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‘Don’t Fear Russia’s Collapse’: Kuleba Says Ukraine Has Right to Strike its Neighbour to Defend Itself

By: News Desk

Edited By: Shankhyaneel Sarkar


Last Updated: December 09, 2022, 15:35 IST

Kyiv, Ukraine

Ukraine foreign minister Kuleba spoke to the Wall Street Journal and said that the world should not fear Russia’s disintegration (Image: Reuters)

Ukraine foreign minister Kuleba spoke to the Wall Street Journal and said that the world should not fear Russia’s disintegration (Image: Reuters)

Kuleba’s tone is likely to create problems for Ukraine’s allies who are hoping for peaceful negotiations to allow people return to their normal lives and revive global economy

Ukraine foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba urged the US and other allies of Ukraine to not fear a possible breakup of Russia, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.

In an interview with the news agency, Kuleba defended Ukraine’s right to strike targets within Russia and said a peace settlement that leaves occupied lands like Crimea under Russian control will not be accepted.

The US on several occasions has clarified that their support to Ukrainian resistance is focused on ensuring that it is able to free lands occupied by the Russian military following its declaration of the so-called ‘military operation.’

Ukraine’s allies fear that if the Russian state is destabilised it could have profound consequences on global peace and economy.

Kuleba said fears of a Russian fragmentation reminded him of a speech given by former American president George HW Bush to Ukrainian parliamentarians in 1991, warning them of ‘suicidal nationalism.’

Kuleba recalled that Bush at that time urged Ukrainians to abandon their quest for independence from Moscow and preserve the Soviet Union. Kuleba referred to the speech as ‘Chicken Kiev’.

Kuleba has been very vocal about the Ukrainian cause and recently accused India of funding Russia’s war on Ukraine by buying Russian crude, ignoring the fact that India’s imports in a month what Europe imports in one afternoon and that India has several other suppliers other than Russia.

The foreign minister almost landed himself into a controversy when he claimed that the missile that landed in the Polish border village of Przewodow was fired from Russia and accused it of covering up the MH17 air crash.

It was later found out that the missile may have been fired by Ukrainian soldiers in an attempt to thwart a Russian missile and also could have been part of a Soviet-era missile launcher which several eastern European nations have in their arsenal.

“I’m calling on the world not to be afraid of Russia falling apart. Instead of thinking of how to help Russia survive and become a normal member of the international community, it’s time to accept the fact that ‘this’ Russia cannot be a normal member of the international community,” Kuleba said, according to the Wall Street Journal.

He insisted that the world will not fall apart if Russia falls apart and added that it will be the Russian people who will ensure its fall, like it did in 1917 with the fall of the Russian Empire.

Kuleba doubled down on Crimea and said it is not different from the rest of Ukraine. “Ukraine will take all of its territories including Crimea, some by military means and others by diplomatic means,” he said.

He went on to accuse Russian President Vladimir Putin and his staff and said they were hoping for a miracle that would hand them a military victory.

“The notion that Russia can do whatever it can technically afford doing in Ukraine while Ukraine doesn’t have the same right is conceptually, morally and militarily wrong,” Kuleba was quoted as saying by the Wall Street Journal.

Ukraine has pledged that it will not use American weapons to strike targets within Russia but Kuleba said this principle does not apply to Crimea.

His comments come days after drone attacks on two air bases at Ryazan and Saratov in south-central Russia led to the deaths of three Russian servicemen and damaged planes. Another drone attack followed striking an airfield in Kursk and setting an oil storage tanker ablaze.

Even Americans are growing wary of Ukrainian aggression. A separate report by the Wall Street Journal said that the HIMARs missile systems, supplied to Ukraine for their defence, were rigged so that it cannot be used to strike Russian territories.

They have also been altered to such an extent that even if Ukraine gets access to long-range missiles, the US-supplied launchers will not be able to launch them to long distances.

The US also denied sending Gray Eagle MQ-1C drones to Ukraine and said it will not provide Ukraine with the Army Tactical Missile System, or ATACMS, which has a range of some 200 miles.

Putin on Thursday said the strikes on Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure will continue. “There’s a lot of noise about our strikes on the energy infrastructure of a neighbouring country. This will not interfere with our combat missions. Yes, we do that. But who started it?” the Russian President said.

(with additional inputs from AFP and Associated Press)

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first published:December 09, 2022, 15:19 IST
last updated:December 09, 2022, 15:35 IST
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