Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio offered a grim outlook on the continuing conflict in Ukraine, telling “This Week” host George Stephanopoulos Sunday that he believes the situation is going to get more dangerous.
“[Putin’s] a person that cannot survive, for example, being humiliated and he can’t survive in power if it looks like he backed down to NATO. I think that creates a real opportunity for danger. I don’t think his perceptions are the same as our perceptions about the world, about the way things are going and so forth. This guy is also an authoritarian leader. He doesn’t get a lot of bad news … so I unfortunately think we’re entering probably the most dangerous part of this conflict. As he begins to realize he can’t make the tactical gains on the ground that he wants to make, I think he’s willing to escalate and do things that unfortunately would be pretty cataclysmic,” Rubio stated.
Stephanopoulos pressed Rubio on what could be done to resolve the conflict.
“That’s one of the great challenges of these moments. If you look throughout history, there are times when you reach points like this where there doesn’t seem to be an easy way out. I hope I’m wrong,” Rubio stated.
“What I know about this man and know about Russia and know about its intentions and know about history tells me we have some way to go before we reach a point like that. It’s not going to be a pretty journey to that point. There’s not a lot of good options right now unfortunately,” he concluded.
Rubio’s dire prediction comes amid concerns that the Russian president’s mindset has become increasingly unstable after “severing nearly all ties” with the outside world during the COVID pandemic, according to The Hill.
Former ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul also made comments about Putin on “Meet the Press” last week. “[Putin’s] increasingly unhinged in the way that he talks about the regime. Just yesterday, talking about Zelenskyy being a neo-Nazi, let’s remind everybody watching, he’s Jewish.” (RELATED: What’s Going On With Vladimir Putin’s Weird Behavior?)
“That doesn’t sound like somebody that’s going to sit down and negotiate a peaceful outcome,” McFaul added.
During a 90-minute phone call with Emmanuel Macron Thursday, Putin informed the French president that his “special military operation [in Ukraine] will be fulfilled in any case,” leading Macron to believe “the worst is yet to come” and that Putin intends to take control of all of Ukraine, according to the Washington Post.
I spoke to President Putin this morning. He refuses to stop his attacks on Ukraine at this point. It is vital to maintain dialogue to avoid human tragedy. I will continue my efforts and contacts. We must avoid the worst.
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) March 3, 2022
Russia has been facing fierce resistance from the Ukrainian people since the invasion. Retired Gen. David Petraeus lauded the Ukrainians efforts and the “Churchillian” leadership from their president Volodymyr Zelenskyy, telling CNN news Wednesday that as a result, Putin ultimately could not win the war, according to The Hill. (RELATED: ‘Putin’s Days Are Numbered’: John Brennan Speculates About The fall Of Putin In The Near Future)
“They can take a city perhaps, but they cannot hold it,” Petraeus stated.