Feb 25, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Blinken says Ukraine is part of Putin's plans for a new Soviet empire

Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during a news conference with Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, not pictured, at the State Department in Washington, DC, on February 22
Secretary of State Antony Blinken during a Tuesday news conference at the State Department in Washington, D.C. Photo: Carolyn Kaster-Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin has set his sights on other countries in addition to Ukraine, Secretary of State Antony Blinken told CBS News on Thursday evening.

Driving the news: The Russian military stepped up its bombing campaign against Ukraine on Thursday, killing dozens of civilians and Ukrainian soldiers.

What he's saying: "You don't need intelligence to tell you" that establishing a new Soviet Union is "exactly" what Putin wants, Blinken told "CBS Evening News" anchor Norah O'Donnell.

  • "He's made clear that he'd like to reconstitute the Soviet empire. Short of that, he'd like to reassert a sphere of influence around neighboring countries that were once part of the Soviet bloc," Blinken continued.
  • "And short of that, he'd like to make sure that all of these countries are somehow neutral." 

Go deeper: Ukraine-Russia crisis latest developments

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