Poland's Parliament speaker says that Russian President Vladimir Putin's support of separatists in eastern Ukraine has backfired on him by stoking greater Ukrainian nationalism elsewhere in the country.

Radek Sikorski, Poland's foreign minister from 2007 until 2014, has for years been a leading critical voice internationally on Russia. As foreign minister he supported efforts in Ukraine to move closer to the West, something that culminated in the Maidan protests last year that angered Moscow.

Sikorski said in an interview late Monday on Polish state television that Putin in a sense has "lost Ukraine because he has against him young Ukrainian nationalists and is met with ever greater resistance."