Russian invasion of Ukraine
The Russian invasion of Ukraine is a major escalation of the Russo-Ukrainian War (which began in 2014 with the Russian invasion and annexation of Crimea.) Prior to the invasion, Russian troops concentrated near Ukraine's borders, although Russian officials denied plans to attack. The 2022 invasion began on the morning of 24 February, after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a "special military operation" to "demilitarise and denazify" Ukraine.
The invasion caused Europe's largest refugee crisis since World War II, with more than 9.4 million Ukrainians fleeing the country and a third of the population displaced. The invasion has also resulted in global food shortages.
Before February 24, 2022 edit
- Is Russia really interested in having a tiny strip of Ukrainian soil, to integrate into their country? No. Putin is putting on pressure because he knows he can do it, he splits the European Union...On eye level, he wants respect. And my God, giving him respect is low cost, even no cost. It is easy to give him the respect he demands, and probably deserves.
- The existing crisis with Russia has origins that go far beyond Putin. Russia has a foreign and security blob, just as doesthe United States, with a set of semi-permanent beliefs about Russian vital interests rooted in national history and culture, which are shared by large parts of the population. These include the exclusion of hostile military alliances from Russia’s neighborhood and the protection of the political position and cultural rights of Russian minorities.
In the case of Ukraine, NATO membership for that country implied the expulsion of Russia from the naval base of Sevastopol in Crimea (a city of immense importance to Russia, both strategic and emotional), and the creation of a hard international frontier between Russia and the Russian and Russian-speaking minorities in Ukraine, making up more than a third of the Ukrainian population.
- Russia Has Been Warning About Ukraine for Decades. The West Should Have Listened by Anatol Lieven, Time, January 25, 2022
- These Russian policies have been linked to a specific set of post-Soviet issues and Russian regional goals. They are not part of some grand malign design to destroy international order, or to act as a willful “disruptor.” Insofar as Russia has set out deliberately to damage Western interests...it has been as a way to put pressure on the West in pursuit of those goals. It may also be pointed out that in the Middle East, it is the U.S. that has frequently acted as a disruptor as with the invasion of Iraq, the destruction of the Libyan state, and Trump’s decision to abandon the nuclear agreement with Iran, while Russia has often defended the status quo—partly due to a fear of Islamist terrorism that it shares with the U.S. In other words, while the terms of any compromise with Russia over Ukraine would involve some tough negotiation, we can seek such a compromise without fearing that this will open the way for further Russian moves to destroy NATO and subjugate eastern Europe—a ridiculous idea for anyone who knows either the goals of the Russian establishment or the character of Poles and Estonians.
- Russia Has Been Warning About Ukraine for Decades. The West Should Have Listened by Anatol Lieven, Time, January 25, 2022
- President Joe Biden cast a potential Russian invasion of Ukraine in stark historical terms Tuesday, saying, “it would be the largest invasion since World War II... It would change the world,” said Biden, if the tens of thousands of Russian troops who have been amassing on the Russian-Ukrainian border were to launch an incursion into Ukrainian territory. Biden’s remarks reflect a growing consensus among experts that any conflict in Ukraine is unlikely to be confined to a small area or a short window of time, and that its effects will ripple through Europe and beyond.
- The Ukraine crisis is the classic case of a known unknown: We know that we don't know what Russian President Vladimir Putin intends to do as he amasses troops on the Ukrainian border. So how imminent is the threat of a full-scale war? Some fears appear to have receded slightly following key talks that included Russian and Ukrainian officials. But the Pentagon also says the Russian troop buildup continues, and President Joe Biden told his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky on a call Thursday that there was a distinct possibility Russia could launch an invasion in February.
- Imagine if a powerful Russian-led military alliance were asserting the right to be joined by its ally Mexico—and in the meantime was shipping big batches of weapons to that country—can you imagine the response from Washington? Hidden in plain sight, the extreme hypocrisy of the U.S. position on NATO and Ukraine cries out for journalistic coverage and open debate in the USA’s major media outlets. But those outlets, with rare exceptions, have gone into virtually Orwellian mode, only allowing elaboration on the theme of America good, Russia bad.
- Norman Solomon in The United States to Russia: Do as We Say, Not as We Do, Common Dreams, January 31, 2022
- It is always said that the Russian troops are nearer to the border to Ukraine. They are 350 kilometers far away from the border to Ukraine. But the NATO troops, including German troops, including U.S., Canada and British troops, they are 150 kilometers far away from St. Petersburg, a historical city of Russia. Who is in aggression to whom, when you are looking to these faces? And again, NATO is spending $1.1 trillion for military purposes. Russia is spending $65 billion for military purposes. Can you imagine that the country whose military budget is one-fourteenth of the budget of the other will be the aggressor? These are stupid stories which only show that the aggression comes from the NATO.
- The founding myth of 2014 and the war in eastern Ukraine – that Russian-speaking Ukrainians would gladly join Russia – did not result in a pro-Russia groundswell of opinion across the country. While this was realised in Crimea and parts of Donbas, Russophone cities such as Kharkiv and Odesa remain Ukrainian. “This was a huge miscalculation and disappointment for the authors of the attempted Russian takeover of eastern Ukraine,” Plokhy said.
- The Kremlin’s dismembering of Ukraine in 2014 de facto removed millions of the most pro-Russian voters from Ukraine’s electoral rolls. It also turned the tens of millions still living under Kyiv’s authority decisively against Russia. The share of Ukrainians holding a favourable view of Russia sank from 84 per cent in 2010 to a mere third in 2019, according to polling by the Pew Research Center. Part of the fall, but not the whole of it, can be explained by the exclusion of those living in territories now controlled by Russia or its proxies.
- Do you realize that if Ukraine joins NATO and decides to take Crimea back through military means, the European countries will automatically get drawn into a military conflict with Russia? Of course, NATO’s united potential and that of Russia are incomparable. We understand that, but we also understand that Russia is one of the world’s leading nuclear powers, and is superior to many of those countries in terms of the number of modern nuclear force components. But there will be no winners, and you will find yourself drawn into this conflict against your will. You will be fulfilling Paragraph 5 of the Treaty of Rome in a heartbeat, even before you know it.
