© 2024 Blaze Media LLC. All rights reserved.
Biden’s blunders bolster Putin’s plans
Contributor/Getty Images

Biden’s blunders bolster Putin’s plans

The Russian dictator knows very well who the U.S. presidential candidates really are. That is why he has sincerely, consciously, unequivocally, consistently, and unmistakably endorsed Joe Biden.

Russian dictator Vladimir Putin has once again clearly, definitely, and unequivocally stated that his preferred candidate in the U.S. presidential election is Joe Biden.

On February 21, at a fundraising event in San Francisco, Biden said: “We have a crazy SOB like that guy Putin and others …” The White House posted the comment on its website.

The very next day, Putin approved Biden as his choice for the presidency when asked by one of the Kremlin’s favorite journalists, Pavel Zarubin. Putin said he understands what caused Biden’s caustic words about him. Putin has special reasons for taking no offense and endorsing Biden’s re-election. “Crazy SOB” sounds tough, but it is used in so many ways that the Russian leader might not find it personally insulting.

Putin did not indicate any displeasure. “You asked me what is best for us,” Putin told Zarubin. “That's what I said then, and that's what I think now. And I can repeat: Biden!”

Here is the exact dialogue, translated from the video in Russian:

Pavel Zarubin: Can I ask one more question? I don’t know whether you have been briefed today or not, since you are either flying or driving.

Vladimir Putin: About what?

Zarubin: President Biden, U.S. President Biden again made a boorish statement about you.

Putin: Boorish?

Zarubin: Yes. I don’t want to quote, but still, since this is the president of the United States, I’ll say it. He said about you: “Crazy son of a bitch.” Not only have you never said anything like that to any leader, but you haven’t even allowed yourself to make any incorrect statements. Would you react the same way now?

Putin: Listen, we just talked recently. And you asked me: Who is our preferred future president of the United States? I said that we will work with any president. But I believe that for us, for Russia, Biden is more preferable. And judging by what he was just talking, he said, I am absolutely right. Because this is an adequate reaction to what was said on my part. Why? Because he can’t tell me: “Volodya, well done, thank you! You helped me a lot!” We understand what is happening there from a domestic political point of view. And this reaction is absolutely adequate. And that means I was right.

And what I said, I said primarily for our audience, and not for Americans. You are a Russian journalist, so you asked me what is best for us. That's what I said then, and that's what I think now. And I can repeat: Biden!

This might not make sense to an American audience. But as we will see, it makes perfect sense to the man in the Kremlin.

Name-calling is theater, not statecraft. As he does to his own aides, Biden has called Putin names for years. In November 2019, he called the Kremlin leader a “bully.” In March 2021, Biden called Putin a “killer.” Those aren’t real insults to a bully who kills people. Despite the tough words, Biden’s policies have been extremely favorable to Putin — both before and after Putin’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine.

Biden’s words and actions

Biden often makes harsh, sometimes even offensive, comments about Putin. But in his actions as president, Biden first pursued a policy of appeasement. That, in turn, encouraged Putin to become the aggressor.

Days after his 2021 inauguration — just over a year before Russia invaded Ukraine — Biden extended the New START treaty, which limits the number of nuclear weapons both countries may deploy. Biden also lifted sanctions on Russia. As a result, he had no deterrence strategy to warn Putin about the harsh consequences of invading Ukraine or to help Ukraine defend itself.

Even as Putin mobilized his invasion force in late 2021 and early 2022, Biden withdrew American naval ships from the Black Sea and also withdrew U.S. military advisers from Ukraine.

Biden conducted a “strategic communication campaign” that looked to outsiders like deterrence but in fact practically invited Putin to attack Ukraine. He reinforced the public message by sending CIA Director Bill Burns to Moscow to negotiate secretly with Putin the “rules of the game” against Ukraine. The administration declared that “a small incursion of Ukraine is not an aggression.”

At the same time, Biden refused to send additional aid to Ukraine in advance, even as his administration warned Kyiv of an imminent invasion.

