Ukraine wants the U.S. to tone down the invasion rhetoric: 'Don't shout so much'

·2 min read
Woman walking in Kyiv, Ukraine.
Woman walking in Kyiv, Ukraine. Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Yes, Ukraine would like foreign assistance from the United States and its allies in its standoff with Russia; but outside of providing defense weaponry, the country would prefer the U.S. just stay quiet, The New York Times reports Friday, per the head of Ukraine's security council.

"When they start saying that tomorrow, you're going to have war, just take into consideration that the first thing we do not need in our country is panic," Oleksii Danilov, leader of the security council, told the Times. "Why? Because panic is the sister of failure."

"That's why we are saying to our partners, 'Don't shout so much,'" he added. "Do you see a threat? Give us 10 jets every day. Not one, 10. And the threat will disappear."

Danilov agreed, of course, that "the threat from Russia was real," the Times notes, and he thanked the U.S. and other global powers for offering aid. But he also "seemed to question the accuracy of the American intelligence assessment of the origins of Russia's military buildup," the Times adds; in the fall, when the White House initially flagged Russia's military buildup near Ukraine's border, Ukrainian intelligence showed nothing out of the ordinary, he said.

"We understand what is happening and where it is happening," he said. "Don't try to make us out to be unexperienced."

When asked if he thought U.S. pressure was making matters worse, he declined to answer, but noted, "I really like the movie Wag the Dog."

Russia and Ukraine have been at odds for weeks now, as Russia maintains its position on Ukraine's border while simultaneously insisting it has no plans to invade. Though the U.S. is incredibly concerned, Ukrainian officials have expressed "a diametrically opposite assessment," per the Times.

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