Bennett: Inaction could result in 'total destruction of Ukraine'

Prime minister says if world leaders won't interfere, Russia-Ukraine war will result in 'untold loss of life, total destruction of Ukraine, and millions of refugees'

Itamar Eichner|
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett warned Thursday that the ongoing conflict in Ukraine could escalate drastically “if world leaders fail to act quickly.”
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  • While stopping short of mentioning Moscow, Bennett warned that the ongoing war against Kyiv — which entered its eighth day on Thursday — would result in the “untold loss of life, total destruction of Ukraine, and millions of refugees."
    Prime Minister Naftali Bennett speaking at the CyberTech TLV 2022 conference
    (Video: CyberTech)
    “I have participated in five or six different conflicts — as a soldier, as a commander and later on as a Security Cabinet member. [War is] a terrible thing,” the prime minister said in his speech at the CyberTech TLV 2022 conference.
    “We in Israel had our fair share of wars and I can tell you one big lesson: wars are easy to start and very difficult to finish..."
    It is the responsibility of the major players in the world to act rapidly to get the two sides out of the battlefield and to the negotiating table."
    2 View gallery
    פליטים שברחו מאוקראינה מגיעים למחנה זמני בפולין
    פליטים שברחו מאוקראינה מגיעים למחנה זמני בפולין
    Displaced Ukrainians in makeshift camps near the Polish border
    (Photo: Reuters)
    The prime minister’s speech comes less than a day after he spoke with the two leaders at the center of the conflict: Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
    Bennett and Putin’s talk took place almost simultaneously with a historic vote at the UN General Assembly to condemn Russia’s aggression. Israel also sided with the motion despite expressing reluctance to do so initially.
    A statement issued by the Kremlin said that the talk was initiated by Israel, and that Putin had told Bennett that the key to ending the crisis was to safeguard Russia's security interests.
    2 View gallery
    A damaged Ukrainian military facility in the aftermath of Russian shelling outside Mariupol, Ukraine, Thursday
    A damaged Ukrainian military facility in the aftermath of Russian shelling outside Mariupol, Ukraine, Thursday
    A damaged Ukrainian military facility in the aftermath of Russian shelling outside Mariupol, Ukraine
    (Photo: AP)
    The conversation with Zelensky took place earlier, after which the Ukrainian president wrote on Twitter that the two “talked about Russian aggression". Bennett's office later said that the two leaders agreed to "maintain continuous contact."
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