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Trump again claims he could have stopped Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine

by The Kyiv Independent news desk May 24, 2024 3:47 PM 3 min read
Former President Donald Trump holds a rally in the historical Democratic district of the South Bronx on May 23, 2024 in New York City. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
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Donald Trump again claimed Russia would not have launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine if he had won a second term in office.

Speaking during his first rally in New York in eight years on May 23, the former president also said he would have prevented Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack on Israel and the ensuing war in Gaza that followed.

Trump is the presumptive Republican nominee for the 2024 U.S. presidential election, going up against incumbent President Joe Biden. He spoke in Crotona Park in the Bronx in New York City, which Biden won in 2020 with 68% of the vote.

In a carnival-like atmosphere and in front of a crowd with a significant showing of pro-Israel supporters, Trump focused heavily on his time as a businessman in New York City and the economy, barely mentioning foreign policy.

When he did briefly, he took aim at Biden’s term in office, describing the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan as "the most embarrassing day in the history of our country."

"It's probably a reason, a piece of it, why Russia went into Ukraine. They said 'these people are incompetent, we’ll go in,'" he said.

"So Russia going into Ukraine would never have happened, none of this stuff you see would have happened.

"Israel would have never happened, the attack on October 7th."

Trump has said he would not commit to providing Ukraine with defense assistance if he won the 2024 election. Trump's sway over the party contributed to the six-month deadlock of the $61 billion in U.S. aid for Ukraine.

He also described Russian President Vladimir Putin's move to launch the full-scale invasion of Ukraine as "genius" and "savvy" in 2022.

Trump has repeatedly claimed he could stop the war in Ukraine "in 24 hours" though he has never publicly stated how he would do this.

The Washington Post wrote on April 7, citing anonymous sources, that Trump had privately said he could end it by pressuring Ukraine to cede Crimea and Donbas to Moscow.

According to the Washington Post, Trump also said he believes that both Moscow and Kyiv "want to save face, they want a way out," claiming that Ukrainians in Russian-occupied territories would not object to being part of Russia.

"If the deal and the idea is simply to give our territories, then it is very primitive," President Volodymyr Zelensky said in response.

Owen Racer contributed reporting to this article.

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