Chief consultant Selenski warns in an exclusive interview for Blick
“We are facing the hardest winter on record”
No water, no heating, no light: Ukrainians must prepare for a harsh winter, warns Selensky’s chief adviser Mykhailo Podoljak. However, a temporary truce is out of the question.
Selenskis Top-Berater Mykhailo Podolyak.
Olga Petriv, Sven Ziegler
Russia is trying to freeze Ukraine with missiles, drones and heavy artillery fire. Russian President Vladimir Putin (70) wants to cover the Ukrainian population in darkness and freeze them with targeted attacks on critical infrastructure.
Mykhailo Podolyak, 50, a senior adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, 44, also hires his compatriots in an exclusive interview with a view to tough months ahead. “We are facing the hardest winter in history,” says Podoljak. “The Ukrainian government will do whatever is necessary to ensure the survival of Ukraine and do it as efficiently as possible. It is still not a trend for the government to ask Ukrainians to go abroad.”
intimidation of Russia
Currently, 30 to 40 percent of the energy infrastructure is damaged or destroyed. Repairs would be ongoing. “For now, we are looking for ways to import electricity from partner countries. We are trying to conduct electricity from one region to another,” says Podolyak. And he reveals: Some of the people would also have to move. “Local authorities are asking people to move to villages where it is easier to heat with wood.”
By shelling the energy infrastructure, Russia hopes to intimidate the Ukrainian population and create hostile conditions. “They want to try to drive several million Ukrainians into Europe and cause chaos. That’s why the Russians are attacking our energy infrastructure,” says the president’s adviser.
However, calming down the fighting between Ukraine and Russia is out of the question. “We are not interested in prolonging this war. Instead, we want to liberate as many areas as possible as quickly as possible.” The additional mobilization makes progress more difficult. “The additional forces of Russia will cause difficulties for our artillery. But we will make progress,” he is convinced.
“The relationship does not suffer”
A rocket falling over Poland won’t change that. President Zelenskiy still insists that Russian missiles hit Poland. NATO is angry. Advisor Podoljak now says: “It can be either Russian or Ukrainian missiles. We need to thoroughly investigate the incident.”
The liberation of the city of Kherson was an important achievement during the war. “However, there is currently no electricity, water or heating in the entire city,” says the president’s adviser. “Large areas are mined, we found mines even in the sewers. In this sense, Kherson is truly a city of death. We are working on restoring electricity and trying to track down collaborators with the Russian military.”
Podoljak is confident: “I don’t think that the relationship between Ukraine and NATO will suffer. We all know who is responsible for the war. So there is no room for misunderstanding.”