New Delhi: The Ukrainian embassy said on Wednesday that the alleged remarks of a top aide of President Volodymyr Zelensky about the “low intellectual potential” of India and China in analysing the geopolitical fallout of the Ukraine war was not the official position of the Ukrainian government.
“This is personal thoughts of Mykhailo Podolyak. This is NOT the official position of the Ukrainian MFA and the Office of the President of Ukraine,” the Ukraine embassy responded following the circulation of clips of Podolyak’s interview.
The controversy surfaced after Russian social media users and official media outlets translated and circulated clips from an interview Podolyak gave to a YouTube channel. “China and India are not able to analyse the consequences of their actions‚ low intellectual potential, unfortunately,” he said, as per the translation provided by Russia’s state news agency TASS.
“Yes they invest in science. India has sent a lander to the Moon, but it doesn’t say that this country understands what the modern world is about. The problem of these countries, India and China, is that they don’t analyse the consequences of their own steps.”
While there has been no response from India, the Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said, “I don’t know the context of these remarks and will leave it to the speaker to offer explanations. On the Ukraine crisis, China always acts in a responsible manner to promote talks for peace and facilitate a political settlement. The individual you cited should view China’s position correctly based on accurate interpretation.”
Later in the day, Podolyak posted on his X (formerly Twitter) account that his words had been twisted. “Classic Russian propaganda: take it out of context, distort the meaning, scale it up to separate target audiences with conflict provocation,” he wrote.
Classic Russian propaganda: take it out of context, distort the meaning, scale it up to separate target audiences with conflict provocation. Of course, Türkiye, India, China and other regional powers are increasingly and clearly justified in claiming global roles in the modern…
— Михайло Подоляк (@Podolyak_M) September 13, 2023