During a fundraising event earlier in the week, President Biden warned rich liberal donors that they should prepare for “armageddon” as things continue to heat up in the Ukraine-Russia War.
AP reported, “The president’s grim assessment…rippled around the globe and appeared to edge beyond the boundaries of current U.S. intelligence assessments. U.S. security officials continue to say they have no evidence that Vladimir Putin has imminent plans for a nuclear strike.
Biden veered into talk about Ukraine at the end of his standard fundraising remarks, saying that Putin was “not joking when he talks about the use of tactical nuclear weapons or biological or chemical weapons.”
“We have not faced the prospect of Armageddon since Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis,” he added. He suggested the threat from Putin is real “because his military is — you might say — significantly underperforming.”
The White House staff had to clean up Biden’s mess again as observers began asking why the president would make such a dire announcement to wealthy donors but not the American public.
On Air Force One, @PressSec says there is no new intelligence that shaped the president's use of the term Armageddon discussing Putin and nuclear weapons at a fundraiser last night.
— Kelly O'Donnell (@KellyO) October 7, 2022
The president’s clamor about nuclear warfare occurred as things have begun to look dire for Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
Last night, a critical bridge connecting the Crimean Peninsula with Russia collapsed after a truck bomb exploded on the causeway. The bridge’s destruction damages a vital supply route for Putin’s flailing military efforts in southern Ukraine. Officials said that three people died from the blast.
USA TODAY noted, “The speaker of Crimea’s Kremlin-backed regional parliament immediately accused Ukraine, though the Kremlin didn’t apportion blame. Ukrainian officials have repeatedly threatened to strike the bridge and some lauded the attack, but Kyiv stopped short of claiming responsibility.
The bombing came a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin turned 70, dealing him a humiliating blow that could lead him to up the ante in his war on Ukraine. Hours after the explosion, Russia’s Defense Ministry announced that the air force chief, Gen. Sergei Surovikin, would be the commander of all Russian troops fighting in Ukraine.
The secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, Oleksiy Danilov, tweeted a video with the Kerch Bridge on fire on the left side and video with Marilyn Monroe singing her famous “Happy Birthday Mr. President” on the right.
In Moscow, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that “the reaction of the Kyiv regime to the destruction of civilian infrastructure shows its terrorist nature.”
Max Seddon posted an incredible video of the bridge on fire last night on social media.
An explosion tore across Russia’s bridge across the Kerch strait to Crimea in the early hours of this morning.
The bridge is an important conduit for Russian supply routes in Ukraine and a huge source of Putin's prestige. This is a hugely damaging blow. pic.twitter.com/eWyWPn54Xw
— max seddon (@maxseddon) October 8, 2022
The detonation of the bridge to Crimea “is a huge hit to Putin’s prestige, who staked his reputation on keeping the peninsula safe from Ukrainian attack,” The Sun wrote. “it is an utter embarrassment for Russians who bragged about having 20 different ways of protecting the bridge, including military dolphins. Both the rail and road bridges are hated symbols of Russia’s occupation of Crimea and have been key supply routes through Russia’s invasion.”
Putin’s embarrassment comes as Western leaders are still trying to find an “off-ramp,” a way for him to de-escalate and pull out of Ukraine without admitting what the whole world already knows: Ukraine kicked his butt.
A European media outlet reported that a “French diplomat, talking recently on condition of anonymity, stressed that European allies were no closer to reading Putin’s thinking, other than his desire to secure what appears to be an increasingly unlikely military victory.
“There’s a war that he is not managing to win, but what would satisfy him? We don’t have the answers,” the diplomat said.
Instead of looking for a negotiated climbdown, Putin has escalated in recent weeks, formally annexing four regions of Ukraine on September 30 and approving a partial mobilisation of up to 300,000 men for the war.
‘He may think the battlefield situation isn’t great but things will settle down during the winter, that Ukrainian offences will come to an end, that they’ll be able to mobilise,’ Eliot A. Cohen, a military historian and former U.S. State Department adviser, told AFP.”
Things are getting more formidable at home for Putin. “Russia’s floundering invasion of Ukraine has produced an extraordinary barrage of criticism from supporters of the war in recent days, directed primarily at the leadership of the Russian military,” according to the New York Times. “The outpouring of discontent is creating a new challenge to President Vladimir V. Putin, who, after cracking down on Russia’s liberal opposition, now faces growing dissent in his own camp.
The latest salvo came on Thursday when a Russian-installed official in an occupied region of Ukraine belittled the Kremlin’s defense minister, Sergei K. Shoigu, a close associate of Mr. Putin. The official, Kirill Stremousov, said Mr. Shoigu should consider killing himself because of his army’s failures in Ukraine.
‘Many people are saying that as an officer, the defense minister could simply shoot himself for being the one who let things get to this state,’ said Mr. Stremousov, Russia’s ‘deputy governor’ of the Kherson region of southern Ukraine.
There were indications that the criticism was part of infighting in the Russian ruling elite that was spilling into the open. It comes on the heels of a tirade against the military leadership published over the weekend by Ramzan Kadyrov, the strongman ruler of the southern Russian republic of Chechnya and an ally of Mr. Putin.”
Old Vlad may be running out of options. The Daily Mail recently reported that “Vladimir Putin faces mutiny or death if he attempts to launch a nuclear strike in a desperate bid to secure victory in Ukraine, an expert has claimed.
Moscow’s military elite believe the despot’s threats to employ nuclear weapons are currently working as leverage against the West, but one source suggested they would block any attempt by the warmonger to launch the catastrophic missiles.
They told the Mirror: ‘Faced with Putin’s recklessness and the need to prevent use of nuclear weapons, the military are most likely to stage a coup to depose him.'”
Biden isn’t taking any chances. Reuters noted that “The U.S. government this week bought $290 million in supplies of a drug designed to treat blood cell injuries following radiological and nuclear emergencies as part of what it said were long-standing efforts to prepare for potential health impacts from threats to national security.”