Russian President Vladimir Putin is trying to be the "big, scary diplomatic monster" with his threats of tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine, but Newsmax contributor Blaine Holt, a retired U.S. Air Force brigadier general, said Tuesday he doesn't think he'll go that far.
"He's got big problems domestically at home," said Holt on "Wake Up America," explaining that Putin has moved to his vacation home to avoid engagement with his critics.
Last week, The Daily Mail reported that Putin left Moscow for his palatial residence located in the forests of the Valdai Hills about halfway between Russia's capital and St. Petersburg.
His vacation comes while there has been unrest in most of Russia's major cities over the orders to mobilize more troops for the war in Ukraine.
Meanwhile, U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan has often threatened that "catastrophic results will happen" when faced with threats, but not much comes from that, said Holt.
"We've seen that in the ramp-up to the Ukraine war and yet we've got a war," said Holt. "So, I would love to know what the diplomacy is on the other side. No matter how this resolves, you know that the United States' communications can be looked at publicly through the Freedom of Information Act. We should do just that."
Meanwhile, a Putin ally Tuesday issued a new nuclear warning to Ukraine and the West while voting ordered by Russia before it annexes four Ukrainian regions entered a fifth and final day. Holt said the elections are "all theater."
"There are people having guns foisted at their heads," and they are being told "don't forget how to vote," said Holt. "They'll get some sort of sham vote. I'm surprised they're even going to the theatrics of the actual act of voting. It's just absolutely silly, but it's deadly."
Putin also recently attended the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Uzbekistan, and Holt said he wants to know if the countries involved will officially recognize the provinces as part of the Russian Federation.
Holt added that he doesn't know if Russia will arm itself with nuclear weapons to defend the frontier, but he is worried about the Western resolve to keep supporting Ukraine when there is an energy and food crisis "and now the threat of renewed and increased aggression from Moscow."
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