- Vladimir Putin press conference with President of France Micron on February 8, 2022, quoted in Putin Asks: Does NATO Really Want To Fight Nuclear Power Russia? The International Schiller Institute, (February 9, 2022)
- Hysteria has reached its peak. [rejecting claims that Russian troops massed near Ukraine might attack]
- Kremlin foreign affairs adviser w:Yuri Ushakov, February 12, 2022, quoted in "Russia’s attack on Ukraine came after months of denials it would attack" (February 24, 2022)
- President Joe Biden told Russia’s Vladimir Putin that invading Ukraine would cause “widespread human suffering” and that the West was committed to diplomacy to end the crisis but “equally prepared for other scenarios,” the White House said Saturday. It offered no suggestion that the hourlong call diminished the threat of an imminent war in Europe. Biden also said the United States and its allies would respond “decisively and impose swift and severe costs” if the Kremlin attacked its neighbor, according to the White House...Russia denies it intends to invade but has massed well over 100,000 troops near the Ukrainian border and has sent troops to exercises in neighboring Belarus, encircling Ukraine on three sides.
- Biden warns Putin of ‘severe costs’ of Ukraine invasion, AP News, February 13, 2022
- The problems with Russia are not just NATO expansion. There were also a process that began with the second Bush administration of withdrawing from all of the arms control — almost all of the arms control agreements that we had concluded with the Soviet Union, the very agreements that had brought the first Cold War to an end.... In effect, what the United States did after the end of the Cold War was they reversed the diplomacy that we had used to end the Cold War, and started sort of doing anything, everything the opposite way. We started, in effect, trying to control other countries, to bring them into what we called the “new world order,” but it was not very orderly. And we also sort of asserted the right to use military whenever we wished. We bombed Serbia in the ’90s without the approval of the U.N. Later, we invaded Iraq, citing false evidence and without any U.N. approval and against the advice not only of Russia but of Germany and France, our allies. So, the United States — I could name a number of others — itself was not careful in abiding by the international laws that we had supported.... To get into another insane arms race, when we have so many other common problems we need to deal with, I think, is extraordinarily unwise.
- Today, across the border of every single African country, live our countrymen with whom we share deep historical, cultural and linguistic bonds. At independence, had we chosen to pursue states on the basis of ethnic, racial or religious homogeneity, we would still be waging bloody wars these many decades later.
We believe that all states formed from empires that have collapsed or retreated have many peoples in them yearning for integration with peoples in neighboring states. This is normal and understandable. After all, who does not want to be joined to their brethren and to make common purpose with them? However, Kenya rejects such a yearning from being pursued by force.
Kenya registers its strong concern and opposition to the recognition of Donetsk and Luhansk as independent states...Let me conclude, Mr. President, by reaffirming Kenya's respect for the territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders."
- Russian troops are on sovereign Russian territory...There is no invasion. There is no such plans
- Russia’s ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov, February 20, 2022, quoted in "Russia’s attack on Ukraine came after months of denials it would attack" (February 24, 2022)
- President Biden announced new economic sanctions targeting two key Russian financial institutions and five Russian oligarchs on Tuesday in response to the Kremlin's escalating aggression against Ukraine, penalties that join measures from Western allies that seek to punish Russia for its latest actions. "This is the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine," Mr. Biden said at the White House. "So I'm going to begin to impose sanctions in response, far beyond the steps we implemented in 2014."
- The Associated Press reported the U.S. could eventually move to kick Russia out of the SWIFT system, a network used by banks and financial institutions to process transactions around the world. U.S. officials have been reluctant to take that step, with deputy national security adviser Daleep Singh recently citing "spillover effects" that made kicking Russia out of SWIFT unlikely, at least initially. "We always will monitor these options, and we'll revise our judgments as time goes on," Singh told reporters last Friday.
- People’s republics of Donbass approached Russia with a request for help. In connection therewith, ... I made the decision to hold a special military operation. Its goal is to protect the people that are subjected to abuse, genocide from the Kiev regime for eight years, and to this end we will seek to demilitarize and denazify Ukraine and put to justice those that committed numerous bloody crimes against peaceful people, including Russian nationals.
February 24, 2022 edit
- Putin is the aggressor. Putin chose this war. And now he and his country will bear the consequences... that will impose severe cost on the Russian economy, both immediately and over time... The threat of the sanctions ... imposing the sanctions and seeing the effect of the sanctions are two different things. He's going to begin to see the effect of the sanctions. It's going to take time... We have to show resolve so he knows what is coming. And so the people of Russia know what he's brought on them. That's what this is all about.... Our forces are not and will not be engaged in the conflict... Our forces are not going to Europe to fight in Ukraine but defend our NATO allies and reassure those allies in the east... Putin's actions betray a sinister vision for the future of our world, one where nations take what they want by force...[the Russian president's actions would] end up costing Russia dearly, economically and strategically.
...I know this is hard and that Americans are already hurting... I'll do everything in my power to limit the pain the American people are feeling at the gas pump...[President Putin] has much larger ambitions than Ukraine. He wants to, in fact, reestablish the former Soviet Union. That's what this is about. I think that his ambitions are completely contrary to the place where the rest of the world has arrived.
- President Joe Biden, Biden imposes additional sanctions on Russia: 'Putin chose this war', by Kevin Liptak, CNN, February 24, 2022
- Former President Jimmy Carter said Thursday that Russia's invasion of Ukraine violates international law and "threatens security" in Europe and around the globe, joining the other living former Presidents in condemning the Kremlin's attack on its neighbor. "Russia's unprovoked attack on Ukraine using military and cyber weapons violates international law and the fundamental human rights of the Ukrainian people," Carter said in a statement posted on Twitter. "I condemn this unjust assault on the sovereignty of Ukraine that threatens security in Europe and the entire world, and I call on President Putin to halt all military action and restore peace."
The US and allies, the former President said, "must stand with the people of Ukraine in support of their right to peace, security, and self-determination."
- Former US Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton shared Carter's sentiments, condemning the invasion in their own statements on Thursday. "The American government and people must stand in solidarity with Ukraine and the Ukrainian people as they seek freedom and the right to choose their own future. We cannot tolerate the authoritarian bullying and danger that Putin poses," Bush said in his statement. Obama called for bipartisan support of Biden's sanctions, saying, "There may be some economic consequences to such sanctions, given Russia's significant role in world energy markets. But that's a price we should be willing to pay to take a stand on the side of freedom." Clinton said that "the world will hold Russia and Russia alone accountable, both economically and politically, for its brazen violation of international law." On Wednesday, former President Donald Trump called Russia's military operation in Ukraine "a very sad thing for the world" and claimed in a Fox interview that it wouldn't have happened during his administration. But speaking to a conservative radio show on Tuesday hosted by Clay Travis and Buck Sexton, Trump had hailed Russian President Vladimir Putin's dismembering of independent, democratic, sovereign Ukraine as an act of "genius."
