Former Ukrainian leader warns any deal that concedes territory to the Russian dictator will encourage him to make further land grabs.
By Colin Freeman. July 3rd, 2022
Hopes of a peace deal with Vladimir Putin to end the war in Ukraine are “illusory”, the leader of the country’s 2004 Orange Revolution has said.
Yulia Tymoshenko, who swept to power as prime minister in Ukraine’s first anti-Kremlin uprising, warned that any deal that conceded territory to Mr Putin would encourage him to make further land grabs.
The only solution now, she said, was to “finish” him completely by military means, despite the rising death toll of Ukrainian troops.
Ms Tymoshenko, 61, made her uncompromising comments in an interview with The Telegraph in Kyiv, where she has remained during the war.
When the city first came under siege, she kept a gun by her side after being warned that she was high on a Kremlin hit-list that also included Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian president.
Her remarks are a rebuke to Western leaders who have hinted that giving up parts of Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region would be an acceptable price for peace.
France and Germany have expressed openness to the idea, despite an apparent toughening of their stance at last weekend’s G7 summit, when Emmanuel Macron, the French president, declared that “Russia cannot and must not win.”
Ms Tymoshenko, who is the first and so far only woman to serve as prime minister of Ukraine, fears that as the economic cost of the conflict to Europe rises, the temptation to push Kyiv into a peace deal will increase.
She told The Telegraph: “I am surprised that some countries continue to try to pursue appeasement policies.
“This is unacceptable for all Ukraine. A peace agreement is an illusion, the only way out is a victory in battle. Any peace agreement will be the first step towards the next war.”
She added that despite suffering heavy military losses himself, Mr Putin was trying to prolong the war in the hope that splits within Nato would eventually emerge. She backed Mr Zelensky’s calls for more Western missiles to even up the conflict in the Donbas, where Ukrainian forces are reported to be losing up to 100 soldiers per day.
“The Russians have the upper hand there in terms of artillery by a factor of maybe 15,” she said. “That deficit of weapons on our side is what is producing the high death toll.”
Now one of Kyiv’s senior stateswomen, Ms Tymoshenko’s political career charts Ukraine’s unsteady post-Soviet path, a period riven by infighting and Kremlin interference.
In 2004, she co-led the Orange Revolution, which saw huge street protests overturned an election rigged in favour of the pro-Kremlin candidate, Viktor Yanukovych. Dubbed the Slavic “Joan of Arc” at the time, she was hailed internationally as a champion of democracy, with her braided hairstyle copied on fashion catwalks.
The Orange Revolution quickly soured into infighting, however, allowing Mr Yanukovych to take power in 2010.
Ms Tymoshenko was then sentenced to seven years in prison on charges of abuse of office over a gas deal – charges she said were politically motivated. She was freed in the wake of Ukraine’s second pro-Western uprising in 2014, when Mr Yanukovych fled the country to Russia.
She lost to Mr Zelensky in elections in 2019, when the comedian-turned politician’s party won a landslide majority, but has voiced support for him since February’s invasion. Despite the bloody nose that Ukraine has given to Mr Putin’s forces, she fears the war is far from over, either in Ukraine or elsewhere.
Russia could still seek to occupy other parts of its near-backyard, she warned, singling out Moldova, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan and the Scandinavian and Baltic nations. While Kazakhstan and Belarus are both currently authoritarian regimes and Putin allies, both have opposition movements that could distance themselves from the Kremlin if they ever took power.
“My advice to those countries would be to not waste time, to start building strong armed forces and become Nato members if they are not already,” she said.
She also refused to rule out Mr Putin trying to overcome setbacks on the conventional battlefield by using nuclear weapons. She said that while the Russian leader was not “suicidal” enough to drop large-scale strategic atom bombs, he could deploy a low-yield tactical one, gambling that the West would not respond. “He is prepared to cross all red lines and play against all the rules, that is the source of his strength.”
Echoing a view held by many Ukrainians, she also expressed gratitude towards Mr Johnson over his military support for Ukraine – conceding that she had worried he might lose office as a result of the Partygate scandal.
“He should not have had parties at the time of Covid, but frankly, that is not a comparable episode to what we are facing here in Ukraine,” she said. “It is hard to see how his party could have considered dismissing him, when his defence minister was saying it was the duty of every country in Europe to help Ukraine.”
