Zelensky blasts ‘indifferent’ Israel for refusing to send weapons to help battle Russia and says Putin is planning new ‘final solution’ against people of Ukraine
- The Ukrainian leader also chided Israel for not sanctioning Russia on Sunday
- Zelensky addressed more than 100 members of the Israeli Parliament, including Prime Minister Naftali Bennett
- Israel has condemned the invasion but is wary of straining relations with Moscow
- Zelensky drew comparisons between Russia and Nazi Germany, saying that Russia is planning a ‘final solution’ without citing evidence of use of the term
- In announcing the invasion, Putin said he was seeking to ‘de-Nazify’ Ukraine
- On CNN, Zelensky compared the situation in the city of Mariupol to the siege of Leningrad in World War II, asking, ‘So who is the Nazi?’
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky took Israel’s parliament to task for failing to provide weapons in his country’s fight against Vladimir Putin, who he said was planning a Holocaust-style ‘final solution’ for his people.
‘Everybody knows that your missile defense systems are the best … and that you can definitely help our people, save the lives of Ukrainians, of Ukrainian Jews,’ Zelensky, who is Jewish himself, told the Knesset in a video call.
He was referring to Israel’s pioneering Iron Dome system, which has been developed to shoot Palestinian rockets out of the sky.
‘We can ask why we can’t receive weapons from you, why Israel has not imposed powerful sanctions on Russia or is not putting pressure on Russian business,’ he said in the address, one of several he has made to foreign legislatures.
Zelensky also drew a comparison between the Russian offensive and Nazi Germany’s plan to exterminate European Jewry during World War II.
‘Listen to what is being said now in Moscow, listen to how they are saying those words again: the final solution. But this time in relation to us, to the Ukrainian question,’ he said.
Zelensky cited no evidence in making that allegation, which has drawn condemnation, and did not identify who might have used the term.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky chided Israel for not providing missile defenses to his country or sanctioning Russia over its invasion in an address to the Israeli Parliament Sunday
Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid was non-committal in his response, saying in a statement that Israel, which has sent a field hospital and other humanitarian aid to Ukraine, would continue to assist its people ‘as much as we can’.
A mediator in the Ukraine-Russia crisis, Israel has condemned the Russian invasion but has been wary of straining relations with Moscow, a powerbroker in neighboring Syria where Israeli forces frequently attack pro-Iranian militia.
Speaking to CNN on Sunday, Zelensky again alluded to Nazi Germany when he compared the situation in the southern Ukrainian city of Mariupol to the deadly siege of Leningrad by the Nazis in World War II.
‘Everybody knows that your missile defense systems are the best … and that you can definitely help our people, save the lives of Ukrainians, of Ukrainian Jews,’ Zelensky said. Above, demonstrators gather in Tel Aviv to watch his address on Sunday
Zelensky said Russia is using the words ‘the final solution’ to refer to their goals in Ukraine. Putin has used an expression which means ‘final decision/final resolution’ once in the past 30 days, but not in the same context
The United Nations says more than 900 civilians have been killed since the invasion began last month. Above, destruction in the Satoya neighborhood of Kyiv on Sunday
Putin has used an expression that means ‘final decision/final resolution’ once in the past 30 days, according to Reuters monitoring of his remarks, but not in a context that carried the same resonance or meaning as the Nazi terminology.
Zelensky’s reference drew criticism from Yad Vashem, Israel’s memorial in Jerusalem to the six million Jews killed by Nazi Germany in World War II.
It said such ‘irresponsible statements’ trivialized the historical facts of the Holocaust.
Zelensky mentioned Israel’s Iron Dome system, often used to intercept rockets fired by Palestinian militants in Gaza.
‘Either way, the choice is yours to make, brothers and sisters, and you must then live with your answer, the people of Israel,’ Zelensky said.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s was among the more than 100 members of parliament (out of 120 total members) who took part in the call. He made no immediate comment after the Ukrainian leader spoke.
Bennett held talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin two weeks ago in Moscow and has spoken frequently with him and Zelensky since then.
On Sunday, Zelensky said that he’s ready to sit down with Putin to try and end Moscow’s brutal invasion – adding that a failure to negotiate peace could result in World War III.
