On Monday, West Virginia's Democrat Senator Joe Manchin conveyed to an audience at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that the United States should seek the complete removal of Russian President Vladimir Putin from power.
Manchin said, "Let me speak about Ukraine, first, what Putin… Putin’s war on Ukraine and Ukraine’s determination, resolve, and the sacrifices they’ve made for the cause of freedom, has united the whole world, that it has united us as Senate and Congress I think like nothing I’ve seen in my lifetime. I think we’re totally committed to supporting Ukraine, in every way possible. As long as we have the rest of NATO and the free world helping, I think we’re all in this together. And I am totally committed as one person, to seeing Ukraine to the end with a win. Not basically resolving in some type of a treaty, I don’t think that is where we are or where we should be."
"Can I just follow-up and ask you what you mean by a 'win' for Ukraine?" asked the panel moderator. "I mean, basically moving Putin back to Russia and hopefully getting rid of Putin," Manchin replied.
At another point in the talk, Manchin characterized the Russian invasion of Ukraine as an "opportunity" for American intervention.
The panel was called "The View from Capitol Hill." Besides Manchin, other participants included Democrat Senators Patrick Leahy of Vermont, Bob Menendez of New Jersey, Democrat Senator Chris Coons of Delaware, and Democrat Rep. Gregory Meeks of New York.
Manchin was comment on Congressional agreement was a reference to the Senate’s approval of $40 billion in aid for Ukraine. While there was a moment of pushback from Republicans like Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky on the grounds of demanding financial accountability, ultimately President Joe Biden formally signed and approved the aid package last week.
Over the past week, the expressed sentiments from Russia’s Foriegn Minister Sergey Lavrov is that the world needs to be freed of "the West’s neocolonial oppression heavily mixed with racism and a complex of exceptionalism."
Manchin’s reputation in Washington throughout 2021 painted him as a Democrat rebel alongside Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, for going against the party on measures pushed by the Biden administration.
It’s not the first time a US politician has publicly endorsed the removal of Russia’s Vladimir Putin since the start of the invasion of Ukraine. Senator Lindsey Graham called for Putin’s assassination in early March, while US President Biden stated he "couldn’t remain in power" in a speech made towards the end of that month.