Zelensky says he prefers not to warn his people of a Russian invasion

The President of Ukraine agreed The Washington Post The CIA failed to release information about the impending Russian invasion to avoid widespread panic. After that there was a flurry of criticism.

The first hiccup in Volodymyr Zelensky’s hitherto flawless communications? At the heart of the frenzy of interviews given The Washington Post And published on Tuesday August 16, the Ukrainian president admitted that he did not inform his people of the imminence of the Russian invasion, or at least did not minimize its impact. “If we had messed with the population before the invasion, the Russians would have eaten us“, he justified to the American newspaper. The head of state explains that he fears a general panic and a large flight from the country.

But a catastrophic economic collapse. “If we had communicated (about the invasion, editor’s note), I would have lost $7 billion a month since last October, and when the Russians attacked, they would have beaten us in three days.“, he estimated. Volodymyr Zelensky notes that Ukrainians withdrew large sums of money from their accounts in the weeks before the war, which was well known.It will affect the economy of the country“. According to him, raising the threat of going to war would have only exacerbated the phenomenon.

A fair decision After that

Volodymyr Zelensky, raised as a providential figure in Ukraine since the beginning of the conflict, denies any large-scale cover-up. He assures that the Ukrainians.Had access to all available informationAt the close of a war, he recalled, the Russian army had spent six months massing men and equipment along the borders. He himself did not envisage a war of this scale, he admits. The only important “detail” that the Ukrainian president admits that he did not communicate: according to information from the CIA, the Russians are going to land at Hostomel Airport, quickly reach Kyiv and remove it from power.

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But after the fact, the head of state is happy with his position and believes that he made the right decision, since Russian troops could not reach the capital. “When the invasion started we were as strong as we could be“, he assures The Washington Post. «Some of our comrades left, but most stayed and fought for their homes. Cynical as it may seem, it was these people who held back the Russians».

Shouts on social media

However, these explanations did not satisfy the Ukrainian public, which, since the publication of the interview, has criticized its president for prioritizing the country’s economic health. On social media, many believe that many lives could have been saved if the government had properly prepared people for war. Some shared their experience of war and chaos, explaining that they might have experienced it differently if they had been warned about the scale of the invasion. Public figures have also directly attacked President Zelensky, accusing him of bearing some responsibility for the atrocities committed by the Russians.

Thus, Chevgil Musaeva, editor-in-chief of the Ukrainian Pravda news site, felt.Personally offendedBy the head of state’s justifications, believing that it questioned the intelligence of the Ukrainian people. She says she would not have run away from the war if she had been warned. “How could a man who had Mariupol, Butsa and Kherson in his conscience dare to say that an evacuation would have sunk the country?“, for his part, journalist Bohdan Butkevich protested, pointing out places where Russia has been accused of abuses.”He did not want to plunge the country into war for fear of losing power“, he insisted.

For Ukrainian writer Kateryna Popkina, even refusing to warn civilians living in threatened areas “A strategic miscalculation“and”crime“. Some, on the other hand, wanted to come to Zelensky’s defense, believing that everyone knew that war was approaching and that the presidential announcement would have no significant effect.


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