Videos released three days apart of Vladimir Putin speaking while wearing the same clothes are raising suspicion about when the decision was made to launch war on Ukraine.
In a recorded address released Wednesday night, the Russian leader announced his decision to invade Ukraine, which has a population 44 million people.
But he was wearing the same suit and tie and sitting in the same position as he was during a long speech released Monday. The videos have led some to speculate that Putin had already made up his mind earlier in the week he was going to defy the West and launch the attack.
Putin is being labeled “paranoid” and “isolated,” with the isolation symbolized by his “comically long” 20-foot conference table.
The war is pitting Putin against Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, a former TV comic, who once played the President of Ukraine on TV. The leader is showing his mettle, calling on his fellow Ukrainians to be brave in the face of the Russian invasion.
There are now fears that Zelenskyy is at the top of a Russian “most wanted” list.
Last night, as the world watched the crisis unfold, Donald Trump went on Fox TV to claim that Putin’s invasion can be laid at the feet of the Biden administration.
“He sees the weakness and the incompetence and the stupidity of this administration,” Trump said.
Reaction to the comments was swift.
“Everyone needs to come together, Republican, Democrat, Independent, to support our president,” former CIA director David Patraeus said on CNN.
Meanwhile, an ominous cartoon depicting Putin being patted on the cheek by Adolf Hitler is going viral.
The invasion is also being felt on Wall Street. The Dow Jones industrial average opened more than 700 points lower, losing more than 2% of its value. But it did rally a bit before the closing bell.