Asked about fears that Mr Johnson’s support for Ukraine risked dragging Nato into a Third World War, she was blunt. “We are in World War Three already, as there are now 50 countries behind Ukraine. We need more weapons to ensure that we crush the Russian army on Ukrainian territory. That will be the end of Putin’s regime, because the Russian people will not tolerate such a defeat.”
Article has unfortunately been swamped with comments from vile kremtrolls. Here is one piece of lying filth :
A person calling himself “Tom Hunn” writes :
“It is amazing how well the propaganda for Ukraine has swayed so many of the public who seem unaware, as to the reasons why Putin went into Ukraine.
This occurred mainly because the puppet Zelensky, with the backing of the EU and the USA, tore up the 2014 agreement with Russia and then sent his Azov Brigades (part of the Ukraine Army) into areas like Donnbas to slaughter some 14,000 Russian speakers – Donnbas is virtually next door to Russia.
Would we fight back if Scotland, with the connivance of the Auld Alliance, sent storm-troopers into Northumberland and Cumbria to slaughter the English speakers (with or without a Scottish Accent)?
Ask yourselves – “Why did Putin invade? Is it because he’s a power-crazed lunatic, or, more likely, he was defending his Russian-speaker neighbours who had no means to protect themselves against 14,000 murders?”
Unfortunately there are still people who believe this offensive, hateful sewage slurry. A good response from Colin Wise :
NOTE TO KREMLIN APOLOGISTS:
“Please desist with the notions that:
The Maidan revolution was a CIA, US or Western plot
Ukraine is controlled by Nazis
Russia is somehow ‘entitled’ to Donbas or Crimea
Zelensky is motivated by personal gain
NATO ‘expansion’ is a threat to Russia
Russia single-handedly won WW2 and bears no responsibility for starting it
These are all easily-disproved drivel.”
“This isn’t over until Putin and the KGB Thugs are in the Hague Court.
Do not forget. Do not forgive.
Russia has left Civilisation.
Russia is Uninvestable.”
Mr Tredegar adds a quote from the Moscow Times: “
“Putin’s system cannot be improved, reformed, modernized, or even simply normalized. It leads to the destruction of Russia. If there is anti-Russian system, it is Putinism. If there is a symbol of anti-patriotism, oblivion and perversion of the basic foundations of the nation, it is Putin’s elite.”
Russia’s allies are now the army and navy, Eritrea and North Korea. In the political and economic suicide of the Putin regime, it has lowered Russia to the same level as North Korea. This was done with the tacit, cowardly consent of the elites.
A great power that became a member of international communities and organizations, a country that had made its way to a market economy and a democratic constitution, was reduced to being a global spoiler and then a threat to the entire world.
But the Russian economy does not exist outside of the global economy. No “import substitution” is possible without global components and seed stock, container transportation and technological imports. “Import substitution” does not exist because the market economy, like science, has no nationality and can only function as a world economy.
The first thing the government did after the start of the “special operation” was to prohibit the transfer and export of money so that citizens would not run away but be forced to share the consequences of their decisions with the elites — so they’d have to tighten their belts at home, not fasten their seatbelts on the last plane leaving for the cursed West.
Putin wanted to speak to world leaders as equals, and as a result no one is talking to him. He was condemned at the UN General Assembly by 141 nations, and even big brother China may be looking at its neighbor with some apprehension.”
…. The Moscow Times
Mr Tredegar with another extract from the MT:
“When Russian Artillery Shells its Own People
It is not Ukraine that needs fictional “denazification,” it is Russia that needs real de-Stalinization.
By Andrei Kolesnikov
Moskva News Agency
Putin’s system cannot be improved, reformed, modernized, or even simply normalized. It leads to the destruction of Russia. If there is anti-Russian system, it is Putinism. If there is a symbol of anti-patriotism, oblivion and perversion of the basic foundations of the nation, it is Putin’s elite.
It is impossible to put an equal sign between the state and the people. But Putinism leads to a situation where a rogue state turns its citizens into rogue people.
No one knows better than the Russians themselves that a cornered autocrat becomes even more dangerous — for the world, but above all, for the citizens of Russia. Artillery is hitting its own people, not only from outside Russia’s borders to the West, but also inside the country.
Putin has killed the historical righteousness of the nation that was based on the sacred memory of the 1945 victory in the Great Patriotic War. Putin’s government kept this memory as a historical shield. But after it fired on Kyiv and Kharkiv, it lost that moral shield. Exploiting that victory seems especially cynical.”
…. The Moscow Times.