Zelensky opens up on Pentagon documents leak in new interview
Kyiv, Ukraine - Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told the Washington Post that the US government had not informed him of the explosive Pentagon documents leak.
"I did not receive information from the White House or the Pentagon beforehand," Zelensky told the US newspaper in a wide-ranging interview published on Tuesday. "We did not have that information. I personally did not. It's definitely a bad story."
A trove of classified Pentagon documents have been circulating on the internet for weeks after being posted in a chat group on the Discord app.
They contain information, among other things, on the war Russia is waging against Ukraine, as well as details on alleged US spying operations against partners.
Jack Teixeira, a 21-year-old airman, is suspected of having published the documents in the invite-only chat room. From there, they are said to have spread until they also came to the attention of authorities and the media earlier this month.
The IT specialist is accused of unauthorized removal, storage and transmission of classified material and national defense information. The man was arrested in Massachusetts on April 13.
Zelensky keeps quiet on spring offensive
Zelensky admitted that the leak "is unprofitable" for Ukraine.
"It is not beneficial to the reputation of the White House, and I believe it is not beneficial to the reputation of the United States," he added.
The Post, citing the leaked documents and sources, reported that Washington expressed doubts about the hoped-for success of an expected spring counter-offensive by Kyiv to retake Russian-held territory.
In the interview, Zelensky said he "cannot risk our state" and US support Ukraine in the conflict by making his feelings known.
"Where I can speak frankly, I do it. But there are high risks," he added.
Cover photo: via REUTERS