‘I’m ready for negotiations with him. I was ready for the last two years. And I think that without negotiations we cannot end this war,’ Zelensky told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria.
A priest prays on Sunday during the funeral for 26-year-old Ukrainian soldier Alexander Shasa, who died during Russian shelling
Kyiv’s wartime leader said he is prepared to meet Putin in whatever format it takes to get the autocrat face-to-face on the same day the United Nations announced more than 900 civilians have been killed since the attack began.
He also blasted Putin’s claims that he’s seeking to ‘de-nazify’ Ukraine, warning that it could mean the autocrat is capable of ‘very frightening’ things in the name of his misguided effort.
‘If there’s just 1 percent chance for us to stop this war, I think that we need to take this chance. We need to do that. I can tell you about the result of this negotiations — in any case, we are losing people on a daily basis, innocent people on the ground,’ Zelensky said.
He acknowledged his country’s historic resistance effort against Russian forces, who believed Ukraine’s major cities would collapse to Moscow’s forces within a matter of days.
Destroyed buildings are seen as civilians trapped in Mariupol are evacuated on Friday. Zelensky on Sunday compared the situation in Mariupol to the siege of Leningrad by Nazi Germany
Smoke rises from burning vehicles outside a residential building that has been damaged by an airstrike, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, in Kyiv, Ukraine, in this picture released March 20
‘Russian forces have come to exterminate us, to kill us. And we can demonstrate that the dignity of our people and our army that we are able to deal a powerful blow, we are able to strike back. But, unfortunately, our dignity is not going to preserve the lives,’ Zelensky said.
‘I think that we have to use any format, any chance in order to have a possibility of negotiating, possibility of talking to Putin. But if these attempts fail, that would mean that this is a third World War.’
It comes as roughly 10 million people have been forced to flee their homes in Ukraine, the United Nations said on Sunday.
There are also growing calls to try Putin and his forces for war crimes. Ukrainian officials have said that more of their civilians have perished amid Russia’s invasion than members of its military.
Officials in Mariupol, a city in southeastern Ukraine that has been besieged by Russian forces for weeks, have said that residents are being rounded up, taken to ‘camps’ and forcibly transported across Ukraine’s border.
Ukrainians there have been under near-constant shelling by Kremlin troops, as well as being cut off from running water, food lines and and electricity. A United Nations official said ‘uncollected corpses lie on city streets’ because people are afraid to risk their lives to recover the dead.
On Sunday, Zelensky refuted Putin’s claims he’s seeking to remove ‘nazis’ from power in Kyiv– instead turning the allegation against Moscow’s strongman himself.
‘What we are having now in Mariupol, they had in Leningrad. Everybody knows how many people died in the blockade of Leningrad,’ Zelensky said.
He was referring to the German Nazis’ brutal military blockade of the Soviet city, which ended in a bloody battle with heavy casualties on both sides.
‘These people died because they did not have enough food and water,’ Zelensky said. ‘So who is the Nazi?’
Despite dismissing Putin’s accusations, Ukraine’s president warned they could mean he is prepared to carry out ‘very horrendous steps’ to purge the sovereign country.
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a concert marking the anniversary of the annexation of Crimea, on March 18
‘The fact is that if he is serious about this statement he might be capable of very horrendous steps because that would mean that this is not a game for him,’ Zelensky said.
‘If he’s serious about it, if he thinks that this is his mission to conquer our territory and if he sees signs of neo-Nazis in our country, then many questions emerge about what else he is capable of doing for the sake of his ambitions, for the sake of his mission.’
At the same time, the U.S and other western intelligence agencies are warning Putin could be setting the stage for a false flag to use chemical weapons in Ukraine.
Putin’s apparent frustration in his lack of progress on the battlefield can be seen in increasingly brutal attacks on Ukrainian civilians.
A maternity hospital, a local theater that was being used as a bomb shelter and multiple humanitarian corridors have all been targets of Russian attacks.
On Sunday, officials in Mariupol said an art school sheltering 400 Ukrainians was the latest civilian structure to come under fire.
Last week it was reported that Moscow’s soldiers gunned down 10 civilians, including an American citizen, who were waiting in a bread line in the northern Ukrainian city of Chernihiv.
Source: Read Full Article