Dutch Defense Min. calls Putin a vindictive autocrat
Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren sees Russian President Vladimir Putin as "vengeful" and “an autocrat,” who wants to win the war in Ukraine at all costs, she said on the television program WNL on Sunday.
According to Ollongren, Putin's characteristics have been visible for some time, since the Russian invasion of Georgia in 2008 and the annexation of Crimea in 2014. "He is really out to restore things that, in his eyes, need to be repaired. At the expense of human lives," Ollongren said.
The use of a hypersonic missile by Russia this weekend shows how far Putin is willing to go, Ollongren said. "These are new, very expensive weapons,” she said. “It mainly shows that they want to use everything. Putin wants to win this war at all costs."
Ollongren was asked whether she considers the bombing of the Ukrainian city of Mariupol to be a war crime, as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy does. She did not use that word, but did say that "the entire war is illegal.”
“All the stories indicate that very heavy weapons are being used against arbitrary targets,” Ollongren said. “I think that is why the international community condemns this war so strongly.”
Reporting by ANP