(CNSNews.com) - It appears that former Vice President Mike Pence and Russian President Vladimir Putin agree on one thing: Ukraine is the vehicle by which the West aims to stop Russia from re-establishing the former Soviet Union.
"We are involved in a proxy war against the Soviet Union. The Ukrainians are fighting it," Pence told Fox News's Sean Hannity on Tuesday.
"And I really believe that it's absolutely essential that we see it through, and we demand our European allies do more than their share because it is their front yard.
"But I think it's absolutely essential that after a slow start in providing support to the Ukrainian military by the Biden administration, we're now providing that support.
"But let's get them what they need, the tanks -- let's get them the F-16s, and let's support them as they finish this fight."
Earlier on Tuesday, Putin told the Russian parliament, "The West is using Ukraine as a battering ram against Russia and as a testing range."
Putin warned that if NATO provides even longer-range weapons to Ukraine, "the further we will have to move the threat away from our borders."
"The Western elite make no secret of their goal, which is, I quote, 'Russia’s strategic defeat.' What does this mean to us?" Putin asked.
"This means they plan to finish us once and for all. In other words, they plan to grow a local conflict into a global confrontation. This is how we understand it, and we will respond accordingly, because this represents an existential threat to our country."
Putin added that it is "impossible to defeat Russia on the battlefield."
Pence accused President Biden of "failed leadership," and he noted that the Trump/Pence administration was the only one in the 21st Century to deter Russian aggression:
"They (Russia) did it in the Bush administration when the tanks rolled into Georgia. They did it under the Obama administration when they captured Crimea.
"But under our administration it was peace through strength, historic investment in our national defense, a willingness to allow our military to prosecute our interests and take the fight to our enemies on our terms or on their soil.
"That changed under this administration and it's emboldened not only Putin but other authoritarian leaders around the world.
"That said, we are in the fight. And I believe we've got to stay in the fight. You know, it was 1985, State of the Union Address by Ronald Reagan in which he articulated what came to be known as the Reagan doctrine. He said we must not break faith with those who are breaking their lives.
"As the Bible says, there is nothing new under the sun -- what is now has been before."
Pence noted that on January 19, 2022 -- shortly before Russia invaded Ukraine -- Biden told a press conference that a "minor incursion" by Russia might be acceptable:
"And so, I think what you’re going to see is that Russia will be held accountable if it invades," Biden said a little over a year ago. "And it depends on what it does. It’s one thing if it’s a minor incursion and then we end up having a fight about what to do and not do, et cetera.
"But if they actually do what they’re capable of doing with the forces amassed on the border, it is going to be a disaster for Russia if they further invade Ukraine, and that our allies and partners are ready to impose severe costs and significant harm on Russia and the Russian economy."
Pence told Hannity that Putin won't stop at Ukraine, so it's important to "hold the line" there.
"But at the end of the day, the real antidote here is what we had during our administration, and that was a commitment, not only to our national defense but an unwavering commitment to allow our military to defend and prosecute our interests in the world, wherever they were threatened."
Putin on Tuesday described Russia as a "distinct civilization."
"Our ancestors passed it on to us, and we must preserve it for our descendants and pass it on to them."