“Russia can be beaten”

“Russia can be beaten”

11:10 p.m., September 10, 2022, amended to 11:36 p.m., September 10, 2022

“I have a crazy schedule! It is past 9 p.m. this Thursday in kyiv and Dmytro Kuleba’s day is still far from over. A few hours earlier, the Ukrainian Foreign Minister welcomed Antony Blinken, on a surprise visit to the country. The American Secretary of State promised a new aid of 2.8 billion dollars to Ukraine and its neighbours, including 675 million in armaments. Enough to encourage a little more the troops of Volodymyr Zelensky who, launched in a double offensive in the south and the north-east of the country, have made a spectacular breakthrough in the Kharkiv region in recent days. At the JDD, the head of diplomacy entrusts his hopes of victory.

Ukraine has launched counter-offensives in the south and the Kharkiv region. Can you confirm that at least 700 square kilometers and more than 50 localities have been taken over?
In school, my favorite subject was history, not math. So I can’t give exact numbers. But, yes, we are talking about several hundred square kilometres. This is the first counter-offensive that we are leading. It proves that Russia can not only be stopped but also beaten. If we join our efforts, if the moral force and the sacrifices of the Ukrainians are combined with the weapons provided by the West, we can win. Those who hesitate or have doubts about increased support for Ukraine are only delaying VE Day.

What is the strategic objective of these counter-offensives?
Fully restore the territorial integrity of Ukraine. It will take time, require sacrifices, but we will get there.

Read also – President Zelensky announces that kyiv has taken over about 30 localities near Kharkiv

Would these offensives have been possible without American armament, in particular the Himars?
I can equally say that they would not have been possible without the French Caesar guns.

But do you have the means to carry out offensives of such magnitude?
We have enough people who want to defend the country but we need more weapons to equip them. The front line stretches over nearly 1,300 kilometers. And, in matters of heavy armament, Russia still surpasses us.

But European and American stocks are running out. Who can provide them to you?
Since February 24, I have learned a special art of diplomacy that can be summed up in one sentence: find weapons for your country! One day, when I write my Memoirs, I will describe all the models of cooperation to achieve this. Weapons and ammunition come from many countries around the world. Some make it public, others prefer to do it more discreetly. And sometimes it goes through third countries.

The best ground for discussion with Putin is the battlefield.

Does France deliver enough to you?
We are very grateful to France for the equipment provided as well as for supporting our application to join the EU. But when you face such an enemy on such an extensive front line, you can never have enough weapons. We therefore ask France to do more. And she is responsive.

Ukraine has been at war for six months but we Europeans are more concerned about energy prices and inflation. Is it selfishness?
No, the natural inclination of human beings is to think of themselves first. I don’t have a problem with that. The crucial point is to understand that Ukraine is not the source of these problems. It is the Russian aggression against my country and the rest of Europe that is the cause.

What to say to those who say that Europeans are more penalized by the sanctions taken against Russia?
One has to imagine the consequences of this approach. If a European leader says “This war is not ours, we don’t have to pay the price”, what will happen? He will ask his diplomats to no longer support the next sanctions packages against Russia. Then he will tell Putin that he is ready to be his friend again. But Putin will not see this as a gesture of friendship. For him, this will be proof of extreme weakness and he will attack immediately, like any predator who sees prey. In the savanna, the law is always the same: the prey always loses the battle for life when it has accepted the idea that it is impossible to win against the predator.

Do you understand Emmanuel Macron, who wants to leave open the channel of communication with Vladimir Putin?
It is President Macron’s right to decide who to talk to. However, experience has shown us that the best ground for discussion with Putin is the battlefield. Putin, you can always call him, it will not bring results. It’s useless because he’s a liar and I think Emmanuel Macron knows it. I remember the incredible efforts he made before the war to prevent this conflict. It did not work. No indicator shows that Putin has since changed his mind or is ready to negotiate.

The Zaporizhia power station was again bombed
this week. Do you plan to stop it, as suggested by one of your nuclear managers?

No, under no circumstances are we interested in a stop. Our vital interest is to keep it connected to the Ukrainian electricity grid. This allows us first to ensure our energy security and then to be able to export electricity to the European Union. This would help you cope with the consequences of gas cuts.

The mission of the International Atomic Energy Agency [AIEA] conducted last week really useful?
She was. His report confirms what we’ve been telling the world for weeks: Russian military and Rosatom experts [l’agence russe pour l’énergie atomique] undermine the principles of nuclear safety. It remains to know the follow-up to be given to this mission. The IAEA is ready to go further, so are we. But we must all be united around one objective: the total withdrawal of Russian troops and technicians from the plant.

Read also – Zaporijjia power plant: the IAEA considers the situation “untenable” and requests a secure area

Can you say that Ukraine never fired a shell at the plant?
Yes, but why ask this question?

Because the Russians accuse you of doing it…
So if Russian propaganda says I’m a neo-Nazi who eats Russian-speaking children for breakfast, you’re also going to ask me for confirmation?

But it is a war zone and it is not abnormal to think that this could happen…
We will never consider the Zaporizhia power station as a target. We are not crazy! Yes, there are fights around. But she’s not a target.

Emmanuel Macron spoke of a negotiated peace with Russia
when the time is right. Do you think this is possible?

I fully subscribe to this statement. Every war ends with diplomacy. It remains to be seen under what conditions you approach this moment. In the shoes of the winner? Of the loser? That is what matters. We want to sit at the negotiating table in the position of the winner. And it is on the battlefield that this is decided.

On a more personal level, are you the same man as six months ago?
I became a wartime foreign secretary, I have more gray hair and I know a lot more about weapons than I would like to know. But I’m even prouder to be Ukrainian than I was before.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.