Vladimir Putin Is a 'Terrorist,' World 'in Denial,' Says Ukrainian Lawmaker

Ukrainian lawmaker Inna Sovsun said Saturday that the world needs to "stop being in denial" that Russian President Vladimir Putin is a terrorist as Russia's invasion of Ukraine continues.

Putin is facing mounting criticism for the invasion, including for attacks on civilians and the kidnapping of Melitopol Mayor Ivan Fedorov. Meanwhile, Russian forces continue advancing toward Kyiv, with President Volodymr Zelensky saying that all of Ukraine is a "front line."

Sovsun appeared on Fox News where she slammed the Russian president for the invasion, dubbing him a "terrorist" and "the Hitler of our time." She specifically criticized the "unprecedented" amount of violence the Russian military has used, pointing to reports that Fedorov has been kidnapped and is being tortured.

"That's another level of evil," she said. "Putin is a terrorist. This is a terrorist state we are talking about. This is a very scary reality to accept, but I think the whole world needs to stop being in denial about that. There are no boundaries for him. There are no limits to his cruelty."

She called on Western Europe to "step in," warning that Putin "needs to be stopped" and that "he will go further" than Ukraine.

Ukrainian officials have pleaded with Western Europe and the Untied States to implement a no-fly zone over the country, but other countries have been reluctant to engage directly with Russia out of concerns of what escalation could entail.

"He's completely a madman who has no...control over his decisions. And there's very little people in Russia who are able to stop him from the worst to happen," Sovsun added.

Others have also spoken out against Putin, slamming him for overseeing the military invasion that has seen a myriad of attacks on civilians, including hospitals and schools, with some accusing the Russians of committing war crimes.

Some experts also echoed Sovsun's warning that Putin would not stop at Ukraine. Former NATO commander James Stavridis said last week he believes Putin's eyes are set on other non-NATO countries including Moldova or Georgia.

On Saturday, Russian forces continued working to encircle Kyiv, with Ukrainian leaders saying their citizens are prepared to continue fighting. In a video address, Zelensky said: "The Russian troops are suffering great losses. We could even now talk about the greatest blow to the Russian troops in tens of years."

Zelensky also called for the release of Fedorov, comparing the kidnapping to "the actions of ISIS terrorists." The mayor was first held in a government office building by about 10 Russia soldiers, who allegedly put a bag over his head and removed him from the building when he didn't cooperate.

"The whole country saw that Melitopol did not surrender to the invaders, and this will not be changed by putting pressure on mayors or kidnapping mayors," the Ukrainian president said on Friday.

Newsweek reached out to the Russian government for comment Saturday afternoon. This story will be updated with any response.

MP Inna Sovsun slams "terrorist" Vladimir Putin
Ukrainian lawmaker Inna Sovsun slammed Russian President Vladimir Putin, above, as a “terrorist” during a Fox News appearance Saturday. MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV/SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images