Trump ally Roger Stone on Putin’s side says Russia is ‘acting defensively’


Right-wing strategist Roger Stone, a top ally of former President Donald Trump, appears to have sided with Russian President Vladimir Putin in backing his invasion of Ukraine, saying the Kremlin leader is “acting to defensive way”.

Russia launched its internationally condemned invasion of Ukraine on February 24 after weeks of warnings from President Joe Biden and other Western leaders that an attack was imminent. Putin tried to justify the assault by absurdly claiming that Ukraine was run by “neo-Nazis” and needed to be “denazified”.

In reality, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is Jewish and members of his family were killed in the Nazi-orchestrated Holocaust genocide during World War II. When Zelensky won the presidency in 2019, with nearly three-quarters of the vote, the Ukrainian prime minister was also Jewish.

While polls show the majority of Americans — Republicans, Independents and Democrats — support Ukrainians in their fight against Russia’s unprovoked aggression, some on the right have expressed critical views of Ukraine. In an interview Saturday on Real America’s Voice, Stone said Putin’s actions were defensive.

“Ukraine is not even aware of what they are telling us about,” he said. “Ukraine is the fact that the Ukrainians used their soil to place platforms for dual-launch missiles – missiles that would be aimed at the Soviet Union.”

The Soviet Union has been gone since 1991, but Stone was apparently referring to Russia.

Right-wing strategist Roger Stone claimed Russian President Vladimir Putin was “acting defensively” in Ukraine. Above, Stone arrives for the Conservative Political Action Conference held at the Hyatt Regency on February 27, 2021 in Orlando.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

“There are, in fact, bio labs there [in Ukraine] which are funded by our taxes, preparing who knows what plague to unleash upon the Russian people,” Stone continued. “Putin acts defensively, he does not act offensively. But you won’t read that in the mainstream media.”

After the invasion of Ukraine did not go smoothly, Putin and other Russian leaders began promoting claims that kyiv was working on the development of biological weapons in biological laboratories in the country. Both the Ukrainian and US governments have dismissed the claims, explaining that biolabs are used for research to prevent and treat outbreaks of infectious diseases.

Some have speculated that they may still contain samples of pathogens used for biological weapons when Ukraine was still part of the Soviet Union. However, experts said the labs are not used to develop weapons and are not capable of doing so. The concern of experts is that the Russians could use pathogens in laboratories on the Ukrainian population.

“No place yet has the infrastructure for research or production of biological weapons,” Robert Pope, director of the Pentagon’s Cooperative Threat Reduction Program, said in a February interview with the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. “Scientists being scientists, it wouldn’t surprise me if some of these strain collections in some of these labs still had pathogenic strains that go back to the origins of this program.”

Filippa Lentzos, a bio-threats expert at King’s College London, wrote in 2018 that she and her colleagues had seen nothing “out of the ordinary, or that we wouldn’t expect to see in a legitimate installation of this type” when they visited a Ukrainian biological laboratory, The New York Times reported.

Regarding missile platforms, the United States has deployed missile defense batteries in Romania and plans to do so in Poland, according to Foreign Police. However, Ukraine only had decades-old Soviet-era missile defense systems at the start of the war, Forbes reported in December. Last November, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov visited Washington, DC, to request US missile defense systems amid concerns about a possible Russian invasion.

Stone also promoted similar claims about Ukraine and Russia through his Telegram channel. “Russian groups say they uncovered a plot by Ukrainians to release a biological weapon into the country with the help of NATO,” said a recent post shared by the right-wing strategist.

Meanwhile, the United Nations reported on Saturday that at least 847 civilians have died in Ukraine since the Russian assault began. Schools, a theater and residential buildings were hit by Russian rockets and missiles. The UN also said the death toll was likely much higher and the Ukrainian government said civilians killed now number in the thousands. Millions of people have also fled the Eastern European nation as refugees, while many more have become internally displaced.


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