Retired Lt. General on Kyiv strikes: Putin is desperate

(NewsNation) — Russia unleashed strikes against multiple Ukrainian cities Monday. One of the missiles that hit the capital Kyiv killed at least eight people and hurt at least 24, according to preliminary information.

The hourslong attack does not surprise Retired Lt. General Richard Newton. He says it’s an indication that Russian President Vladimir Putin “is desperate” at the moment.

“He has been brutal, and he’s been direct. He’s tried now to create chaos and terror back again to Ukrainian civilians with what my sources tell me were 84 long-range missile attacks into Kyiv just a few hours or so ago,” Newton said Monday while appearing on NewsNation’s “Rush Hour.”

Concerns have grown about Putin escalating his tactics, and Newton believes there’s reason to be alarmed.

“What we’re going to see now because of this desperate situation we find him in, he’s going to lash out against civilian targets not only in Kyiv but in other parts of Ukraine because things are not going well for him from a military standpoint but also from a political standpoint, both internal to Russia as well as external. So, he’s going to lash out,” Newton explained.

Could Putin’s position in the war potentially serve as a catalyst for Russia to use nuclear weapons? Newton insists it’s part of the Putin playbook.

“Nuclear weapons, especially tactical nuclear weapons, in this case, which is a smaller scale use of nuclear weapons, is part of the Russian playbook. But I believe that is fairly remote. However, we have to pay very close attention to that because use of nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction such as chemical or biological are part of the Putin and the Russian playbook. … I don’t foresee that happening, but we’ve got to be prepared. It’s almost as if it’s a known unknown that he would use this,” Newton said.

Newton said Putin feels backed up against a wall, and while civilian strikes are immoral, Monday’s attack shows he will go to whatever lengths he feels he needs to in the war against Ukraine that’s approaching the eight-month mark.

The strikes came after Putin called Saturday’s explosion on a bridge linking Russia to the annexed territory of Crimea a “terrorist act” by Ukrainian special services. Monday’s attack on Ukraine happened just a few hours before Putin was scheduled to meet with his security council.

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