Putin wants to restore USSR, Ukraine's independence contradicts his worldview
Mykhailo Podolyak in interview with Helsingin Sanomat
When Ukraine reaches its internationally recognized borders, then Russia will be ready to sit down at the negotiating table and sign a peace treaty. Mykhailo Podolyak, adviser to the head of the President's Office, said this in an interview with the Finnish publication Helsingin Sanomat.
Podolyak said that even at the beginning of the full-scale war, and now there is no possibility of negotiating with Russia, which speaks the language of ultimatums and puts forward unacceptable demands.
"Putin's plan is simple. He wants to restore the Soviet Union in one form or another. Ukraine here is his main enemy," the advisor to the head of the President's Office said.
According to him, the independence of our state contradicts the worldview of the representatives of Russia.
Podolyak said that calls for peace talks, which sometimes come from some European capitals, are based on assumptions that proved to be false back in 2008 and 2014.
"If Russia is allowed to win the war, it will be able to dictate its terms to Europe. This leads to the advance of Russia to Moldova, Georgia, Northern Kazakhstan or the Baltic states. Russia will begin to manipulate the internal politics of the European Union, provoking extreme left and extreme right forces. A chain reaction will begin in the world when other authoritarian states realize that they can achieve their goal with the help of an aggressive war," the adviser to the head of the Office of the Head of State said.
However, in his opinion, the war between Russia and Ukraine will still end at the negotiating table, but only after the Russian Federation suffers significant tactical losses at the front.
"Russia is really ready for peace only if it has suffered significant tactical losses. Then it stops giving ultimatums and is forced to listen to the arguments of others. When Ukraine reaches the borders defined in 1991, then Russia will be ready to sit down at the negotiating table and sign a peace treaty. This is the only chance to guarantee the liberal values and freedom of Europe," Podolyak is convinced.
In his opinion, the defeat of Russia will also give freedom of choice to Belarus, which can become a real European democracy.
However, currently, as the adviser to the head of the President's Office said, Ukraine is conducting negotiations with the Russian Federation only regarding prisoners and other tactical issues.
"We are also talking about the defenders of Azovstal, but we are making very slow progress, because Russia wants to get as much propaganda benefit from them as possible. The Red Cross and the UN are weak in this. They should become more active," he said.
As Podolyak said, in the war in Ukraine, Russia crossed all permissible limits and must answer for its crimes, because otherwise the entire European security system will lose its authority.
According to the adviser to the head of the President's Office, Ukraine managed to slow Russia's advance in Donbas, although the Russian army makes 40,000-50,000 shots from assorted artillery every day.
"The war has entered the fourth stage. Russia brought as many pieces of equipment and people as possible to Ukraine. They are waging an artillery war that they want to continue until winter," he said.
At the same time, as Podolyak said, the Russian Federation is trying to exhaust Europe with a shortage of energy carriers so that it gets tired of helping our country in this war.
The adviser to the head of the President's Office said that Ukraine's counteroffensive in the south is moving forward.
"We are trying to effectively destroy the logistics and command positions of the Russians. Our goal is to complicate their supply and force them to retreat before the onset of winter," Podolyak said.
To gain an advantage on the battlefield, Ukraine needs modern weapons, in particular air defense systems, for which Ukrainian authorities turn to foreign governments.
"The anti-missile potential is very important because Russia attacks residential areas with cruise missiles," the adviser to the head of the President's Office said.
In addition to weapons, according to him, assistance is needed for the Ukrainian economy, which Russia tried to destroy by bombing factories, ports and agricultural enterprises.
Separately, Podolyak thanked Finland for the assistance provided and expressed hope for active support of Ukraine on the way to EU membership.
"We have very warm relations with Finland. Finland is one of those countries that understand that we are all in danger if Russia remains the same as it is now," the adviser to the head of the President's Office said.