Sen. Angus King said Tuesday that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine amounts to a “colossal intelligence failure” that overestimated the capability of his army and underestimated the resistance of the Ukrainian people.
Mr. King, Maine independent and a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said Russia has “already lost this war” and Mr. Putin‘s best bet is to “cut his losses.”
“He has got himself into this absolute debacle,” Mr. King said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “He is destroying two countries right now.”
Mr. King said he is not sure whether Mr. Putin sees an off-ramp, adding that is concerning.
“Right now I think Putin is the most dangerous man in world history because he’s trapped and he has nukes and part of their doctrine is the possibility of using them,” he said.
Two weeks into the invasion, Russian forces have failed to control any of Ukraine’s major cities including the capital, Kyiv, but made significant advances in southern Ukraine.
Civilians remain stuck, often without food, shelter or electricity, according to reports. More than 2 million Ukrainian refugees have spilled into neighboring countries.
Others, meanwhile, have struggled to get out.
Mr. King said even if Mr. Putin captures control of more cities, it could be impossible for him to hold them over the long haul, given Ukrainian opposition.
“It looks like he has made one of the greatest mistakes he could make, which is to intimidate the people that are telling you supposedly the truth,” the senator said. “This is a colossal intelligence failure.