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Senator claims Russia invading Ukraine would be 'biggest mistake' of Putin’s career

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As Russia appears poised to invade Ukraine, Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) joined Anderson Cooper 360 Tuesday where he said that Russian President Vladimir Putin may not know what he could be getting himself into.

“There is going to be continued U.S. assistance, assistance to an army that’s ready to fight and a population that is not just going to let Russia march into the center of Ukraine,” Murphy said. “Putin seems to be getting absolutely horrible advice. People telling him he is going to be greeted as some kind of liberator in a country that has turned against Russia over the last ten years and is going to fight for its survival.”

In 2014, Russia invaded Crimea, a very pro-Russia part of Ukraine, with little push-back. But Murphy said that things wouldn’t be so easy this time with the rest of Ukraine. Murphy said that 60 to 70 percent of Ukrainian citizens now favor joining NATO, exactly what Putin is trying to stop. Murphy believes that if they were to invade, it could be catastrophic for Russia, equating it to Russia’s failed invasion of Afghanistan in the 1980s.

“This, to me, would be the biggest mistake of Vladimir Putin's career. He will get bogged down inside Ukraine just like his predecessors got bogged down in Afghanistan in 1980 and 1981,” Murphy said. “Ukrainians are gonna fight for their lives. There will be a long term counterinsurgency. It will be bloody, it will be drawn out, and it will be a black mark on Russia that could end up leading to Russia’s downfall, as the Afghanistan invasion arguably contributed to the Soviet Union’s downfall.”

Video Transcript

[MUSIC PLAYING]

CHRIS MURPHY: Putin seems to be getting absolutely horrible advice. People telling him that he's going to be greeted as some kind of liberator in a country that has turned against Russia over the last 10 years and is going to fight for its survival.

KYLIE MAR: Democratic Senator Chris Murphy joined Anderson Cooper 360 Tuesday, where he addressed the growing crisis in Ukraine as Russia has reportedly sent hundreds of thousands of troops to the border. And if Russian President Vladimir Putin were to invade, Murphy says that would be a big mistake.

CHRIS MURPHY: This, to me, would be the biggest mistake of Vladimir Putin's career. He will get bogged down inside Ukraine, just like his predecessors got bogged down in Afghanistan in 1980 and 1981.

KYLIE MAR: Murphy believes Putin may be underestimating the Ukrainian military, which is receiving support from the US and some NATO allies. And he said an invasion could be catastrophic for Russia.

CHRIS MURPHY: There will be a long-term counterinsurgency. It will be bloody. It will be drawn out. And it will be a black mark on Russia that could end up leading to Russia's downfall as the Afghanistan invasion arguably contributed to the Soviet Union's downfall.

KYLIE MAR: And Murphy said that despite Russia's warning against putting forth new sanctions, US and European allies may do just that-- adding to Russia's financial cost, if they were to invade Ukraine.

CHRIS MURPHY: My sense is the British have been with us from the beginning and that other European allies are coming along to our view and are now finally willing to put up a set of potential sanctions that may ultimately be dispositive and convincing Putin that it's just not worth it.