Russian forces invade multiple cities in Ukraine, President Biden prays for Ukrainians

What is Vladimir Putin’s raison d’etre? That’s something foreign policy analysts and world leaders have struggled to answer for decades. Is he a small man hellbent on “domination”? Is he an agent of chaos? Does he simply have delusions of grandeur, and dreams of creating some major Russian empire across modern Europe? Whatever it is, Putin f–king sucks. Putin ordered Russian forces to invade Ukraine last night. Overnight, Russian forces began blasting their way through Kyiv, Kharkiv and Kramatorsk. Russian forces seemingly used Crimea (which Russia seized in 2014) as a staging area for the invasion. Ukainians spent the past twelve hours taking shelter and hearing air-raid sirens blast. This is the statement President Biden released last night:

The prayers of the entire world are with the people of Ukraine tonight as they suffer an unprovoked and unjustified attack by Russian military forces. President Putin has chosen a premeditated war that will bring a catastrophic loss of life and human suffering. Russia alone is responsible for the death and destruction this attack will bring, and the United States and its Allies and partners will respond in a united and decisive way. The world will hold Russia accountable.

I will be monitoring the situation from the White House this evening and will continue to get regular updates from my national security team. Tomorrow, I will meet with my G7 counterparts in the morning and then speak to the American people to announce the further consequences the United States and our Allies and partners will impose on Russia for this needless act of aggression against Ukraine and global peace and security. We will also coordinate with our NATO Allies to ensure a strong, united response that deters any aggression against the Alliance. Tonight, Jill and I are praying for the brave and proud people of Ukraine.

[From The White House]

If you ask me, President Biden has always had Putin’s number. Obama did too. And Putin f–king hates that. I also trust that Biden has already accumulated goodwill with our European allies, and that they are back to trusting the US after the Trump years. This situation will mainly be handled within NATO. The UN Security Council is pretty toothless, and they were meeting last night AS Russia invaded.

As for the Republican Party treason-birds and ratf–kers, of course they’re “blaming” Joe Biden for this. Nevermind that Trump rolled over for Putin, did Putin’s bidding entirely, removed the Obama-era sanctions on Russia and wandered off with Putin to make some kind of “deal” in Helsinki. The truth is, all of those Republicans are in love with Putin because he’s a despotic strong-man.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid.

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120 Responses to “Russian forces invade multiple cities in Ukraine, President Biden prays for Ukrainians”

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  1. Sophie says:

    I’ve just been sitting in shock all morning since I woke up to the news. I’m in Ireland so far away from the violence but I just can’t believe this is happening in Europe in 2022. I have no idea how this is going to end and that’s the most frightening thing. Putin just seems completely unhinged (moreso than usual).

    I can’t stand the man, but it looks like Mitt Romney was right about Russia back in 2012.

    • Cee says:

      I’m in Argentina, much farther away, and share your shock. I think back to my grandfather’s family making it out of Kiev at the hands of Russia and it’s like being in a loop. They will never leave Ukraine alone. I pray for Ukraine and its people.

      • Amy T says:

        Same,@Cee. Both of my grandfathers were born in Ukraine and left as young men – one from Kyiv and the other from Odessa. I’m heartsick and angry – Putin is an evil despot and his pathetic fan base in Congress and at Mar-a-Layo is not in any way comforting. Pulling for the adults in positions of power to do their best to minimize harm and put a quick-as-possible end to this.

      • Kronster says:

        I’m in Moldova, it’s a small country bordering Ukraine. It’s a f*cking mess, I cannot begin to describe it. We heard explosions as early as 5 am – woke up terrified.

        Ukrainians are trying to flee the country – those who are closer to Moldova will be able to do so (the borders are open, they have more people there trying to facilitate the process, everyone can cross, even with an expired passport and seek refugee). Those who are further may be stuck – I read Ukrainians were not allowed to cross the region borders in some places.

        They closed the air space in both Moldova and Ukraine. Our President is set to introduce a state of emergency in the country.

        Moldova is also terrified since we’re so close to Ukraine, and, we have Transnistria – a territory Putin meddled with for so many years – so who’s gonna stop him now to invade us as well?

        I remember studying the World Wars in history class as a kid and being happy we no longer lived in war. And look at us now….

      • Cee says:

        Stay strong Kronster.
        Moldovia is such a beautiful country. Thank God refugees are allowed in, you’re sheltering vulnerable and scared people.

      • LBB says:

        I’m so sorry Kronster, please stay as safe as you can!

    • MrsBump says:

      In Belgium here, i feel the same sense of impending doom as i did when the pandemic broke out. So many of us know and are friends with Ukrainians here , who are sick with worry for their family back home. All i could say , was that i was with them and would pray with them , i had no words of comfort to provide , everyone feels so helpless 🙁
      Putin’s message this morning , threatening Ukrainians that would resist with suffering on a scale they have never felt before , is bone chilling. I’m sitting here in shock, and disbelief that this could be happening in this day and age.

    • Jasper says:

      I’m in the Caribbean and my family and I are watching this situation in a state of shock. I’ve been taking breaks in between classes to keep tabs on it and I’m so worried for everyone across there. You think that there’s no way someone will be crazy enough to start another major armed conflict in our time after the devastation caused by 2 major world wars but then Putin shows up.
      I’m praying for the safety of the Ukrainians and their neighbours and hoping like hell that this invasion gets hamstrung somehow.

    • Marion says:

      So far away yet so close…
      As you said, I can’t believe we’re having a war in Europe in 2022…
      Seems like we will never take lessons from history.

    • Tiffany:) says:

      The Pentagon said that Putin is targeting population centers in Ukraine. Such depravity.

