distanced from the Russian president at a greater distance than the suggested six feet. The distance is so great that several memes have popped up mocking Putin’s social distancing requirements.
“His circle of contacts is getting smaller. It affects his mind,” a former official said. “He used to see things in 360 degrees — now it’s more like 60.”
Despite what has been described as odd behavior by Putin, former President Donald Trump loves him and described his recent aggression as an act of “genius.”
“I said, ‘This is genius.’ Putin declares a big portion of Ukraine, Putin declares it as independent. Oh, that’s wonderful,” Trump said during a Feb. 22 appearance on The Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show. “So, Putin is now saying, ‘It’s independent,’ a large section of Ukraine. I said, ‘How smart is that?'”
Right-wing personality Candace Owens urged her 3 million Twitter followers to read Putin’s speech in order to know “what’s *actually* going on in Russia and Ukraine” and blamed the U.S. for the conflict. “WE are at fault,” she tweeted.
“He knows how to use power. We should respect that,” Trump said. Not all Republicans agree with Trump.
“Putin is a thug who has violated the sovereignty of a free country, and Biden’s weak standing on the world stage is inviting further aggressions. The U.S. and our allies must take immediate actions to cripple his regime,” Pennsylvania Senate GOP candidate Mehmet Oz said.
Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., a Trump critic, responded: “Former President Trump’s adulation of Putin today — including calling him a ‘genius’ — aids our enemies. Trump’s interests don’t seem to align with the interests of the United States of America.”
Photo: Russian President Vladimir Putin reacts during a joint press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron after their talks Feb. 7, 2022, in Moscow. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, Pool)
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