Volodymyr Zelensky is at the center of a wave of criticism after The Washington Post revealed that he withheld information from the CIA about the imminent invasion of Russia in order not to cause widespread panic.
“Could it be a mistake in the impeccable communication of the Ukrainian leader so far?” asks Le Figaro.
In this river interview, quoted by News.ro, which Zelenski gave to WP on Tuesday, he admitted that he did not inform the people about the imminence of the Russian invasion and that he minimized its impact.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has become an inspiring wartime leader and champion of his country. During an interview with The Post, Zelensky discussed US warnings about Russia preparing to launch a full-scale invasion — and if he believed them. https://t.co/EnVqpFIhAf pic.twitter.com/cEjBGKoM7E
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) August 16, 2022
“If we had spread chaos among the population before the invasion, the Russians would have devoured us”, he justified himself in the newspaper, emphasizing that he was afraid of a generalized panic and a massive flight from the country of the population, but also of a collapse economic fatality.
“If we had communicated (the invasion), then I would have lost seven billion dollars a month starting from October (2021) and until the Russians attacked. He would have beaten us in three days”, he estimates.
Zelensky says that Ukrainians withdrew large sums of money from their accounts in the weeks before the war broke out, aware that “this would affect the country’s economy”.
Evoking the threat of invasion would only have accentuated this, he declares.
Elevated to the status of Ukraine’s providential man since the beginning of the war, Zelenskiy rejects any large-scale concealment.
He assures that the Ukrainians “had access to any information that was available” about the imminence of a war and recalls that the Russian army had been gathering soldiers and material at the borders for six months.
Even he himself did not consider a war of this magnitude, the head of the Ukrainian state admits.
The only important “detail” that the Ukrainian president confesses that he did not communicate is an information from the CIA, according to which the Russians would land at the airport in Hostomel, quickly come to Kyiv and remove him from power.
But, afterwards, Zelenski congratulates himself for his position and believes that he made the right decision, because the Russian troops did not manage to enter the capital.
“When the invasion started, we were as strong as we could be,” he assures WP.
“Some of our compatriots left, but the majority stayed and fought for their homes. And as cynical as it may seem, these are the people who stopped the Russians”, he declares.
However, these justifications do not satisfy the population of Ukraine, who reproach the president, after the publication of the interview, for having privileged the health of the country’s economy.
Many estimate, on social networks, that many lives would have been spared if the Government had properly prepared the population for war.
Some share their experience of war and chaos and emphasize that they would have experienced this invasion differently if they had been warned of its extent.
Public figures directly attack Volodymyr Zelensky, whom they accuse of being guilty, to a certain extent, of the atrocities committed by the Russians.
The editor-in-chief of the news website Ukrainska Pravda, Sevgil Musaieva, declares herself “personally offended” by the justifications of the head of state, whom she accuses of questioning the intelligence of the Ukrainian people.
She says she would not have fled the war if she had been warned.
“How can a person, who has Mariupol, Bucea and Kherson on his conscience, dare to say that an evacuation would have overwhelmed the country?” denounces, for his part, the journalist Bohdan Butkevici, evoking places where Russia is accused of committing atrocities.
“He didn’t want to put the country in a state of war, because he was afraid of losing power,” the journalist accuses Zelenski.
The Ukrainian writer Katerina Babkina believes that the refusal to alert the civilians who lived in threatened areas is “a strategic miscalculation” and a “murder”.
Some, however, defend Zelenski and appreciate that everyone knew that the war was coming and that a presidential statement in this regard would not have had a significant effect.
Source: Washington Post
Tags: Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, war in Ukraine,
Publication date: 20-08-2022 14:50