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Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation

“Putin is a psycho. He doesn’t need to be provoked.”
– Oleksandra Ustinova, Member of the Ukrainian Parliament

March 2, 2022 – “All Ukraine was watching Biden’s (State of the Union) speech last night. To be honest, it was a total disappointment for us.”

“Today, the whole world is watching Ukrainians being executed. We see bombs going to our civilian houses every day.”

“We see children dying every day, on the streets and in their houses, if they didn’t make it into the bomb shelter.”

“We see bombs coming to the orphanages, to the schools, and we had been promised the protection by the international community.”

“We gave up our nuclear weapons, and today when I see President Biden saying, ‘We are going to protect every inch of the NATO territory, excuse me, we have been promised the same thing when we gave up our nuclear weapons.”

Ukraine once possessed the world’s third largest arsenal of nuclear weapons following the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Ukraine signed the Budapest Memorandum in 1994 in which Britain, the United States, and Russia committed to not attacking Ukraine in exchange for Ukraine turning over its nuclear arsenal to Russia to be dismantled.

“The Russians have totally destroyed all the airports in Ukraine, (and) the majority of the roads. We are grateful for help, but we need protection in our sky.”

The Biden administration has said it will not send military aircraft to enforce a no-fly zone over Ukraine because that would amount to a direct confrontation with Russian forces.

“We had been protecting ourselves all the time, but if there is no-fly zone, if there is no dome to protect us with the air defense, we will all go down. People will literally die.”

“I don’t have a message. I have a question. What is the red line that Putin has to cross for the NATO and the US to step in?”

“We’re not asking for boots on the ground. We are asking for the no-fly zone, or the iron dome. We need the protection of the sky, so that the bombs and the missiles don’t hit our childrens garden.”

“Putin is a psycho. He doesn’t need to be provoked. We did not do anything in 2014. We did not provoke him now. He still invaded, and he is bombing the cities. He is bombing civilians.”

“Frankly speaking, I do not believe that the NATO will be protecting Poland or the Baltic countries, when Putin invades. They (NATO) will say it was a provocation from these countries, because we have been promised the same thing.”

“And talking about the sanctions, that’s what I want to point out to Americans. I’ve heard the Vice President’s speech this morning, right here in the studio, and she (Kamala Harris) was saying that you (the United States) have to protect your economy, and that’s why the energy sector is not on the sanctions.”

“Well, then we have to go and tell every American that the President of the United States is protecting them from paying an extra 20, 30 cents for a gallon of gas, and that’s why so many Ukrainians have to die.”

Vice-President Harris said that the US needs to “mitigate the impact on the American consumer” of any disruption in the global oil supply that could result from the backlash against Russia.

“We have to tell them that SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) was implemented for 7 out of 350 (Russian) banks.”

“Sanctions is a long-term tool that will bring the (Russian) economy down. If we want it fast, we need the basic protection of the sky, now.”

“And, again, if we want to do sanctions, those have to be real sanctions, with no exemptions, because so far, it is 7 out of 300 banks. This is not sanctions.”

“If we’re talking about the energy sector, this is what’s feeding Putin. This is what his main money is coming from, and there are no sanctions from the energy sector.”

Oleksandra Ustinova questioned the use of sanctions that do not include Russia’s massive oil and gas industry, the cash cow of the Russian economy.

Ukrainian Official Calls For No-Fly Zone: We Need The Protection Of The Sky

December 21, 2022 – The New York Times has published a new investigation about the start of the large-scale invasion of Ukraine. It contains a description of secret Russian documents, combat plans, interviews with Russian soldiers and Kremlin confidants. A group of reporters studied the issue that arose just months after the full-scale invasion of Ukraine: Why has Russia failed to achieve its goals in Ukraine? And also why, despite a series of shameful defeats on the frontline, Vladimir Putin is ready to continue sacrificing a large number of his soldiers and resources? This is the story.

