'Incredibly weak': Nato is using 'Chamberlain tactics' on Putin, ex-Ukraine PM warns

13 March 2022, 12:26 | Updated: 13 March 2022, 12:56

By Will Taylor

Nato will not stand up to Putin even if he invades the Baltic members because it has adopted "Chamberlain" tactics, a former Ukrainian leader has said.

Oleksiy Hornachuk, who served as prime minister of Ukraine, told LBC's Swarbrick on Sunday that Russian invaders want to "destroy everything they can, kill everyone they can".

He blasted the Western response to the invasion of his country as "incredibly weak" and compared it to Neville Chamberlain, the British prime minister most associated with appeasement of Adolf Hitler.

Read more: Putin 'targets Nato weapons' in deadly strike on Ukraine base where foreign advisers work

The West has imposed severe economic sanctions and supplied weapons and equipment to Ukraine's military, but Kyiv has called for a no-fly zone to be imposed by Nato.

Mr Hornachuk said: "What I see now, I see absolutely incredibly weak response from the West and from Nato. Incredibly weak.

"And every weak step from Nato shows Mr Putin you are weak, you are scared and you will not fight if he attacks you.

"I am sure after Ukraine the Baltic countries will be the next target and I think… even if Putin invades Lithuania or Estonia, Nato will do nothing.

"I am sure about this because you are scared of some nuclear threat and so on and so forth.

"These Chamberlain tactics, this Chamberlain position, is very weak and it's too little too late even to install economic sanctions.

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"It's not enough – now we need total economic, financial, trade embargo, total isolation and direct military support. You can do this now and we can stop him together."

The West has insisted it will not impose a no-fly zone in fear that it would spark a wider conflict with Russia.

US president Joe Biden said that would trigger World War Three.

But Mr Hornachuk said Putin will not stop with Ukraine.

"He will go further. He will go to Moldova, he will go to the Baltic countries, he will use these salami tactics and he will go as far as we let him go," he said.

He also told Tom that Putin's goal is to "destroy Ukraine".

"Russia continues its terrible, stupid strategy to destroy everything they can.

"They failed with the previous plan to capture our capital and to kill our president in a couple of days and to install some puppet government in Kyiv, they failed.

"And now they've started another strategy, they are shelling and bombing our cities, not only eastern but western cities like Lviv and they are trying to kill as many people as possible and to destroy civilian objects, infrastructure.

"So the tactic is very simple… to destroy everything they can, to kill everyone they can."

On Sunday, Russia struck an airbase in western Ukraine, just 15 miles from the Polish border.

There were fears that Russia was attempting to target military supplies provided by Nato.

It was confirmed that 35 people had died and more than 100 were injured from the attack.

That followed a week of Russia laying siege to cities throughout the country, which has seen it bomb a maternity hospital in scenes that horrified the world.