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Ron DeSantis weighs in on Ukraine, blames Biden’s ‘weakness’ for invasion

The governor’s comments came after he’d been mum on the issue for several days.
Gov. Ron DeSantis walks off stage after speaking during the 2022 Conservative Political Action Conference at the Rosen Shingle Creek hotel in Orlando on Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022.
Gov. Ron DeSantis walks off stage after speaking during the 2022 Conservative Political Action Conference at the Rosen Shingle Creek hotel in Orlando on Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022. [ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]
Published Feb. 28|Updated Feb. 28

Gov. Ron DeSantis blamed President Joe Biden for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, saying that his “weakness” on foreign policy issues like the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan “has really bred a lot of the disorder.”

He also said Biden has not taken a strong enough stance against Russian President Vladimir Putin because Biden “has stepped on the neck of our domestic energy” by doing things like shutting down the Keystone XL pipeline, making the U.S. dependent on Russian oil.

The governor’s comments, which he made following a news conference Monday in Vero Beach, came four days after Russia first launched its invasion of Ukraine, setting off an international crisis that’s alarmed political leaders around the world and has left 352 Ukrainian civilians dead as of Sunday, according to Ukraine’s Interior Ministry.

DeSantis had not previously weighed in, prompting criticism from Democrats running against him for governor. He did not mention Ukraine during a speech Thursday at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando.

DeSantis’ comments Monday mirrored what many CPAC speakers had said, including former President Donald Trump.

Unlike Trump, though, DeSantis did not praise Putin’s strategy as “smart.” Instead, he said Putin’s invasion has been “half-hearted” with ”miscalculations.”

“If you go into another country with an armed population that is hell-bent on resisting you, I mean, it’s going to be death by a thousand cuts for the Russian army,” DeSantis said. “I think the Ukrainians have done a good job so far of standing up to this.”

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