A former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine doesn't buy Vladimir Putin's nuclear threats, but instead sees them as the sign of how badly Russia's invasion has gone.
Russia's foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday that a third World War would likely involve nuclear weapons, ratcheting up previous threats from Putin, but former ambassador Bill Taylor told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that those comments are just posturing.
"I think that this is performance," Taylor said. "I think this is not a serious threat to use nuclear weapons against Ukraine."
Taylor agreed with host Joe Scarborough that the threats display what a disaster the invasion has been.
"This war is going very badly for Russia," Taylor said. "They can't believe that they're not already in Kyiv, in the capital."
Taylor, who served as ambassador to Ukraine from 2006 to 2009 and as acting ambassador in 2019 and 2020, said he doesn't believe Putin is an irrational actor.
"On one hand, people say this man is unhinged," Taylor said. "We've heard this, and it is troubling. On the other hand, we have heard people who tell me that he's not crazy. He doesn't abide by the same kind of costs and benefits calculations that we do, but he is still rational. If he's rational, he's not going to commit suicide, which is what he would do."
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