    • theotherViv says:

      I am in Germany and terrified for my Ukrainian friends living in Kharkiv. Carnival started here today and to see people celebrating outside is truly weird, They cancelled Monday’s big carnival parade and are organizing a peace protest but it’s still all grotesque.

    • AlpineWitch says:

      I’ve a colleague from Lithuania and she is usually quite cheery, today she didn’t say a word because she’s worried her country and the Baltic states will be next.

      This has the potential to become a world war.

  2. Cee says:

    It’s time for the world to wake up and realize Putin needs to be stopped. Period.
    He doesn’t understand sanctions – he understands violence.

    • Anna says:

      He doesn’t understand international law or diplomacy.

      • Cee says:


      • Pink Flamingo says:

        I’m sorry if this is ignorant, but why hasn’t someone just executed Putin by now?

      • LaraW” says:

        No, I’d say he understands them perfectly well. Which is how he’s been able to get away with so much, test them to their limits, then back off with just a slap on the wrist ever since he took over after Yeltsin in 1999.

      • Cee says:

        @Pink Flamingo – that’s a good question. I think we have all believed in being politically correct, in diplomacy being the best way, always, and we have missmanaged Putin (and Jingpin)

        I really don’t have an answer for your question. It was done in the Middle East but Russia seems to be off limits.

      • observer says:

        the Middle East was nowhere near the level of power that Putin and Russia hold on the world stage. And remember the Middle East countries we didn’t touch. Nobody’s laying a finger on the UAE.

        Putin’s head is on his shoulders because people who would like it removed get disappeared.

        I said this in another comment, but do you think his replacement would be any better? I don’t. Even if the entire Russian govt was dismantled by non-Russian forces, I think that the chances of an uncorrupt regime being installed are so marginal as to be almost imaginary.

      • Cee says:

        If Putin was truly stopped, whoever came next would be disuaded from trying the same thing. Look at Germany.

        China disappears people, too.

      • Jasper says:

        And that’s why he gets away with so much. Other leaders are concerned with consequences and order and will always measure their response, Putin does not care and will trample over whoever he needs to to get his way.
        There is no concern for international order or human life.

      • HelloDolly! says:

        Russia on paper is a democratic republic (their 1993 constitution) but in practice is a dictatorship. He also didn’t invade Ukraine under Trump in hopes the US leaves NATO, for example. This kind of subtle subterfuge and diplomacy makes clear that Putin is not an idiot. I wish he was–I would be less frightened.

    • observer says:

      Who do you think would replace Putin? How would we stop him if he doesn’t ‘understand sanctions’ (he does, he just doesn’t care about them) but does ‘understand violence’? Are you suggesting WW3? Because with this whole situation, we are trying to avoid that.

      But OK, what if we fell into some even more dystopian timeline where we all hold hands, invade Russia like it’s no big deal, undemocratically remove every single person in their government, and then…? I’m getting deja vu typing this out.

      Let’s say at least Putin can be replaced. If it’s up to others in the Russian govt, it’s not going to be someone any better and it very easily could be someone even worse. This is not a defense of Putin or Russia, but I’m stating what I think is true.

      If Putin only understands violence, who would most of the violence actually hurt and what is the price of it?

      • Cee says:

        This is headed to war. It is pointless to pretend otherwise. He will NOT stop at Ukraine. If he suceeds NOW, he will invade every other former Soviet country. Russia is not alone, she has allies too.

        The world tried to tell him to STOP and he just ignored it because, why should he?
        It’s like saying that Hitler shouldn’t had been stopped because WWII happened but did it happen because governments stood up to him or because a Head of State decided to invade a country, unprovoked, just because he wanted it back? Should we let every former Soviet country be sucked back into Russia, ignore their sovereignity, just to avoid violence?

        My stance is NO. Violence is already here. And it has to be stopped.

      • observer says:

        I agree that it’s headed to war, the question is with who. This is why I’m not a world leader, but let’s just think about the fact that Russia has the largest stockpile of nuclear warheads in the world. We should also remember why Ukraine has no nukes…

        I think the speculation about Hitler isn’t useful but I see the comparison, I just think we would both need to be history majors to speculate intelligently on that rhetoric.

        It’s very easy for us to say “violence is here, so speak in a language Putin understands”. But would you join the military? How would you feel about loved ones being drafted? I feel like calling for violence requires a commitment to committing it if you believe the cause is justified.

      • Cee says:

        I specialized in European History but I’m not the best person to ask because:
        1. I am anti Putin
        2. My ancestors fled Europe due to war, so their stories and experiences live with me, to this day. My partner’s grandfather was a POW.
        3. I’m part Ukranian so today I am heartbroken and furious, so perhaps I’m not thinking clearly.
        4. We both have not experienced war in this scale. I believe that freedom and sovereignity is everything. So is human compassion and peace. But when a bully throws you to the ground you either comply or you hit back. I live so far away from this conflict that I could very well be indifferent to it. But to allow one country to invade, unprovoked, and take over sovereign countries with no real pushback? No. China will be next in Asia. Some country can then decide to invade mine because no one will do anything about it. Or they can try to invade yours.
        5. I do believe the cause is justified, 100%. Perhaps it’s because the majority of my family has been in service, though.

      • observer says:

        Hopefully from my comments it’s clear that I’m Anti-Putin as well.

        I’m also part Ashkenazi and many of my relatives fled parts of Europe in WW2 and fought the Nazis. One of my grandparents became a POW more than once. He was a sociopath, but sociopaths make great soldiers.

        So I can understand your feelings about this, I do not know where mine stand, I apologize if I’ve been playing Devil’s Advocate but I feel black-pilled on this topic.

        Also, I didn’t ask if the cause is justified (I have no opinion on whether it is at the time of writing), I asked if you personally would be willing to go into service and/or see your loved ones be conscripted. I think it is okay to call for violence that you believe is justified as long as you can accept that prospect.

      • Kacy says:

        @Observer, I’m actually disappointed that I’m now to old to enlist or I would walk down today and do it. If the rules free up during an extended war, I will definitely enlist. You raise far points on who would be better at running Russia. However, we don’t have much choice but to go to war here.

        The issue is that Putin has been on record saying that Russia can never be what it once was without Ukraine. He wants the whole nation. That kind of aggression against a 44 Million nation and number 3 exporter of wheat in the world cannot be appeased. He’s responsible for the plane that went down in Poland taking the top 20 leaders of their government with it. It’s unlikely he would stop with just Ukraine if he got away with it.

      • Cee says:

        I did not mean to imply you support Putin, I’m sorry if it came out that way!

        Would I fight? Yes. Because for the first time in my 34 years on this planet I truly feel we are veering into darkness. I don’t want to live in a world where Russia is in control. I don’t want to see my grandfather’s conationals live in submission. I believe in democracy too much not to do it. I know it sounds crazy but yes, I would.

      • Chergui says:

        Call me cynical but I see a lot of truth in @observers comments. Is this really about Putin trying to create an empire or something else entirely? Invading a country when your army is considerably better equipped seems like an easy deal. Waiting to see how the west responds is probably more what this is about.

        Will they fight back or will there just be some lame sanctions which Russia doesn’t care much about? They have China on side.

        Personally I think this is a provocation, to see just how far NATO and the west are willing to take things. When I say the west, I mean the US in particular and I suspect for a while they’ll just roll over because the other option doesn’t bare thinking about. Afghanistan, Iran & Iraq are nothing compared to what this could become.

    • Juju says:

      It infuriates me that Republicans are trying to blame Biden. I feel like Trump & Putin set a trap and whoever Trump’s successor was going to be would walk directly into it. Putin’s power grew on Trump’s watch.

      • Cee says:

        They should start distancing themlseves from Russia because it will turn very ugly for them.

      • Tiffany:) says:

        You’re absolutely correct, Putin’s power did grow under Trump.

        Putin likely thinks that any new sanctions will be short lived if he can get Trump re-elected.

    • Tiffany:) says:

      I don’t know if it is correct to say that he doesn’t understand sanctions.

      Putin is propped up by oligarchs that he makes very wealthy. The sanctions hurt the oligarchs. It is one of the reasons Trump lifted the sanctions when he was in office.

    • theotherViv says:

      This, exactly this. He has been consistently telling the Russian people that the Ukrainians have been slaughtering Russians and that Nato was attacking Russia. All his propaganda has been about him being the one to defend Russia against imaginary attacks. His press machine has been consistent spewing absurdities. Those who believe him stand behind him, the others are being silenced. Protesters in Russia today have been arrested and there are reports of some news outlets having been shut down. Like Trump he has lied so many times, so diplomacy is irrelevant and Biden called it when others didn’t.

  3. Seraphina says:

    Yes to all you stated above Kaiser. Presidents Biden and Obama do/did have Putin’s number. And when Biden won, world leaders said: Welcome back America. So I do agree our allies trust us NOW. The crazy man is no longer in office. Trump appeased Putin and Putin played Trump like a puppet. Two leasers which the world needs to keep an eye on are: Putin and Erdogan.
    And the SOS went to church last week to light a candle as Orthodox Lent begins Monday. Meanwhile people will die – Ukrainians and Russians alike. I believe there are many Russians in the city he attacked. SOS is what he is.

    • LaraW” says:

      HILLARY had his number. She was going to impose sanctions during a critical time in Russia’s economic progress which would have significantly reduced Putin’s popularity and power. Putin waged a two year, multimillion dollar campaign trying to leave her with a hugely divided United States for her presidency, then he succeeded beyond his wildest dreams and got Trump.

      • MF says:

        Absolutely correct, LaraW. Putin was afraid of Hillary, which was exactly why I wanted her to be elected.

        I’m not Biden’s biggest fan but I will say this: Thank god we have an experienced president in office right now who understands the geopolitical dynamics at play and who isn’t in Putin’s pocket.

      • Lululu says:

        LARAW, totally agree! Russia is well-positioned to endure sanctions for a time. Putin has spent the last decade shoring up financial institutions, stockpiling commodities, and reducing Russia’s debt. This was a long game. What’s not clear is what Putin’s end game is, but I think it’s going to be an interesting decade.

      • Ana170 says:

        Yeah she did. That’s partly why he interfered so hard in the last two elections as well as Brexit. The goal was to weaken both the US and the European Union. Putin’s open that he wants to restore the Soviet Union. How far he wants to take it remains to be seen. I also suspect climate change is playing a part in his plans since Siberia could become a destination for climate refugees. I’m worried for most of the world not just the Ukraine.

  4. Becks1 says:

    Absolutely horrible for the Ukrainian people and terrifying for them and the rest of the world. I’m glad I’m not a world leader because I don’t know what I would do in this situation. The answer seems obvious – military action, bc I think that’s all Putin would “listen” to at this point – but that’s also a hard answer, you know?

    Just an absolutely terrifying and awful situation.

    • L4Frimaire says:

      The scariest part is there is no one in the Russian government who can check Putin, no opposition and the European countries are afraid to challenge him militarily. He thinks he can use his nuclear arsenal to keep everyone cowed and we’d be crazy to think he’d stop at Ukraine. hH wants an imperial Russian empire and he seems crazy, like his justifications for this are complete fiction. What will he do to that country if he succeeds. I hope we apply enough sanctions to completely cripple the Russian economy, but that may not be enough.

  5. Charlotte says:

    I wonder how these Republicans would feel if it was their nation being illegally invaded? I can’t understand how anybody can support or idiolise Putin – they seem to think taking what is wanted by force is something to aspire to. How disgusting.

  6. tw says:

    Let’s be clear, Putin is threatening nuclear strikes on NATO nations, including the US.

  7. OriginalLaLa says:

    Sanctions haven’t had the desired effect – Putin and the ruling class (his precious oligarchs) are still living high on the hog, they don’t care that Russians struggle.

    I worry about the end goal here…..

    • Emily says:

      I agree. Sanctions only work when a leader cares about the people they govern. That is not the case with Putin.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      Putin’s end goal is the reunification of the Soviet Union and punishing those sovereign nations who dared to want freedom from Russian rule. He has delusions of being Stalin 2.0. Also he’s losing the plot – look at how he publicly humiliated his intelligence minister in the televised discussions on Monday.

      Russia is being led my a mad man and it shows.

    • Emma says:

      The most recent sanctions do target Russia’s ruling class directly. Sanctions could have a real effect if Europe and the U.S. pulled together.

      Russia has a relatively small economy compared to the U.S. and its population is less than the total population of the U.S. despite having 1.7 times more land mass. The Russian army isn’t really a threat to the US either. Of course nuclear weapons are always in the background . . . China is an important ally of theirs, but I really do not think Russia or China want a world war. Who would buy all China’s environmentally disastrous plastic trash and Apple products, if not the US and Europe? (Not that logical considerations always prevail with despots.)

      Putin is basically an agent of chaos. He could not defeat the US (let alone the NATO alliance) in outright war, so he uses these other tactics (like election interference) to keep the West on edge. Plus, as a Cold War dinosaur and a tyrant, he does genuinely want those smaller countries back that broke off from the Soviet Union not so long ago.

      • Binge-y says:

        Yes, I hope Biden and European leaders keeping building the pressure on the oligarchs. Freeze accounts and seize some yachts! Putin only deals with the power brokers, doesn’t care how many citizens he has to send to the front lines.

    • Tiffany:) says:

      Sanctions only work when they’re in place. Trump lifted them in 2018. He’s also said Putin’s actions in Ukraine were a great idea.

  8. North of Boston says:

    The “better Russian than Democrat” swag GOP folks we’re wearing at rallies, conventions and the July 4 Congressional Republican Party bus to Moscow gives a sense of GOP values. They have many outlets for expressing their true anti-American, anti-Democrats, anti-Democracy core.

    This invasion is awful. It’s hard to have peace when those in power are greedy for money, stuff and chaos.

  9. Sonishka says:

    im from Slovakia and the tension can be felt across my country too. we had a Russian occupation here even though i luckilly only remember the tanks leaving the country in the late 80’s when I was a child. i cant believe that in todays day and age, there are still evil dictators that can do this and this is happening just next door to us. there s people at border with Ukraine fleeing to Slovakia already. i feel for them😔 no one should ever experience this. thinking of Syria, Libanon and so many other countries destroyed… when will this end 😭😭😭 and here l am , when i thought the world will finally get back to normal after pandemics.

    • g says:

      I am Hungarian, living in the US. I am terrified for my family still living there and for Ukrainians on the ground.

  10. Emily says:

    Wasn’t Trump impeached over Ukraine? He was under Putin’s thumb his entire presidency and likely made Russia’s invasion possible. Ukraine is unprepared.

    Don’t even get me started on Tucker Carlson’s pathetic “is Putin so bad” rant. He basically assured Republicans that as long as it doesn’t personally affect their ability to be racist, they should allow Ukrainians to suffer. And simultaneously they’ll claim, that if Putin is bad it’s the Dems fault. #disgusted

    • goofpuff says:

      This tells me where the Republican donors come from. Russia.

    • aang says:

      Tucker’s “at least Putin doesn’t eat dogs” line was so incredibly racist. I just can’t anymore. My mother in law fled east germany before the wall went up. Her mother and siblings were left behind. She went decades not being able to see them. Now she’s a Putin apologist because that’s what she hears on Fox.

  11. TSY says:

    American in Germany here (non-military).
    Everybody is in complete shock. We knew it was coming, but hoped that it wouldn’t happen. The tension is felt everywhere and nail biting about whats going to happen next. At least Germany has come out stating that they will help with refugees fleeing. However what came as a shock was NATO directly coming out today with plans to increase defence around Ukraine – not yet in the country itself. This is what scares us (friends and family) the most is if NATO is coming out with this directly on the day of invasion, what do they know that the public doesn’t yet?

  12. terra says:

    I’m usually not this person, as I like to choose my words as carefully as possible, and I’m not sure this will get through moderation, but here goes anyway:

    If Putin were the dictatorial, strongman leader of a Middle Eastern country and he ordered the invasion a neighboring, friendly to the US country, the Republicans would be among the first to scream for his head and yell about how he must be stopped at all costs, less democracy die on our watch.

    If the other side can start to say “the quiet part” out loud and let their racism fly free, then our side can point out the hypocrisy of it all when they stay quiet while innocent people die.

    • FancyPants says:

      Yep, it’s all pretty simple when you lay it out like that.

    • Chaine says:

      I totally agree with you. Adding, my social media is full of friends and family shocked about the bombings, photos of bloodied civilians and buildings on fire, but when our own country did the exact same thing in Iraq and the Middle East, resulting in hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths, U.S. media did not show such images and our citizenry cheered on the military offensives.

    • Sal says:

      Their misguided sense of white supremacy inspired them to align with Putin during the Trump years and to support a violent insurrection against the capitol (because we dared to count the votes in “Detroit,” “Philly,” etc.).

      The GOP used to hide behind the cloak of plausible deniability when it came to their white supremacist inclinations. Not after Trump. It’s almost completely out in the open now.

      They really don’t have any ideas for moving the country forward. So they rely on the promise of keeping minorities or women in their place. It’s sick.

  13. Miranda says:

    I think I can say, without hyperbole, that this is Hitler-esque behavior on Putin’s part. This is Hitler and the Nazis being bitter about how history went down, and marching into Paris to take what they believed should’ve been theirs. And it’s f–king chilling. And Putin is not a man who will settle for “just” Ukraine. He wants to take back other former Soviet states, too, including those who have already joined NATO.

    I have read that his actions do not have overwhelming popular support in Russia, but does that matter in a country that so efficiently stamps out dissent, at home and abroad, and has little regard for human rights? How could they possibly express their views?

    I am so scared for Ukraine right now.

  14. Hannah says:

    Putin can’t come back from this (in terms of relationship to the west) and he is very calculated. So he may understand that he has a very good outlook resulting from these actions. He may believe that he only has to wait a few years and then trump or someone similar to him will be in power, and he will have everything his way. And he isn’t wrong.

    • Cee says:

      Which is why it’s time to truly stop him.

    • observer says:

      I completely agree with you, Hannah.

    • LaraW” says:

      Putin HAS come back from doing things we thought he wouldn’t/couldn’t get away with. Assassinating Russians in the UK? Annexing of Crimea? Manipulating US elections?

      He doesn’t have to take all of Ukraine— he can just take a large chunk of it in exhange for withdrawing troops. I don’t think this is war— I think it’s about slicing away a large part of Ukraine and absorbing it into Russia.

      • Anne says:

        …and installing a puppet “president” that is 100% loyal to him, like he did with Lukashenko in Belarus. Following Russian orders like a dog. I seriously fear for Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s life.

  15. A n B fn says:

    Good morning all. I’m serious in asking this question, why is this dictator, Putin, taking over Ukraine? Also, I remember when everyone in this country comes together when there is a major event, eg threat of war, the World Trade Center disaster, ect. We Americans would support whoever the president is, from which ever party. Now I’m hearing Americans siding with Putin. What the “F” is happening here.

    • Hannah says:

      There has been a huge infiltration using social media by Russia to undermine the social fabric of America. He knows there’s nothing he can do that would bring the American people together and so he is acting now to make his play to take over.

      • observer says:

        Yes. Especially during the 2016 elections, Russians hugely influenced that outcome, even though they weren’t wholly responsible. They have massive social media tactics and Trump or someone like Trump is the perfect buddy/puppet/fall guy to have as a President with Russia around. It can happen again.

        I’m sure they tried it in 2020, and the only reason Biden is president is that enough people went ‘we need anyone but Trump’. But the Biden presidency could easily open up an opportunity for Russians to manipulate our elections in their favor again.

        Biden won’t do shit against Russia unless WW3 starts, but of course Russians want a Republican as our president, it’s much more convenient for them to have someone they can directly control, which was the case with Trump.

    • superashes says:

      Honestly, I don’t think anyone has a good answer. Some people have posited that he thinks a successful west-leaning democracy on his border is a risk to his overall authority in Russia (where they can control the television, but its hard to combat an in-your-face neighbor whose citizens are faring well in a freer society). Others think he is motivated by a desire to resurrect the USSR.

      My pet theory is that he thought he could put strain on NATO to weaken it, and has basically painted himself into a really bad corner because he miscalculated Germany’s response to simply terminate Nordstream 2 rather than waffle. A NATO waffle is what I think he was ultimately after, because that is his runway to bolster his sphere of influence in the former USSR.

      Under all circumstances, Putin can’t really back down now without some sort of significant carrot and save face. He has to either seize some space in Ukraine and call it a victory and quickly leave, or go full fore and take the homeland political heat and economic loss that will follow. Either way, the monetary sanctions are going to be a huge problem for him because they hit at the seat of his power, which are the kleptocracy and the Duma and others.

      As for what is happening here, there has been a years long slide in a faction of the republican party to support “strongmen” and what they perceive as a right to take by force. Not all republicans, just a faction. You can best see the split when comparing Fox News to Mitch McConnell. It is a fault line that splits along the same edges as the Conservative/Trumpism split. That is the origin of the pro-Russia nonsense. They view it as an opening for their ability to do the same. Mainstream Republicans are toeing the line between avoiding Trumpism, while also not giving Biden much credit for what has been a pretty brilliant performance thus far.

      • goofpuff says:

        Russia is most likely one of the big donors to the Republican party much like how they are in the other right wing parties in Europe.

      • Sienna says:

        A “pretty brilliant performance” by Biden? Really? Please give specific examples of this, b/c, though I voted for him (only to be rid of Trump) I don’t think that, overall, Biden has even begun to do this country any good.

    • Truthiness says:

      It’s simple. Putin wants to put the USSR back together. For example he told GW Bush that Ukraine is not a country. So anybody who used to be part of the USSR is in danger. He had to strike before the Ukraine joined NATO. When he strikes a NATO country then we’ll be at war. My heart ❤ is with all of eastern europe, you never deserved this.

    • liz says:

      It seems unlikely that he can/will actually stay in Ukraine and run it as a puppet state or manage to re-establish some form of the USSR. He just doesn’t have the resources to pull it off. Underpaid conscripts aren’t going to do well against a network of local guerrillas, fighting to protect their homes, who are funded and equipped from abroad (see – the US in Vietnam). As long as the Polish and Romanian borders with Ukraine stay open, they can keep fighting. Putin can destroy individuals and smaller resistance movements, but you can’t assassinate your way out of a guerrilla war on the scale of what’s likely to come in Ukraine.

      What he can and will be able to accomplish is a substantial destruction of the Ukrainian infrastructure and government. That will so thoroughly destabilize the country that it will take decades for a strong, stable, state with a democratically elected government to emerge from the ashes, if it ever happens. So any threat to his power from that corner is completely gone.

  16. souperkay says:

    Fascism only goes one way, violence. Putin is both a dictator and simultaneously controlled & beholden to all the oligarchs he created through his fascist dictatorship. Part of it is just Putin the dictator, part of it is crushing democracy so he can continue fascism, part of it is that he needs the natural resources of Ukraine to continue to have things to offer all the billionaires he’s made.

    Getting rid of Putin by hook or crook will not change the situation in Russia. There have been oligarchs feeding at the trough of fascism for too long.

    Fascism only goes one way, repression through violence, creating a permanent current of fear so too must the world respond whenever it pops up again and again. Fascist concede nothing, as we already know, they have to be wholly defeated.

  17. Lizzie Bathory says:

    I am so terrified for Ukrainians right now. President Biden, NATO & the EU have been doing a good job thus far at being firm but also refusing to fall into any traps to make it look like they were the aggressors.

    There’s a mad desperation about Putin at this point. His press conference this week where he forced his (visibly deflated) inner circle to sign off on this was bizarre. It’s like he’s on a suicide mission. He’s invading another country like Hitler did in 1939, but mentally, he’s like Hitler in 1944–weak, unstable with everyone around him scared to tell the truth. My question is, how long will the oligarchs tolerate this?

    • Stacey Dresden says:

      Praying for my ancestral homeland. I am horrified and can’t sleep.

    • Nope says:

      They’ll tolerate just fine. Because if they don’t, it will suddenly turn out that the ones who are less than stalwart in their support are corrupt. Who knew?! Then there will be a state trial, they’ll be jailed, and their entire fortune will be confiscated. If they are even less lucky, a close family will meet untimely coincidental ends.

      Putin has done this numerous times. Remember awhile back when a member of his inner circle tried to run against Putin’s hand-chosen candidate for President? The state-run news channel asked him directly if he felt that Putin might consider this an insult, and he said no, he and Putin had been friends for many years and this was just part of democracy. Then his son died in a car crash and he disappeared for about a month, came back looking absolutely haggard and dropped out of the race. Then within two years he was imprisoned and had lost his entire fortune. Two other oligarchs who had supported him also went to prison and lost their fortunes, and a third apologized publicly and Putin gave a speech accepting the apology and basically indicating that the guy was going to get to keep his money.

      They don’t pull his strings. The man uses poison and throws people out of windows.

  18. LaraW” says:

    Putin has always made his ambitions clear: to restore the Soviet Union. That starts with the invasion of Ukraine, which Russia has always seen as part of the country—and historically, it was part of the Russian Empire for centuries. This was the perfect time for him to strike.

    1. The United States is greatly weakened as an opposition to Russia. Republicans unabashedly support Russia and any military action against Russia needs to be approved by Congress. The deadlock in DC is detrimental in a swift and united response.

    The United States has demonstrated weakened military capacity during its withdrawal of Afghanistan. China already tested the power of US resolve and military strength with their exercise in Taiwan.

    2. The historical special relationship between the US and UK has been damaged and the UK, once a global financial powerhouse, is in shambles. Johnson’s leadership has been a disaster. The alliance with the EU is broken due to the acrimonious Brexit negotiations.

    3. Russia is in a position of relative economic strength. They’ve successfully leveraged gas as a threat to the EU before and continue to play that card. Inflation is rising, supply chains have been disrupted; the last time we faced this threat, the global economy was doing well and Europe could (arguably) afford to take the hit in increased fuel prices.

    4. Putin has been testing this threat of an invasion of Ukraine for years. They’ve been waging cyber warfare with Ukraine well before 2016 and god only knows the toll it’s taken on Ukraine’s infrastructure and social fabric.

    5. Covid.

    If there ever was a time to strike, it’s now. Putin’s put years into playing and perfecting international politics— including international war games. I don’t know what kind of intelligence wars and cyber attacks have been going on beneath the surface, but Russia’s long campaigns collecting data on the US have most definitely borne fruit.

    Trump was Putin’s big break, giving him opportunity to lay out a lot of groundwork to finally pull this off.

    • observer says:

      All of these are great points. Unfortunately.

    • Lizzie Bathory says:

      I actually think Biden pulled us out of Afghanistan because it was a military black hole. There was never going to be a “win.” And I think he was signaling at the time that we would be freeing up our military resources to confront the Russian threat that was clearly growing. The Russian economy is in shambles. Their stock market tanked this week when it looked like war was imminent & their inflation levels are high.

      Putin has been very successful at stoking division in the US, but I think he miscalculated with President Biden & NATO. It’s not 2014 anymore. Putin made clear this week that any country that was “allowed” to leave the former Russian empire by Lenin was illegitimate & in danger of being invaded by Russia. No one is safe from his power grab at this point, but he’s not in a position of strength. He just wants to terrorize people.

    • MrsBump says:

      Agree with points 3, 4 and 5 but i dont think the political situation in the US ( or the UK weigh )as much as a lot of people here think , or Putin would have launched this attack during the Trump era.
      One of the major reasons why Putin is emboldened, is that Russia has never had better relationships with China as they do now, and notably China is the only major power not to have spoken against this invasion. If Putin does not sell this gas to EU, China will take it up, so Putin has the upper hand, they have even performed military trainings together.

    • Nathalie says:

      Regarding number 2: Yes, obviously there has been tensions and vast disagreements between the UK and EU, however, this is not about fishing rights. Russia threatens the core values of the EU; Europe knows best the horror of WWII and will stand united against it. We have right-winged extremist lunatics too, granted, but I trust the European politicians to face this war standing together.

      China is a bit of a wild card. Yes, China and Russia are allies, as they share the same concerns regarding NATO and the West in general. But China needs Russia as a partner in negotiations and shaping the world under the UN – and right now, as much as Putin is destabilizing Europe, he’s also going down a path he cannot return. Putin will be useless as a peaceful ally, so China may come to the conclusion, even if they do not sanction and condemn Russia, that a less supportive and more neutral stand might be beneficial. Or they just invade Taiwan.

      But as of now, I don’t think we see how China plays out.

  19. Amber says:

    Idk why people say they don’t know what Putin wants. As soon as you learn a little about his background and his history, you know that he thinks the dissolution of the Soviet Union is the worst event in human history. He was a young KGB officer in Dresden when the USSR collapsed. Angry protesters came to the gates of his building. Ready to break in. He called Moscow for directions, for help.
    Moscow was silent.
    Putin has lived the rest of his life in the shadow of that moment.
    So, his goal is clear: to put the USSR back together again. He is starting with Ukraine for a variety of reasons, some of which are his own delusions and some of which are shrewdly strategic (Ukraine is basically the bread basket of the world).
    My heart is with the many civilians now fleeing their homes because of the wrath of a madman. The Ukrainian people did not ask for this.
    I do think Biden has done a good job trying to unify the Western response to this.

  20. Desdemona says:

    Portuguese here… Always thought things wouldn’t reach this point…
    My Ukrainian students are horrified and fearful for their families…


  21. Laura says:

    Dictators seem to get more desperate and as they age, and a desperate man is a dangerous man. Putin knows this is a suicide mission but firmly believes he has secured enough aces up his sleeve to avoid his demise.
    I’m not sure if China will fill in the financial gaps due to all the sanctions, but Putin is on a mission to conquor at all cost. Even their Opposition Leader Alexi Nalvany still sits in prision and conveniently has a court hearing in the midst of all this.
    I’m heartbroken and pray to God that this madness comes to an end immediately.

  22. serena says:

    What’s happening is absolutely terrifying. Putin is a fascist dictator, It’s clear wha he wants, more power and he wants the URSS back.. at any cost. The lies he spouting as if the whole world doesn’t know of his true motives just enrage me.
    And I agree with a comment I saw above, fascism always goes one way..the worst.

  23. Sean says:

    I highly recommend reading Bill Browser’s “Red Notice”. He’s an American financer who went to Russia in the 90s because it was a largely untapped market internationally speaking. Browser would go on to become a human rights activist and campaigned for what would become the Magnitsky Act – the economic sanctions passed by the Obama Administration that put a serious strain on Russia’s oligarchs (Putin’s backers). The same sanctions Trump sought to overturn.

    In his book, Browser detailed how once he came into power, Putin used his position to extort Russia’s oligarchs. He has most of them over a barrel. That’s why no one has tried to get rid of him

    The GOP and false Dems like Tulsi Gabbard praise Putin because he either pays them off or blackmails them.

    Remember, Russia hacked the email servers for both the DNC and RNC. They leaked the DNC’s emails (butter emails) but not the RNC. I’d wager Putin has most of the GOP over a barrel as well.

  24. olliesmom says:

    My phone went off on Friday night with an emergency message because we had snow squalls in the area and there was a weather warning issued. When I heard it go off it scared me the hell out of me. I did not think of the weather. The first thing that I thought was that the war had started and we were being put on alert here in the US. I was in my late teens and twenties through the 80’s and remember the real fear of nuclear attack and the tensions with Russia at the time and Saint Ronny in the Whitehouse and this is bringing it all back again.

    Don’t forget Putin was KGB and he was very good at his job. He’s brutal and has been trained to not give up and get whatever he needs without remorse or regret at any means possible. Putin has been planning this for a long time and everything has fallen into place for him. Of course he’s had help. He helped someone and then in turn they helped him. Hmmmm I wonder who that someone is?

    • SomeChick says:

      “Saint” Ronnie started in motion a lot of the troubles the US is experiencing now, so you can miss me with that.

      your “Saint” Ronnie helped to demolish the social safety net. he unleashed the banksters and wall street wolves who shredded my retirement account, because he believed that somehow corporations would act right without being required to do so. he oversaw the dismantling of mental health care, which increased homelessness for people who couldn’t fend for themselves. he slow walked action on HIV and AIDS.

      he is the reason so many of us are suffering now. him and Maggie Thatcher, and the right wing oligarchs and their mindless, selfish base.

      the only thing making Regan look better at ALL is that y’all elected Trump. and now we are seeing the results of Trump cozying up to Putin and his fascist bullshit. FEH on Ronnie, the Bushes, and every Republican. FEH.

  25. Tashiro says:

    Shocked and saddened as well. My co-worker has a very good friend who lives in Ukraine, outside of Kiev I believe. They have been communicating using whats app. Of course her friend woke up to bombing and sirens this morning like everyone else. Apparently she does have options but is staying put for now. She lives in a high rise so that concerns her. What really pisses me off about Putin (I know the list is long) is his sycophants here in the US and saying he’s a strong and calling Biden weak. Putin is weak, he knows Ukraine is no threat to Russia but I believe they are a threat to him personally. His fragile ego can’t stand to see Ukraine doing well economically and otherwise. So he wants to cripple them as much as possible. He doesn’t want the Russian people to see that there is a potentially more prosperous nation with many more freedoms right next door. I also feel he’s been angry for the last eight years because the Ukrainian people kicked out his puppet. One more thing I never thought I would see the day that some Americans would glorify Russia as they declare war on another country totally unprovoked. These Trump a-holes are really something. All I can do is pray for Ukraine and it’s people but I know potentially many will die and that breaks my heart. All this is a testament to one man being a piece of s**t.

  26. Cee says:

    Multiple news sources are saying Russian soldiers are trying to take over Chernobyl and if they do and set it off, the dust will most likely settle all over Europe.
    I think I might throw up. This is madness.

    • AlpineWitch says:

      If it’s any (minor) consolation, my husband was part of the engineering project that years ago replaced the ‘cap’ on the core, it’s so strong that they’d need a nuclear missile to blast it into pieces, which means that Russia would be a nuclear wasteland too.

