Informal advisor to Zelenski. Popular blogger, former spy. A sexist who likes to throw in a coarse word

In 2008, he announced that Russia would annex Crimea. He stated that the Kremlin's plan was written out to 2032-35. In 2019, he predicted a full-scale war with Russia in 2022, an attack from Belarus and attempts to seize Kiev.

Ukraine is delighted to be granted EU candidate status and will soon find out what it is signing up for. Or at least the unofficial advisor to President Volodymyr Zelenski, Oleksiy Arestovych, will officially find out, because if progress continues as fast as it is now, Brussels will make it a matter of censoring him, outlawing and sending to a re-education camp as the ultimate condition for Ukraine's accession.

The effervescent politician, analyst, blogger, actor, spy, psychologist and whoever else, has again provoked increased outrage from LGBT activists and various European politicians. During a recent social media session, when asked about the LGBT, he replied that he believes they are people with deviations, but that he relates to them normally like everyone else, because you have to see the human being in everyone first. What is different is propaganda and the imposition of LGBT ideology. This he opposes because he considers them dangerous and harmful to society.

Arestovych has not yet grasped what can and cannot be said in the European land of freedom of speech and conviction, nor the fact that it is now not Kiev that will oversee moral, social and legal order in Ukraine, but Brussels, or possibly its headquarters in Berlin or Paris. Jens Plotner, chief foreign policy advisor to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, does not leave the slightest illusion about this. He was previously an advisor to the foreign minister and now president - Frank-Walter Steimeier - and was the architect of the policy towards Russia, as well as the Minsk Agreements, which were supposed to end the war in eastern Ukraine in 2015

Plotner, who not only failed to get fired for his disastrously lousy advice, for being wrong about almost everything, has now stated that too much importance is attached to helping Ukraine and not enough to future relations with Russia. And Ukraine should not expect " any concessions", "no accession rebates" just because it has been invaded and is at war. Moreover, Berlin will see to the rule of law on the Dnieper.

Zelenski, Klichko, Arestovych

So we have the repeatedly misdiagnosed German advisor Plotner and the Ukrainian advisor Arestovych, whom many call a charlatan and a showman, and who sometimes falls into contradictions, but was right on many fundamental issues.

Such as when, in an interview in 2021, he predicted a full-scale war with Russia in 2022. In detail, he envisaged an attack from Belarus, attempts to seize Kiev, encircle Ukrainian troops in the Donbass. From the south, the invasion was to start from Crimea. The invaders would also create further separatist enclaves called people's republics along the lines of Luhansk and Donetsk.

SIGN UP TO OUR PAGE He also said that nothing would stop Putin, whose aim is to recreate the Soviet Union with Ukraine, or part of it, Belarus, Moldova, northern Kazakhstan, Armenia, or any other country he manages to occupy. The Kremlin tyrant wants to restart the Cold War and smash the unity of NATO and the European Union.

Even earlier, in 2008, Arestovych predicted that Russia would annex Crimea. According to him, the Russian regime's entire plan is written out to 2032-35.

These 'predictions' have made him, in the opinion of Ukrainians, one of the most respected military and political experts. And now, daily recordings and 'frontline reports' that bring hope to Ukrainians have created Arestovych as one of the heroes of this war, alongside such obvious ones as the soldiers, President Wołodimir Zelenski, and the mayor of Kyiv, Vitaliy Klichko.

33 combat missions

A curriculum vitae like his, at least in part, can only be had by people born under the communist regime of the Soviet Union. Arestovych describes himself as a "Soviet man". He was born in 1975 in the Georgian town of Dedoplistkaro, with a population of 5 000, to a Belarusian man of Polish origin and a Russian woman.
Oleksiy Arestovych as a spokesman for the Ukrainian delegation in the Tripartite Contact Group during the discussion on progress in the implementation of agreements on the peaceful settlement of the conflict in Donbas in Paris in 2020. Photo Evgen Kotenko Ukrinform / ddp images / Forum
His father, Mykola Arestovych, was head of the recruitment committee of one of the Soviet military universities. The family moved to Ukraine, where Arestovych attended numerous schools and even graduated from some of them. Primary school in Kyiv, a trivial, obvious thing, but then: the Faculty of Biology at Taras Shevchenko University in Kiev, the Institute of Land Forces in Odessa, the private psychology school Man Among Men by the Russian psychologist and astrologer Absalom Podwine (real name Alexander Kamensky), the Faculty of Theology at the Saint Thomas Aquinas Institute.

In the meantime, he played in Kiev's 'Black Square' theatre. Under the heading profession/occupation Arestovych could enter: translator, intelligence officer, military instructor, psychologist, lecturer, theatre and film producer, actor, blogger, politician, analyst, communications specialist , diplomat, political activist, publisher, local government official, military expert, political and PR advisor, entrepreneur, journalist, publicist, TV host. Each of these professions he treated seriously.    

He played not only in the theatre, but also in commercials, TV series and in episodic roles in 17 Ukrainian and Russian films. He was the host of the TV show 'Teach us to live'. As an interpreter, he worked for the Military Intelligence Agency, in 2015 he trained reservists, and in 2018 he served for 12 months on the front line near Krematorsk as a scout for the 872nd Mechanised Brigade. He was then accused of leading a group of snipers into a minefield, Arestowicz denied. He claims to have completed 33 combat missions.

Sceptical towards the West

From 2020, as a diplomat, he was the spokesperson for the Ukrainian delegation in the so-called Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine, which, with the support of the OSCE, negotiated a solution to the situation in the east of the country with Russia. At the time of the Group's first meetings and talks, it appeared that behind Ukraine's and the OSCE's back, Chancellor Merkel was secretly plotting with Putin to give Crimea back to Russia and the world recognised the annexation. By the way, she did not forget about trade - Russia's Gazprom was to graciously make a favourable deal with Ukraine. And the German advisor at the time was the aforementioned Jens Plotner.

