In an interview with FRANCE 24 on Wednesday, Ukraine’s Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk discussed granting more autonomy to east Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s fight “against the Western world” and said that Ukraine is “already at war”.
Responding to criticisms that the ceasefire called for by the “Minsk II” agreement signed in February has been repeatedly violated by both sides, Yatseniuk said Ukraine is “eager” to hold up its end of the deal.
“But too much, if not everything, depends on Putin – whether he wants peace and stability,” Yatseniuk said.
“What is the ultimate goal of President Putin? He is not just fighting against Ukraine … He is fighting against you – he is fighting against the Western world, he is fighting against the free world, he is fighting against the EU,” Yatseniuk said. “Stability in Russia lies in the instability of the European Union. Ukraine just became the battlefield.”
“We are already in a state of war,” Yatseniuk said. More than 7,000 lives have been lost so far in a conflict prompted by what he called Russia’s “far-right nationalistic sentiment”. And a fresh offensive is more than likely, he said.
“We estimate that more than 40,000 Russian military boots are on the ground, both Russian regular forces and Russian-led guerrillas” along with hundreds of tanks, he said.
Asked whether the United States and the European Union were doing enough to help Ukraine, Yatseniuk said more could be done on the ground.
“I would be happy to see more decisiveness,” he said, adding that he would like to see the West provide defensive weapons to Ukraine such as anti-aircraft and anti-tank systems.
Full article: ‘We are already at war,’ Ukrainian PM tells FRANCE 24 (France 24)