December 21, 2022 – Former Trump Administration National Security Council Russia expert, Fiona Hill, says Vladimir Putin is as determined as ever to conquer Ukraine on his own terms and that he may see reports of Russia’s battlefield losses only as Western propaganda and disinformation. Hill told DW’s Sarah Kelly that Putin had not changed his goals of defeating Ukraine and that another ground offensive, including against the capital Kyiv is possible—even if Russian casualties continue to mount. The former top White House expert on Russia said that Putin has still “got his sights on the capitulation of Ukraine, one way or another … if he thinks having another go at Kyiv would be successful, then he will certainly try that.” Hill, who testified during Donald Trump’s first impeachment on withheld US military aid to Ukraine and Trump’s phone call with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, spoke to DW’s Sarah Kelly from Washington for Conflict Zone.

00:00 Intro
00:54 Fiona Hill Welcome
01:35 First attempt on Kyiv & threat to Zelenskyy
01:55 Putin has his sights on capitulation of Ukraine
02:14 Belarus visit with Lukashenko
02:53 Is Putin losing the war?
04:00 Putin willing to sacrifice 300,000 Russian troops
04:40 Can Russia accept loss of Crimea?
05:00 Are Ukrainian “de-occupation” goals realistic?
05:45 Russia’s claims on Ukrainian territory
06:35 US & UK responsibility to Ukraine after nuclear disarmament
07:05 Will Russian people accept a claim of victory?
08:30 Kazakhstan, Armenia, Moldova reassessing Moscow
09:30 Putin’s grip on power and infallibility
10:50 Support from China, India, South Africa
11:40 Don’t count Putin out, but ….
12:05 End of Cold War & Putin’s shifting aim
12:25 2007 Munich Security Conference 12:45 2008 Bucharest NATO summit
13:10 Ukraine doesn’t exist in Putin’s version of history
14:20 Frank-Walter Steinmeier & German trade with Russia
15:10 2014 Annexation of Crimea, World War Two & United Nations General Assembly
16:05 Vladimir Putin has declared war on the West
17:20 EU, NATO, US, Japan, South Korea & annexations
17:40 Poland, Baltic states, Scandinavia, UK understanding of Russia
18:00 US support for Ukraine as 2024 election looms
19:40 Donald Trump’s first impeachment 20:15 January 6th Committee, Trump, & Hunter Biden
21:19 Russian propaganda is gaining traction
21:45 Czar Vladimir and Russia’s Manifest Destiny
22:03 Crimea’s first annexation in 1783
23:20 Don’t give Putin what he wants
23:40 Collapse of Soviet Union
24:05 Putin has turned back clock to the Stalinist 1950s
25:25 Inflection point in European & world history

January 24, 2023 – PBS FRONTLINE investigates Russian President Vladimir Putin’s clashes with five American presidents as he’s tried to rebuild the Russian empire. Drawing on in-depth conversations with insiders from five U.S. presidential administrations, former U.S. intelligence leaders, diplomats, Russian politicians, authors and journalists, “Putin and the Presidents” reveals how the miscalculations and missteps of multiple American presidents over two decades paved the way for Putin’s attack on Ukraine — as seen through the eyes of people who were in the room. The documentary traces how, prior to launching the war on Ukraine, Putin tested the waters by defying American presidents for 20 years — including by invading Georgia, seizing Crimea, and interfering in a U.S. presidential election.

The documentary provides unique insight into the icy relationship between Putin and current U.S. President Joe Biden, both of whom were shaped by the Cold War, and into the evolution of Putin’s grievances with the U.S. and the West. As Russia’s war on Ukraine continues, “Putin and the Presidents” gives essential context for this historic moment. “Putin and the Presidents” is a FRONTLINE production with the Kirk Documentary Group. The director is Michael Kirk. The producers are Michael Kirk, Mike Wiser and Vanessa Fica. The writers are Michael Kirk and Mike Wiser. The reporter is Vanessa Fica. The editor-in-chief and executive producer of FRONTLINE is Raney Aronson-Rath.

