President Biden said Tuesday that Russian President Vladimir Putin “miscalculated significantly” in deciding to invade Ukraine, during an appearance with CNN’s Jake Tapper.
Tapper asked the president whether he considered Putin to be a “rational actor.”
“I think he is a rational actor who has miscalculated significantly,” Biden replied.
Biden said that Putin had pursued an “irrational” approach to Ukraine. Biden cited Putin’s rhetoric as he announced the decision to mobilize hundreds of thousands of additional Russian men to fight in his war.
“If you listen to the speech he made after, when that decision was being made, he talked about the whole idea of he was needed to be leader of Russia who united all the Russian speakers, I mean, I just think it’s irrational.”
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“I didn’t say he’s not rational. I think the speech, his objectives were not,” Biden told Tapper, adding, “I think he thought he was going to be welcomed with open arms. That this was the home of Mother Russia in Kyiv and therefore he was going to be welcomed. I think he just totally miscalculated.”
Zelenskyy Calls On Allies For Ukrainian Air Defense, Peacekeepers On Belarus Border
On Tuesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called on allies to provide air defense as Russia continued a barrage of strikes on Ukraine for a second day, while also asking for international peacekeepers on the Belarusian border.
Belarus said on Tuesday that it has been holding an inspection of its armed forces to ensure combat “readiness,” according to the AP.
“Since October 11, the State Secretariat of the Security Council of the Republic of Belarus, in accordance with the instruction of the President, has been conducting an inspection of the Armed Forces of Belarus,” the country’s defense ministry said in a statement.
“For the second day now, Ukraine has been suffering from massive Russian missile strikes,” Zelenskyy said in a live-streamed address to the G7.
The G7 group, which consists of the US, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and Canada — held an emergency meeting Tuesday in response to Russia’s shelling of Ukrainian cities Monday.
“Starting from yesterday, the enemy used more than a hundred cruise missiles and dozens of different drones,” Zelenskyy said.
“Every 10 minutes I receive a message about the enemy’s use of Iranian ‘Shaheds’ [drones],” he added, rattling off seven reports of the kamikaze UAVs he said he’d received between 5 and 6 a.m.
On Monday, President Biden, spoke with Zelenskyy and expressed his condemnation of Russia’s missile strikes across Ukraine, including in Kyiv, and conveyed his condolences to the loved ones of those “killed and injured” in these senseless attacks.
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“The United States strongly condemns Russia’s missile strikes today across Ukraine, including in Kyiv. These attacks killed and injured civilians and destroyed targets with no military purpose. They once again demonstrate the utter brutality of Mr. Putin’s illegal war on the Ukrainian people,” said Biden on Monday.
“These attacks only further reinforce our commitment to stand with the people of Ukraine for as long as it takes. Alongside our allies and partners, we will continue to impose costs on Russia for its aggression, hold Putin and Russia accountable for its atrocities and war crimes, and provide the support necessary for Ukrainian forces to defend their country and their freedom,” said Biden.
Biden pledged to continue providing Ukraine with the support needed to defend itself, including advanced air defense systems which the White House said Tuesday, were being expedited.
The US is expediting delivery of two National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems, (NASAMS), to Ukraine as quickly as possible, the White House said Tuesday.
The US is on track to deliver the first two systems to Ukraine “in the very near future,” John Kirby, National Security Council communications coordinator, said.
Following Biden’s comments on Monday, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that the United States is “de facto” involved in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
Peskov said US involvement can be “seen with the naked eye” and “The United States is already de facto mired in this conflict,” according to CNN on Tuesday.
“It seems to me that Americans de facto have been participating in this war for a long time, they are not only arming Zelensky and his regime, they are providing intelligence from military and commercial satellites, which are now used in military plans,” said Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. “In the West itself, they are already beginning to understand that they are going further than they intended.”