25th Feb 2024


Russia needs a military victory, Ukraine envoy says

  • Ukraine's EU ambassador Vsevolod Chentsov (l) (Photo:
Listen to article

Russia's threat of war against Ukraine should be seen in terms of its geopolitical and political needs, Kyiv's new ambassador in Brussels has said.

"It [Russia's regime] needs a Crimea-type boost to replenish its image and to represent itself as having a seat at the top table [in world affairs]," Vsevolod Chentsov told EUobserver in an interview, referring to Russia's military seizure of Crimea in 2014.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Get the EU news that really matters

Instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

The crisis atmosphere was entirely manufactured by the Kremlin because in reality "nobody's threatening Russia," he said.

Moscow's Cold-War era rhetoric was also meant to impress the West, by trying to turn back the clock to times when Russia was a real superpower, he added.

"Russia has lost all soft power ... what's happening with Ukraine shows that all it has to offer its neighbours is hard power, threats of military action," Chentsov said.

"Where is your [Russia's] Eurasian Economic Union these days? What can you [Russia] actually offer people?," he added, referring to a Russian-led trade bloc meant to compete with the EU.

Meanwhile, if somebody in Moscow thought Ukraine would be "easy prey" in 2021, he was mistaken, the Ukrainian diplomat said.

"The Kremlin doesn't understand Ukraine. They think it's easy prey - that there's a strong pro-Russian sentiment there and no national Ukrainian idea. It's a totally different country compared to the situation in 2014", he said.

And Moscow's narratives on Ukraine did not add up, Chentsov noted.

One minute, the Kremlin was saying there was risk of war over Ukraine's Nato bid.

But the next, it was saying it might happen over alleged "genocide" in east Ukraine.

"These two narratives don't make sense together. How's that meant to work [according to Russia]? That one day we join Nato and the next day we order our soldiers to commit crimes?", Chentsov said.

"The irony of the situation is that it is the Kremlin, not the West, pushing Ukraine towards Nato", he added.


Only Palestinians paying thousands of dollars leave Gaza

Despite the high risk of dying from war, starvation or disease, Gazans are still not allowed to enter Egypt. Except those who bribe the authorities. And the EU mission EUBAM Rafah cannot be deployed due to security reasons.

Latest News

  1. EU rewards Tusk's Poland on rule of law with €137bn
  2. UK-EU relations defrosting ahead of near-certain Labour win
  3. EU paid Russia €420-per-capita for fossil fuels since war began
  4. After two years of war, time to hit Putin's LNG exports
  5. Creating the conditions for just peace in Ukraine
  6. Energy and minerals disputes overshadow new EU-ACP pact
  7. Germany speeds up Georgia and Morocco asylum returns
  8. How Amazon lobbyists could be banned from EU Parliament

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersJoin the Nordic Food Systems Takeover at COP28
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersHow women and men are affected differently by climate policy
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersArtist Jessie Kleemann at Nordic pavilion during UN climate summit COP28
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCOP28: Gathering Nordic and global experts to put food and health on the agenda
  5. Friedrich Naumann FoundationPoems of Liberty – Call for Submission “Human Rights in Inhume War”: 250€ honorary fee for selected poems
  6. World BankWorld Bank report: How to create a future where the rewards of technology benefit all levels of society?

Join EUobserver

EU news that matters

Join us