On May 19, the New York Times published an editorial entitled “The War in Ukraine Is Getting Complicated, and America Isn’t Ready”, which is based on a group of journalists who work for the newspaper’s Opinion section, and whose views are purportedly informed by expertise, research, debate, and certain longstanding values.
In the editorial the authors made several controversial statements, including that “it is still not in America’s best interest to plunge into an all-out war with Russia, even if a negotiated peace may require Ukraine to make some hard decisions.”
According to the journalists, Ukraine should make territorial concessions to the enemy to stop the war. They also claim that “a decisive military victory for Ukraine over Russia, in which Ukraine regains all the territory Russia has seized since 2014, is not a realistic goal. Though Russia’s planning and fighting have been surprisingly sloppy, Russia remains too strong, and Mr. Putin has invested too much personal prestige in the invasion to back down.”
The article has received widespread criticism in both Ukraine and abroad, with Mykhaylo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky describing NYT’s assertion as “very strange”. He added that “it is very cool to sit somewhere inside a warm office, drink coffee and discuss solutions to global problems.”
“Perhaps that person who writes “let’s concede some territory to Russia” can come around and talk to families whose close ones were killed or raped? No? What’s stopping you, NYT? Drink your coffee here, chill in Bucha, and talk to those people,” said Podolyak in a televised interview.
He added that if Ukraine concedes territories to Russia, the occupiers will want to relaunch the offensive in a few years time and grab more land and kill more people.
“It is crystal clear. How nonintellectual do you need to be to make suggestions like that? They will come around to grab our Poltava, Odesa and Mykolayiv Regions, and kill us gradually,” said Podolyak.
He emphasized that such a decision is only up to Ukrainian society and Zelensky, who guarantees the country’s independence and sovereignty. Accordingly, no “very smart” or “acclaimed” recipient of different awards is allowed to tell Ukraine what to do.
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