Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said Thursday on MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” that Russian President Vladimir Putin should understand that if he invades Ukraine, “body bags will come back to Moscow.”

Sherman said, “We are quite concerned about the build-up and the further escalation by Russia surrounding Ukraine, as you say, starting the exercises in Belarus, right next door to Ukraine.”


She continued, “Of course, the timing is suspicious and alarming, and we’re very concerned that President Putin may make the wrong choice.”

Sherman added, “If Vladimir Putin takes that action, the consequences will not just be for the Ukrainian people, which will be terrible, but for the world community at large because Vladimir Putin will say that any autocrat can take action that undermines international principles that Russia has signed up to—to sovereignty, to territorial integrity, that countries get to choose their own political alliances and their own foreign policy. Added to that, not only will there be dire consequences to the economy of Russia by what we will do, not just the United States but this extraordinary alliance that exists with all of Europe and the United States and countries around the world. Not only will that create consequences, but Vladimir Putin should understand body bags will come back to Moscow as well — that the citizens of Russia will suffer because their economy will be completely devastated. So, this is a very stark choice for him.”

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