The president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said he wants his nation to become a “Big Israel’ with its own face” after the Russian war ends, noting that the security would likely be the primary issue in Ukraine during the post-war period.
On Tuesday, President Zelenskyy emphasised his vision for Ukraine’s post-conflict future, including having armed in “all institutions, supermarkets, cinemas and there will be people with weapons.”
Pictures of armed civilians, settlers and soldiers in Israel are commonplace, and the government invokes security frequently. Zelenskyy, who is Jewish, has on several occasions stressed the significance of maintaining close relations with Israel, which he hailed as a model for Ukraine.
“I am sure that our security issue will be number one in the next ten years,” Zelenskyy said, dismissing the idea that post-war Ukraine would emulate a liberal European democracy such as Switzerland as a model. He said that the Ukrainian people “will be our great army”.
Zelenskyy also said that Ukraine would not be “absolutely liberal, European”; that it would have to undertake a different modus operandi.
While addressing the media, he said, “Ukraine will definitely not be what we wanted it to be from the beginning. It is impossible.”
“Fully liberal, European- it will not be like that. Ukraine will definitely come from the strength of every house, every building, every person.”
Even after having good relations with Israel, Zelenskyy has been critical of the government’s awkward position on the Russian war on his nation. After maintaining a relatively quiet position on the invasion, Israel’s prime minister came out with a statement denouncing the alleged atrocities in Bucha, near Kyiv.
On Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett expressed shock by the gruesome images coming from Bucha, but he stopped short of accusing Russian forces of carrying out alleged war crimes or holding Moscow responsible.