Former Russian President Vladimir Putin's aide Vladislav Surkov has said Ukraine "may be regained only by force."
That's according to his interview with the WarGonzo Telegram channel.
However, he did not specify what kind of force he was talking.
"Of course, by force. By force! The force is different, not only military. There is also the power of the special services, it is different. There is the so-called soft power, notorious term, but it also exists. There is the power of economic influence, political influence," he said.
Read alsoPurported phone call between Medvedchuk, Surkov leaked (Transcript)Surkov added the Russian Federation allegedly "wins the international situation." The world, in his words, "is really tired of Ukraine."
Earlier, Ukrainian media published what they claimed was a leaked recording of a conversation that took place in 2014 between Vladimir Putin's ally in Ukraine, MP Viktor Medvedchuk and Surkov, where they discussed power supplies to occupied Crimea and prisoner exchange in Donbas. The SBU promised to conduct an examination, the results have not yet been reported.
- Reports about the dismissal of Surkov from the post of aide to Putin aide appeared in January 2020. Surkov was in charge of Russia's policy on Ukraine.
- On February 11, 2020, Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for the Russian president, said that the "Ukrainian direction" and the issue of "integration" were supervised by Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration Dmitry Kozak.
- On February 18, 2020, Russian President Vladimir Putin dismissed his aide Vladislav Surkov.