KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons was a guest on the Army & Air Force Exchange Service's "Chief Chat" show on Tuesday (March 15). During the question-and-answer session, Gene talked about life, business, his appreciation for the military and KISS's ongoing "End Of The Road" farewell tour. The hour-plus-interview can be seen below.
Speaking about Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Simmons said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "The world forever will be filled with good people and there are gonna be some bad people. My heart goes out to the people in the Ukraine who are bravely not lying down and trying not to inflame the conversation because Mr. Putin has clearly gone off the rails. And I feel for those Russian young soldiers, who, by the way, were not told — I have some friends in D.C., and we've had discussions — they weren't told they were going across the Ukraine. It was just a military exercise. Some of them thought they were war games, so they were totally unprepared for what's happening.
"Look, there's no simple answer, but if America wasn't here as a deterrent, let's say, even if it comes down to the extreme of nuclear apartheid, the world would be a different place, unfortunately, because even people who you sit across and have discussions with can turn into despots and dictators and decide to exert their will over others," he continued. "I'm using very soft language. What it really means is they become mass murderers because they want certain things. And Putin has joined that club, unfortunately, and I hope it can all come to a peaceful end. Now, in the meantime, we should do everything to punish that guy and the oligarchs and everybody else. But, of course, the by-product of that is innocent people in Russia have to bear the brunt of that — higher prices, the ruble is worth next to nothing. And so everybody suffers because one asshole decides he wants to do something like this. It's devastating. I don't even know how to respond. But only the military and the brave people of Ukraine… Wow. One of the world's most powerful regimes is finding out that they're at a standstill and they can't exert their force because the Ukrainians have decided not to lie down… They're not gonna give up. And there's a good chance Russia's gonna get their pants handed to them — perhaps not in a nuclear way, not militarily, but everybody there's gonna have to fight door to door, building to building. They're not gonna win."
On February 24, Russian president Vladimir Putin announced a "special military operation" in Ukraine. Putin made the announcement during a televised early morning speech, peddling accusations of Nazi elements within Ukraine to justify the attack on his western neighbor, a move that experts slammed as slanderous and false. (Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy is Jewish and lost three family members in the Holocaust.)
The Russian leader called for Ukraine's "demilitarization and denazification" and warned other countries that any attempt to interfere with the Russian action would lead to "consequences they have never seen."
According to NPR, nearly 600 civilian fatalities have been confirmed in the first three weeks of the war, including a U.S. journalist.
The U.S. military estimates that between 2,000 and 4,000 Ukrainian armed forces, national guard and volunteer forces have been killed. It estimates that between 5,000 and 6,000 Russian soldiers have been killed.
Ukrainian armed forces say more than 12,000 Russian troops have been killed since February 24.