As Putin’s invasion force mobilized, the White House effectively urged President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to turn Kyiv into a free-fire zone. Biden tried to get Zelenskyy and his government to abandon the capital. He announced the closure of the U.S. embassy and its transfer to Lviv. He urged NATO allies to do the same.

Biden’s administration confirmed Putin’s own inaccurate intelligence that Russian forces could conquer Kyiv within days. These actions told Putin that a Russian conquest of Ukraine’s capital would produce no collateral damage on NATO embassies and thus would not risk a NATO response.

Once the invasion began in February 2022, it was NATO allies — chiefly the United Kingdom, Poland, and the Baltic republics — that led the example and pressed the hapless Biden administration to do something.

Since then, Biden has delayed and limited the scope of aid to Ukraine. He did not provide the most important types of weapons, including aircraft, tanks, and long-range missiles. Biden has prohibited Ukraine’s armed forces from launching defensive or retaliatory strikes on Russian territory. He stopped Ukraine’s operations at critical moments for the Putin regime (during the Prigozhin mutiny, for example).

Republicans in Congress authorized more aid to Ukraine than the Biden administration even requested. Biden has not used the Ukraine Lend-Lease Act that Congress passed. He significantly delayed and reduced military aid to Ukraine.

In just the past two months, Biden completely blocked military support to Kyiv by holding it hostage to his real priority: his open-border policy. He then blamed the Republican-led House of Representatives for not supporting Ukraine and for the flood of illegal immigration into the United States.

Hence Biden’s tough talk about Putin, which also reinforces the debunked Russian collusion narrative against Donald Trump.

Trump’s words and actions

As he has historically done with adversaries in business and in diplomacy, Trump’s words show a record more rhetorically benign toward Putin, calling him a “strong leader” and saying that he always “got along” with him. The former president has made no offensive statements about Putin. Trump often says that he can make a deal with the Kremlin dictator. Those comments fall far short of the “praise” of Putin that Trump’s critics falsely allege.

Trump’s actions speak louder than his words. As president, he:

  • Lifted the Obama-Biden embargo on lethal military aid to Ukraine;
  • Imposed sanctions to stop completion of the Nord Stream gas pipeline;
  • Included Ukraine in the NATO drills;
  • Refused to recognize Putin’s annexation of Crimea;
  • Annihilated the Wagner Group unit of up to 200 Russian mercenaries in Syria;
  • Showed an unpredictable determination that threw off Kremlin calculus; during Trump’s presidency, Ukrainian military deaths at the contact line in the Donbass fell by 16 times compared to Obama’s last year;
  • For the first time, stationed the headquarters of a U.S. division (now the V Corps) and advanced American units on Polish territory;
  • After a catastrophic reduction during the Obama era, expanded the U.S. commitment to NATO and persuaded or pressured NATO members to increase their military spending — a $139 billion increase (the United States by $61 billion; European NATO members by $56 billion);
  • Promised Putin he would “hit Moscow” in the event of new aggression;
  • Repeatedly stated, as Biden never did before the invasion, that he would not allow Putin's aggression against Ukraine;
  • Warned he would not permit Putin to threaten to use nuclear weapons.

Trump’s record forces Putin to take seriously his 2024 campaign statements that, if elected again, he plans to stop the war “in 24 hours” and that if Putin “refuses the deal” he will arm Ukraine “a lot — we're going to [give] more than they ever got.”

Under Biden, the Kremlin boss has had unprecedented freedom to play the aggressor.

Under Trump, Putin the wolf turned into Putin the sheep for four years. Putin faces the prospect of becoming a sheep once more.

Vladimir Putin knows very well who these candidates really are. That is why he has sincerely, consciously, unequivocally, consistently, and unmistakably endorsed Biden — so he might continue his bloody aggression and watch as the United States diminishes its power at home and around the world.

Want to leave a tip?

We answer to you. Help keep our content free of advertisers and big tech censorship by leaving a tip today.
Want to join the conversation?
Already a subscriber?
Andrei Illarionov

Andrei Illarionov

Andrei Illarionov is the senior analyst for Russian and European affairs at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C.