- An aircraft was shot down over the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv after two explosions were heard in the city, according to Al Jazeera and Reuters via CNA. The Ukrainian interior ministry advisor Anton Herashchenko said via Telegram that attacks with “cruise and ballistic missiles have just resumed.” Meanwhile, the Ukrainian State Border Service says there are casualities after Russian missiles hit a border post in the southeastern city of Zaporizhzhya, according to multiple reports. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said scores of people have been killed after Russia launched a full-scale invasion in Ukraine, in a video message late Thursday. Zelenskyy signed a decree on Thursday ordering the broad-based mobilization of all conscripts and reservists to face Russian troops. Ukraine has banned male citizens 18-60 years of age from leaving the country, according to the State Border Guard Service.
Vladimir Putin's Speech on Ukraine and US Foreign Policy and NATO - (February 24, 2022) edit
- I will begin with what I said in my address on February 21, 2022. I spoke about our biggest concerns and worries, and about the fundamental threats which irresponsible Western politicians created for Russia consistently, rudely and unceremoniously from year to year. I am referring to the eastward expansion of NATO, which is moving its military infrastructure ever closer to the Russian border.
- The illegal use of military power against Libya and the distortion of all the UN Security Council decisions on Libya ruined the state, created a huge seat of international terrorism, and pushed the country towards a humanitarian catastrophe, into the vortex of a civil war, which has continued there for years. The tragedy, which was created for hundreds of thousands and even millions of people not only in Libya but in the whole region, has led to a large-scale exodus from the Middle East and North Africa to Europe. A similar fate was also prepared for Syria...But the example that stands apart from the above events is, of course, the invasion of Iraq without any legal grounds.
- Overall, it appears that nearly everywhere, in many regions of the world where the United States brought its law and order, this created bloody, non-healing wounds and the curse of international terrorism and extremism. I have only mentioned the most glaring but far from only examples of disregard for international law.
- Incidentally, US politicians, political scientists and journalists write and say that a veritable "empire of lies" has been created inside the United States in recent years. It is hard to disagree with this – it is really so. But one should not be modest about it: the United States is still a great country and a system-forming power. All its satellites not only humbly and obediently say yes to and parrot it at the slightest pretext but also imitate its behaviour and enthusiastically accept the rules it is offering them. Therefore, one can say with good reason and confidence that the whole so-called Western bloc formed by the United States in its own image and likeness is, in its entirety, the very same "empire of lies".
- For the United States and its allies, it is a policy of containing Russia, with obvious geopolitical dividends. For our country, it is a matter of life and death, a matter of our historical future as a nation. This is not an exaggeration; this is a fact. It is not only a very real threat to our interests but to the very existence of our state and to its sovereignty. It is the red line which we have spoken about on numerous occasions. They have crossed it.
- We can see that the forces that staged the coup in Ukraine in 2014 have seized power, are keeping it with the help of ornamental election procedures and have abandoned the path of a peaceful conflict settlement. For eight years, for eight endless years we have been doing everything possible to settle the situation by peaceful political means.
- I would also like to address the military personnel of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Comrade officers, Your fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers did not fight the Nazi occupiers and did not defend our common Motherland to allow today’s neo-Nazis to seize power in Ukraine. You swore the oath of allegiance to the Ukrainian people and not to the junta, the people’s adversary which is plundering Ukraine and humiliating the Ukrainian people. I urge you to refuse to carry out their criminal orders. I urge you to immediately lay down arms and go home. The military personnel of the Ukrainian army who do this will be able to freely leave the zone of hostilities and return to their families...
- I want to emphasize again that all responsibility for the possible bloodshed will lie fully and wholly with the ruling Ukrainian regime.
- At the end of the day, the future of Russia is in the hands of its multi-ethnic people, as has always been the case in our history. This means that the decisions that I made will be executed, that we will achieve the goals we have set, and reliably guarantee the security of our Motherland.
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's Plea to Russians (February 24, 2022) edit
- Today I initiated a phone call with the president of the Russian federation. The result was silence. Though the silence should be in Donbass. That's why I want to address today the people of Russia. I am addressing you not as a president, I am addressing you as a citizen of Ukraine. More than 2,000 km of the common border is dividing us (between Ukraine and Russia). Along this border your troops are stationed, almost 200,000 soldiers, thousands of military vehicles. Your leaders approved them to make a step forward, to the territory of another country (Ukraine). And this step can be the beginning of a big war on European continent.
- We know for sure that we don't need the war. Not a Cold War, not a hot war. Not a hybrid one. But if we'll be attacked by the troops, if they try to take our country away from us, our freedom, our lives, the lives of our children, we will defend ourselves. Not attack, but defend ourselves. And when you will be attacking us, you will see our faces, not our backs, but our faces. The war is a big disaster, and this disaster has a high price. With every meaning of this word. People lose money, reputation, quality of life, they lose freedom. But the main thing is that people lose their loved ones, they lose themselves.
- They told you that Ukraine is posing a threat to Russia. It was not the case in the past, not in the present, it's not going to be in the future. You are demanding security guarantees from NATO (The North Atlantic Treaty Organization), but we also demand security guarantees. Security for Ukraine from you, from Russia and other guarantees of the Budapest memorandum.
- But our main goal is peace in Ukraine and the safety of our people, Ukrainians. For that we are ready to have talks with anybody, including you, in any format, on any platform.
- The war will deprive [security] guarantees from everybody — nobody will have guarantees of security anymore. Who will suffer the most from it? The people. Who doesn't want it the most? The people! Who can stop it? The people. But are there those people among you? I am sure.
- I know that they (Russian government) won't show my address on Russian TV, but Russian people have to see it. They need to know the truth, and the truth is that it is time to stop now, before it is too late. And if the Russian leaders don't want to sit with us behind the table for the sake of peace, maybe they will sit behind the table with you. Do Russians want the war? I would like to know the answer. But the answer depends only on you, citizens of the Russian Federation.
"Russian warship, go fuck yourself" (February 24, 2022) edit
- Russian warship: 'Snake Island, I, Russian warship, repeat the offer: put down your arms and surrender, or you will be bombed. Have you understood me? Do you copy?'
