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Retired Israeli colonel compares Zelensky to Yasser Arafat

Former military attaché to Russia Efraim Michaeli says Kiev should have renounced its NATO aspirations to avoid the bloodshed 

Former Israeli military attaché to Russia Efraim Michaeli has likened Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky to late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, claiming that Kiev is effectively promoting a never-ending military conflict with Moscow. The retired colonel also said Ukraine could have avoided the confrontation by renouncing its aspirations to join NATO.  

Explaining the need for military action against the neighboring state in February 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin cited Kiev’s plans to become a member of the US-led military bloc, calling it a threat to national security.   

Last Friday, German daily Die Welt, citing a draft treaty, reported that Kiev and Moscow were close to reaching a peace deal in spring 2022. The accord apparently envisaged “permanent neutrality” on the part of Ukraine, as well as guarantees that it would not allow foreign weapons and troops on its soil.   

Russian officials earlier confirmed that the two belligerents had made significant progress toward a peace deal, claiming that then-UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson had derailed it. Johnson has denied these claims.   

In an interview with Israeli YouTube blogger Alex Tseitlin on Monday, Michaeli described the conflict between Ukraine and Russia as the result of a major collective mistake by all key powers. However, according to the former military attaché, “first of all, it’s President Zelensky who is to blame.”  

“He has betrayed his people. He should have said that Ukraine was not aspiring to join NATO, and then there would have been no war,” Michaeli said.  

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He went on to compare Zelensky’s military-style clothes and overall image to that of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, who had for years led an armed struggle against Israel. The retired colonel claimed that the Ukrainian leader does not appear to have a realistic vision of victory, and seems to be content to continue the hostilities with Russia indefinitely.    

Michaeli placed part of the blame for the bloodshed on the US, which he said inflated Zelensky’s ego. As for Russia, its leadership underestimated Kiev’s military capabilities when it launched the operation in February 2022, he argued.   

He added that there is no chance Russia will leave Crimea.  

Nevertheless, the warring parties should enter into talks, though finding a mediator that both Kiev and Moscow trust will not be easy, Michaeli stated. He went on to say that the West is making a big mistake by sidelining other global powers when it comes to tackling global issues.

 

May 01, 2024 at 10:11PM
RT

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