Ukraine ambassador to Israel Yevgen Korniychuk said on Monday that he was not sure of the success of Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's mediation efforts to end the war in his country, but added that the attempts were appreciated.
"It is unprecedented," the ambassador said, "Bennett flew to Moscow on the sabbath to talk of peace. We appreciate it and hope his efforts will bring about an end to the bloodshed.
For us now, this is genocide, not unlike your situation in the 1973 Yom Kippur War," he said. "Unfortunately, we are dealing with a much stronger adversary and many more casualties so thank you for your mediation attempts."
Korniychuk, who spoke to the press in Tel Aviv, commended the government's intention to establish a field hospital in Ukraine and thanked Israel for the humanitarian assistance provided.
He thanked Israelis and organizations, which mobilized to assist Ukrainian refugees fleeing the war but asked that donations be suspended temporarily, until they can be delivered to those in need.
But he added that Ukraine was asking for personal protective gear. Wearing a helmet, the ambassador said he did not understand why equipment such as this could not be sent to his country.
"I don't know why people are afraid to provide defensive means," he said. "Is this a weapon? This is something simple that can be done," Korniychuk said.
"I hope the government could at least provide us with such things that will help save Ukrainian lives," he said.
The Ukrainian envoy also said the leadership in Kyiv was considering Jerusalem as a venue for mediation talks.
He called on Israelis who have friends or relations in Russia to tell them the truth about the war.
"Tell them of the humanitarian catastrophe caused by their government," he said.
"I want to ask the Russians: What did we do to you? What did Ukrainians ever do to you that you now kill our people and rape our women? We did nothing bad," he said. "We are fighting for our independence and will do so until we are free," Ambassador Korniychuk said.
First published: 13:51, 03.07.22