UPDATED 10:16 AM PT – Wednesday, March 9, 2022
Top State Department and Intelligence officials of Joe Biden’s administration are trying to shuffle the blame of the Ukraine crisis solely on Russian President Vladimir Putin.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs, Victoria Nuland painted Putin as an irrational actor who’s stirring up international conflict because of historic grievances and geopolitical ambitions. She also affirmed the Biden administration is doing everything it can to help out Ukraine by sending it military and humanitarian aid as well as issuing sanctions against the Russian regime.
“We are providing urgently needed humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and its neighbors,” said Nuland. ” Working with the government of Ukraine, UN agencies, humanitarian organizations and European partners, the United States is providing food, medicine, hygiene supplies, health care and protection services, shelter support and other assistance.”
However, several Republicans in the upper chamber demurred Nuland’s analysis. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) stressed several U.S. partners in the eastern bloc region warned Biden of Russian aggression if Putin was left unchecked. Cruz added, when the Senate met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky last week, the former comedian lamented if Biden sanctioned Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline last year then Putin would never have invaded.
Meanwhile in front of the House Intelligence Committee, CIA Director William Burns claimed Putin has miscalculated his assessment of Ukraine. Burn’s comments come as Russian military officials are reportedly growing frustrated with the resistance in Ukraine. Additionally, the U.S., U.K. and other western countries are coming together to aid Ukraine and sanction Russia.
“I think he is far more insulated from other points of view and people who would challenge or question his views,” Burns stated. “In my opinion, that doesn’t make him crazy, but it makes him extremely difficult to deal with because of the hardening of his views over time and the narrowing of his inner circle.”
Director of National Intelligence, Avril Haines went on to warn Russia is still a threat to U.S. national security on several fronts. She added, Russia is still a rival to America in the space race and is a massive cyber security threat.
“Using its intelligence services, proxies and wide-ranging influence tools, the Russian government seeks to not only pursue its own interests, but also to divide Western alliances, undermine U.S. global standing, amplify discord inside the United States and influence U.S. voters and decision making,” Haines explained.
In the meantime, the intelligence officials believe Russian leaders will continue to push on with their invasion and fear the next few weeks will be ugly.
Undersecretary Nuland said the U.S. has increased its military presence in Poland, the Baltic region and several other countries neighboring Ukraine should fighting spill out to its formal military allies. Additionally, both chambers of Congress and the White House have come together on a $14 billion aid package for Ukraine.