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Russian President Vladimir Putin is playing “poker” with the United States and other European allies while waging war against Ukraine, an expert has claimed.
Dan Hoffman, a retired senior CIA clandestine service officer, told Fox News Digital that Putin’s profile had changed dramatically over the past two weeks and claimed that Putin no longer played “chess”, he was playing in “poker” with innocent civilians killed.
“Vladimir Putin’s profile today is not the one we would have written two weeks ago, or two years ago. And so if we thought of Vladimir Putin as a coldly calculated chess player , which I frankly thought he was, and I thought he was going to squeeze a deal out of us and never go to war with Ukraine because it would cost too much in terms of bloodshed,” Hoffman said.” But he’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.”
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Hoffman says Putin is trying to play a “bluff” and says his calculation is different from before.
“He doesn’t know everything about us. When you play poker, I don’t know exactly what hand he’s holding. He doesn’t know exactly what we’re holding,” Hoffman said.
He said President Biden must finally speak to Putin to “clarify” America’s position, especially since Putin has now raised the alert status for his nuclear forces.
Hoffman, however, said America and its European allies weren’t bluffing.
“The Biden administration has done a good job of strengthening NATO. We have a lot to do, we have Germany providing lethal assistance, we have Sweden providing lethal assistance,” Hoffman said. “The SWIFT decision will be good in the long term. Nothing immediate, but it’s a good step in the right direction.
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Hoffman also noted how Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy got NATO backing the nation.
“It’s like Ukraine wants to join NATO, Zelenskyy wants to join NATO, now NATO wants to join Ukraine. It’s a good thing for NATO, but it’s a very power of Zelenskyy’s effectiveness as a leader.”
Putin approved a “special military operation” in Ukraine on Thursday morning local time, saying in a televised address that “our confrontation with these [Ukrainian] forces is inevitable.”
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The Russian invasion of Ukraine began early Thursday morning local time, as Ukraine’s foreign minister said Putin had launched a “full-scale invasion” of Ukraine.
Russian military forces have received more pushback than expected from Ukrainian forces, and some experts say they have not accomplished much of what was expected at this point.