The head of President Zelensky’s presidential office Andriy Yermak has slammed allies who complained of “war fatigue.”

“Even if there are people who feel this fatigue, I’m sure they don’t want to wake up in a world tomorrow where there will be less freedom and less security, and the consequences of this last for decades,” Yermak told Politico

Yermak’s comments come in the wake of a recent scandal with Italian Prime Minister Georgia Meloni, who, thinking that she was talking with the head of the African Union, told Russian pranksters that there was “a lot of fatigue…from all sides” and that “everyone understands that we need a way out.”

Yermak’s boss has also expressed frustration.

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In an impassioned answer about why Ukraine would not negotiate with Russia’s Putin, Zelensky said: “…we are not ready to give our freedom to this f**king terrorist Putin. That’s it, that’s why we’re fighting.”

Axis of evil

In the interview, Yermak said that with Iran backing both Hamas and sending supplies of drones and weapons to Moscow, it’s evidence of a “pole [axis] of evil.”

“Russia is aggressor number one. And the second after Russia is Iran. And I think these two have an interest in what is happening in the Middle East as well,” Yermak said.

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In the immediate aftermath of the Hamas massacre on Oct. 7, Zelensky was one of the first world leaders to offer to visit Israel in solidarity with the country – but his offer was rejected with the Israeli government reportedly saying “the time is not right.”

“The similarities of our tragedies are not accidental,” Yermak said.

But since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022, the Israeli leadership has not yet extended a similar courtesy to Kyiv.

In the US, President Biden has sought to put forward aid for both Ukraine and Israel in a single package but has received push-back from the new Speaker of the House, Mike Johnson who, while not being opposed to aid to Ukraine, has been skeptical of it and wanted to instead pair Ukraine defense money with its border security aimed at preventing illegal immigration from Mexico.

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Although Israel is offering words of support for Ukraine, it’s not offered military aid.

Jerusalem has been shy about ruffling Moscow’s feathers, which has had a contingent in Syria since 2015 and allows Israel’s air force to carry out strikes in Syria against Iranian interests.

Despite this, Zelensky again planned to visit Israel, but the trip is now in doubt following a Nov. 4 leak in which an anonymous Ukrainian diplomat told the Times of Israel about the trip.

Meanwhile, Yermak said that Ukraine is focusing on working with its allies to develop homegrown defense manufacturing.

EU report card

Kyiv is expecting a European Commission report on Wednesday and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyden’s visit over the weekend bode well for Ukraine’s EU aspirations, Yermak said.

“Yes, this is what we are expecting because we are doing everything to make it happen,” Yermak told Politico. “And I think that the visit of Ursula von der Leyen … is a very powerful step on that way.”

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EU countries would take the Commission’s recommendation into account when deciding whether to open accession negotiations with Ukraine in December.

Corruption

Yermak also defended Kyiv’s efforts against corruption, when responding to von der Leyen predecessor’s categorization of Ukraine as being “corrupt at all levels of society.”

“I am categorically dismissing the statement that Ukraine is very corrupt. These challenges happen all over the world, but could you please give me an example of one other country that, under conditions of this horrific war, would undertake the reforms on such a scale.”

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