- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 19, 2022

President Biden on Wednesday said Russian President Vladimir Putin declared martial law in occupied parts of Ukraine because his back is against the wall and the Kremlin’s first instinct is to crack down on civilians.

“I think that Vladimir Putin finds himself in an incredibly difficult position,” Mr. Biden said at the White House. “What it reflects, to me, is it seems [the] only tool available to him is to brutalize individual citizens in Ukraine — Ukrainian citizens — to try and intimidate them into capitulating. They’re not going to do that.”

Mr. Putin announced the policy as his army struggles to hold onto regions of Ukraine it claimed in a recent annexation over international and Ukrainian objections. The declaration should allow his forces to impose more restrictions and move around civilians ahead of a Ukrainian counteroffensive.



The Russian leader resorted to martial law as the invasion he launched in February hit roadblocks. Ukrainians are gaining ground near the key city of Kherson, and Moscow’s effort to call up thousands of reservists has run into outrage and opposition at home.

Russian missile and drone strikes, meanwhile, have sparked a wave of death and terror in places around Kyiv and other parts of Ukraine.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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