UNC professor reacts as Russia continues attack on Kyiv despite saying it’ll slow down

Published: Mar. 30, 2022 at 8:57 PM EDT
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PITT COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) - Russian forces are still attacking Kyiv after Russia said it would reduce combat situations near the Ukrainian capital city.

This isn’t the first time Russian leaders have been misleading.

Tuesday night, the Russian military continued the bombings around Kyiv, despite Moscow saying it would scale back its military presence near the capital city.

ECU political science students were not surprised to see Russian forces continue bombing Kyiv.

“For his whole tenure as president, Putin has wanted to kind of get back to the days of the Soviet Union,” said an ECU Political Studies student, Lucas Snyder.

Dr. Jonathan Weiler, a UNC global studies professor, believes Putin is panicking.

“He believed that Ukrainians would provide little resistance and he was just dead wrong about that,” said Dr. Weiler.

Dr. Weiler says Putin is trying to gain leverage by being so sporadic.

“He’s trying to keep Ukraine off balance, he’s trying to keep NATO and the United States off balance,” said Dr. Weiler.

He also said Putin has made false claims about Ukraine, including the so-called mass murders of Russians in eastern Ukraine.

“At the moment, I don’t even know if it is worth thinking about him as a mastermind so much as somebody who is just kind of reacting the way he’s reacting to something that is going really badly for him,” said Dr. Weiler.

Putin made another false claim just four weeks ago, when the invasion started.

“One of the justifications that Putin gave as a lot of the people following this now, is quote on quote de-Nazification of Ukraine,” said Dr. Weiler.

Putin said this after Ukraine elected a Jewish president in 2019, so Dr. Weiler feels Putin will continue to lie in cases that benefit him.

Snyder believes that the United States has a job to do to stop this spread of misinformation and defend democracy.

“You know we are the greatest democracy in the world in my opinion, but we have to protect democracy, all across the world, or else Putin and his authoritarian tendencies are going to spread all over,” said Snyder.

Dr. Weiler also believes Putin’s generals came to him and said they were fighting a losing war. He says Putin initially listened but his ego got the best of him, that’s why he attacked Kyiv hours later.

Snyder said he believes that warnings about this situation turning into world war three are a bit drastic. He believes the United States won’t get directly involved in the situation.

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