How will Zelensky’s president try to defeat rival Putin?

Former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has called on the West to confront Vladimir Putin by strangling Moscow’s important exports.

In an exclusive interview from Kyiv, Poroshenko – second only to President Volodymyr Zelensky in the 2024 presidential election – called for an “anti-Putin coalition” that could tear Russia apart.

“All countries of the world should understand that they are members of the anti-Putin coalition,” Poroshenko said. newsweek on the phone. “Putin must be completely isolated from great nations and great democracies like North Korea, Iran, Syria and Belarus.”

Ukraine’s top officials and politicians are adamant about victory over Russia. Moscow’s military has taken over areas to the south and east, triggering a refugee crisis, ravaging Ukrainian infrastructure and suffocating the national economy.

Here’s how Poroshenko can beat Russia in Ukraine…

Former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is pictured in Kyiv, Ukraine in late March 2022, amid the Russian invasion.
Mychaylo Palinchak/Petro Poroshenko’s Office

blockade russia

Russia’s blockade of Ukraine’s Black Sea ports is particularly punishable. This week, grain began to leave the port city of Odessa for the first time in months under a new UN-Turkey-sponsored deal.

But exports are slow and their safety is not guaranteed, as evidenced by the Russian attack on the port of Odessa just hours after the deal was signed last month.

Poroshenko said, “The United Nations said that 500 to 100 million people are at risk of complete hunger because of the Russian blockade.” newsweek, called on Ukraine’s international partners to begin their blockade of Russian ports. “We need to be decisive.”

“If Russia blocks Ukrainian ports, the global anti-Putin coalition may have a legal solution to blocking Russian exports,” he said. “That would be a very quick response.”

Such a move would lead to innumerable diplomatic, legal and logistical problems. But, the former president said: “It is possible, a combination of sanctions and sanctions is certainly the shortest path to peace, if it will be accompanied by a supply of arms and international solidarity.”

newsweek The Russian Foreign Ministry has been contacted for comment.

Ukraine’s GDP has fallen by more than 30 percent, inflation is rising above 30 percent, the national hryvnia currency is down 25 percent against the US dollar, and the unemployment rate is approx. 35 percent,

Poroshenko – known as the “Chocolate King” because of his ownership of Ukraine’s Roschen confectionery firm – said Kyiv should strengthen the national economy by creating an “investment paradise” with fewer sanctions and penalties on Ukrainian businesses and investors.

“If we don’t protect our economy, if we don’t protect our investment climate, if we don’t protect our jobs, the negative process will deepen,” he said.

‘Game-changer’ weapons

Poroshenko said the continued and expanded supply of advanced weapons is a key element to Ukraine’s planned success. Poroshenko said long-range artillery systems—including US-made HIMARS—should be attached to F-16 fighter jets already in Ukraine and advanced anti-air batteries, such as the US-made Patriot system.

“Imagine that the more weapons we have, the shorter the distance to peace,” he said. “We definitely need to end the war before the end of the year… so we don’t have a year to supply the F-16 and two years to supply the Patriots. Let us talk about days. should.”

Foreign military aid will help Ukraine advance its nascent counter-offensive to the south around the city of Kherson. “We are already going on a counter-attack,” Poroshenko said.

“It’s not a massive counter-attack like a Hollywood movie. It’s what the commanders of companies, battalions, brigades say: ‘If you are the intelligence, move two kilometers today. If you are an assault soldier or paratrooper, Walk a kilometer. If you’re artillery, go 500 meters to increase accuracy. But please, don’t stop.’ And this tactic is effective.”

NATO bid

Poroshenko, who held direct talks with Putin in 2014 to end fighting between Ukrainian and Russian forces in the eastern Donbass region, said Ukraine needed international support in any future talks.

Vladimir Putin And Sergei Shoigu Navy Day
Russian President Vladimir Putin is pictured with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu during a naval parade marking Russian Navy Day on July 31, 2022 in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
Alexey Denichev / Sputnik Host Photo Agency / AFP via Getty Images

“I hate the idea of ​​bilateral talks with Putin,” Poroshenko said. “Ukraine must be with its allies.”

Top officials in Moscow recently reiterated maximum combat goals; Removal of the Zelensky government, undefined “demilitarization,” and “de-nazification.”

Russian officials are also set to hold a mock referendum in the occupied Kherson and Zaporizhzhya regions in early September to formalize its massive land acquisition.

Russia has sought to exclude Ukraine from future membership of NATO, but the coalition remains publicly committed to its open-door policy. Ukraine’s constitution upholds commitments to NATO and EU membership. According to surveyors, more than 70 percent of Ukrainians now support joining the transatlantic coalition. “No one can stop us,” said Poroshenko.

“The only document that can guarantee our security is Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization,” he said, referring to NATO’s commitment to collective defense.

“Please do not allow Russia to blackmail the West,” Poroshenko appealed to foreign leaders. “In general, please don’t trust Putin, and don’t be afraid of Putin. These are the two main factors to bring about peace and win a war.”

Domestic ‘unity’

Since being defeated by Zelensky in 2019, Poroshenko has been charged with treason related to the sale of a large amount of coal that financed Russian-backed separatist forces in the Donbass in 2014-15. Poroshenko says the allegations are politically motivated.

Poroshenko told newsweek He established an informal ceasefire with Zelensky’s government a few hours after the Russian attack on 24 February.

“We met and I said: ‘From now on, this moment on a clean sheet of paper. You’re no longer the president, I’m no longer the leader of the opposition. We’re all soldiers.'”

“This unity shocked Putin and shocked the world,” he said. “Two weeks where the danger was really high and when, unfortunately, a significant part of the parliament and government were outside Kyiv, we stayed here and this clean sheet of paper was strong.”

In recent weeks, Zelensky’s government has sacked top officials citing alleged involvement or sympathy with the Russian occupiers. Critics have suggested that Zelensky and his close allies are trying to expand their personal power over the state apparatus.

Poroshenko has been twice prevented from leaving the country in recent months. Asked if he was concerned about recent events, Poroshenko replied: “Now, there are some ‘useful idiots’ who want to attack, who want to do politics,” describing unwitting propagandists of Russian propaganda. To use a common phrase.

“We must, but after the victory. I think some of the people removed were ‘useful idiots’.”

“I think it is very positive that given the opportunity to attack political opponents or attack Russian agents, the Ukrainian authorities chose to attack Russian agents. That means we can move on, and I can keep my fingers crossed. I agree that the highest priority is victory.”

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