Poroshenko: By defending Ukraine, we are defending Europe and Bulgaria

World » UKRAINE | April 17, 2022, Sunday // 11:14
Bulgaria: Poroshenko: By defending Ukraine, we are defending Europe and Bulgaria Former President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko @TheMoscowTimes

Putin hates Europe. He hates our Western world. He hates our values ​​and unfortunately we will never compromise with him because he wants us dead and we want to live. It's that simple. By defending Ukraine now, we are defending Europe and Bulgaria.” This was stated in an exclusive interview with the Bulgarian Nova TV by Petro Poroshenko - the fifth president of Ukraine, ruled in the period 2014-2019.

Currently, Poroshenko, an internationally recognized businessman called the “Chocolate King” and one of the wealthiest Ukrainians, is helping to organize the defense of Kyiv.

“My motivation to do this is the same as all Ukrainians. Thank you very much for your kind words, but now the whole world admires the Ukrainian people, who surprised everyone by stopping Putin, and who surprised Putin, who underestimated the capabilities of the Ukrainian armed forces created by me in 2014. He underestimated the unity of the Ukrainian people and the whole world who support Ukraine for victory over Russian aggression. I am doing my best, and now, as citizens of Ukraine, we have organized territorial defense battalions in the most difficult days of the Russian attack on Kyiv. The distance from the battalion in which I participated to the Russian troops was 8 km. All of Kyiv was under rocket and artillery fire, but we did not leave Kyiv for all 48 days. We withstood one of the heaviest attacks of the Russians. We were one of the first to go to Bucha, Irpen, Gostomel, Vorzel, the main places that have now become world famous because of the horrific massacre that Russian criminals organized against Ukrainian civilians,” Poroshenko said.

According to him, a total of more than 2,000 people were killed in four suburbs of Kyiv.

“And what is happening now in Mariupol, where the mayor said that more than 15,000 people were killed - civilians, children, women. Raped, killed, tortured. These are crimes against humanity, genocide of the Ukrainian people. The Russians are killing us just because they want to make us leave, they want to kill us simply because we are Ukrainians. They want to erase our country from the world map. He does not recognize our right to life, to existence. In this situation, it is extremely important to be united, to stay together in order to stop Putin and expel him from Ukrainian territory,” he said.

Asked why Ukraine has failed to deal with the Minsk agreements and tensions in Donetsk and Luhansk over the years, Poroshenko said:

“First, as you said and I want Bulgarian viewers to hear it: today we mark 48 days of an 8-year war that began centuries ago. Ukraine is paying dearly for this war. Putin attacked us for no reason, without reason - both in Crimea and in Donbas. You mentioned the Minsk agreements - I am proud that they played an important role in deterring Putin and they gave me and my team the opportunity to complete the construction of our army. I am proud that we have created an army that has stopped Putin. We have provided an army based on NATO standards. Putin still has an army by Soviet standards. Now, in the clash, we have shown what it means to be a Ukrainian soldier in the Ukrainian armed forces and how we managed to stop them. I am very proud that in 2014-2015 we liberated 2/3 of the occupied Donbas while I was Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Then we stopped the Russian troops, drove them from Severodonetsk, Lysychansk, Mariupol, Konstantinovka, Kramatorsk - the whole territory of Donbas. And now he's attacking again. I am confident that Ukraine will not give up, we Ukrainians will never give up and victory will undoubtedly be ours. The truth is with us, God is with us, you and the whole world are with us.”

He also commented on the sanctions imposed on Russia by the international community and the efforts of the EU, NATO and the United States to help Ukraine.

“Let's first distinguish between the EU, the United States and NATO. What do we expect from the EU and the US? My plan includes 5 things. First, the loan-rent procedure. I am proud that my initiative, published a month ago in a statement by European and American leaders, led them to pass the Loan-Rent Act for everything from food to weapons. Second, the closure of airspace with fighters and air defense systems. Third, the idea of ​​a second front - everything but soldiers. We need sanctions, an embargo, new sanctions every day to stop Putin. The previous day, criminal acts were committed in Bucha - sanctions. The other day - the tragedy in which civilians were killed during an evacuation in Kramatorsk - sanctions. Today - chemical weapons were used in Mariupol - sanctions. This is the ‘second front’. Fourth, the Marshall Plan. I am very proud that it was here that Ursula von der Leyen announced her intention for the Marshall Plan, involving the EU, the United States and the world, the G7, to help us rebuild Ukraine after the war. Fifth, the status of a candidate for future membership of Ukraine in the EU, which should happen in 2022,” he stressed.

According to Poroshenko, Ukraine needs NATO for three things: weapons, weapons and weapons again.

“Understand, we have to turn the situation around. Can you imagine, world security, Europe's security depends only on 300 tanks that must be delivered to Ukraine immediately, on 1,000 APCs that must be delivered to Ukraine immediately, and on 100 fighters. We have long queues of volunteers waiting to enlist in the Ukrainian armed forces, but they cannot fight empty-handed. By defending Ukraine now, we are defending Europe and Bulgaria. If you do not share and do not participate in the supply of weapons to Ukraine, and unfortunately your Prime Minister said that you need the weapons in your country, and not to be sent to Ukraine. No, you are not helping Ukraine, you are not supporting us, but you are supporting, helping and investing in your own security. It is better to fight the Russians on Ukrainian soil, instead of doing it on your own territory, because Bulgaria alone cannot withstand Russian aggression, but together, Ukraine and NATO, we can win for sure,” Poroshenko said. .