The Minsk Agreements, which were not honoured, German and French scheming with Russia finally deprived Arestovych of any illusions about the West's attitude. Since then, he has become its fierce critic. In September 2016, ahead of the Warsaw NATO summit, he accused US President Barack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President François Holland of betraying Ukraine, preventing it from defending itself and deliberately leaving it in the Russian sphere of influence.

Politically and culturally, Arestovych has always been sceptical of the West. Hence, probably, his activity in the Brotherhood party, of which he became vice-chairman in 2004. The grouping described itself as the Party of Jesus Christ - Revolutionary Christian Community. It was opposed to the Orange Revolution, projects to bind Ukraine to NATO and the European Union. At the time, Arestovych participated in the conferences of the International Eurasian Movement, which was organised by Alexander Dugin, the Kremlin's leading ideologue, and a supporter of Great-Russian imperialism.

There is not much left of the old sympathies and ties with the Brotherhood. Today, Arestovych wants Ukraine to join NATO and the EU and argues that war and territorial disputes cannot hold this back. As an example, he points to Greece and Turkey, whose conflict over Cyprus and the Turkish invasion of the island does not prevent them from being members of the North Atlantic Pact.

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Ruslan Bortnik, head of the think tank Ukrainian Political Institute, explains Arestovych's ties to the Brotherhood and Dugin by youthful radicalism. One former member of the Brotherhood, on the other hand, in an interview with the media platform Open Democracy, said that it was the only grouping to which such 'freaks' as Arestovych could belong. There is something in this: The Brotherhood occupied TV stations, raided election commissions, organised strikes, carried out a campaign to douse George Soros with glue and demanded to get him out of Ukraine.

Arestovych himself makes it clear that his activities in the Brotherhood, especially his connivance with the International Eurasian Movement and Putin's ideologue Dugin, were linked to his work for the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine. Whether this was in fact the case is unknown, but Arestovych was left with Brotherhood views that are peculiar from our point of view. For example, he would like Ukraine to become RusUkraine, in reference to Kievan Rus. This, in contrast to Moscow's, would be the 'real Russia'. For today's Russians are not only quacks, but also plain Muscovites.

Arestovychalso had a 'rumpus' temperament, a sharpness of attitude and views. This is why, when former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and other Western politicians spoke of the need for Ukraine's territorial concessions to Russia, he publicly declared to them: 'Go fuck yourselves, you dumb fucks with your proposal that Ukraine should trade its territories. Are you fucked up? Our children are dying, soldiers are stopping bullets with their own bodies, and they urge us to sacrifice our territories'. Colourful and convincing, for someone who is considered one of the most important advisors to the Ukrainian president. And perhaps that is precisely the point.

Private citizen

Formally, Arestovych holds no office. Until January 2022, he was an independent advisor to the head of the presidential chancellery, Andriy Yermak, but now he is just a private citizen who only provides advice. President Zelenski does not have to account for the words of an outraged citizen, and everyone suspects anyway that Arestovych is conveying the position of the Ukrainian authorities. War undoubtedly pushes the boundaries of what is allowed in the public and political sphere, and Oleksiej Arestovych is taking advantage of this.

It must also be acknowledged that he is an outspoken democrat and a supporter of full equality, as he also treats ordinary citizens in the same way as Western politicians. He proved this in 2021 by causing a scandal when he was the spokesman for the Ukrainian delegation at the Trilateral Group. An outraged citizen asked Arestovych why he was writing reports of the Trilateral Commission meetings in Russian and was told to "fuck off".

Arestovych admits that he does not attach much importance to the Ukrainian language and prefers Russian. From our perspective this is strange, but we have already managed to understand that language does not define the identity of many Ukrainians, (and Arestovych himself, as we mentioned above, is ethnically not Ukrainian), especially those in the east of the country, where the heaviest fighting against the Russian invaders is now taking place. Anyway, a scandal has erupted, but politicians in Ukraine are not as delicate, neurotic, fearful and eternally apologetic as in Poland, let alone the West, so Arestovych not only did not apologise, but in addressing the allegations he further reinforced his message to the citizenry and declared that he had responded in such a way that the citizenry would understand.
Accusations of sexism are also trailing behind Arestovych. Former President Petro Poroshenko's European Solidarity Party demanded his removal from the Ukrainian delegation in the Trilateral Group for this very reason.

Commander on the propaganda front

Arestovych is not only comfortable throwing around coarse words, but also expert opinions, often not caring whether they are coherent and logical. It has already happened to him several times that the war will be over in 2-3 weeks. He himself admits that he has sometimes made things up or even lied, but justifies this as propaganda work. If he has given false loss figures - understated among Ukrainians and inflated among Russians and separatists, he assures us, it was only to keep the spirits up.

Propaganda in wartime has its own rules. Serious political and military experts accuse him of confabulation and lack of knowledge, but to the general public Oleksiej Arestovych gets across like nobody else. Several hundred thousand people follow his Facebook account and more than 1.2 million observe his Youtube channel. Regardless of the controversy, Arestovych is one of Ukraine's most important commanders on the propaganda front. And this war is definitely being won by Ukraine.

– Dariusz Matuszak
– Translated by Tomasz Krzyżanowski

TVP WEEKLY. Editorial team and jornalists

Main photo: The advisor to the President's Chancellery, Oleksiy Arestovych, informs about the destruction of one of the command posts of the Russian army during a briefing on March 17, 2022. Photo Kotenko Yevhen / Ukrinform / ABACA / Abaca Press / Forum
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