By Freddie Sayers, Editor-in-Chief & CEO of UnHerd
January 14, 2024
Oleksiy Arestovych, once a key spokesperson for President Zelenskyy and a leading figure in Ukraine’s war communications, has transformed into a strong critic of the Zelenskyy administration. Facing multiple prosecutions, Arestovych has left Ukraine and announced his intention to challenge Zelenskyy in the next presidential election.
In his first major Western media interview post-fallout, Arestovych, speaking from the U.S., shared his perspective with Freddie Sayers. He emphasized that his criticism is not personal against Zelenskyy but directed at the systemic problems in Ukraine, which he believes are hindering the war effort.
Highlighting the strategic changes Russia under Putin has employed, Arestovych pointed out how the war’s narrative has been shifted from a Russian-Ukrainian conflict to a global South vs. West standoff. This has allowed Russia to circumvent sanctions and boost its military production, gaining a strategic edge. He also noted Putin’s success in motivating civilian involvement in the war, contrasting it with Ukraine's challenges in mobilizing troops.
One of Arestovych's key forecasts is the potential duration of the conflict, which he estimates could last 10-15 years. He underscores the fragility of Ukraine's reliance on U.S. support, particularly given the contentious nature of Ukrainian aid in American politics. The loss of this support, he fears, could lead to a decline in Ukraine’s macroeconomic stability and territorial losses.
Arestovych also discussed the possibility of Ukraine joining NATO, indicating that such a move would likely trigger a significant war between Russia and NATO, a scenario he believes neither party is currently prepared to undertake. He advocates for a more economically strategic relationship with the West, focusing on industries like titanium and agriculture, and for closer cooperation with Eastern European neighbors.
Internally, Arestovych criticized the Ukrainian government's recruitment strategy, advocating for a more humane and principle-based approach. He believes that a more positive motivation and a better understanding of the role and safety of soldiers are crucial for successful mobilization.
Looking towards Ukraine's future, Arestovych envisions a neutral, independent state, drawing parallels to countries like Israel and South Korea. He deems the possibility of Ukraine joining NATO or the EU as currently unrealistic and emphasizes the importance of Ukraine finding its unique path, balancing its diverse cultural and linguistic heritage.
In conclusion, Oleksiy Arestovych’s insights and perspectives offer a deep understanding of the current situation and future prospects of Ukraine. His views and predictions address a broad spectrum of strategic and cultural issues, highlighting the complexity of the challenges Ukraine faces. For a more comprehensive exploration of his interview and viewpoints, you can read the full article https://unherd.com/2024/01/oleksiy-arestovych-zelenskyys-challenger/