Senior adviser Mikhail Podoliak also clarified there is no talk among Western backers of Kiev about sending troops to Ukraine
Western efforts to isolate Russia have failed to produce any results so far, Mikhail Podoliak, a senior adviser to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, has lamented. He also acknowledged that Kiev is facing certain difficulties trying to mobilize more troops.
In November, Zelensky, too, expressed concerns that Moscow was not being isolated as planned by his supporters, as China and multiple other nations representing the Global South refused to toe the West’s line, maintaining a neutral position instead. Prior to this, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had said that the campaign to reduce Russia to a “rogue state” had failed.
In an interview with Germany’s BILD published Friday, Podoliak replied in the negative when asked whether there is a scenario in which neighboring European countries would be sending their own troops to Ukraine.
“We will agree to any help but, so far, there is no such talk,” the presidential aide clarified.
“We are talking about weapons and sanctions for isolating Russia… but that has not yet led to results,” he added.
Amid such “disappointments,” Ukrainian authorities would, the senior adviser said, step up efforts to explain to their citizens why they should go to the front line. Following the country’s failed summer counteroffensive, officials in Kiev have been concerned over a decline in troops, both in quantity and quality, and have resolved to intensify mobilization.
As Ukrainian MPs work out a new law aimed at closing military-service loopholes, reports abound of Ukrainian men attempting to illegally cross the border to leave the country. Over 20 Ukrainians have died trying to escape amid sub-freezing temperatures on Ukraine’s Western border, The Times newspaper reported last week, citing a Ukrainian border guard.
In his BILD interview, Podoliak insists European nations should either give Ukraine all the means necessary to prevail on the battlefield now, or they can expect the conflict to spread to their soil eventually.
Last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin pointed out that “Russia has no interest… geopolitically, economically or militarily… in waging war against NATO.”
While Western leaders and NATO representatives have repeatedly stressed that they have no plans to send their military personnel to Ukraine, there have been multiple reports that some have nonetheless operated in the country.
As recently as Friday, French Defense Minister Sebastien Lecornu acknowledged that “there are French civilians who went to fight in Ukraine in Ukrainian military uniform.” He hastened to emphasize, however, that such individuals “have no connection with the French armed forces.”
His remark came after the Russian Defense Ministry claimed earlier this week that one of its strikes had killed dozens of French fighters in the city of Kharkov.
Late last year, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu alleged that “NATO service members are directly operating air defense systems, tactical ballistic missiles, and multiple-launch rocket systems” in Ukraine. He cited radio intercepts of communications in English and Polish.
Also in December, Declassified UK, citing a recent book by Polish journalist Zbigniew Parafianowicz, reported that British special forces troops were operating on the outskirts of Kiev in March 2022.