Home Tim Kaine Video: Sen. Tim Kaine Says “Democracies in the world have to link...

Video: Sen. Tim Kaine Says “Democracies in the world have to link arms,” Whether the Threats Are “Putin in Ukraine or…Donald Trump embracing QAnon theories and promoting violence”

On Russian threats to use nuclear weapons, Sen. Kaine says "I think it is a big bluff," but adds, "Putin is dangerous because he has his back against the wall."

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See below for video of Sen. Tim Kaine talking to Ali Velshi about the war in Ukraine and threats to democracy. According to Sen. Kaine, who is as member of the Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services committees:

  • “If [the bogus Russian ‘referendum’ in Ukraine] is allowed, the UN has no purpose,  I mean it has absolutely no meaning, this is why the UN was created. And allowing Russia to get any traction with its bogus arguments about the need for this, we can’t allow it. The good news is, my read of the UN General Assembly has been an isolation and rejection of Russia by leaders around the world. You see nations like China that have stood with Russia, they’re starting to get wary and starting to be isolated for their own anti-democratic activities. You see these protests in Iran by courageous women who are tired of being kicked around by the morality police and the dictatorial government. There’s popular sentiment on the move against tyrants these days, and the UN has to be clear and not muddled about where the international community stands. Russia is the lead example, but there are many other situations in the world  where being strong against Russian authoritarianism sends a message to other dictators.”
  • On Russia’s threats of using nuclear weapons: “I think it’s a bluff…I think it’s a big bluff. The use of nuclear weapons would pose massive fallout risks to Russian citizens. Using nuclear weapons anywhere in this theater is not just going to invite a coordinated international response that will be overwhelmingly catastrophic for Russia, but the use of nuclear weapons also poses fallout risks in Russia.  So I think it is a big bluff. Putin is dangerous because he has his back against the wall. He had a plan to topple the Ukrainian government in three days, it’s gone poorly. The whole world has seen it. He’s been humiliated before the entire world. His forever friendship declaration with Xi Jinping before the Beijing Olympics now looks like kind of a joke, and Xi Jinping is backing away from him. And everybody knows it and Putin knows that they know it. So he is in a tough spot, but I still think the use of nuclear weapons has much more downstream negative consequence for Russia and for Putin’s hold on power that it does for other nations.”
  • On threats to democracy, Sen. Kaine: “I’ll tell you, it is a very strange moment, I’m 64 years old, you would never have seen a poll where that would be the top issue…I was at an event yesterday at the University of Virginia where they were giving out an annual ‘Defenders of Democracy’ award. Now normally…the person getting the award is a Tibetan human rights activists or somebody who’s active in the Hong Kong pro-democracy movement. The award winners yesterday were seven Capitol Police officers, and three of the awards were given posthumously [to those] who defended us when the Capitol was under attack on January 6th. The threats to democracy, it might be Putin in Ukraine or it might be Donald Trump embracing QAnon theories and promoting violence. We see them at home and we see them abroad, and the world has to link arms. The democracies in the world have to link arms. And we’re showing after maybe a period where we were taking it for granted or we seemed indifferent to it, we’re showing the capacity to battle for it at home and link arms with nations around the world to battle for it globally.”

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