Last Updated on February 6, 2023

Croatian President Zoran Milanovic criticized recent heavy tank deliveries to Ukraine and NATO’s overall handling of the conflict while addressing reporters in the nation’s capital last Monday. The Croatian leader, whose nation is a NATO member, argued that the deliveries will only prolong the war.

“I am against sending any lethal arms there,” Milanovic said.  “It prolongs the war.”

He went on to claim that the U.S. and its allies bear responsibility for escalating the conflict to where it is today. “Since 2014, we have been watching how ‘someone’ provokes Russia with the intention of causing this war,” the Croatian president said.

“Well it’s started and what’s the plan? A year has passed and we are just now talking about tanks,” he continued, framing NATO goals as aimless. “Why weren’t they sent there on the first day? We will send German tanks there, despite the fact that over a thousand remaining from the USSR have already been destroyed. The same fate awaits these tanks.”

“What is the purpose of this war? Victory over a nuclear superpower that is fighting in its borders?” Milanovic asked.  “Can you defeat such a state by conventional means? What is the answer, is it possible to divide it into parts? They will then launch thousands of nuclear warheads in response and everyone will cry.”

He went on to highlight the overwhelming casualties sustained by the Ukrainian armed forces that have been accelerating in recent weeks. “Ursula Van Der Leyen said two months ago that 100,000 Ukrainian soldiers were killed, which means another 250,000 were wounded. If that’s the case, then 150,000 are dead now,” the Croatian leader continued.

“The Russians have an advantage in ammunition, artillery… an unlimited number of them. What is the solution; for Ukraine to remain completely without men?”

“I am not the president of Ukraine but I had sympathies for this country,” he continued. “Yesterday’s pacifists and fighters for peace in the West now want to drink someone else’s blood, but without risks to themselves personally,” Milanovic said of the U.S. and major European powers.

“This is deeply immoral, what we are doing as a collective West, which does not really exist, because there is no solution here.”

The Croatian president concluded by stating that continued escalation will push the Kremlin to closer ties with China, which would be “politically unwise” for the West.

Germany and a handful of other nations’ recent decisions to send heavy tanks to Ukraine comes as the months-long battle for Bakhmut is escalating quickly. NATO leaders have urged Ukraine to fall back from the besieged city over fears of a renewed Russian offensive on additional fronts, possibly from Belarus.

The Ukrainian Armed Forces are believed to be taking catastrophic categories, though exact figures cannot be confirmed. Freshly arrived recruits have a survival time of roughly four hours in the Bakhmut direction, according to one Ukrainian reporter. When asked if this figure was accurate, a frontline soldier hesitated before stating that he “thinks it is longer.”

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