Volodymyr Zelensky steve schmidt

Former Republican strategist and Lincoln Project co-founder Steve Schmidt delivered a gut-punch in his MSNBC appearance Monday night. Speaking to Lawrence O'Donnell, Schmidt addressed the bravery of Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky would likely die in Kyiv.

When asked if he wanted to leave Ukraine, Zelensky said that he doesn't need a "ride," he needs ammunition.

"I am here. We are not putting down arms. We will be defending our country, because our weapon is truth, and our truth is that this is our land, our country, our children, and we will defend all of this," he said.

    "According to our information, the enemy marked me as target No. 1, my family - as target No. 2," Zelensky also explained Thursday.

    "What Zelinsky has said in this remarkable, magnificent moment of leadership in front of the world — this man is being hunted," said Schmidt. "Vladimir Putin seeks to kill him. He has not left his capitol. There's a decent chance that he will die there. But this man, at a moment of maximum danger, the message has been to his people, to the entire world, 'Be not afraid.' In this age of cowardice and in this age of weak men and selfish men and women, people who put their self-interest above principles, above the defense of the birthright that they were given, in defense of the magnificent gift of freedom that is paid for with such sacrifice. This man has reminded all of the world about the cost of freedom, [and] the dangers in the world, and his honor, his dignity, [and] his courage has shamed so many American politicians, and I suspect so many other politicians and Democratic nations who have become part of this autocratic populist movement have become such a real threat to democracy all over the world."

    Schmidt went on talking about the atrocities that the world is witnessing beyond typical television reports like in previous wars. In the modern era, the world is watching the invasion in real-time. They hear the fear in the videos. They see photos of people holding pets in bags as they shelter in subway stations. Twitter has witnessed satellite photos of drones bombing Russian convoys and seen the satellite captures of troop movement. Worse, however, the bodies lining the streets, lying in exploded schools and grocery store parking lots, have been captured on social media for the world to witness.

    "The great power acting aggressively towards a smaller neighbor, trying to wipe it from existence," he said. "And the Ukrainian nation has signaled quite clearly that it will not be wiped from existence — that it will fight. And so, we see babies being born in subways and bomb shelters. We see old women preparing Molotov cocktails. We are reminded, suddenly, that the cost of freedom is very high."

    In the United States, however, it's the overwhelming majority of the Republican Party and right-wing firebrand Steve Bannon, both of whom have spent the past five years allying themselves with Putin.

    "And in this country, we've all witnessed, and it doesn't need debating, a fifth column that's given aid and comfort, that's fetishes to Vladimir Putin, that dissolve the American democracy with lies," said Schmidt. "All of these people all around the world in the Steve Bannon project know each other. And What they all share in common is that the top of the pyramid, the man that they worship, the man they idolize is Vladimir Putin, who is no genius. He is a war criminal. And he has let loose the fury. We're in the fifth day of a new era. A lot of people will die. The human misery that has been set loose by this man's high tide decay late. The situation will become graver and we will watch in the days, weeks, months ahead as the world situation deteriorates, knowing that around the world, almost everyone has turned their back on Putin, except for the American right."

    The strong front that Ukraine has put up against Russia has been substantial. Russian citizens and military members have indicated they do not support the war. Ukraine's ambassador to the UN read a text message exchange between a Russian mother and son while he is serving on the front lines. The young soldier expressed his horror at killing his allies. If Russia takes the extreme step of killing Zelensky, the Ukrainian people would never forget and the opportunity of holding the country would likely be lost.

    See Schmidt's comments below:

    The horrifying fear that Ukrainian president Zelensky could die with is people www.youtube.com