- Ukrainian 1 [Roman Hrybov]: 'Nu, vsyo. That’s it, then. Or, do we need to fuck them back off?'
- Ukrainian 2: 'Might as well.'
- Ukrainian 1: 'Russian warship, go fuck yourself.'
- Moments later, it was reported, the island was shelled and all the Ukrainian soldiers – thirteen in total – were killed. They are now said to be alive. The exchange became an instant, obvious example of Ukrainian courage and resolve; in Ukraine itself, road signs between Kyiv and Boryspil were altered to read: ‘Russian ship – fuck yourself.’
- Ukrainian border guard Roman Hrybov, quoted by Alex Abramovitch "Idi haxuj" London Review of Books February 28, 2022
- ...the word being translated as ‘fuck’ here is khuy. Idi nakhuy (иди наxуй) – ‘go to dick’ or, more loosely, ‘go sit on a dick’ – is what the Ukrainians (and the road signs) have been saying.
Translating swear words is never simple...‘Иди наxуй is the worst thing you can say,’ my sister Mariana tells me. She lives in Europe, and my Russian’s OK but hers is still fluent. ‘You can’t say it in jest, unlike pizdets or ebat. You can play with those two words. You can’t play with idi nakhuy. It’s a really aggressive, serious swear word.’...‘Go the fuck, you fucks’ gets us closer, but only a bit. The truth is, there’s nothing in English that goes quite so far. (In Spinal Tap terms, our curses go up to ten, but Russian words go to eleven.)
- Alex Abramovitch "Idi haxuj" London Review of Books February 28, 2022)
- The use of the phrase ["Russian warship, go fuck yourself"] by Ukrainian society has been lauded as one of the examples of how the country sought to undermine the legitimacy of Russia’s invasion through non-military means. However, the Snake Island incident also has been cited as a case study of how unverified information had the potential of spreading during the war.
"Take these seeds and put them in your pockets." (February 24, 2022) edit
- Take these seeds so sunflowers grow when you die here...Guys, put these seeds into your pockets. Take these seeds. You will die here with them. You’ve come to my land … Do you understand? You’re occupiers. You’re enemies. And from now on, you’re cursed.
- Unknown Ukrainian woman to Russian soldier, English translation by BBC according to "How sunflowers became a symbol of Ukraine’s resistance amid Russia’s invasion" South China Morning Post March 1, 2022
- You’re occupiers. You are fascists. Why the fuck did you come here with your guns?...Take these seeds and put them in your pocket so, at least, sunflowers will grow on your graves.
- Unknown Ukrainian woman to Russian soldier, English translation by Alex Abramovitch "Idi haxuj" London Review of Books February 28, 2022)
- Good for her! Good for her! Let’s just recognise for a second how ice cold that insult is. 'Take these seeds and put them in your pocket so sunflowers will grow when you die...That woman brought seeds to a gunfight and still comfortably won.
Quotes concerning the legality of Russia's February 24 invasion of Ukraine edit
- We are seeing Russian military operations inside the sovereign territory of Ukraine on a scale that Europe has not seen in decades.
Day after day, I have been clear that such unilateral measures conflict directly with the United Nations Charter.
The Charter is clear: “All members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.” The use of force by one country against another is the repudiation of the principles that every country has committed to uphold.
- UN Secretary-General António Guterres "Statement by the Secretary-General – on Ukraine" (23 February 2022)
- Russia’s widespread military invasion of Ukraine is a clear and flagrant act of aggression in violation of Article 2(4) of the United Nations Charter, with no plausible legal justification. These actions are deeply destabilizing to the international order and undermine the foundational legal regime that has governed international relations since the end of World War II.
- W:Allen Weiner, Director of the Stanford Program in International and Comparative Law, "Stanford’s Allen Weiner on the Russian Invasion of Ukraine" (February 24, 2022)
- While one may be able to mount a legal challenge to Russia’s contention that its joint operation with Russia’s newly recognized independent nations of Lugansk and Donetsk constitutes a “regional security or self-defense organization” as regards “anticipatory collective self-defense actions” under Article 51...The bottom line is that Russia has set forth a cognizable claim under the doctrine of anticipatory collective self defense, devised originally by the U.S. and NATO, as it applies to Article 51 which is predicated on fact, not fiction.
- While it might be in vogue for people, organizations, and governments in the West to embrace the knee-jerk conclusion that Russia’s military intervention constitutes a wanton violation of the United Nations Charter and, as such, constitutes an illegal war of aggression, the uncomfortable truth is that, of all the claims made regarding the legality of pre-emption under Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, Russia’s justification for invading Ukraine is on solid legal ground.
- Ex-UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter, Russia, Ukraine & the Law of War: Crime of Aggression, Part I], Consortium News, March 29, 2022
February 25, 2022 edit
- The fight is here; I need ammunition, not a ride.
- Volodymyr Zelenskyy, speaking to an U.S. intelligence official after being offered an evacuation from Kyiv "AP Live updates: Zelenskyy declines US offer to evacuate Kyiv"
- Pope Francis went to the Russian embassy to the Holy See on Friday to relay his concern over Russia's invasion of Ukraine to Moscow's ambassador, in an unprecedented departure from diplomatic protocol. Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said the pope spent more than half an hour at the embassy. "He went to express his concern over the war," Bruni said, declining to give details about the visit or the conversation... The ambassador was quoted as saying that the pope "called for the protection of children, the protection of the sick and suffering, and the protection of people."
- After decades of ignoring Russia’s national security concerns, the West is confronted with a military invasion of Ukraine which serves as a precursor for a new Cold War that will define Russia’s relationship with the West for years to come. Let there be no mistake, on Feb. 24, the world awoke to a new reality. Prior to this date, Russia was treated by the West as an annoyance, belittled by economic and even military elites as little more than a “giant gas station masquerading as a nation,” to quote John McCain... Because no one took Russia seriously, no one could imagine a large-scale ground war in Europe....
- Ukraine’s defense ministry is telling residents to make Molotov cocktails and firebombs to help fight back in Kyiv as Russian forces close in on the capital city. In a Facebook post, the agency warned citizens they need to be ready to fight if Russian forces get into the city, BBC reported. Residents need to "inform us of troop movements, to make Molotov cocktails [firebombs] and neutralise the enemy.”
