Zelensky Advisor Resigns After Comments on Dnipro Strike Caused Backlash

Oleksiy Arestovych suggested the Russian missile that hit an apartment building in Dnipro was shot down by Ukrainian air defenses

Oleksiy Arestovych submitted his resignation as an advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday after comments he made about a Russian missile hitting an apartment building in Dnipro.

After the strike in Dnipro on Saturday, Arestovych said the Russian missile that hit the building may have fallen after it was shot down by Ukrainian air defenses. The comments drew heavy criticism in Ukraine, leading Arestovych to say that no one would blame Ukraine for the incident since it happened as Russia was bombarding the country.

The Kremlin denied that Russian forces targeted the apartment building and pointed to Arestovych’s comments. “The Russian armed forces have not been delivering strikes on residential buildings … You could see statements by some [Ukrainian] officials about that tragedy having been caused by an air defense counterattack,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

Ukrainian military officials denied that air defenses shot down the missile. They said it was a Kh-22 anti-ship missile and insisted Ukrainian forces don’t have the capability to intercept them. According to Ukrainian authorities, the strike on the apartment building killed 44 people, including five children.

Arestovych ultimately apologized for his remarks and submitted a resignation letter on Tuesday. “Wrote a resignation statement. I would like to show an example of civilized behavior: a mistake in principle, therefore, resignation,” he wrote on Facebook.

In his apology, Arestovych said he was sorry “to the victims and their relatives, the residents of the Dnieper and everyone who was deeply wounded by my premature error version of the reason the Russian missile hit a residential building.” Arestovych also hit back at the criticism, saying, “The level of hate towards me is incomparable with the consequences of an error on the air.”

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of Antiwar.com, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.