Olean Zelenska says Ukrainians expect Israel to help her country

Ending a visit as the guest of Michal Herzog Ukraine's first lady says Israeli technology is needed after Russia bombed the Nova Kakhovka dam, including fresh water, infectious disease experts, equipment to deal with the flooding and more

Olana Zelenska told Ynet on Wednesday that her country expects Israel to provide Ukraine with aid as it is fighting the Russian invasion but added that the decision was up to the government in Jerusalem. As she was concluding her visit to Israel as the guest of Michal Herzog, wife of President Issac Herzog, the Ukrainian first lady spoke with Ynet and said only Israel can determine whether it was providing enough assistance or not.
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אולנה זלנסקה רעייתו של וולודימיר זלנסקי
אולנה זלנסקה רעייתו של וולודימיר זלנסקי
Olana Zelenska
(Photo: Motti Kimchi)
"We know there is great potential because Israeli has technologies we desperately need and it is the role of Israeli society to decide whether it should be given," she said. "The government must decide what it could give but we do expect more and know there are many more options, especially in air defense and anti-missile systems we need urgently and hope Israel can help in those areas." She said.
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אוקראינה קריבי ריה בניין ש נפגע ב הפצצה של רוסיה לפחות 3 הרוגים ו 25 פצועים
אוקראינה קריבי ריה בניין ש נפגע ב הפצצה של רוסיה לפחות 3 הרוגים ו 25 פצועים
A residential building hit by Russian fire
(Photo: Reuters)
"What I can talk about is what has already been done," she said. "There is an arrangement between our governments about early air raid warning systems, and those are already in Ukraine being tested in a large city. I've asked to expedite the delivery because of the urgency. We must know where Russian missiles are headed because Ukrainians are suffering daily, fearing attacks. And yes, we have hope for more assistance from Israel," Olana Zelenska said.
She told Ynet that Ukraine was also seeking help in dealing with the disaster in the wake of Russia's bombing of the Nova Kakhovka dam in Kharson. "that caused the greatest human tragedy in Ukraine," she said. "We need equipment to pump out water, drinking water, infectious disease experts, help in agriculture, water purification and floods. We cannot and will not pressure you but we do expect you to help because you have the possibilities," she said. "We have high expectations from Israel."
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חרסון הצפה הצפות אוקראינה בעקבות פיצוץ סכר נובה קחובקה
חרסון הצפה הצפות אוקראינה בעקבות פיצוץ סכר נובה קחובקה
Ukrainian villages flooded after Russia bombs the Nova Kakhovka dam
(Photo: AP)
Zelenska said her country was grateful for the aid that was already delivered especially in the field of trauma. Israel helped in the training of 2,000 psychologists in how to deal with emergencies and the rehabilitation of soldiers suffering limb loss. She had visited Sderot to see how the residents dealt with the rocket launches from Gaza. "We want to adopt the same model and are already training staff members who will be able to provide immediate help in emergencies," she said.
The Ukrainian first lady said Russian President Vladimir Putin's comment about her husband not being a Jew, was despicable. Putin said his "Jewish friends" had told him that Volodymyr Zelensky was not really Jewish.
After visiting the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum in Jerusalem, Zelenskaya said she did not want to compare her country's suffering to the Holocaust.
"Each tragedy is horrible. Ukraine has also survived tragedy, but every such event must be recognized, and justice must be served. I hope no more people die because many are dying every day and they are young," she said. "We can make comparisons to the Second World War for example with concentration camps. That is the despicable action of the Russians on Ukrainian land. I could not believe that in the 21st century, such horrors could take place. There are signs of genocide. There are rapes and sex crimes committed by Russian soldiers. We find mass graves in areas that were occupied. We found 400 bodies including some of children with signs of torture. We will make our conclusions at a later date, historical ones," she said.
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יצחק, מיכל הרצוג ואולנה זלנסקה
יצחק, מיכל הרצוג ואולנה זלנסקה
Olana Zelenska (center) with Michal and President Issac Herzog
(Photo: Yigal Slavin )
When asked what her takeaways from her visit were, Zelenska said Israel was a role model of determination for Ukraine from the early days of the war and also a source and inspiration of hope. "We see it is possible to live under attack and still develop the country," she said. " We've tried to follow Israel's example and as time went by Ukraine became an example to other nations. I remember our streets being empty in Kyive but now the sun has come out and the city is again full of life, so much so, that sometimes there are no signs of war because the economy is working and people work," she said
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