Of Arseniy Yatsenyuk’s many talents, his uncanny knack for political survival is probably second only to his gift for melodramatic turns of phrase.
When he became prime minister of Ukraine in the aftermath of the revolution in 2014, he took one look at the empty treasury, a looming default, and unfolding Russian invasion of Crimea, and cheerlessly declared himself a “political kamikaze.”
Now out of government, he has an equally blunt message for Western leaders: start showing statesmanship, or see the world as they know it collapse.
“Vladimir Putin is obsessed with building a new geo-political architecture,” he told the Telegraph during a recent visit to London.
“We are not the only country in danger. A new global architecture really could emerge. The key thing for today is for the free world to preserve – it has to preserve - the global order established after the Second World War.”
As he predicted when he took office, Mr Yatsenyuk's stint as prime minister ended badly. He was forced to resign as prime minister in April last year amid mounting discontent at the government's perceived failure to grapple with an economic crisis and crack down on endemic corruption.
But he is far from a political corpse.
At 42, the lanky former lawyer is already a veteran of Ukrainian politics, serving since the mid-2000s variously as an MP, speaker of parliament, minister of economy, and minister of foreign affairs.
In late 2013, he was one of three mainstream politicians who claimed leadership – with mixed success - of the turbulent pro-European uprising that culminated with the overthrow of Viktor Yanukovych, the Russia-leaning president.
Today, he holds no cabinet position. But the People’s Front, the party he leads, is still the second largest in parliament and has six cabinet posts.
In short, he still has a say in Ukrainian politics and the ear of Western politicians and diplomats - something that he was frank about exploiting on a recent visit to London.
"I have to get the message across that Ukraine must be on the radar of the United States, the United Kingdom, and all of Europe,” he said.
Three years since the revolution, Ukraine is in dire need of friends.
Despite a two-year old peace agreement, the war in the east against Russian-backed separatists claims lives every week. In recent weeks activists disgruntled at what they see as the government's half measures have blocked rail links with separatist-held territory.
On the home front, the economy continues to struggle, and both Ukrainian voters and Western allies are growing disillusioned at the slow progress of reform, especially in steps to fight corruption.
Most alarming of all, Brexit, the election of Donald Trump in the United States, and the rise of far-right and often pro-Kremlin populists in Europe has left many in Kiev fretting about the cracks in the global status quo.
Russia has long demanded a rethinking of the European security order underpinned by Nato and the EU, a system it feels locked out of and which it blames for the Ukraine crisis.
For Mr Yatsenyuk and many others in Kiev, however, that is nothing less than code for euthanizing the project of an independent Ukrainian state.
Mr Trump's rhetoric about Nato being "obsolete" and public speculation about dropping sanctions against Russia in exchange for a "deal" with Vladimir Putin set alarm bells ringing in the Ukrainian capital.
A recent change of tone from the White House has left Mr Yatsenyuk more optimistic about the new US administration. Largely, he says, thanks to Theresa May.
“The good news is that after the trip of your prime minister to Philadelphia and DC you guys are – I hope - on the same page in terms of Nato, in terms of unwavering support for Ukraine, and in terms of understanding the real threat Russia poses to Nato member states, the UK, and to the EU,” he said.
"Everyone - mostly in Russia - expected that the new administration would lift sanctions as a matter of urgency. It didn’t happen. And look at Vice President Pence's last speech at the Munich security conference, the statements by Mattis and Tillerson. They followed practically the same line as the previous administration," he added.
If the climate overseas is looking slightly rosier, the home front is as turbulent as ever.
I didn’t give a shit about my polls. I did what I believed in... That is the way every statesman has to act.
Three years of war, economic instability, and frustratingly slow progress on the reforms the revolution promised have fueled public disillusionment with the Ukrainian political class Mr Yatsenyuk represents.
Most corrosive of all is a perceived backsliding on tackling corruption, a key grievance the fueled the revolution and which now threatens to erode trust in the Ukrainian establishment both at home and abroad.
Mr Yatsenyuk flatly refuses to acknowledge responsibility for that, claiming his government did more than any other to crack down on graft. But he is clear eyed about his - and other politicians - popularity.
“The reforms were extremely painful. Four austerity packages. A 500 percent increase in utility bills. New taxes. I had to overhaul the entire social security system to shut down a number of social entitlement programs. Inflation was sky rocketing. We lost 20 percent of the Ukrainian economy,” he said.
“So people are suffering, and people are disenchanted. It is true. That’s where we are,” he said.
Meanwhile, the war between government forces and Russian-backed separatists in the east of the country continues to consume lives and money.
Mr Yatsenyuk says he jacked up military spending now stands at five percent of Ukraine's GDP, a huge proportion of the budget.
In public, politicians and diplomats in Moscow, Kiev, and Europe all say there is no alternative to the peace plan agreed by Petro Poroshenko, the Ukrainian president, and Mr Putin, in Minsk in February 2015.
In reality, the on going fighting and bitter disagreements between Kiev and Moscow over interpretation of the terms of the deal mean it is deadlocked.
While Mr Yatsenyuk blames Russia for the stalemate, he says everyone is guilty of “playing with a poker face" as they tip-toe around this truth. "Everyone understands everything," he said.
“Plan A is full and comprehensive implementation of the Minsk deal. Plan B could be to live with this as with a frozen conflict,” he said when asked what the realistic outcome could be.
“We’re not eager for that – in fact it would be unacceptable,” he added. “But there is an increasingly high likelihood of that happening.”
Ukraine, he says, will not undermine the Minsk process, but there are other potential formats for talks that could be explored - possibly bringing in The United States and Britain, the co-signatories with Russia of the 1994 Budapest Memorandum guaranteeing Ukraine's territorial integrity.
In the meantime, he has some sharp criticism for Western leaders.
The European Union, he grumbles, has yet to grant Ukraine visa-free travel, despite Ukraine passing some 144 new laws demanded by Brussels in exchange, and has also failed to ratify a comprehensive free trade agreement that Kiev approved over two years ago.
And he would like to see more robust military support from the US, especially to combat the sophisticated electronic warfare equipment Russia has been combat testing in eastern Ukraine.
“There’s a lack of strong political leadership, in Ukraine, in the EU, and in other countries. That is why populists are growing in this soil,” he said.
“Frankly, I didn’t give a shit about my polls. I did what I believed in. I did understand there would be a high political price, but I paid the price. That is the way every statesman has to act.”