- My Russian interlocutors, some of whom I’ve known for many years, are by no means pro-Western anymore; they’re very angry with Western policy in recent years and they’re not pro-Ukrainian. But I have to say they’re horrified by what has happened. They really didn’t expect an invasion on this scale. They thought something would happen, but that it would be much more limited.
February 26, 2022 edit
- Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying asserted Wednesday that the U.S. is “the culprit of current tensions surrounding Ukraine.” A day later, within hours of Russian forces moving into Ukraine, Wang unambiguously aligned China with Russia by telling Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov that China “understands the Russian side's legitimate concerns on security issues” in Ukraine. Hua hammered that point home by attacking the U.S. when journalists questioned why China would not commit to joining international efforts to defend Ukraine’s sovereignty. “You keep asking when will China join the U.S. and some European countries to condemn Russia. This reminds me that it is the handful of countries you raised, including the U.S., that has been interfering in China’s internal affairs and attacking China based on disinformation,” said Hua. “Even today, China still faces a realistic threat from the U.S. flanked by its several allies as they wantonly and grossly meddle in China’s domestic affairs and undermine China’s sovereignty and security on issues, including Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Taiwan.”
- China sees strategic advantage in Russia’s Ukraine invasion, Phelim Kine, Politico, Feb 26, 2022
- The chips are down, as much of the US-equipped and backed Ukrainian military appears to have turned and ran as Russian forces approached. That is not to say that there has not been death and destruction on both sides. The battle for Kherson was brutal, with plenty of Russian losses. But nevertheless, as of this writing, it has fallen to Russian control. Kiev in the main may well fall within the next 12-24 hours. Russian troops are already in the city. And Zelensky is in his bunker with fewer and fewer to take his calls. The cavalry he believed was promised him will not be coming to rescue him. Ukraine will be de-militarized and Ukraine will be neutral. Once held up as a great ally of Washington and Brussels, Zelensky is alone.
- Daniel McAdams, Washington’s Crocodile Tears Over Ukraine’s Destruction, The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity February 26, 2022
February 27, 2022 edit
- This is not a time to stand on the sidelines. This is a time to be vocal and condemn the actions of President Putin and Russia invading a sovereign country. But there’s also important steps for the Chinese leadership to look at themselves and really assess where they want to stand as the history books are written.
February 28, 2022 edit
- China is closely following the development of the Ukraine situation and supports all efforts that are conducive to easing the situation and seeking political settlement. China noted the relevant parties’ statements on the nuclear issue. I want to stress once again that, when it comes to European security, all countries' legitimate security concerns should be taken seriously. When NATO has made five waves of eastward expansion, Russia’s legitimate demands should be taken seriously and addressed properly. Relevant parities should exercise restraint and avoid further escalation of the situation.
March 2022 edit
- Six days ago, Russia’s Vladimir Putin sought to shake the foundations of the free world thinking he could make it bend to his menacing ways. But he badly miscalculated. He thought he could roll into Ukraine and the world would roll over. Instead he met a wall of strength he never imagined. He met the Ukrainian people. From President Zelenskyy to every Ukrainian, their fearlessness, their courage, their determination, inspires the world. Groups of citizens blocking tanks with their bodies. Everyone from students to retirees teachers turned soldiers defending their homeland.
- Putin’s latest attack on Ukraine was premeditated and unprovoked. He rejected repeated efforts at diplomacy. He thought the West and NATO wouldn’t respond. And he thought he could divide us at home. Putin was wrong. We were ready. Here is what we did. We prepared extensively and carefully. We spent months building a coalition of other freedom-loving nations from Europe and the Americas to Asia and Africa to confront Putin. I spent countless hours unifying our European allies. We shared with the world in advance what we knew Putin was planning and precisely how he would try to falsely justify his aggression. We countered Russia’s lies with truth. And now that he has acted the free world is holding him accountable.
- The claims by Ukraine do not compare to the falsehoods being spread by Russia...Instead, Ukraine’s online propaganda is largely focused on its heroes and martyrs, characters who help dramatize tales of Ukrainian fortitude and Russian aggression.
- On March 3 we unequivocally condemned this unprovoked aggression and stated our support for the Ukrainian people. Our company has represented the pianist Boris Berezovsky, an extraordinary gifted artist and paradoxical individual, for almost 20 years…
- We strongly condemn the comments he made during his TV appearance and we must sadly suspend the representation of Boris Berezovsky by our company
- There are many theories for why Russian propaganda about Ukraine has fallen so flat. Perhaps the most obvious is that the invasion is just too ugly a pig to pretty up — an act so baldly unjustified that no amount of propaganda could set it right.
- Russia and Ukraine are Europe’s breadbasket...The two countries account for almost 30 percent of global wheat exports, almost 20 percent of corn exports, and more than 80 percent of the world supply of sunflower oil. Those exports are stalled for different reasons—in Ukraine by Russia’s invasion, and in Russia by global sanctions—but the net effect is the same...Analysts worry that the countries that buy the most wheat from Ukraine—predominantly in Africa and the Middle East—will have the hardest time paying as prices rise.
- What is happening in Ukraine is a crime. Russia is an aggressor country and the responsibility for this aggression rests on the conscience of only one person. That person is Vladimir Putin. My father is Ukrainian, my mother is Russian, and they've never been enemies. This necklace I'm wearing is a symbol of the fact that Russia must immediately end this fratricidal war and our fraternal peoples will still be able to reconcile. Unfortunately, I've spent the last few years working for Channel One, doing Kremlin propaganda, and I'm very ashamed of this. Ashamed that I allowed lies to be broadcast from TV screens. Ashamed that I allowed others to zombify Russian people. We were silent in 2014 when all this started. We didn't protest when the Kremlin poisoned Navalny. We just silently watched this inhuman regime at work. And now the whole world has turned its back on us. And the next 10 generations won't wash away the stain of this fratricidal war. We Russians are thinking and intelligent people. It's in our power alone to stop all this madness. Go protest. Don't be afraid of anything. They can't lock us all away.
- On the Ukraine issue, China has been independently making its judgment based on the merits of the matter itself in an objective and just manner. The Chinese side always maintains that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries must be respected, and the purposes and principles of the UN Charter must be observed. We attach importance to the security concerns of all countries and support all efforts that are conducive to peaceful resolution of the crisis. As a responsible major country, China will continue to play a constructive role in maintaining world peace and stability.
