Russian President Vladimir Putin likely won't respond to comments made by US President Joe Biden during his State of the Union address tonight — and Russian media is following suit, said Jill Dougherty, former CNN Moscow bureau chief and expert on Russia affairs.
"I think those personal comments by Joe Biden were probably things that would get under — into the craw of the Russian President. Things like 'dictator, Putin alone is to blame, more isolated than ever.' But I don’t think they’re going to engage in that, Dougherty said. "You know, you can't really defend yourself by saying 'no, I'm not a dictator.' But what they can do is try to pick apart the argument."
State of the Union: Biden started his address by condemning Putin's invasion, calling him "a Russian dictator invading a foreign country."
"Six days ago, Russia's Vladimir Putin sought to shake the foundations of the free world, thinking he could make it bend to his menacing ways. But he badly miscalculated," Biden said. "He thought he could roll into Ukraine and the world would roll over. Instead he met a wall of strength he never imagined. He met the Ukrainian people.
"When the history of this era is written, Putin’s war on Ukraine will have left Russia weaker and the rest of the world stronger."
Russian media: Russian television did report on Biden's speech afterward, summing up his main points, including the US closing its airspace to Russian aircraft, the Justice Department's new investigation into Russian oligarchs, and Biden's insistence that the US would not deploy troops to Ukraine, she said.
"I think all of this is a good indication that they are not going to engage on a personal basis on President Putin and this war, even though it is obviously his war — that they're trying to keep it more on a plane of issues for Russia, protecting Russia," she said.