Pelosi: Putin is a "tyrant" and his actions are a "total assault on democracy"
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday called Russia President Vladimir Putin a "tyrant" and said his latest aggression toward Ukraine is "an attack on democracy."
What she's saying: “It’s stunning to see in this day and age, a tyrant roll into a country," Pelosi said in her first news conference since returning from the Munich Security Conference. "This is the same tyrant who attacked our democracy in 2016."
- "You cannot ignore what Putin is doing ... You cannot take it any lighter than what it is: a total assault on democracy," she added, calling Putin's actions an "evil move."
- The House speaker also applauded President Biden's decision to sanction Russian banks that hold assets and provide financing for the Kremlin and the Russian military, saying that she respects his judgement.
Driving the news: Putin on Monday recognized two breakaway "republics" — Donetsk People's Republic (DNR) and the Luhansk People's Republic (LNR) — in eastern Ukraine as independent and sent "peacekeeping" troops into the regions.
- Biden and other Western leaders slapped fresh sanctions on Russia, with the U.S. president saying Putin's recent moves represent the start of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.