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27 Nov, 2023 10:04

West ‘screwed over’ Ukraine – ex-Zelensky aide

“Stupidity and corruption” in Kiev paved the way for it, Aleksey Arestovich has said
West ‘screwed over’ Ukraine – ex-Zelensky aide

The West has essentially thrown Ukraine under the bus in its conflict with Russia by failing to provide Kiev with the necessary amount of military aid, Aleksey Arestovich, a former aide to President Vladimir Zelensky, has claimed.

Writing on Telegram on Sunday, Arestovich weighed in on the differing views of Ukrainian officials as to why Kiev’s conflict with Moscow is still in full swing despite several major attempts at peace.

According to the former presidential aide, the West bears most of the blame for the situation.

The real responsibility lies with those who promised Ukraine real support for waging a real, big war and did not provide it. In other words, they screwed us over.

Arestovich claimed that Ukraine “had won its war” by managing to survive in the first few months of the conflict. “This war of ours could have well ended with the Istanbul Agreements,” he suggested, referring to the talks in the Turkish city in the spring of 2022, which initially made some progress but stalled after then-British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s visit to Kiev. The negotiations collapsed but Russia maintains it is open to diplomatic engagement with Kiev.

After the Istanbul talks, the conflict entered another phase in which Ukraine had no chance of winning without securing massive Western arms supplies, including warplanes and long-range missiles, the former official continued. “But nothing came. We paid a huge price for that.”

Arestovich suggested that the West would now try to force Ukraine to accept the loss of several regions, which overwhelmingly voted to join Russia in a series of public referenda last autumn.

He also suggested that, while Kiev found itself in a tough spot mostly due to the West’s inaction, the Ukrainian leadership’s “stupidity and corruption has given them many formal and informal reasons to screw us over.”

Arestovich’s remarks came amid Ukraine’s faltering counteroffensive, which has been underway since early summer but has failed to gain any significant ground. Last month, Moscow said Kiev had lost more than 90,000 troops since the start of the push, with Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu claiming that Ukrainian casualties had reached more than 13,000 soldiers in November alone.

Earlier this month, Valery Zaluzhny, Ukraine’s top general, admitted that hostilities had reached a stalemate, an assessment rejected by Zelensky. Meanwhile, on Sunday, Mariana Bezuglaya, a senior Ukrainian MP, blasted Zaluzhny over the lack of a strategic plan for 2024 and called on the military leadership to step down.