"The Third World War has begun - peace is an illusion"
Hopes for a peace agreement with Vladimir Putin are "mere illusions," Yulia Tymoshenko, leader of the 2004 Orange Revolution in Ukraine told British Telegraph.Source: The Telegraph
Tymoshenko, who came to power as prime minister during the first Ukrainian rebellion against the Kremlin, warned that any deal that would cede part of Ukraine's territory to Vladimir Putin would only encourage Russian President to further seize the country.
The only solution, according to Tymoshenko, is to "finish" it with the complete destruction of the Russian army, despite the evident increase in the number of dead Ukrainian soldiers, writes the Telegraph.
According to the British newspaper, her remarks are a kind of rebuke to Western leaders who hinted that giving up parts of Donbas would be a necessary compromise for peace.
France and Germany are open to the idea of handing over part of Ukrainian territory to Russia, despite harsh comments after the G7 summit when French President Emmanuel Macron said "Russia cannot and must not win".
Tymoshenko fears that as the economic cost of the conflict for Europe rises, the initiative to push Kyiv towards a peace agreement will become increasingly popular. "I am surprised that some countries continue to advocate a policy of giving in to Putin. This is unacceptable for all of Ukraine. A peace agreement is an illusion, the only way out is victory in the battle. Any peace agreement will be the first step towards the next war," she said.
Tymoshenko added that despite the losses, Putin wants to prolong the war in the hope that divisions within NATO will eventually emerge. She supported Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky's appeals for the West to send as many missiles as possible to Ukraine in order to somewhat balance power in Donbas.
These days, Ukrainian forces are reportedly losing up to 100 soldiers a day in Donbas.
The political career of Yulia Tymoshenko very well outlines the unstable post-Soviet path of Ukraine, a period divided by internal conflicts, as well as Moscow's interventions, writes Telegraph.
In 2004, Tymoshenko participated in the Orange Revolution, which led to mass street protests that nullified elections rigged in favor of pro-Russian candidate Viktor Yanukovych. Tymoshenko was then called the Slovenian "Joan of Arc", and her braids were copied on the world's fashion runways.
However, the Orange Revolution quickly turned into internal strife, allowing Yanukovych to take power in 2010. Tymoshenko was then sentenced to seven years in prison on charges of abuse of office. She said the charges were politically motivated, and she was acquitted after the second pro-Western uprising in Ukraine in 2014, when Yanukovych fled to Russia.
Tymoshenko lost to Zelensky in the 2019 election, but supported him after the Russian invasion in February. The former Ukrainian Prime Minister believes that it is very likely that Russia will try to occupy other neighboring countries, primarily Moldova, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, as well as the Scandinavian and Baltic countries.
"My advice to those countries would be to not waste time and start building strong armed forces and become NATO members if they haven't already," she said. Tymoshenko also believes that Putin is ready to use nuclear weapons.
"He is ready to cross all lines and play against all rules, that is the source of his strength," Tymoshenko said.