In an interview with the KYIV NOT KIEV project, Israeli Ambassador to Ukraine Michael Brodsky told whether there are Nazis in Ukraine, how the security situation in the Middle East limits Israel in making political decisions related to Russia, and what sources of support Ukraine can count on from Israel.
The recording of the interview coincided with the Hanukkah celebrations. Ambassador Brodsky and Mayor Klitschko lit the tallest Hanukkiah on Independence Square in Kyiv.
"I think this is the best answer to all who claim that Ukraine is some sort of a Nazi state. I have already said it many times, and I am happy to repeat it: it is complete nonsense", the Ambassador commented on Russian accusations about alleged Nazis in power.
In the context of Israel's growing humanitarian support for Ukraine, the Russian Foreign Ministry accused Israel of "supporting the neo-Nazi regime." Naturally, Israel took it significantly negatively. However, the "complex and diverse," as the Ambassador calls them, relations between Russia and Israel have not changed dramatically due to Russia's anti-Semitic statements. After all, their most important component is a security cooperation.
"It is very important for us to keep the channel for cooperation open, especially since 2015, when Russia became a very influential actor in Syria by establishing its military presence there," Ambassador Brodsky said.
It is essential for Israel to be able to act freely in Syria as it is related to Israel's national security. However, this situation limits Israel in making political decisions related to Russia.
"It is no secret that we have certain red lines that cannot be crossed. And Kyiv is well aware of them," the Israeli Ambassador said. However, he emphasizes that Israel condemned this war from the very beginning of the Russian invasion, openly calling it Russian aggression.
Israel has invested a lot of effort in building relations with Russia. This effort aimed to prevent strategic arms transfers from Russia to Iran.
"And from Iran to terrorist organizations in South Lebanon and Syria," the Ambassador added.
Now military cooperation between Russia and Iran has intensified as never before. Iran supplies many drones to Russia but also receives some military technologies.
"We do not hide the fact that it worries us about Iran and Russia's military cooperation; therefore, we are monitoring this situation very closely. Israel is in dialogue with Ukrainian officials on this particular issue," Brodsky said.
Israel understands that today these drones are aimed at the critical infrastructure of Ukraine, and tomorrow they can be used against Israel. Israelis are even more concerned about any weapons or military technology transferred from Russia to Iran.
"The possibility of Iran obtaining nuclear weapon is one of those red lines we discussed earlier. We cannot afford nuclear Iran. We see it clearly and say directly: Iran should not become a nuclear power," the Ambassador said.
Israel recently approved the transfer of weapons from NATO countries to Ukraine, which contain components made in Israel. "I can't confirm it, but if you say so, it's good," the Ambassador smiles to the hosts of KYIV NOT KIEV. However, when asked about other news about Israel's supply of weapons to Ukraine, the Ambassador prefers not to answer. In his opinion, "any publicity only damages the prospects of cooperation in this field."
The Ambassador demolishes the Russian narrative that Ukraine should never rely on Israel as an ally: "Ukraine can rely on us as an ally. Israel is an ally of Ukraine. However, as I said, we have our red lines."
"We support Ukraine in various ways, mainly in the issue of humanitarian aid. Don't you think it's important?" Ambassador Brodsky asked rhetorically, listing the support provided by Israel: field hospitals, rehabilitation, and prostheses for Ukrainian soldiers in Israel, supplies of medicines, food, generators, and treatment of Ukrainian children with cancer in Israel.
"Success in war is not only about weapons. It is much more than this. It is about the social situation, dealing with post-traumas, dealing with the most vulnerable groups like women and children, and managing healthcare and water supply systems. In all these fields, Israel cooperates with Ukraine. So, I believe that Israel is Ukraine’s ally."
"Unfortunately, the war is not over, but Israel's assistance is not over either," he concluded.
KYIV NOT KIEV is an English-language news blog about Ukraine and a community of over 30 thousand people worldwide who support Ukraine. Since the full-scale Russian invasion, KYIV NOT KIEV has exposed Russian war crimes in Ukraine, fighting Russian propaganda and disinformation. In addition, the project is known for a series of interviews with foreign ambassadors in Ukraine.
The "KYIV NOT KIEV. Ambassadorial Season" project was implemented with the support of the Goethe-Institut in Ukraine and the Kunst magazine within the framework of the Mediengeist accelerator for countering disinformation, which is part of a comprehensive package of measures for which the German Foreign Office allocates funds from the additional budget for 2022 to mitigate the consequences of Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine.