The people of Russia “don’t know the truth about what their leaders are doing,” Mike Pompeo, the former US Secretary of State, said, while insisting that his support of Ukraine does not mean he is “rooting against” Russia’s population.
Speaking at an event in Irpin in the Kyiv region on Tuesday and in response to a question from Kyiv Post about Russia's future, he said: “[Russians] have been propagandized. They've lost hundreds of thousands of their brothers and fathers and sons.
“This is an absolute tragedy for the Russian people as well. I want the Russian people to have a successful nation that behaves in a way that's consistent with the values that we all hold.
“That's what I'm praying for.”
Pompeo, who was Secretary of State and CIA director during the Trump presidency, arrived in Ukraine at the invitation of the Victor Pinchuk Foundation and the Yalta European Strategy (YES) forum. He visited the city of Irpin in the Kyiv region, which was occupied by Russia last year. He also met with Ukrainian military personnel who are undergoing rehabilitation with the support of the Recovery Fund.
Mike Pompeo and Victor Pinchuk. Photo by press service of the Viktor Pinchuk Foundation
Mike Pompeo and Viktor Pinchuk. Photo by press service of the Viktor Pinchuk Foundation
In addition, President Volodymyr Zelensky personally met with the American politician and representatives of American businesses. He thanked them for their comprehensive support and invited US entrepreneurs to invest in Ukraine.
Afterward, Pompeo took part in a discussion titled 'Support of Ukraine by the United States of America - What Needs to Be Done and Why It Is Important'.
“Why is it that the United States should expend its resources, its people's resources, to support the effort of Ukraine? This is the question I get asked most often when I'm back home,” Pompeo started his speech.
He explained that it is not a world people want to live “in where someone like Vladimir Putin can make it a shabby place, an indecent place, a place where violence, aggression is rewarded. It's not in America's best interest to permit that to happen,” Pompeo added.
Pompeo compared Russia with China. In his opinion, their two leaders – Putin and Xi Jinping – are similar in their intentions:
“The world that Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping would have us inhabit, that world is also a world that is faithless or hijacks faith on behalf of a political objective. Xi Jinping drives faith from the public square and Vladimir Putin hijacks Orthodox Christianity for the most indecent purposes.”
Pompeo criticized an international community that doesn’t understand the real problems Putin could cause. “The truth is we should never underestimate our adversaries. We should take them seriously. And my regret is that the world didn't do that,” he said.
Pompeo told the audience that when Trump’s team came into the White House, “no nation had been prepared to both help and train Ukrainian forces and to provide defensive weapons systems to Ukraine.” In his point of view, the Biden administration lost “the deterrence bubble. The world lost the deterrence bubble. And here we are now fighting to figure out how to get that back."
The Republican politician believes that the war started in 2014, when Russia occupied Crimea and part of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions.
He does not rule out that Russia might use nuclear weapons against Ukraine in the war. He said that’s why the world's political leaders have to provide the tools that the Ukrainian military needs to finish this war and “to put Vladimir Putin in a place where he sees the cost of continuing this effort exceeding the benefits of continuing the war.”
Mike Pompeo. Photo by press service of the Viktor Pinchuk Foundation
Pompeo calls Russia “the little brother of China” and “a vassal state of the nation of China.” Also, he said that China has already stepped into the war against Ukraine.
In addition, he noted that he is not optimistic about the United Nations. “It's fundamentally broken. It is a vestige of a time gone by,” Pompeo said.
“The fact that the Chinese Communist Party and Russia occupy two seats on the U.N. Security Council, two nations that no more intend to abide by international law than – I don't know. I was going to use a bad word. It's unlikely that they'll comply.
“The truth is, it is indecent to keep [Russia and China] in these organizations and then allow [the UN and its Security Council] to be dysfunctional,” he explained. “And I think the UN has demonstrably failed in the last three, four, five years to deliver on the most important outcomes for the world and at least do the basic things that it was tasked with doing in its own – in its very own charter,” Pompeo said.
Despite everything, Pompeo continues to believe in Ukraine's victory.
“Your victory looks like a stable Ukraine that is sovereign, independent, free, with political control to make its own choices about how it will move forward as a nation.”
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