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Editor’s note: This post contains language that some may find offensive.
Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, starts her day with a four-letter message to the Russian president.
“I’m here to tell you that your coffee in the morning tastes so much better in that mug,” she said, adding that she ordered them in bulk.
Yovanovitch — who was recalled from her post in Ukraine in the spring of 2019 and went on to become a key figure in the first impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump — has been making the rounds to promote her new memoir, Lessons from the Edge. It hit bookshelves in mid-March, just weeks after Russia first invaded Ukraine.
As part of her promotional tour, she also appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert earlier this month, where she revealed that she’s been giving out other anti-Putin merchandise as gifts for years.
Colbert pointed out the bracelet she was wearing, which bears the same phrase as her favorite mug. But she tapped him to read the message out loud: “I’m going to let you say that, because I’m the diplomat.”
Yovanovitch said she got the bracelet in Ukraine in 2017 or so. And she liked it so much that she bought a bunch more.
“I bulk-ordered them and I gave them to all visitors, including our congresspeople,” she said.
Yovanovitch recently told Fresh Air that while she used to see the Russian president as a “bully,” she now considers him “a war criminal.” But she believes he has underestimated the Ukrainian people and their military.
“The Ukrainian people are standing up and saying, ‘This is not going to happen,'” she said. “I think [Putin] miscalculated how well his own military would do. And I think he certainly miscalculated the resolve of the West and that we would go to the assistance of Ukraine.”
This story originally appeared on the Morning Edition live blog.
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