The Washington Post angered President Volodymyr Zelensky with questions about intelligence work. He asked journalists why they were harming Ukraine.
The Washington Post published on May 13 interview with Volodymyr Zelenskyi. During it, journalists asked the President of Ukraine about the contacts of the founder of the “Wagner” PMC, Yevhen Prigozhin, with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. Later, this fragment was removed, and after its distribution in the network, it was returned.
What happened between Zelenskyi and WP
In the deleted fragment, which has already been returned to the site, the journalists told President Zelensky that “secret documents” leaked online indicated Prigozhin’s connections with the GUR and asked if this was true. The question made Zelensky very angry. He did not confirm the connections with Prigozhin, but emphasized that the issue of intelligence is an issue of intelligence.
This is a matter of intelligence. Do you want me tried for treason? And very interestingly, if someone says that you have documents, or if someone from our government talks about the activities of our intelligence, I would like to ask you: what sources in Ukraine are you in contact with? Who is talking about the activities of our intelligence? After all, this is the most serious crime in our country. Which Ukrainians do you talk to?
– asked Zelensky.
The journalists stated that they rely solely on the “leaked documents”, which indicate that Zelensky allegedly discussed with Budanov the Russian plan to “expose” Prigozhin. Also, the journalists did not pay attention to the “crude hint” that the issue of intelligence work is taboo. So, in addition, they stated that, according to their data, Prigozhin allegedly met with GUR officers in Africa.
Listen, to be honest, you just read something, say something. I just don’t understand where you’re getting this from, who you’re talking to, etc. You talk about how I met Budanov. It shows that you have people who have some records, or you have evidence, or you have something, because that’s what it looks like. You are doing what you did before. You publish some information that does not help our state. So I don’t quite understand what you’re talking about. I don’t quite understand your point. Is your goal to help Russia? So we have different goals,
– said the president.
He emphasized that each of these issues demotivates Ukraine and certain partners to help Ukraine. In response to journalists’ assertions that these data were simply in “secret documents”, Zelensky drew attention to the fact that society does not have access to these documents and cannot have. So he is surprised that WP regularly publishes some “tickling” information related to Ukraine, in particular, about the counteroffensive of the Armed Forces. He emphasized that such “throwbacks” work in favor of Russia.
They (documents – ed.) were not on the Internet, they were part of something. We, normal society, could not access all this. They couldn’t. And then, I think, information began to appear, which began to be published partially, and everything else. I think it’s yours – or your editorial board’s, or someone else’s. I don’t want to offend anyone, I don’t know. Therefore, today you are publishing this information in parts. You publish information about Ukraine’s counteroffensive, about this or that. I told you that I think it is – how to put it? – someone somewhere heard something, someone somewhere published something, but the information was compiled, and it is different and does not work in favor of Ukraine,
– said Zelensky.
It is noteworthy that the publication did publish its own material about Prigozhin. In addition to the “secret documents”, the journalists referred to Ukrainian and American officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Prigozhin said that he is still in Africa with Budanov
After the publication of the fragment, Russian publications decided to turn to Prigozhin for a comment. He answered them that he was still in Africa with Budanov.
Of course, I can confirm this information. We have absolutely nothing to hide from foreign special services. Budanov and I are still in Africa. As for WP and the deleted piece, I think it’s because they didn’t buy their tickets in time and are afraid if anyone finds out WP is still in Africa, they’ll be sold business class at a premium. So they just want to save as usual,
– he said.