Stating the alleged desire to resume peace talks, Russia is trying to divert the attention of Ukraine and the world community in order to buy time to prepare for the continuation of the aggressive policy. Mykhailo Podolyak, Advisor to the Head of the President’s Office, emphasized this in an interview with Wirtualna Polska.
“A big agreement on war and peace is impossible as Russia is not interested in it. The Kremlin believes that Ukraine should be wiped off the face of the earth by military means. They also have intentions regarding Moldova, Georgia and Kazakhstan. They want to dictate the rules of the game to Europe. There is no peace in these plans,” he said.
“Yes, Russia wants peace talks. However, this is not a sincere offer, but a trap. Because it is not about ending the war, it’s about strengthening one’s positions. It wants to consolidate territorial gains while it is at the top of military capabilities,” added the Advisor to the Head of the Office of the President.
He noted that for the same purpose, Russia arranges energy blackmail of Europe, hoping that the lack of gas in the event of a severe winter will lead to a decrease in support for our country from the EU.
“Suppose Ukraine agrees and sits down at the negotiating table with Russia. There is a truce. Then Russia puts forward an ultimatum: Ukraine must recognize the existing frontline as a new border. Of course, we do not agree to the annexation of our four regions. Hostilities resume. Then Russian propaganda spreads the message in Europe: look, the war is over, but Ukraine is attacking again. They make us the initiators of a new stage of the war,” Mykhailo Podolyak explained.
In his opinion, Europe may not understand the real motives of the aggressor, since there was a long-standing opinion that Russia is a good partner with huge resource potential. Its inclusion in a single economic space was to strengthen security in the region.
However, the Advisor to the Head of the President’s Office is convinced that Europe and, in particular, the German political elite transform their views on the issue of the Russian Federation and cooperation with it. He noted that German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is gradually changing the country’s political course, although he is doing it very delicately.
“Of course, we would like Germany to speed up the supply of weapons. Time is the most important thing for us. The sooner and the more weapons we get, the smaller our losses will be. However, today Germany stands on a clear pro-Ukrainian position,” stated Mykhailo Podolyak.
At the same time, he noted that, seeking to mitigate the attitude towards itself as a toxic country, Russia agrees to such steps as the conclusion of an agreement on the export of grain. The Adviser to the Head of the President’s Office reminded that this document was not signed between Ukraine and Russia, but between Ukraine, Turkey and the UN, and separately between Russia, Turkey and the United Nations.
“Everyone had an interest in it. That is why this agreement was signed,” he stated and noted that Turkey was interested in unblocking trade routes in the Black Sea and influencing the supply of grain to the world market, strengthening its role in the region, and the United Nations sought to avoid famine in Africa, which would provoke a new wave of refugees to Europe. Russia, on the other hand, has maintained its position in African countries that are neutral or support the war against Ukraine.
“So, to avoid being accused of causing famine in allied countries, Russia signed this agreement. In this way, it also gained a better position in the UN,” said Mykhailo Podolyak.
In this context, the Advisor to the Head of the President’s Office emphasized that it is extremely important for the Kremlin that international organizations use the word “Russia” in a positive context.
“The Kremlin understands that direct propaganda based on slogans like “we have the right to invade, kill and destroy” does not work on Western societies. It is more profitable for Russia when international organizations say: “Everything is not so obvious,” Mykhailo Podolyak is convinced.
According to him, the war in Ukraine demonstrated that many international organizations are unable to perform the work for which they were created.
In particular, he mentioned the report of Amnesty International (AI).
“We believe that AI deliberately created propaganda material in the interests of the Russian Federation. The published report justifies the invasion of Ukraine and the genocide that Russia is committing in front of the eyes of the whole world,” he emphasized and informed that our state intends to take legal measures to prevent such deliberate provocations in the future.
According to Mykhailo Podoliak, Amnesty International has discredited itself, and an international investigation of this organization’s relations with Russia should be conducted.
He also reminded that the International Committee of the Red Cross, which acts as a mediator in all armed conflicts and must ensure compliance with international conventions, does not react to Russia’s killing of Ukrainian prisoners of war in the occupied Yelenovka in the Donetsk region.
“We know how Russia treats Ukrainian prisoners – they starve them, do not provide medical aid. Unfortunately, we cannot influence this, because no one will allow us to do so. But this is what international organizations are for. They must demand access to the prisoners of war. They should sound the alarm that Russia is torturing, raping and killing. But these organizations remain passive, they remain silent. The Red Cross is no exception,” said the Advisor to the Head of the President’s Office.
In his opinion, in the occupied Olenivka, the Russians wanted to hide the traces of torture to which the “Azov” warriors were subjected. And by accusing Ukraine of shelling the colony, the Russians sought to undermine trust in Ukraine and show that they are not the only ones violating international conventions.
“We know that there was no missile fire or artillery fire there. The explosion occurred inside the building. Two days before that, prisoners of war were settled there. Out of several thousand people in the colony, they were the only ones affected. It was a deliberate execution,” said Mykhailo Podolyak.
“Terror is Russia’s military strategy. Videos of torture and ill-treatment towards Ukrainian military personnel are constantly posted on social networks. The Russians are firing at the neighborhoods of our cities. Kharkiv, Mykolaiv, Odessa, Kyiv… They want to cause panic,” he added.
By committing such atrocities and spreading information about them, the Russians seek to intimidate Ukrainians, in particular the defenders of our state, but the effect of such actions is the opposite. Ukrainians are united in the fight against the enemy.
“They hope that our society, frightened by the brutal war, will begin to lean towards its conclusion on Russian terms. The Kremlin does not understand what Ukraine is, who Ukrainians are. We are well aware that leaving even a piece of land under Russian occupation is a guaranteed war for future generations. We don’t need it. We want to live in peace,” summed up the Advisor to the Head of the Office of the President and added that this is possible only in case of victory over Russia.