- PRC Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian "Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian’s Regular Press Conference on March 17, 2022" Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China (March 17, 2022)
- The key to solving the Ukraine crisis is in the hands of the US and NATO. We hope the US and NATO, the culprits of the crisis, can reflect upon their roles in the Ukraine crisis. They should earnestly shoulder due responsibilities and take real actions to ease the situation, resolve the problem and end the conflict in Ukraine at an early date. We also hope that the US can truly work with most developing countries in the world to stand on the side of peace and justice and help to ease the Ukraine situation soon.
- PRC Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian "Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian’s Regular Press Conference on March 17, 2022" Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China (March 17, 2022)
- I urge the Russian people and the Russian soldiers in Ukraine to understand the propaganda and the disinformation that you are being told. I ask you to help me spread the truth so that your fellow Russians will know the human catastrophe that is happening in Ukraine. To President Putin, I say: You started this war. You’re leading this war. You can stop this war now.
- “We live next to a volcano. The volcano just erupted, and it just happens that the lava is currently flowing down the other side of the mountain.”
- Giorgi Khelashvili, talking about Russia's invasion of Ukraine, quoted in "Ukraine Reminds Georgia of Its Own War With Russia. That Creates a Dilemma"a lawmaker for Georgia’s governing party, Georgian Dream" by Patrick Kingsley, The New York Times (March 19, 2022)
- I feel responsible for this war. Neither I nor my countrymen have done enough to stop it
- Unfortunately, and to our silent astonishment, a significant part of Ukrainian people — and not everyone — turn out to have been captured by the insanity of Nazism. Before this, I also thought that there were a few of them, but I couldn’t have imagined that there were so many of them.
- RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan (March 26, 2022) "How The Kremlin Dehumanizing Ukraine Set The Stage For Bucha" by Josh Kovensky TPM
- Yes, there is an ongoing negotiation process. But these are still words. So far no specifics. There are also other words about the alleged withdrawal of Russian troops from Kyiv and Chernihiv. About the alleged reduction of activity of occupiers in these directions. We know that this is not a withdrawal, but the consequences of exile. Consequences of the work of our defenders. But we also see that at the same time there is an accumulation of Russian troops for new strikes in Donbas. And we are preparing for this. We do not believe anyone - we do not trust any beautiful verbal constructions. There is a real situation on the battlefield.
- And now - this is the most important thing. We will not give up anything. And we will fight for every meter of our land, for every our person.
April 2022 edit
- While the Ukrainian government, American politicians, and human rights groups can make allegations of war crimes by Russia in Ukraine, proving these allegations is a much more difficult task. Moreover, it appears that, upon closer examination, the accuser (at least when it comes to the Ukrainian government) might become the accused should any thorough investigation of the alleged events occur.
- Scott Ritter, "Russia, Ukraine & the Law of War: Crime of Aggression, Part II", Consortium News, April 1, 2022
- Could war have been prevented by a Russian-Western deal that halted NATO expansion and neutralised Ukraine in return for solid guarantees of Ukrainian independence and sovereignty? Quite possibly.
- To note that Putin believed he had been backed into a corner by the west is not to endorse his perceptions and assessments of the situation. Still less does it lend any justification to his actions. As I and other Russian studies specialists state elsewhere: “The invasion is Putin’s war, a war of choice not necessity. The prime responsibility for the conflict, and all its sorrowful, devastating and dangerous consequences, is his.”
- Saying that Ukraine doesn’t really exist is as absurd as saying that Ireland doesn’t exist because it was long under British rule, or that Norwegians are really Swedes.
- The idea that Ukrainians are too weak and divided to stand up for themselves is one they are magnificently disproving on the battlefield.
- The Ukraine war should be considered more deeply. This war isn't simply about a military invasion of a country. The roots of this invasion are deep and a complex, difficult future for humans can be predicted, Today the world is on the threshold of a new world order: a new international order against the previous monopolar and bipolar world.
- Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei tasnim
Make the war crimes of the Russian military the last manifestation of this evil on earth ~ Volodymyr Zelenskyy (3 April 2022) edit
- "It is time to do everything to make the war crimes of the Russian military the last manifestation of this evil on earth" (3 April 2022)
- Today this address will be without greetings. I do not want any extra words.
Presidents do not usually record addresses like this. But today I have to say just that. After what was revealed in Bucha and our other cities the occupiers were expelled from. Hundreds of people were killed. Tortured, executed civilians. Corpses on the streets. Mined area. Even the bodies of the dead were mined! The pervasive consequences of looting. Concentrated evil has come to our land. Murderers. Torturers. Rapists. Looters. Who call themselves the army. And who deserve only death after what they did.
- I want all the leaders of the Russian Federation to see how their orders are being fulfilled. Such orders. Such a fulfillment. And joint responsibility. For these murders, for these tortures, for these arms torn off by explosions that lie on the streets. For shots in the back of the head of tied people.
This is how the Russian state will now be perceived. This is your image.
Your culture and human appearance perished together with the Ukrainian men and women to whom you came.
- The world has already seen many war crimes. At different times. On different continents. But it is time to do everything possible to make the war crimes of the Russian military the last manifestation of such evil on earth.
- We drove the enemy out of several regions. But Russian troops still control the occupied areas of other regions. And after the expulsion of the occupiers, even worse things can be found there. Even more deaths and tortures. Because this is the nature of the Russian military who came to our land. These are bastards who can't do otherwise. And they had such orders.
All partners of Ukraine will be informed in detail about what happened in the temporarily occupied territory of our state. War crimes in Bucha and other cities during the Russian occupation will also be considered by the UN Security Council on Tuesday.
There will definitely be a new package of sanctions against Russia. But I'm sure that's not enough. More conclusions are needed. Not only about Russia, but also about the political behavior that actually allowed this evil to come to our land.
- We see what’s at stake in this war. We see what we are defending.
There are standards of the Ukrainian army - moral and professional. And it is not our army that has to adjust now. These are many other armies that should learn from our military.
And there are standards of the Ukrainian people. And there are standards of the Russian occupiers. This is good and evil. This is Europe and a black hole that wants to tear it all apart and absorb.
- I am sure the time will come and the whole line of the state border of Ukraine will be restored.
And for this to happen sooner, we must all be focused, ready to boldly face evil and respond to every criminal act against Ukraine, against our people, against our freedom.
Evil will be punished.
Glory to Ukraine!
