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Zelensky aide explains why Ukraine won’t let men leave | 27 Feb, 2023 18:08

Human rights take the back seat to obligations to the state, Mikhail Podoliak told German TV

Zelensky aide explains why Ukraine won’t let men leave
File photo: Families crossing from Ukraine into Poland at Medyka, March 08, 2022. © Omar Marques / Getty Images

The top aide to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has defended Kiev’s decision to ban men from leaving the country, saying obligations to the state trump human rights. Fleeing the draft means wanting Ukraine to be destroyed, Mikhail Podoliak told the German state outlet DW.

“Let’s be blunt here. No need to speculate. What does the restriction of rights mean? Do people in Ukraine not have obligations also? Or are we just talking about rights?” Podoliak told DW in an interview making the rounds on social media on Monday.

“The state has a duty to provide things, let people travel, let people live as they wish. Yes, in peacetime,” he continued. “But in wartime, that’s not a question to raise. Do you want to cross the border? That means you want Ukraine to stop existing, because you crossed the border.”

“Because when you say ‘Open the borders for men,’ that means opening the border so they can run away from the manly choice. And they want to run away,” Podoliak said.

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