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1 Nov, 2023 07:22

Ukraine’s top security official threatens Zelensky critics

Aleksey Danilov has urged action against anonymous sources cited in a scathing Time article
Ukraine’s top security official threatens Zelensky critics

Anonymous senior Ukrainian officials who told Time magazine they do not share President Vladimir Zelensky’s vision of a military victory over Russia must be identified and ousted, the secretary of the national security council, Aleksey Danilov, told local media on Tuesday.

Danilov expressed outrage with the Time article, which was published on Monday, stating that it was playing into Russia’s hands. The fact that the outlet granted anonymity to some of its sources – a normal practice that allows officials to discuss problems candidly, “raises many questions,” according to him.

“If you … do not believe that our country can achieve victory, you have no right to be near our president,” Danilov declared.

He suggested that the anonymous sources inflicted harm on Ukraine before stating: “I believe our security agencies should give an answer to the question who those anonymous people are.”

Ukrainian people questioning Kiev’s official line have been previously labeled “pro-Russian” and punished in various ways, including through criminal prosecution.

The Time article described Zelensky’s belief in a battlefield victory over Russia as “immovable, verging on the messianic.”

“He deludes himself,” one of his closest aides was quoted as saying. “We’re out of options. We’re not winning. But try telling him that.”

The president’s “stubbornness” has prevented Kiev from even considering a diplomatic resolution of the crisis, the outlet said. The failure of Western donors to provide even more weapons to Ukraine than they did makes Zelensky feel “betrayed” by them, another insider revealed.

Danilov questioned the credentials of the quoted individuals, stating that Zelensky has no formal aides and only has a single female personal assistant. He urged Time’s author, Simon Shuster, to “stop using anonymous speech, because it’s a very, very sensitive issue for our nation.”

“The Russian Federation has the only way to defeat us, that is internal destabilization,” he added.

Moscow has called the Ukraine conflict an element of the US proxy war against Russia, in which the neighboring country is used as a “battering ram.” Washington allegedly derailed a negotiated truce in the early weeks of the hostilities, which would have made Ukraine a neutral nation not allowed to host any foreign military infrastructure or join military blocs in exchange for international security guarantees.