The White House, US senators and former generals have all questioned Vladimir Putin’s mental health after two years of Covid pandemic isolation.
Jen Paski raised the Russian leader’s state of mind after his unprovoked decision to invade Ukraine and the violence his troops have unleashed on the country.
“The speech he gave last week … was somebody who was not only justifying the invasion of a sovereign country but clearly had ambitions beyond that,” the White House press secretary told ABC’s This Week anchor George Stephanopoulos on Sunday.
And she added: “He’s obviously been quite isolated during Covid. But I will tell you, certainly the rhetoric, the actions, the justification that he’s making for his actions are certainly deeply concerning to us.”
Senator Marco Rubio, a Republican from Florida, took to Twitter to also question the state of Mr Putin’s mental health.
“I wish I could share more, but for now I can say it’s pretty obvious to many that something is off with Putin,” he tweeted.
“He has always been a killer, but his problem now is different and significant. It would be a mistake to assume this Putin would react the same way he would have 5 years ago.”
Senator Rubio, who is the vice chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee also said that Putin “appears to have some neuro/psychological issues.”
“But most telling is this is a man who has long prided himself on emotional control. His recent flashes of anger is very uncharacteristic and show an erosion in impulse control.”
The Republican also tweeted on Sunday: “Let me stress again that we are NOT dealing with 2008 Putin.
“It is a grave error to assume he will make the same calculations & decisions today that he would have made in the past.
“The old Putin was a cold blooded but calculating killer. This new Putin is even more dangerous.”
Donald Trump’s former National Security Adviser, Lt Gen HR McMaster told CBS News’ Face the Nation that Mr Putin was no longer a “rational actor” as he was “fearful” about staying in power and in restoring Russia’s historic standing.
“I think now he knows that all of that is at risk,” he said.
“The Russian military doesn’t look very good right now, he does not look very powerful and this is going to jeopardise his ability to stay in power.”
Mr McMaster said that Mr Putin was “living in a bubble” and that “everybody around him is telling him what he wants to hear.”
“These totalitarian leaders can look very strong but they are in fact very brittle and as ugly as democracy is, democracies are actually pretty darn resistant and you see that with Ukrainians and I hope they inspire confidence in all of us across the free world.”