What 'Putin Wing' Ex-Colonel Douglas Macgregor Has Said About Ukraine War

Retired Army Colonel Douglas Macgregor has made headlines over the past several weeks for his controversial comments about Russia's ongoing war in Ukraine.

Macgregor, who served as a senior advisor under former President Donald Trump, has frequently appeared on Fox News programs, including Tucker Carlson's show, to discuss Russia's invasion. He has received backlash from both Democrats and Republicans for seeming to take a stance favorable toward Russia and its President Vladimir Putin. In multiple interviews, Macgregor has confidently predicted that the conflict will end with Russia "annihilating" Ukrainian forces and winning the war. One such interview, with Carlson, was aired on Russia's state-controlled TV.

Macgregor also said that Russian forces were "too gentle" in the early stages of the Ukraine invasion, and referred to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky as a "puppet." Those comments prompted Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney to describe Macgregor as part of the "Putin wing of the GOP."

Macgregor has also come under fire in recent weeks after media outlets resurfaced antisemitic remarks he made last year, in which he referred to Jewish people as "rootless cosmopolitans" who "have no connection to the country," referring to the U.S.

As the war in Ukraine continues into its fourth week, here's a look at some of the comments Macgregor has made since the start of the conflict.

"If they don't surrender in the next 24 hours, I suspect Russia will ultimately annihilate them."

Speaking to Fox News three days after the Ukraine invasion began, Macgregor suggested that the conflict was already nearing an end:

"The battle in eastern Ukraine is really almost over, all of the Ukrainian troops there have been largely surrounded and cut off. You have a concentration down in the Southeast of 30 or 40,000 of them, and if they don't surrender in the next 24 hours, I suspect Russia will ultimately annihilate them."

Macgregor added that he believed Zelensky needed to "negotiate the best deal he can get," even if that means surrendering parts of eastern Ukraine to Russian forces and declaring neutrality in Western Ukraine. Later in the interview, Macgregor claimed that Western media is working to "demonize" Putin and Russia, and added that the U.S. should stay out of the conflict—and avoid sending any aid to Ukrainian forces. Since then the U.S. has announced abundant military aid to Ukraine.

"We need to remember that Ukraine is fourth from the bottom of 158 countries in the world that is corrupt. Russia is perhaps three or four places above them. This is not the liberal democracy, the shining example everyone says it is," he said.

"I see no reason why we should fight with Russians over something they have been talking about for years. More important, the population [in Ukraine] is indistinguishable from their own."

That interview ultimately prompted Fox News national security correspondent Jennifer Griffin to fact-check Macgregor and say he sounded "like an apologist for Putin."

"The first five days Russian forces I think frankly were too gentle."

Days later, Macgregor appeared in an interview with Fox Business' Stuart Varney and claimed that Russian forces had been too gentle in their initial attacks.

"The first five days Russian forces I think frankly were too gentle," he said. "They've now corrected that. So, I would say another 10 days this should be completely over."

"I think Zelensky is a puppet, and he is putting huge numbers of his own population in unnecessary risk," Macgregor added. "I don't see anything heroic about the man. I think the most heroic thing he could do right now is come to terms with reality. Neutralize Ukraine."

"Russia will not suffer as a result of our sanctions."

On March 7, Macgregor again appeared on Fox News with host Tucker Carlson and continued to pushback against any U.S. involvement in the war.

"The sanctions will do a lot of damage to us," he said. "They're not going to make much difference to Russia. China will stand with Russia. It knows it has to. Russia has an abundance of food and energy. China will take it all. Russia will not suffer as a result of our sanctions. In fact, it may break down the financial system that we have set up to punish everyone in the world we don't like."

This weekend, the sanctions were described as helpful "shock therapy" for "brainwashed Russians" by Andrei Kozyrev, who served as foreign minister under former Russian President Boris Yeltsin.

"The war is really over for the Ukrainians...they have been grounded to bits."

On Thursday, Macgregor told Carlson that he believes Ukrainians have already been defeated and that both nations "are very close right now to a ceasefire."

"The war is really over for the Ukrainians," Macgregor said. "They have been grounded to bits. There's no question about that despite what we report on our mainstream media. So the real question for us at this stage is, if there is an agreement, Tucker, are we going to live with the Russian people and their government? Or are we going to continue to pursue this sort of regime change dressed up as Ukrainian war?"

Ukraine War
Retired U.S. Army Colonel Douglas Macgregor has made headlines in recent weeks for his seemingly pro-Russia comments about the Ukraine war. Here, Ukrainian tanks move before an attack in the Lugansk region on February 26. ANATOLII STEPANOV/AFP/Getty Images