Statement on Bucha by Russia’s Permanent Representative to the UN w:Vassily Nebenzya (April 4, 2022) edit
- "Press Briefing by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia on the situation in the town of Bucha (Kiev Region) and related matters" (April 4, 2022)
- From the very beginning it has been clear that this is nothing else but yet another staged provocation aimed at discrediting and dehumanizing of the Russian military and levelling political pressure on Russia. Not many of you know about the Russian military, but I assure you that Russian military is nothing that it is being accused of, in particular what regards “cruel atrocities” against civil population. It is not the case. It never was, and will never be.
- During the time that the town has been under the control of the Russian armed forces, not a single local resident has suffered from any violent action.
- Four days after the Russian military left the city of Bucha there was not a single sign of any “atrocities”. I repeat – not a single reference to it, anywhere. The infamous video depicting bodies on the city roads only appeared on April 3rd. It is full of discrepancies and blatant lies. According to its authors, the bodies were lying on the streets for at least 4 days by the time the video was filmed. However, the bodies are not stiffened. How is that possible? It is against the law of biology. The bodies do not have signs of decomposition known to forensic experts, including cadaver stains. The wounds contain no blood. What happened in Bucha is exactly a false flag attack by the Kiev regime and its Western sponsors. The possible goal of this provocation is horrifying and brings back the nightmares of the Nazi crimes during the Second World War.
- Vladimir Zelensky, once he arrived in Bucha, hinted that this “incident” justifies any “uncivilized response”. By this basically he confirmed that the Kiev regime considers genocide as a method of warfare. Now the nationalists have a pretext to commit a real massacre of innocent Ukrainian people executing them as “traitors”. We want the world to stay alert and we call on the Council not to let these horrific cleansing to happen.
- Now, to what you see in the streets of Bucha. The corpses had never existed before the departure of Russian troops, and then suddenly appeared in the streets, lying on the road one by one, right and left. If you look carefully, you will see that some of them are moving. Some of them are showing signs of life. You cannot escape from an understanding that this is staged, that it is a fake and a provocation. Because, as you all know, besides the warfare, we have a raging information war. And we have evidence that it was premeditated and arranged by the Ukrainian information warfare machine.
- Q: Would Russia, for example, welcome an independent investigation? You talk about the misinformation wars, the fog of war. It's difficult to understand who's giving you facts and who's not. Right. So would you agree to an independent mechanism to investigate the atrocities that we both can agree are happening in Ukraine? And then a second part, what is so egregious about the 24 hours delay? To help us understand, this meeting that you requested for today is happening tomorrow. So what is so outrageous about this delay?
- A (Nebenzya): The question is who is doing the so-called independent investigation. We've seen lots of independent investigations which were not independent at all because they were politically motivated, biased, etc.
- A satellite image of Bucha in Ukraine appears to show bodies lying in the street nearly two weeks before the Russians left the town. The image from 19 March, first reported by the New York Times and confirmed by the BBC, directly contradicts Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov's claim that footage of bodies in Bucha, that has emerged in recent days, was "staged" after the Russians withdrew....The Russian defence ministry claimed that while Bucha was under Russian control "not a single local resident has suffered from any violent action". This claim, however, contradicts numerous eyewitness accounts from residents.
- BBC fact-checking of Russian claims about Bucha "Bucha killings: Satellite image of bodies site contradicts Russian claims" (April 5, 2022)
UN Secretary-General António Guterres at the UN Security Council Meeting on Ukraine (April 5, 2022) edit
- We are dealing with the full-fledged invasion, on several fronts, of one Member State of the United Nations, Ukraine, by another, the Russian Federation — a Permanent Member of the Security Council — in violation of the United Nations Charter, and with several aims, including redrawing the internationally-recognized borders between the two countries.
The war has led to senseless loss of life, massive devastation in urban centres, and the destruction of civilian infrastructure.
I will never forget the horrifying images of civilians killed in Bucha.
I immediately called for an independent investigation to guarantee effective accountability.
- The war in Ukraine must stop — now.
We need serious negotiations for peace, based on the principles of the United Nations Charter.
This Council is charged with maintaining peace — and doing so in solidarity.
I deeply regret the divisions that have prevented the Security Council from acting not only on Ukraine, but on other threats to peace and security around the world.
I urge the Council to do everything in its power to end the war and to mitigate its impact, both on the suffering people of Ukraine, and on vulnerable people and developing countries around the world.
- It’s demonstrably obvious now that there was a combination of people not telling him [Putin] what he needed to hear and him not listening when they did tell him stuff that he didn’t want to hear.
- James Cleverly, Britain’s minister of state for Europe and North America, quoted in "Hubris and isolation led Vladimir Putin to misjudge Ukraine" April 11, 2022
May 2022 edit
- So what if [Ukrainian president Volodymyr] Zelensky is Jewish? The fact does not negate the Nazi elements in Ukraine. I believe that Hitler also had Jewish blood. It means absolutely nothing. The wise Jewish people said that the most ardent antisemites are usually Jews. Every family has its black sheep, as we say.
- At unpredictable intervals, the global system is tipped into a major transition by a disturbance that can be quite small, if not quite as small as Edward Lorenz’s famous butterfly in the Amazon setting off a tornado in Texas. Russia’s war in Ukraine — destructive certainly, but still a relatively small conflict by 20th-century standards — can be enough to trigger a “conflict avalanche.”
- Niall Ferguson, "America, China, Russia and the Avalanche of History", Bloomberg, May 20, 2022.
June 2022 edit
- Is the proxy war in Ukraine turning out to be only a lead-up to something larger, involving world famine and a foreign-exchange crisis for food- and oil-deficit countries? Many more people are likely to die of famine and economic disruption than on the Ukrainian battlefield.
- NATO is a defensive alliance and the war is President Putin's war. This is a war that he has decided to conduct against an independent sovereign nation.
- NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg in "NATO's military assistance to Ukraine not a provocation, but support for independent state, Stoltenberg says", CNN, June 16, 2022
- The war in Ukraine is the culmination of a 30-year project of the American neoconservative movement.
July 2022 edit
- With each day, the war crimes mount. Rape. Torture. Extrajudicial executions. Disappearances. Forced deportations. Attacks on schools, hospitals, playgrounds, apartment buildings, grain silos, water and gas facilities...[the atrocities are] not the acts of rogue units. They fit a clear pattern, across every part of Ukraine touched by Russian forces. And they fit a clear pattern with Russia’s previous actions in conflicts in Chechnya, Georgia, Syria, and Ukraine starting in 2014."