He also commented on his relations with President Volodymyr Zelensky.

“Before the war, I was the leader of the opposition with the most support in the country. But the world before and after February 24 is different. And today, one of the things we surprise Putin with is to make things united. We have a common enemy and his name is Putin. That is why we are not the president and leader of the opposition, but Ukraine. We must be united not just as positions, no matter who is the president, the Speaker of the National Assembly or the Prime Minister, we must be united for Ukraine. And I am doing everything possible to demonstrate this unity, to strengthen and make both Ukraine and the Ukrainian president stronger. This is my task and I am doing it,” Poroshenko said.

Asked whether Putin was out of control, Zelensky's predecessor said:

“Unfortunately, I think there has been a huge degradation in Putin since I knew him. I have known him for almost 20 years. I have about 15 years of experience negotiating with him. For the past 8 years I have had weekly negotiations with him. This is a completely different person. If before he was a cynical, negative, but at least predictable person who acted according to his understanding of Russia's interests, now he is - dare I use the word - a crazy, insane, inadequate, unpredictable person. It is certainly not in Russia's interest to carry out outright full aggression against Ukraine. There is not a single positive for Russia. It is not in Putin's interest to remain forever in world history as a war criminal who must be imprisoned, facing the International Criminal Court, or perhaps a special criminal tribunal for Russia's aggression against Ukraine. In this situation, we must take into account his unpredictability and be strong, because Putin will go as far as we all allow him. That's why we need to be strong and stop Putin.”

According to him, Putin will not start a nuclear war, because he should be fully confident that a nuclear response will follow.

Ukraine would be a very strong motivation for Putin's self-destruction, because he hopes to survive, and that would be his end. So I'm sure it won't happen. Another demand of Putin, which he made publicly, was that he, in his ultimatum to NATO, said that NATO must return to its borders of 1997. For Bulgaria and Romania, this means that you should not be a member of NATO, to send all NATO troops out of its territory, to be demilitarized, just as Putin wants us to. You must destroy your army. Tell your government. This is how Putin views European security, Bulgaria. That is why it is in Bulgaria's interest to provide us with old Soviet tanks, armored personnel carriers, fighters, for our heroes - pilots, air defense system managers and tankers - to stop Putin and prevent him from spreading to Bulgaria. And one more thing, those who doubt whether to support and help Ukraine not only humanitarianly but also militarily - invite these politicians to Kyiv. It is much safer now than 2-3 weeks ago, we were here with my team back then. Let's walk to Bucha together and see with our own eyes the places where hundreds of Ukrainians in a small town were killed by Russian barbarians. And those who have some hopes for the Russian world, for the Russian ‘brothers’ to see what remains after the Russian occupation. Therefore, no one doubts that we must stand together, stop Russia, so as to protect Bulgarian territory from Putin and his troops in this situation.”

Poroshenko also addressed Bulgarians who still support the Russian president:

“I think you are making the biggest mistake of your life. I think you are influenced by Putin's propaganda. My first advice is - stop watching Russian TV. Let them watch your channel (Nova TV), it will be so much better. Here we have hundreds of journalists from all over the world who transmit objective information, not through our eyes, but through their own. They unanimously declare that Putin is an aggressor. Putin is a criminal. Second piece of advice to Bulgarian citizens who still support Putin - please do not believe him. He has been lying all the time - since the MN 17 flight, that there are no Russian troops in Crimea and Donbas and now, with Bucha, Mariupol, Irpen, all other cities. Putin is a liar, don't trust him. And third, to the Bulgarians who are insecure - do not be afraid of Putin. Take the example of Ukraine. We are not afraid, so we can stop it here. Do not allow him to destroy Ukraine. And fourth, he hates democracy. This is my conclusion from my personal communication with him. He hates Europe. He hates our western world. He hates our values ​​and unfortunately we will never compromise with him because he wants us dead and we want to live. It's so simple.”

Poroshenko himself was born in Bolgrad and raised with many Bulgarian friends.

“Even now I understand little Bulgarian and, given the situation, I have many friends from the Bulgarian minority. They carry weapons in their hands. My friends in Bolgrad are now defending Ukraine. Unfortunately, just yesterday a Bulgarian from Bessarabia was killed by Russians. We have shown unique unity. We will certainly win and do everything possible for Ukraine's future membership in the EU. I suggest - a few hundred kilometers between Bulgaria and Bolgrad - you can in 3-4 hours arrive and visit Bolgrad, Bessarabia, enjoy the beauty of nature and our country. I am proud that a number of Bulgarian prime ministers, the first mayor of Sofia, the chairman of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, the director of the Drama Theater in Sofia graduated from the school where I studied in his early years. All of them - in my school in Bolgrad. This is just a symbol of our closeness and another argument that by defending Ukraine, you are defending Bolgrad, Bulgaria, our civilization and our values. Long live Bulgaria and the Glory of Ukraine! “

“Thank you very much! Thank you for your solidarity, for your support. It is extremely important for us now, because a friend in need knows each other,” Poroshenko said.

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