Islamabad [Pakistan], May 29 (ANI): Criticizing the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Pakistani billionaire, Mohammad Zahoor aka "Pakistani press prince of Kyiv" has called on the international community to support Kyiv, as Russian forces step up attacks on cities and nuclear facilities.
However, Pakistan's relationship with the Western countries has been shaky since the visit of former Prime Minister Imran Khan to Moscow on the day Russia launched its military operations in Ukraine and the subsequent stance of Pakistan in United Nations resolutions against Russia where Pakistan abstained.
Zahoor was a major figure in the Ukrainian media and steel industries and also became involved in Ukraine's media and entertainment scene as he bought Kyiv Post in 2009, the oldest English-language newspaper in Ukraine, which he owned for nearly a decade, gaining the title of "Pakistani press prince of Kyiv."
Fluent in the region's languages and familiar with its politics, the billionaire told Arab News in an exclusive interview, he urged the world to take sides.
"This is time, actually, for us not to keep quiet. We have to take sides. I am openly taking the side of Ukraine because after seeing (reports from) Western, Ukrainian and Russian media, I can see and decide who is telling the truth. This is the time actually for everyone to speak up for Ukraine otherwise every big country is going to swallow its next-door neighbor," Zahoor said in a statement.
As international sanctions followed Russia's invasion, aiming to cut Moscow off from the world's financial arteries, Zahoor said that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had called for the world's intervention before the violence broke out as the shelling of nuclear facilities by Russian forces pose a severe danger to the world.
Calling the Russian aggression brutal, Zahoor said the war may have consequences for Russia similar to the fallout from the Soviet-Afghan war from 1979 to 1989, which drastically weakened the Russian military and economy. That defeat in Afghanistan was one of the major reasons for the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
"Ukraine is going to be the next Afghanistan for Russia," he said. "I don't know how many years they are going to be in Ukraine, but once they are out, they will be broken into pieces."
The Russians have reportedly captured Europe's largest nuclear power plant after attacking it overnight Friday, which started at least one fire, raising widespread concerns that a meltdown happened and that the consequences would likely be much worse than Chornobyl.
On February 24, Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine as Russia said that the aim of its operation is "demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine." (ANI)