Vladimir Putin has been "playing to the cheap seats" among his base supporters in Russia with his aggression into Crimea and the current threat to Ukraine, talk show host Joe Scarborough said.
The tide could turn for the Russian president, Scarborough told MSNBC's "Morning Joe," with the announcement that the United States would send troops to Poland as a signal of support to the NATO ally.
"Putin right now is playing for the cheap seats," Scarborough said Wednesday. "When you start talking about doing troop exercises in Poland, obviously historically, Poland has always been a dagger in the side of Russia."
The Pentagon announced Tuesday that a small contingent of U.S. troops would conduct military exercises in Poland and three Baltic states. Scarborough called it a good "first step" in "sending a message to Putin and to Russia."
It was easy for the Russian president to go into Crimea where there were "mainly Russian-speaking people in that area, and you're not going to be brushed back," Scarborough said. If the United States began to install missile defense systems in Poland and other countries in the region, he predicted Putin would face a different proposition.
"We [would] put Putin in a position where he knows he's going to be humiliated, because he's not going to be able to do anything, anything, short of launching a war against us. He knows how that ends for Russia. He knows how that ends. It's devastating for him," Scarborough said.
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