Russian President Vladimir Putin appeared to issue a threat against his own people on Wednesday during lengthy remarks that he gave about his ongoing war in Ukraine.
Putin made numerous false claims during his remarks, including claiming that Ukraine was ruled by a neo-Nazi regime, that there were Pentagon-funded bioweapons labs in Ukraine, and that there was a genocidal campaign against ethnic Russians in Donbas.
“Putin appealed to ordinary Westerners in claiming that their countries have ignored ongoing genocide against ethnic Russians in the Donbas region, without provid[ing] evidence of such atrocities,” U.S. News & World Report reported. “And, seemingly acknowledging new political fronts he faces at home, he put forward troubling language about the need for ‘cleansing of the nation’ against those who do not support the Kremlin’s policies.”
The remarks from Putin come as there has reportedly been growing opposition to his war in Ukraine, which has resulted in severe sanctions being leveled against Russia.
Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges said this week that he believes Russian military forces are just days away from not being able to continue their war against Ukraine.
“The Russians went after his [Fmr. Amb. to NATO Kurt Volker’s] training center in Yavoriv, outside the city of Lviv, partly to demonstrate that they could reach the lines of communication that bring supplies and support from Poland into Ukraine,” he said. “But also I think to maybe go after the logistics buildup that’s happening there. I don’t think we should overreact to this.”
“The Russians, I think, are about ten days away from what is called the culminating point, when they just no longer have the ammunition nor the manpower to keep up their assault,” he said. “I think we keep pouring it on, and the Russians culminate.”
Hodges’ remarks come after Russian military forces have faced significantly stiffer resistance from Ukrainian forces. Both sides have seen thousands of casualties thus far in the war, and numerous cities have experienced severe damage.
As The Daily Wire previous reported, some have warned that the war could escalate, including a retired Navy captain and former intelligence officer who warned during an interview this week with Fox News that the war in Europe between Russia and Ukraine could launch a much larger war if Russia conducts a false flag operation.
“I think there is still risk of more expansionism,” Steven Horrell told the network. “There’s a risk of something sparking an escalation, some sort of incident on the high seas, or in international airspace, or a fabricated incident for some sort of cross-border thing that could lead to further escalation.”
“I think Russia has for some time held the opinion that the West, the U.S. [and] NATO, have a very low tolerance for cost and for pain,” Horrell said. “And, conversely, that Russia has a much higher cost acceptance.”
He said that Russia has a strategy of “escalate to deescalate,” which could mean that the war is about to get significantly worse as Russia tries to gain leverage for a more favorable outcome.
“A ship in the Black Sea with a Kalibr land attack cruise missile could reach Berlin,” Horrell told Fox News. “If they viewed one of the European capitals as being a weakness in NATO, they could do that sort of escalation, non-nuclear, but they could strike outside the immediate theater of conflict and start hitting NATO targets.”
He said that Russia miscalculated its ability to take over Ukraine because “the decision-makers in the Kremlin truly believed some of their own press reports and expected a quick and hasty victory,” Horrell said. “There are no indications of more forces reinforcing the current force commitment from Russia to Ukraine. Frankly, I don’t know how many more cards in that regard there are to play.”