Ukrainian officer's essentials: Night vision, water and Golda Meir

Ynet correspondent in Ukraine runs into a Zionist Ukrainian officer in a military post as he takes his a trip to Kyiv following the announcement about a humanitarian corridor

Ron Ben-Yishai|Updated:
After Russia announced a ceasefire on Tuesday, I made my way to the outskirts of Kyiv. I drove south and was surprised to find no trace of the Russian army at an 80 kilometers distance from the capital.
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  • I continued eastward and arrived at Wyszogród, the northern-most neighborhood in Kyiv on the West banks of the Dnieper River. This neighborhood is where the city's northern post is located, which the threatening Russian convoy has been lagging to reach for several days due to a traffic holdup.
    4 View gallery
    תמונות הלוויין של הכוחות הרוסיים
    תמונות הלוויין של הכוחות הרוסיים
    Satellite pictures of Russian convoy en route to Kyive
    The convoy stopped at a bridge that the Ukrainians bombed, but if it advances it will reach Northern Kyiv.
    Despite the snowy weather conditions, citizens have been bringing food to the soldiers at the post. Though I wasn't permitted photograph the fortification at the post, the Russian lieutenant Alex Gorgan was stunned to hear I was Israeli.
    "My name is Alex, but my nickname is Zion", he told me. "Zion, like the holy mountain in Jerusalem. I'm Zionist". He opened his bag and elaborated on what was inside
    4 View gallery
    אלכס "ציון" גורגן עם הספר של גולדה מאיר
    אלכס "ציון" גורגן עם הספר של גולדה מאיר
    Ukrainian officer says he is a Zionist and takes the book Golda to battle with him
    (Photo: Ron Ben Yishai)

    "This is my bag that I take with me to battle, I have night vision tools, a water bottle, and my favorite book- 'Golda'. I'll take it even if it'll be the last battle". The officer was referring to the book written about the Israeli icon Golda Meir, who served as its fourth prime minister between 1969-1974, also during the Yom Kippur War.
    Ukrainian officer takes 'Golda Meir' book to battle
    (Video: Ron Ben-Yishai)
    I asked him what made him an admirer of Golda Meir and a Zionist. "I'm not Jewish, I'm Ukrainian. I'm a Ukrainian patriot, I'm a Ukrainian nationalist, and I'm Zionist because I think that Ukraine is the second homeland", he replied.
    Meanwhile the Russians are advancing slowly. Their tactics are clear. They bomb the areas they plan to enter and after the civilians flee and the Ukraine military takes some serious hits, they move in.
    4 View gallery
    נזקי הלחימה בחרקוב
    נזקי הלחימה בחרקוב
    Khakiv after Russian shelling
    (Photo: AFP)
    They don't fight, they just hammer their target and move in when resistance is low. That is the doctrine. One reason could be their fear of anti-tank weapons NATO supplied Ukraine.
    Kyiv is a city under siege with its main thoroughfares turned into barricades. To the invading Russian forces, the capital has a great advantage. Its streets are wide.
    Civilians can attack the tanks with their fire bombs only on the smaller streets and in the alleyways, which they probably plan to avoid.
    4 View gallery
    כוחות רוסים בדרך לקייב
    כוחות רוסים בדרך לקייב
    Russian tanks head to Kyiv on Monday
    (Photo: EPA)
    The government of Volodymyr Zelensky is optimistic about negotiations with Russia yielding some kind of a result. The two sides are not too far apart.
    Officials say that if Russian President Vladimir Putin agrees to meet with Zelensky there would be no problem.
    But I don't think that is realistic. Putin wants Ukraine to be like Finland and for Zelensky to be ousted and replaced by a pro-Russian president.
    On the other hand, if Putin expects to wait for the Ukrainians to surrender, he may have a problem.
    First published: 23:23, 03.08.22
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