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US ambassador to Israel: Putin is a ‘madman’ and thousands could be killed

US Ambassador Tom Nides is interviewed by The Times of Israel at the US embassy in Jerusalem, on January 7, 2022. (David Azagury/ US embassy)
US Ambassador Tom Nides is interviewed by The Times of Israel at the US embassy in Jerusalem, on January 7, 2022. (David Azagury/ US embassy)

US Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides says Russian President Vladimir Putin is a “madman” and suggests that thousands of people could be killed in the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“Putin is a madman, and sadly, sadly, thousands of people could be killed, hundreds of thousands of people already have fled, creating one of the largest refugee crises Europe has seen probably in 40 years, if not longer,” says Nides, speaking at a Jewish People Policy Institute event alongside former US envoy Dennis Ross.

Nides says that despite great intelligence work and predictions over the past few weeks, “many of us believed it would never happen, that no one would be that crazy… that it was a big bluff.”

The US envoy says he has met face-to-face with the Ukrainian ambassador to Israel multiple times in the past week, and has held “hundreds of conversations with Israeli officials” recently about the crisis.

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