Putin 'Detached From Reality,' Made 'Miscalculation' in Ukraine: Tony Blair

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said Sunday that Putin is "detached from reality" amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Blair's remarks came during an interview on CNN. Host Fareed Zakaria played footage of Putin shaking hands with Blair during a trip to London in April 2000, in what marked the Russian president's first visit to the West after he was elected.

"He seemed rational, incremental, calculating, logical. He now seems emotional, angry. What is your sense of the trajectory?" Zakaria asked.

"The first Putin I met was Western-facing, anxious to have a good relationship with the West...Then I think he found the challenges of reform and change in Russia too great and he decided to consolidate power in a more autocratic way and then become a Russian nationalist," Blair said.

Putin 'Detached From Reality,' Tony Blair
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said Sunday that Russian President Vladimir Putin is "detached from reality" amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Above, Putin leaves Red Square after the Victory Day military parade in central Moscow on May 9. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair (Inset) speaks at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), a defence think tank, in London. KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV / Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

He added the "second incarnation" of Putin was "cold and calculating" but still "entirely rational within his own terms."

Blair went on to say that "the anxiety I think everyone has is that he's now completely detached from reality and surrounded by people who won't tell him the truth. And this is why this incredible miscalculation, I mean leave aside the wickedness of it, the miscalculation strategically and in every possible way has been enormous."

Blair added that anyone who knows Ukraine "knows that there was never any question of Ukrainians agreeing to be subjugated to Russia in this way."

Newsweek has reached out to the Russian Foreign Ministry for comment.

During an interview on Friday, former Russian prime minister Mikhail Kasyanov said that Putin has "already started to realize that he's losing this war." He also said that he believed the Russian president had been "misled" by his advisers about the state of the Russian military, and how quickly the invasion of Ukraine would take.

In an interview on Sunday, Canada's ambassador to Ukraine Larisa Galadza said that Putin "isn't rational" and that, as a result, no one could have stopped Russia's invasion.

"He wasn't believing history. He wasn't logical. He wasn't rational. He isn't rational. So, I don't know how one prevents that," Galadza told the CBC.

"I don't think there was anyone who could stop Putin doing what Putin did," she added.

U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Kristina Kvien said Sunday that she believes Putin is making "empty threats" against Finland and Sweden amid his war losses as those countries move toward NATO membership. On Sunday, Sweden's ruling party put aside Putin's threats and approved a bid to join the security alliance, reversing centuries of non-alignment.