Former Polish PM admits Ukraine’s strategy failed

Jan 14, 2024

The conflict is “going in the wrong direction,” Mateusz Morawiecki told the UK’s Express newspaper

Ukraine’s 2023 counteroffensive was “not successful” and Russia has the upper hand strategically, former Polish prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki admitted, in an interview with Britain’s Express newspaper published on Friday.

The conflict in Ukraine is “not going in the right direction,” Morawiecki told the outlet, outlining his “huge concern” with a situation in which Moscow had apparently outflanked its opponents.

Russia has “huge resources,” he explained, noting the country’s military production capabilities significantly outweighed the EU’s own. “They have this strategic depth, and they have patience in international politics,” he added, also dismissing the country’s elections scheduled for March as mere “theater” unlikely to change the balance of power in Moscow.

Morawiecki also argued, however, that Ukraine’s failure had a silver lining for NATO in that it had brought Finland and Sweden into the alliance and was “awakening” countries like Denmark and Romania. The Scandinavian countries, he said, were among the most vocal in calling attention to the threat allegedly posed by Russia.

Not only the security of the eastern flank of NATO, but also for the security of the United Kingdom, security of Germany, Denmark and the Scandinavians, they do understand it very, very well,” he said.

The former premier (2017-2023) was speaking to the British press for the first time since his successor, current PM Donald Tusk, had two lawmakers from Morawiecki’s Law and Justice Party (PiS) arrested earlier in the week. The ex-leader described the MPs as “political prisoners” and accused Tusk’s admittedly pro-EU government of “representing Brussels and Berlin, not Warsaw.

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While international attention has largely shifted away from the Ukraine conflict to Israel’s war with Gaza as the latter threatens to erupt into a broader conflict, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak traveled to Kiev on Friday to bestow his government’s largest gift yet on the government of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, announcing £2.5 billion ($3.2 billion) to be paid out over the coming financial year and starting in April, and a bilateral agreement that includes security guarantees for Ukraine “in the event that it is ever attacked by Russia again.”

Zelensky has been vocal about his concern over flagging international support for Kiev’s fight, after unprecedented amounts of foreign aid from the UK, US, and EU failed to appreciably move the needle against Russia. Legislative gridlock has stalled planned aid packages in the US even as the Biden administration insists on an urgency to it, with his political opposition countering that accountability for funds spent must be a requirement for any future aid.


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