‘Evil’ Putin aims to ‘create empire’ using ‘own dark logic’, warns former Ukrainian PM

Ukrainian brigade appears to hit Russian ammunition dump

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Ex-PM Yulia Tymoshenko described the Russian President as “absolutely rational, cold, cruel, [and] black evil”. She also claimed that the President is hell-bent on becoming a formidable figure in history compared to the likes of Stalin and Peter the Great.

During her career as leader of the 2004 Orange revolution and two-time Prime Minister, Ms Tymoshenko met with Putin in several one-on-one meetings.

The successful former Prime Minister who also stood for President in 2010, 2014 and 2019, finishing second two times and then third, held negotiations with the Russian President in 2009 after he cut the gas supply to Ukraine.

Despite increasing reports and speculations about the deteriorating health of President Putin, Ms Tymoshenko scoffed at the idea that he is “crazy”.

According to the Ukrainian, “he acts according to his own dark logic” and is “driven by this idea of historic mission and wants to create an empire”.

She told the Guardian: “That’s his hyper-goal. It comes from a deep inner desire and belief.”

Following her interactions with Putin, she said he was “always cautious” about his choice of words and has always been paranoid about being recorded following his time at “a KGB school”.

Ms Tymoshenko added that prior to his invasion of Ukraine in February, he had been very clear about his belief that there was “no such nation as Ukraine, and no such people as Ukrainians”.

The former PM also made suggestions that the objectives of the Russian President extend beyond seizing Ukrainian territory and overthrowing its Westernised views and pro-Nato leaders. 

She suggested that the overall aim of Putin is to return to the Soviet era by taking control of Belarus, Georgia and Moldova. 

She added Putin would also aim to control central and eastern Europe, including the Baltic states. 

Ms Tymoshenko ran against Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in 2019 and said that as the attack began on February 24, peacetime rivalries vanished.


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After the attack by Russia in the early hours, Ms Tymoshenko went to the presidential administration together with other senior opposition figures and met Zelensky. 

She said: “We hugged each other and shook hands. Everyone was shocked, pale and afraid. None of us planned to leave Kyiv.

“Everyone knew we should stand until the last. We agreed to support our president and our army and to work for victory.”

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