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LAWRENCE, Kan. — Even though he’s been predicting the Russian invasion of Ukraine for a while, Valery Dzutsati was still in shock Wednesday night.

“Imagine you’re in a crowd in a nice restaurant or something,” the traveling professor from Russia, currently visiting the University of Kansas, said Thursday. “Then some sort of brash guy comes in and starts smashing things, and everybody’s like, ‘What do we do with this guy?'”

Dzutsati has been at KU since last semester, and even though he’s from Russia originally, he does not support the invasion. 

“I’ve been a critic of Putin’s for the past 20 years,” he said.

Dzutsati said he was probably considered to be hawkish back in his day because of his thoughts on Vladimir Putin. Dzutsati came to the U.S. in 2007.

“No… no. No.. not at all,” he said when asked whether he thought people in Russia felt the same way he did. “I’m pretty sure not. There are many critics of Putin’s, but there are also many supporters.”

Dzutsati said if Putin’s invasion is successful and relatively easy, his support in the country will go up. Then the question will become, what happens next.

“I’ve seen some U.S. experts saying, ‘Oh, just give him Ukraine, and he will be quiet.’ No, he won’t,” he said. “That’s not going to happen. For anyone who knows Russia just a little bit, he will move on. He will move on to the Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, who are actually members of NATO.” 

President Joe Biden announced a host of sanctions Thursday to punish Russia for what he called “a premeditated attack” on Ukraine.

“We saw flagrant violations of international law,” Biden said. “Putin is the aggressor. Putin chose this war, and now he and his country will bear the consequences.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says 137 civilians and military personnel have been killed so far in the Russian invasion of his country.

The new package of sanctions aims to cut Russia off from U.S. financial markets and includes freezing the assets of four major Russian banks, including VTB Bank, the nation’s second-biggest bank, Biden said Thursday.

Speaking at the White House, Biden also announced sweeping export restrictions that would limit Russia’s ability to do business.

New export control measures could halt more than 50% of high-tech imports into Russia and severely limit its access to global exports of everything from commercial electronics and computers to semiconductors and aircraft parts.

Biden said, it will “strike a blow” to Russia’s aims to modernize its military, its vaunted aerospace industry, its space program, shipping and other industry.

“It’s going to be a cold day for Russia,” Biden said.

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