- As in a Greek tragedy whose protagonist brings about precisely the fate that he has sought to avoid, the US/NATO confrontation with Russia in Ukraine is achieving just the opposite of America’s aim of preventing China, Russia and their allies from acting independently of U.S. control over their trade and investment policy.... Russia is no more in a position to invade Western Europe than NATO countries are to send conscripts to fight Russia...
September 2022 edit
- Russia, an aging tyranny, seeks to destroy Ukraine, a defiant democracy. A Ukrainian victory would confirm the principle of self-rule, allow the integration of Europe to proceed, and empower people of goodwill to return reinvigorated to other global challenges. A Russian victory, by contrast, would extend genocidal policies in Ukraine, subordinate Europeans, and render any vision of a geopolitical European Union obsolete.
- Kazakhstan is to discuss an influx of Russians to the country following President Putin’s partial military mobilization last week [announced September 21, 2022]. President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev told Russian news agency Interfax ... "In recent days, many people from Russia have been coming to us. Most of them are forced to leave due to the current hopeless situation. We must take care of them and provide their security. This is a political and humanitarian issue. I instructed the government to take the necessary measures."
- President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev quoted in "Kazakhstan to hold talks with Moscow after influx of Russians fleeing the draft" 'CNBC September 27, 2022
October–November 2022 edit
- [Nuclear war] would mean the end of civilization...Incidentally, the argument here that this [supporting Ukraine's resistance in the face of Russian threats to use tactical nuclear weapons] is necessary because it’s up to the Ukrainians — at this point, what is the first country that would be completely destroyed? Has anyone thought of asking ordinary Ukrainians if that is a price they think worth paying?
- The War in Ukraine Could Lead to Nuclear War, An Interview with Anatol Lieven, by Branko Marcetic, Jacobin, Oct 3, 2022
- Sweden avoided World War II, sparing itself the German occupation that Norway endured and the Soviet invasion suffered by the Finns. During the Cold War, Sweden continued its neutral path...[and] declined to join NATO. And then Feb. 24, 2022, happened. The Russian invasion of Ukraine brought into sharp relief the limitations of being in Europe but not having the security guarantees of NATO’s collective defense pact. The Finns — dragging the Swedes with them — applied for membership in the alliance.
- I was in Kyiv myself in October, having travelled to Ukraine to support and train doctors providing palliative care to patients approaching the end of their lives. My trip was curtailed by Putin’s brazen desire to rain terror on civilians. As our night train pulled into Kyiv central station, the buildings reverberated with the impact of missiles timed to maximise rush-hour bloodshed. One victim was a young children's cancer doctor. Her car was incinerated as she drove home from her hospital night shift, making an orphan of her son, aged five. Another missile left a 30-foot crater in a children’s playground – as though roundabouts and sandpits have a shred of strategic value.
- Rachel Clarke "A night in a Kyiv bunker, palliative care in a war zone, and another chance for Jeremy Hunt", New Statesman (2 November 2022)
February–March 2023 edit
- Taking a step back, the information environment had changed dramatically since 2014. One, there’s a ton of commercially available satellite imagery, open source, and anyone with access to those images could see for themselves what Russia was doing on Ukraine’s borders. Second, there had been just an explosion in citizen journalism in the use of social media to show in real time what people were actually seeing, and this is coming from both Russian and Ukrainian sources. It was out there on Twitter, it was out there on TikTok. People could see for themselves, what these troops were doing — in some cases where they were. Then third, you have a general public that has a fundamentally different understanding of disinformation and misinformation — those terms are in people’s vocabularies in a way that they weren’t in 2014.
- Emily Horne, spokesperson, United States National Security Council, as cited in Erin Banco, Garrett M. Graff, Lara Seligman, Nahal Toosi And Alexander Ward "'Something Was Badly Wrong': When Washington Realized Russia Was Actually Invading Ukraine", Politico (24 February 2023)
- They have one goal: to disband the former Soviet Union and its fundamental part - the Russian Federation
- There will come a time when the Ukrainians, like the Kurds, will become expendable. They will disappear, as many others before them have, from our national discourse and our consciousness.
May–July 2023 edit
- We came in boorishly, trampling all over Ukraine's territory in search of Nazis. And while we searched for Nazis, we ****** up everyone we could. We came up to Kyiv and — I’ll put it in plain Russian — **** the bed and retreated. Then on to Kherson — we **** the bed and retreated. And somehow things aren't working out for us.
- The special military operation was done for the purpose of "denazification," while we've made Ukraine into a nation that's known throughout the world. They're like the Greeks or the Romans at their peaks. And as far as "demilitarization," if they had some 500 tanks at the start of the special military operation, now they have 5,000. If they had 20,000 capable fighters before, now they have 400,000. What kind of demilitarization is that? Now it looks more like we did the opposite, somehow or other, and militarized Ukraine.
- Yevgeny Prigozhin quoted in "‘We need to take a page from North Korea’s book’ Evgeny Prigozhin speaks even more frankly than usual in new 77-minute interview", interview with Meduza (24 May 2023).
- We are in a situation where we can simply lose Russia...We must introduce martial law. We unfortunately … must announce new waves of mobilization; we must put everyone who is capable to work on increasing the production of ammunition...Russia needs to live like North Korea for a few years, so to say, close the borders … and work hard...My advice to the Russian elites — get your lads, send them to war, and when you go to the funeral, when you start burying them, people will say that now everything is fair.
- Said about the status in 2023 of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, quoted in "Prigozhin says war in Ukraine has backfired, warns of Russian revolution", The Washington Post (24 May 2023)
- This divide can end as in 1917 with a revolution - first the soldiers will stand up, and after that - their loved ones will rise up. There are already tens of thousands of them - relatives of those killed - and there will probably be hundreds of thousands.
- Yevgeny Prigozhin quoted in "Ukraine-Russia war latest: Russia risks revolution unless elite get serious about war, Wagner chief says Updated 13 minutes ago", The Telegraph (24 May 2023).
- Get your asses out of the offices you've been put in to defend this country. You are the Defense Ministry...As a citizen, I am deeply indignant that these scum are sitting quietly and wearing out their seats with their fat asses smeared with expensive creams.
- Yevgeny Prigozhin after drone attacks on Moscow, quoted in "How Are They Reaching Moscow?!’ Russians Panic as Drones Attack", The Daily Beast (30 May 2023)
- We'd have to nuke them if Ukrainian offensive was a success.