John Bolton Says Putin Will Win in Ukraine, Biden Has Failed to Unify NATO

Former national security adviser John Bolton said Russia will win in Ukraine due to President Joe Biden failing to unite NATO over the possible Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Bolton talked with MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell on Tuesday about the ongoing destabilization between Russia and Ukraine. Michell said Ukraine became politicized during former President Donald Trump's administration, but the former UN ambassador said he believed Putin was getting almost the same response from Biden's administration that he expected from Trump's.

"I think Putin was undoubtedly waiting for a second Trump term, but he's getting effectively almost what he would have expected then," Bolton said. "This is going to be a victory for Russia."

On Tuesday, Russian troops crossed the eastern border of Ukraine, causing increased concerns that a full-blown invasion may occur. Ukraine's Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said their country "must overcome fear and despair," with the new troop movement, the Financial Times reported.

General Sir Richard Shirreff, a retired British military officer, told BBC Radio 4's Today program that Putin believes he will be able to overtake Ukraine, stating, "Nobody starts a war if they don't think they can win it," he said, according to the Daily Express.

In a statement Tuesday, Reznikov said that the only thing that is separating Ukraine from Russia is the Ukrainian army and that Ukraine would focus on strengthening its defenses. "Our choice is very simple—to defend our country, our home, our family. Nothing has changed for us," Reznikov said according to the Financial Times.

However, the defense minister had differing views from Bolton regarding the outcome of the potential war, saying Ukraine would win against Russia, but that there are "difficult challenges ahead. There will be losses. We will have to go through pain…but we will definitely win. Because we are on our land and the truth is behind us," Reznikov was quoted by the Kyiv Post.

During the interview with MSNBC, Bolton further criticized Biden's handling of the Russian and Ukraine situation, saying the president failed at rallying NATO allies. Bolton said the president himself had stated it had failed.

Mitchell pushed back, arguing the U.S. has not failed to rally the NATO allies, saying, "They've never been stronger. I was just in Munich, and I can tell you that there was no space among those allies." Bolton disagreed with the closeness of NATO, asserting, "There's plenty of space."

As Russian troops moved in, Biden issued sanctions Tuesday after what he said was Putin starting the invasion of Ukraine. Biden added that the Russian president has committed "a flagrant violation of international law," USA Today reported.

However, Bolton argued the sanctions placed against Russia would not work unless the imposed sanctions would include telling Putin "that [the] Nord Stream 2 [gas pipeline] will never be turned on, until and unless all Russian forces on foreign territory…are removed."

John Bolton Interview on Russia
Former US National Security Advisor John Bolton said he believed Russia will win in Ukraine during an interview with MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell on Tuesday. Above, Bolton speaks about U.S. policy toward Africa at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., on December 13, 2018. Nicholas Kamm/ AFP/Getty Images