Putin at the Federal Assembly in Moscow, April 2021
Evgeny Sinitsyn / Xinhua / eyevi​ne / Redux

In a speech in late March, U.S. President Joe Biden veered off script and said out loud something about Russian President Vladimir Putin that many were thinking privately: “For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power.” White House aides raced to walk back the president’s ad-libbed remark, emphasizing that the U.S. goal in Russia is not regime change. Intentionally or not, however, Biden’s quip reinforced the conviction of some in Washington that the simplest way to end Putin’s war of aggression in Ukraine is to end his grip on power. As Senator Lindsey

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