Alexander Vindman Issues Urgent Call To Arm Ukraine

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As the Russian invasion of Ukraine drags on, ret. Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman — who is originally from Ukraine but has long since been a resident of the United States — is continuing to speak out in support of Ukraine’s people and in opposition to the Russian invaders. Russian forces have been attacking civilians in Ukraine, and thousands have already died, in addition to the hundreds of thousands who have fled the country. Nearly three dozen people died in residential areas of the Ukrainian city of Chernihiv after Russian forces struck there on Thursday, The Kyiv Independent reported, and that horrifying development marked just a single juncture of the rapidly developing devastation.

In a conversation with reporter Jane Coaston that was shared through The New York Times, Vindman — who specialized in policy areas related to Eastern Europe while serving on the National Security Council — predicted that repercussions from the violence in Ukraine would culminate in Putin’s downfall. As Vindman put it:

‘You make decisions based on assumptions. A fundamental assumption was that the Ukrainians would roll over. A fundamental assumption was that the West would be weak in its response. A fundamental assumption would be that the Russian population would take it, because security services and repression of dissent. Those are three massive, massive miscalculations… And I think this is the beginning of the end of Vladimir Putin. What we haven’t started to bake in yet, and what the Russian public hasn’t started to bake in, is this devastating human toll. This is the fact that Ukrainian cities are being bombarded. Civilians are being killed. And if, in fact, there are 4,500 Russian dead and those body bags start coming back, or mothers start to ask about their children, that’s going to be untenable. That is going to cause shockwaves in Russia. It’s an earthquake for Russia that potentially reformats Russia in a different direction.’

Russians have already been demonstrating against the violence, with thousands of arrests by Russian authorities recorded. Protests have also been seen in Belarus, whose authoritarian leader has been supporting Putin’s ambitions in the Ukraine conflict — and where there have also been arrests. Russian officials have not admitted to the thousands of casualties on their side that have been claimed by Ukrainians, but Western officials have actually at least tentatively supported the Ukrainian claims. As reporter Josh Lederman explained this week, “Two Western officials tell [NBC News] that ~5,800 Russians have been killed, but the numbers are very hard to pin down. One US official says estimates range from 500 to 5,000.” Meanwhile, on Twitter this Thursday, Vindman also spoke of the push to effectively shore up Ukraine’s defenses, asking for combat drones to be sent for Ukrainian personnel. Check out his posts on the matter below: