McCain: After Taking Ukraine, Putin Will Turn to Moldova, the Baltic States

McCain: After Taking Ukraine, Putin Will Turn to Moldova, the Baltic States

On Thursday’s “The Lead” on CNN, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) was pessimistic on the prospects of a cease-fire between Russia and Ukraine and also on the abilities of the Ukrainians to defend themselves against Russian aggression.

McCain decried the United States’ reluctance to get involved in the conflict on the side of the Ukrainians by at least supplying them with intelligence and weapons.

“It really doesn’t [look like a cease fire can happen], Jake, because what Vladimir Putin wants is a frozen situation where he has control of the east and continues his efforts towards a land bridge to Crimea,” McCain said. “And there have been hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers killed in the last week. The hospitals are full. A week or so ago, he moved in militarily with some thousands of Russian troops, armor, other capabilities that — including drones, by the way. And the Ukrainians simply cannot — they’re brave and they’ll fight and they’re not asking for us to fight for them. But they’re just overwhelmed and it’s really tragic because we refuse to give intelligence information and weapons to Ukrainians to defend themselves. It’s really shameful.”

McCain went on to add that should Russia succeed here, it will continue its trek by taking other neighboring states.

“Well, as, as I just mentioned armor has poured into eastern Ukraine. And that requires anti-armor capabilities. We also have to give them some long-term training, Jake. Their military capabilities declined rather significantly over the last several years. They’ve literally got volunteer fighting now who obviously are not trained and the Russians are very good at killing. And could I say I also believe that we have to understand that if Vladimir Putin succeeds here, takes eastern Ukraine, a land bridge to Crimea, next is Moldova and next is the Baltic States. And what he has suffered in response to this naked aggression has been minimal.”

Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor