(NewsNation) — With a mindset of “grievance and ambition,” Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine, thinking it would go smoothly for him, with little resistance, according to CIA Director William Burns.
But now that it’s not, Putin is reportedly left angry and embarrassed, sparking concerns from the U.S. intelligence community that he may turn up the aggression in Ukraine to try and grind down any resistance.
“When it comes to Russia, it’s clear that Vladimir Putin is going to continue on the action that he’s on until he is forced to pay a price that he did not calculate. Ukrainians have started to do that,” NewsNation’s Leland Vittert said on “Morning in America.” “He certainly did not calculate the number of dead Russian soldiers there were going to be, the amount of bad publicity there was going to be, the way the international community in the world was going to coalesce around Ukraine and tell their story.”
Russia has largely been isolated from the outside world, with global leaders putting sanctions on it and its leaders, and businesses, entertainment companies and news outlets all withdrawing from the country to some degree.
According to intelligence officials, Putin is isolating as well: Burns said Putin has created a system within the Kremlin in which his own circle of advisers is growing narrower and narrower.
“Putin is unlikely to be deterred by such setbacks and instead may escalate the conflict, essentially doubling down,” U.S. Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines said.
Fears of Putin’s escalation have prompted lawmakers to urge the U.S. to get weapons into the hands of Ukrainian fighters as soon as possible.
“The United States needs to be working with our NATO allies, particularly Poland, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, to be providing Ukraine with aircraft, with anti-air, anti-tank, drone, counter-drone equipment,” Democratic Rep. Jake Auchincloss of Massachusetts said.
He also said the Biden administration should find a way to get Ukrainians the fighter jets they’ve been desperately asking for.
Some members of Congress are skeptical of this happening, though.
Indiana U.S. Rep. Victoria Spartz, a Republican, says there’s no time to waste
“Unfortunately, our government has not been known for being quick,” she said. “Hopefully, people understand that actions are more important than talk.”
Over the past few days, Russian forces have targeted hospitals and civilian areas, confirming what the intelligence community has been warning about.
There have been calls for investigations into Putin and the Russian military in the past, after their use of chemical weapons.
Vittert, however, said these likely won’t faze the Russian president, a man who was trained by the Lubyanka prison, which was the headquarters to the KGB. These prisons used to have gutters in the bottom of the basement that were specifically put in because there was so much blood from all of the executions, Vittert said.
“The threat of Lubyanka, the threat of justice by Russian means, if you will, is far, far worse than any kind of war crimes tribunal at The Hague or war crimes investigation,” Vittert said, adding that in comparison, these are “akin to a traffic ticket.” “The idea that somehow the threat of a war crimes investigation will mean anything to the Russians probably shows a real fundamental misunderstanding of what motivates them.”