January 31, 2023 – Antony Blinken is currently the U.S. secretary of state. He held multiple roles in the Obama administration, including deputy secretary of state from 2015 to 2017, deputy national security advisor to the president, and national security advisor to then-Vice President Joe Biden. From 1994 to 2001, Blinken was a member of President Bill Clinton’s National Security Council staff. The following interview was conducted by the Kirk Documentary Group’s Michael Wiser for FRONTLINE on Oct. 14, 2022. It has been edited for clarity and length. This interview is being published as part of FRONTLINE’s Transparency Project, an effort to open up the source material behind our documentaries.

January 31, 2023 – Julia Ioffe is an American journalist who was born in Russia. She is a writer for and founding partner of the media company Puck. She previously reported on politics and world affairs for The Atlantic. The following interview was conducted by the Kirk Documentary Group’s Michael Wiser for FRONTLINE on Sept. 28, 2022. It has been edited for clarity and length.

February 1, 2023 – Marie Yovanovitch served as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine from 2016 to 2019. She has also served as an ambassador to the Republic of Armenia and the Kyrgyz Republic. Yovanovitch is currently a senior fellow in the Russia and Eurasia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. The following interview was conducted by the Kirk Documentary Group’s Michael Wiser for FRONTLINE on September 28, 2022. It has been edited for clarity and length.

February 1, 2023 – Eugene Robinson is a columnist for The Washington Post, where he writes on politics and culture. He also serves as an MSNBC analyst. The following interview was conducted by the Kirk Documentary Group’s Michael Wiser for FRONTLINE on October 21, 2022. It has been edited for clarity and length.

February 8, 2023 – Putin’s Nightmare: shocking development in Putin’s illness has been revealed!

February 9, 2023 – Russian-born American journalist Julia Ioffe is the Washington correspondent for Puck, the media company of which she is co-founder. Ioffe joins Walter Isaacson to discuss her recent reporting on the Russian president.

February 9, 2023 – Christiane Amanpour speaks with Catherine Ashton, former EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, about Vladimir Putin, negotiations, and her new book “And Then What?”.

February 9, 2023 – John Bolton served as national security advisor to President Donald Trump from 2018 to 2019. He was previously the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and is the author of The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir. The following interview was conducted by the Kirk Documentary Group’s Michael Wiser for FRONTLINE on September 29, 2022. It has been edited for clarity and length.

February 9, 2023 – Yevgenia Albats is an investigative journalist and editor-in-chief of The New Times, a Moscow-based independent political weekly. She is the author of four books, including The State Within a State: The KGB and Its Hold on Russia—Past, Present and Future. The following interview was conducted by the Kirk Documentary Group’s Michael Wiser for FRONTLINE on September 29, 2022. It has been edited for clarity and length.

February 24, 2023 – Red Notice author Bill Browder gives his insights on Vladimir Putin as the Ukraine war hits the one year mark.

February 24, 2023 – A year in to Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, it’s become clear that the key to understanding the war is understanding the man behind it: Vladimir Putin. Keir Simmons takes an in-depth dive into Putin’s history, interviews some of his closest confidants, and the man himself, to better understand how we got here, and where Putin may be taking his country — and the world.

March 17, 2023 – An arrest warrant has been issued by the International criminal court (ICC) for Russian president Vladimir Putin, as well as Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, Russia’s presidential commissioner for children’s rights. The ICC has stated that it has sufficient evidence to suggest that Putin is criminally liable for the ‘war crime of illegal deportation of population (children)’ and ‘unlawful transfer of population (children)’ from Ukraine’s occupied regions to Russia. The ICC has also found evidence to suggest that Lvova-Belova bears individual responsibility for the same crimes.

March 17, 2023 – As many as 16,000 children have been forcibly removed to Russia since the full scale war began, according to Ukrainian officials – some under the guise of “humanitarian evacuation” from Russian occupied cities like Mariupol and not all of them orphans. Hundreds have already been adopted by Russian families – with others sent to “re-education camps.” Now President Putin and his childrens’ rights commissioner have been indicted for war crimes – as Ukraine said it was “just the beginning.”

March 17, 2023 – The International Criminal Court has issued an arrest warrant for the Russian president Vladimir Putin for alleged war crimes in Ukraine. That means Putin will not be able to travel to any possible future peace talks if they are held in a country that recognizes the ICC. And it raises questions over how realistic it is to expect that the Russian leader will appear in the dock.

March 23, 2023 – On March 17, 2023, the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin, stemming from Russian deportation of Ukrainian children. But like other international institutions, the ICC has no direct enforcement capability. Given that, does the warrant mean anything at all? This video explores some of the more subtle consequences, including media coverage, travel restrictions, problems with going into exile, and deterring lower-level bureaucrats.

0:00 International Criminal Court Issues Warrant for Putin
2:07 The ICC’s Enforcement Problem
4:18 Media Buzz
7:41 Restricted Travel
10:53 Problems with Exile
15:43 Deterring Bureaucrats
17:01 Russia in the 1908 Olympics

June 25, 2023 – Michael McFaul, former U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation, joins Jonathan Capehart to discuss Wagner group leader Yevgeny Prigozhin’s decision to make a truce, stand down from advancing on Moscow, and effectively cease a rebellion.

June 25, 2023 – Prigozhin has ended his military coup attempt in a negotiated settlement with Putin and Lukashenko. The complete details of their agreement are known only to the secret power players in the Kremlin, but this certainly will not be the last time we see or hear from Pirgozhin.

July 10, 2023 – A trove of paperwork and photographs obtained by the London-based Russian investigations group Dossier Center reveals details the Kremlin shrouds from public view, and the extent to which Russian President Vladimir Putin’s paranoia has created a cloistered existence. CNN’s Matthew Chance reports.

July 11, 2023 – A mutiny in Russia by Wagner mercenaries exposed cracks in Vladimir Putin’s authority. The man behind the uprising, Yevgeny Prigozhin, used to be a trusted fixer in Putin’s inner circle, before defying the president. Richard Engel has been tracking Prigozhin for years and tells the story of his rise from his early days as a petty criminal in St. Petersburg, to becoming the head of a global private military company active in Ukraine, the Middle East and Africa and even meddling in U.S. elections.

July 13, 2023 – “Putin has got a military that’s essentially dismantling itself in an unwinnable war… Russia’s command system is under severe strain.” Agreements at the NATO Vilnius summit are ‘strategically historically important’ despite no set timeline for Ukraine’s membership, as the West pledges more weapons and support to Ukraine, Prof. Michael Clarke tells timesradio.

July 23, 2023 – Igor Girkin has finally been arrested and charged with extremism after being openly critical on Telegram and his webcasts of Putin and Russia’s failing war effort for almost the last year. First confirmed videos of cluster munitions donated from the United States are now being seen on the battlefield. The United States is stating they want to accelerate the training and delivery of F-16s to Ukraine and have them there by December.

October 22, 2023 – In the latest episode of ‘On the Record,’ Newsweek’s Evan Osnos interviews David Petraeus about Vladimir Putin, Russia’s war in Crimea, and the potential for a more dangerous Cold War.

October 22, 2023 – In this brand new exclusive video, we reveal the unthinkable blunder Russia made in Ukraine, and how it has lead to catastrophic consequences for the country and the wider world. Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky has accused Russia of “a new hybrid war” following reports of a huge wave of artillery fire on Ukrainian forces in the Debaltseve region, and we reveal just how serious this situation is.

October 23, 2023 – Since the coup in Ukraine earlier this year, Vladimir Putin has continued to make mistakes. First, he annexed Crimea, then he deployed Russian soldiers to Crimea without getting the approval of the United Nations. Now, Putin has made a huge mistake by ordering the Russian army to invade Ukraine. In this video, we’re bringing you the latest news from NATO. David Petraeus has spoken about Putin’s failures and the Ukraine crisis, and we’ve included some of his quotes about what’s happening. Stay up to date with the latest NATO news and see how Vladimir Putin’s failures continue.