US Republican senator Lindsey Graham calls on Russians to 'take Putin out'
Senator Lindsey Graham's remarks came after an interview with Fox News about Russia's invasion of Ukraine, during which he said that the West will not "defeat" Putin but the Russian people should.
"For 20 years, Putin has murdered his own people, imprisoned dissidents, opposition leaders in his country, committed war crimes in Syria and Chechnya and nothing happened. The game has changed," Graham said.
"The off-ramp for Putin would be built by the Russian people and not the West. How do you get the off-ramp built? We're going to crush the ruble," he added.
Shortly after the interview, Graham tweeted with a similar sentiment, referencing Claus von Stauffenberg, a German army officer who tried to assassinate Adolf Hitler in July 1944.
"Is there a Brutus in Russia? Is there a more successful Colonel Stauffenberg in the Russian military? The only way this ends is for somebody in Russia to take this guy out. You would be doing your country - and the world - a great service," Graham wrote on Twitter.
"The only people who can fix this are the Russian people. Easy to say, hard to do. Unless you want to live in darkness for the rest of your life, be isolated from the rest of the world in abject poverty, and live in darkness you need to step up to the plate," he added.
Putin announced the launch of a major offensive on Ukraine in the early hours of 24 February. Hours later, Russian ground forces crossed into Ukraine from several directions.
He launched the unprovoked invasion after recognising the two rebel republics in eastern Ukraine and signing friendship treaties with them.
Amnesty International has already published reports of "indiscriminate attacks on civilian areas and strikes on protected objects such as hospitals" following the invasion.
"Indiscriminate attacks violate international humanitarian law (the laws of war) and can constitute war crimes," the rights organisation said last Friday.
The leaders of the US, UK and France said they had spoken to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to lend their support.
US President Joe Biden called Russia's attack "unprovoked and unjustified".