Sen. King: Nuclear-Armed Putin Is ‘The Most Dangerous Man in World History’

Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin in Moscow on March 1, 2022. (Photo by ALEXEY NIKOLSKY/SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images)

Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin in Moscow on March 1, 2022. (Photo by ALEXEY NIKOLSKY/SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images)

( – « Right now, Putin is the most dangerous — I think the most dangerous man in world history, » Sen. Angus King (I-Maine), a member of the intelligence committee, told MSNBC’s « Morning Joe » on Tuesday.

« Because he’s trapped and he has nukes, and part of their doctrine is the possibility of using them. »

King said the Russian president has made « one of the greatest mistakes any leader can made, which is to intimidate the people who are telling you, supposedly, the truth. This is a colossal intelligence failure, both in terms of the capability of the Russian army, but more (than) that, the resistance of the Ukrainian people… 

« And my sense is that Putin got what he wanted to hear, because, you know, he has a way of getting rid of people who tell him things he doesn’t want to hear. And I think that’s gotten him into this absolute debacle. He’s destroying two countries right now. »

King said Putin is « trapped, » with no apparent off-ramp.

He noted that Putin can bomb the Ukrainians into submission, but he can’t hold the country. And back in Russia, regime change is « his ultimate fear, and that’s where all hell breaks loose. »

But there are options, King added: « Backing off on the sanctions if they have a ceasefire, if they withdraw their troops, if they stop the aerial bombardment of civilians. There are some of those kinds of options…the problem is, he’s already lost this war.

« Because Ukraine is now — is going to hate Russia and Putin for generations. So even if they control a lot of territory, they’d have to have a trooper on every street corner. They’ll keep fighting forever. »

King said Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, once the world’s third largest nuclear power, is also a « huge setback for nonproliferation. »

« One of the tragedies is, Ukraine was the third largest nuclear power in 1992. They gave up their nuclear weapons exchange for an explicit promise from the Russians never to invade. So what does this experience tell Kim Jong-un about giving up his nuclear weapons? He’s going to say, look what happened to the Ukrainians. I’m not going to do that, it’s my insurance policy. »

King said nuclear weapons were also Ukraine’s insurance policy, and the Putin invasion wouldn’t have happened if they had kept their arsenal. « That’s the danger. This is a huge setback for nonproliferation, » King said.

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