(Joshua Paladino, Headline USA) Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley said it is “possible” that Russian President Vladimir Putin decided to invade Ukraine because he saw President Joe Biden’s weakness and incompetence in the withdrawal from Afghanistan.
“From the intelligence I’ve read, it’s not clear,” Milley said at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on April 7. “I think it certainly is possible, but I also know that Putin had aims on Ukraine long before the end of the war in Afghanistan.”
During more than two decades in leadership, Putin had refrained from claiming that Ukraine belongs to the Russia, but he maintained that Ukraine could not join the European Union or NATO without provoking a military response.
Before the invasion, Putin said that Ukraine rightly belongs to Russia.
Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn. asked the question that prompted Milley’s response.
Blackburn followed up: “I think we all know that. So he saw his opening, right?”
“Well, the forces were building up — they began to build up their force in September, October,” Milley said “So I think in order to do that, they would’ve had to have the plans and approval long before September, October.”
Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN): Did the events surrounding the US withdrawal from Afghanistan shape Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine?
— Moshe Schwartz (@YWNReporter) April 7, 2022
“If we had known in advance how strong the Ukrainians would be and how weak the Russians would be, we might have been able to preposition more equipment and had aid to the Ukrainians flow in faster, based on the assumption they had a real chance,” he said.