      I hate Putin and I think he’s an evil fascist nazi but I don’t think he’s that stupid.

  27. Katherine says:

    Thank you for covering this, it’s atrocious. I’m Ukrainian and apparently will now have to become a refugee (I took my family and got out of the country a few days ago as things were getting very grim), it’s heartbreaking, outrageous, and unprovoked. Millions of innocent civilians are in danger, this is insane and disgusting.

  28. Tiffany:) says:

    It seems like just yesterday people were applauding Cardi B for saying she didn’t support NATO. Oh wait, it WAS yesterday.

  29. Andrews_Nemesis says:

    There’s a Ukraine/Russian invasion thread on Tattle where you can support Ukranians, and Baltic states; learn how to donate; and discuss Putin’s sociopathic foreign policy. Well worth a visit, and so important to show solidarity. #IStandWithUkraine

  30. Luna17 says:

    I’m so heartbroken for the free world and of course especially Ukraine and surrounding areas. I’m so embarrassed and ashamed the former POS US president is praising Putin. Putin is a monster and I wish a heart attack or poisoning on him daily. Im really struggling today and I live on the other side of the world. Seeing the photos of Ukraine cities being bombed and civilians fleeing is heartbreaking. I feel helpless and despair. Im sick of angry, entitled men running the world and being cowards who hide behind armies of lower class people who are forced to do their dirty work. Trump and Putin are cowards and everyday I hope they just die.

  31. Jaded says:

    Unfortunately, when Belarus asked for assistance from Russia to restore order after the huge street protests in 2020, Putin had a perfect military staging post close to Ukraine’s largest cities, Kyiv and Kharkiv. Then when Viktor Medvedchuk was charged with treason and placed under house arrest, President Zelenskyy targeted his pro-Russian TV stations and ramped up efforts to counter Kremlin’s influence and began a renewed push for NATO membership, red flags for Putin.

    Putin was also aware that Ukraine’s young democracy was not the most politically or economically stable, and that Zelenskyy’s popularity was on the wane, especially given the fact that he hadn’t been able to resolve the war issue as he’d promised on the campaign trail. Putin could paint the leader as a failure and as an example of the flaws of democracy. He’s accused the Ukraine of “bullying and genocide by the Kyiv regime” and says he just wants to demilitarize and “de-nazify” Ukraine, but not occupy it. Well we all know this is nothing more than chest-thumping and posturing, and a cover for his anti-NATO beliefs.

    Putin is hell-bent on wrecking the post-Cold War agreement in Europe, maybe even evicting the U.S. from Europe entirely, repealing the gains the West made after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

    I’m afraid not just for the Ukraine but for all of Eastern and Western Europe, the dogs of war have been unleashed.

  32. EllenOlenska says:

    1. Anyone wonder why this was also the launch week for Trumps new social site to replace all the sites that banned him?
    2 what happens when Putin decides he wants East Germany back too? ( not saying this invasion of Ukraine isn’t horrifying enough all on its own…)

    • Truthiness says:

      When/if Russia comes for East Germany, the US will be at war.100%. Any NATO country. It’s time for a big push for gas alternatives so the world doesn’t need anything Russia has.

      • Desdemona says:

        This… Europe fell asleep for some reason. We have to start remilitarizing the EU, and also become practically independent from any foreign entity… Whether it’s gas or wheat…. In my country, poorer people rely deeply in bread to survive (sad but true) and Ukraine is one of the biggest wheat producer in Europe.
        All the food prices are going to increase. Not just gas or oil…
        The food… In countries with very low minimum wages, poor people are about to suffer much more…. 🙁

    • Nathalie says:

      Putin so much as put a toe over the border of Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, or Norway and it’s WWIII.

      He doesn’t even need to go to Germany, per terms of the agreement, if one NATO country is attacked, the others come to the defense.

      And, the more west Putin goes, the more resistance from the people he meets.

  33. CDawg says:

    I make Keepsake Bears and had a request to make a bear for a father being deployed (Canada) out of his son’s baby sleepers so he could take it with him. The whole time I was making it I just couldn’t stop thinking about all of this. A friend from when I was in army reserves is on the to go list which I found out from his wife this morning. I can’t even imagine the worry they have and I especially can’t imagine the horror that the Ukrainian citizens are facing right now. This is heartbreaking.

    • Sienna says:

      It’s not just Ukrainians I feel and fear for, but innocent Russians as well. I have several Russian friends and they are horrified at their country’s behavior, and fearful for Ukrainians, as well as for their own families and friends. Let’s not vilify all Russians, please; most are civilians who had no say in this attack.

      • Anna says:

        My husband’s grandma is Russian. She’s been crying for two days now. This is Putin’s war, not Russians’.

  34. Justplainme says:

    For Catholics; At Fatima, Our Lady ended her initial message in May with the direction, “Pray the Rosary every day in order to obtain peace for the world and the end of the war.”

  35. MsGnomer says:

    Remember Winston Churchill had the UK set an intention every night at 6pm to defeat the Nazi’s in WWII? Prayers and intentions work. Hold the world in your hearts and push back the fear caused by this greedy KGB agent. I know I sound like a lunatic, but your thoughts do matter.

  36. someChick says:

    I’m from Romania, border country for Ukraine. If there are people here who need help to flee to Ro via the border, pls reply. There are hotels and govt shelters close the border, i can provide some contacts.
    I never thought we would live this day. It is beyond words. The fear, horror. Have friends in Kiev, they couldn t left the city.. Here in Romania, although we’re in Nato, there’s an eerie feeling that it’s not getting better soon. Countries were still “condeming” the invasion, while the second strike hit Ukraine. The West is too slow and too forgiving.