A former top US intelligence official said that more should have been done by the Barack Obama administration to punish Russia for annexing Crimea in 2014. Speaking to Fox News, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper warned that Russia has become more emboldened than it was eight years ago when it annexed Crimea from Ukraine.
When asked whether the US should have announced harsh measures against Russia in 2014, Clapper said, “Oh, yes, I do. I wish we as an administration had been more aggressive in 2014.”
Clapper’s remark came hours before Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a full-fledged military operation in the Donbas region of Ukraine. The US has so far announced sanctions on several Russian banks and individuals and targeted Moscow’s ability to raise money in international debt markets. But the Russian invasion may prompt America and its European allies to add to those sanctions.
US President Joe Biden condemned the “unprovoked and unjustified attack” by Russian military forces as he warned of “catastrophic loss of life and human suffering”. In a statement released by the White House, Biden said Russia alone will be responsible for the death and destruction this attack will bring.
“Tomorrow, I will meet with my G7 counterparts in the morning and then speak to the American people to announce the further consequences the United States and our Allies and partners will impose on Russia for this needless act of aggression against Ukraine and global peace and security,” the statement read.
The situation in Ukraine, meanwhile, has swiftly escalated as shellings were reported in Kyiv and breakaways parts of Donbas. Ukraine border guards have reported the first death from the Russian invasion, according to news agencies.
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