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Retired CIA Senior Clandestine Services Officer Dan Hoffman told Fox News Digital that the profile of Putin has changed drastically over the past two weeks, and argues that Putin isn’t playing “chess” anymore, he’s playing “poker” with innocent civilians being killed.
“The profile of Vladimir Putin from today is not the one that we would have written two weeks ago, or two years ago. And so if we thought about Vladimir Putin as a coldly calculated chess player, which I frankly thought he was, and I thought he was going to extort a deal out of us and never go to war against Ukraine because it would be too prohibitively costly in terms of spilled blood,” Hoffman said. “But that’s not the guy we’re dealing with now. So it’s almost like we’ve seen a transition from a chess player to a poker player.”
One expert is saying that Russian President Vladimir Putin is playing “poker” with America and other European allies while waging a war against Ukraine. (Getty Images/iStock)
Hoffman says that Putin is attempting to play off a “bluff,” and says that his calculus is different from before.
“He doesn’t know everything about us. When you’re playing poker, I don’t know exactly what hand he’s holding. He doesn’t exactly know what we’re holding,” Hoffman said.
He said that President Biden ultimately needs to talk to Putin to “make it clear” where America stands, especially since Putin has now raised the alert status for his nuclear forces.
Hoffman said, however, that America and its European allies are not bluffing.
“The Biden administration has done a good job of shoring up NATO. We’ve got a lot going on, we’ve got Germany providing lethal assistance, we’ve got Sweden providing lethal assistance,” Hoffman said. “The SWIFT decision is going to be good long term. Nothing immediate, but it’s a good step in the right direction.
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks to update the situation of the Ukraine-Russia border crisis during an event in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on February 18, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Hoffman also noted how Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has gotten NATO to support the nation.
“It’s like Ukraine wanted to join NATO, Zelenskyy wanted to join NATO, now NATO wants to join Ukraine. That’s a good thing for NATO, but it’s a very powerful indication of just how effective Zelenskyy has been as a leader.”
Putin approved a “special military operation” in Ukraine on early Thursday morning local time, saying in a television address that “our confrontation with these [Ukrainian] forces is inevitable.”
In this photo provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy delivers his speech addressing the nation in Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, Feb. 25, 2022. ( Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)
The Russian invasion of Ukraine began early Thursday morning local time, as the Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs said that Putin had launched a “full-scale invasion” of Ukraine.
Russian military forces have received more pushback than anticipated from Ukrainian forces, and some experts are saying they haven’t accomplished much of what was anticipated at this point.