Sen. Angus King (I-ME) warned that Vladimir Putin has become "the most dangerous man in world history."
The Maine independent told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that the Russian invasion of Ukraine had already failed, and Putin could soon face a challenge to his power from his country's ruling elite.
"That's his ultimate fear, and that's where all hell breaks loose," King said. "That's why I agree with the comment you just read, that we have to talk about Ukraine, not talk about Russia and, you know, there are options. Backing off on the sanctions if they have a ceasefire, if they withdraw their troops, if they stop the aerial bombardment of civilians. There are some of those kinds of options, but if he is talking -- the problem is he has already lost this war because Ukraine is now going to hate Russia and Putin for generations."
Russia would not be able to effectively occupy Ukraine in the face of strong resistance, and the international sanctions posed a domestic threat to Putin and his authority.
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"They'll keep fighting forever, so he's lost this war," King said. "The other thing, he's got to cut his losses in Russia. One advantage a dictatorship is that they don't have to care about public opinion and they don't have to care about sanctions until it reaches their inner circle. That's why I think the sanctions on the oligarchs are so important."
"Right now Putin is the most dangerous, I think, the most dangerous man in world history," the senator added, "because he's trapped and he has nukes, and part of their doctrine is the possibility of using them."
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