Putin Allies Ditch Him In Droves As Ukraine Disaster Unfolds

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A selection of world leaders with previous ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin have openly distanced themselves from the authoritarian leader over his attack on Ukraine. As recapped by Axios, ‘Czech President Milos Zeman and Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban, both historically strong pro-Russian voices in the European Union, condemned the affront as “an unprovoked act of aggression.”‘ (That latter portion of the quote draws from remarks that Zeman offered about the situation.) Zeman added, in apparent clear reference to Putin, that it’s “necessary to isolate a lunatic and not just to defend ourselves by words but also by deeds,” calling for punishing economic measures like the removal of Russia from the SWIFT banking system, which facilitates international transactions.

Pavel Rychetsky, the chief judge at the Constitutional court in the Czech Republic, said that Putin should be put on trial at the International Criminal Court for “an unprecedented unleashing of war on the European continent for the first time since World War II.” Elsewhere, Hungary’s Orban added that “together with our European Union and NATO allies, we condemn Russia’s military action,” and his country’s Foreign Minister Peter Szijijarto continued: “Hungary’s position is clear: we stand by Ukraine, we stand by Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.” Outside of Europe, the generally Russia-aligned nation of Kazakhstan has also been reported to have declined a request for its military personnel to participate in the Russian attack on Ukraine, which remains ongoing this weekend. Even Chinese authorities have declined to offer full-fledged support for Putin’s actions; the country abstained from voting on a recent United Nations Security Council resolution condemning Russia’s actions against Ukraine.

In the U.S., authorities have announced hundreds of millions of dollars worth of additional military aid for Ukraine, bringing the total amount of military assistance provided to Ukraine under the Biden administration up to $1 billion. The aid, Reuters explained, “included anti-armor, small arms, body armor and various munitions in support of Ukraine’s front-line defenders.” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has remained in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, as Russian invaders have targeted the city — and so far, Ukrainian personnel have been able to keep the Russians from taking over the capital area, but deadly fighting between Ukrainian and Russian personnel is continuing.