Ex-Ukraine Leader Says Country Needs ‘Weapons, Weapons, Weapons’


Petro Poroshenko tells Al Jazeera that the “shortest path to peace” is to provide Kiev with weapons.

Former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has called on the international community to provide his country with more weapons and continue to punish Russia for invading Ukraine.

“The shortest way to peace is to supply Ukraine with weapons,” Poroshenko told Al Jazeera.

“We need three things from the international community: weapons, weapons and weapons.”

The former president also called on the international community to continue to punish Russia, place an embargo on its products and close Ukrainian airspace to protect civilians.

He added that the Western world should also “completely isolate” Russia and President Vladimir Putin as a way of putting pressure on Russia to end the war against his country.

Poroshenko, 56, who served as president from 2014 to 2019, was under investigation for high treason and left Ukraine last December.

He is under investigation for treason in a case he says was prepared by the allies of his successor, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Poroshenko was under investigation in connection with the financing of Russian-backed separatist fighters through illegal coal sales in 2014-15.

He faces up to 15 years in prison if found guilty. His party accuses Zelensky of a reckless attempt to silence the opposition.

Poroshenko, one of the country’s richest men, flew back to Kiev in January after a month-long absence and pledged to help Ukraine fend off what was then a possible Russian invasion.

A Ukrainian judge rejected a prosecutor’s request to detain him and set a $35 million bail.

Russian ‘crimes’

Poroshenko said more than 20,000 Ukrainian civilians were killed by “Russian barbarians” during the war.

He called incidents in Mariupol a “genocide” and accused Russian troops of using chemical weapons in the city.

Similar claims were made earlier this week by Zelenskyy, who said in a video speech that tens of thousands of Ukrainians were likely killed in the Russian attack on Mariupol.

If confirmed, this would be by far the highest number of deaths reported to date in one place in Ukraine, where cities and towns have been bombed incessantly and many bodies, including civilians, have been seen in the streets.

Poroshenko also called for an investigation into Russia’s “crimes”, adding that Ukrainians will not surrender or give up until their country is liberated from Russian troops.

“We will never stop as long as Ukraine’s Donbas and Crimea are occupied,” Poroshenko said.

He also asked “leaders of the Arab world” not to send their soldiers to help Russia, adding that he specifically addressed the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad who supported Russia in its 11-year civil war.

Before the Russian invasion, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu had visited Syria for talks with al-Assad, as his government had expressed “support” for Putin’s decision to declare independent two Moscow-backed separatist-occupied regions in eastern Ukraine. acknowledge.

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