Volodymyr Zelensky: It’s a little scary to see how the liberated cities had changed. I used to visit such small towns even then [before the war]. I like them a lot. Then you come, liberate them and witness what has been done to them.
Unfortunately, I must admit that this propaganda model of the Kremlin works with horrific results. [Those who stayed] were cut off from communications and cut off from friends and relatives who had fled. And those who can’t leave are isolated. All of a sudden, they get an [information] helmet put onto their heads—Bam!—and they have to live inside this helmet, like an astronaut. And it is difficult to fight it because they are shown how [Russians] are saving them and how Ukraine is bombing them, and “here you are, the Ukrainians are torturing someone”.
Everything is turned upside down and it is hard to fight. And now, as we free these territories, we understand how much pain they had been through, how they were broken, how they were tortured.
Unfortunately, I think that if Ukraine had been recognised earlier, this tragedy could have been avoided. Continue reading →
An interview with General Valery Zaluzhny, head of Ukraine’s armed forces | The Economist | Dec 15th, 2022
Valery Zaluzhny: For us, for the military, the war began in 2014. For me personally in July 2014. And I had no idea what war really was in 2014.
I had read a lot of books, I had graduated from all the academies with a gold medal, I understood everything theoretically, but I did not understand what war really meant. But in eight years of war, until 2022, both I and people like me understood it all perfectly well.
All we did when the large-scale aggression started was to implement not only our knowledge, which we already had in 2014, but also the skills and the experience we have gained since then. And the most important experience we had and the one which we have practised almost like a religion is that Russians and any other enemies must be killed, just killed, and most importantly, we should not be afraid to do it. And this is what we are doing. Continue reading →