Ukraine is Russia's war, not just Putin's, says PM

Speaking on a panel at the Warsaw Security Forum alongside Ingrida Simonyte, the Lithuanian prime minister, Morawiecki said the West often identified the conflict between Russia and Ukraine with Putin while in fact many Russians shared similar views to those of the Russian president. Paweł Supernak/PAP

The Ukraine war is not Vladimir Putin's war but Russia's, Mateusz Morawiecki, Poland's prime minister, said at a conference in Warsaw on Tuesday.

Speaking on a panel at the Warsaw Security Forum alongside Ingrida Simonyte, the Lithuanian prime minister, Morawiecki said the West often identified the conflict between Russia and Ukraine with Putin while in fact many Russians shared similar views to those of the Russian president.

"The idea of a ‘Russkij mir’ (Russian order - PAP) is very much alive in Russia. Contrary to what some, especially in the West, would like to believe, the war in Ukraine is not Putin's war but Russia's war," Morawiecki said.

Morawiecki said Russia's invasion of Ukraine showed that Moscow would have to undergo deep change before it could be perceived as a normal, democratic state. He added that in launching the war, Russia has "awoken the worst demons of the 20th century - colonialism, imperialism, nationalism."

"We thought these demons belonged to a dark past, but they have resurfaced and serve the Kremlin as a propaganda tool. Unfortunately, this ideology... is very widespread in Russia," Morawiecki said.