President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy held a meeting with influential representatives of the world's Jewish communities, which was dedicated to the importance of protecting universal values, guaranteeing security and peace, and preserving historical memory.
In particular, the former Soviet political prisoner, minister and deputy prime minister in the governments of Israel, chairman of the executive board of the Jewish Agency for Israel Natan Sharansky took part in the meeting. President of the World Jewish Congress Ronald Lauder, ex-US Senator from Connecticut Joe Lieberman, Chief Rabbi of Kyiv, President of the Union of Jewish Religious Organizations of Ukraine Yaakov Dov Bleich took part in the meeting in a video call format.
The Head of State thanked the participants of the meeting for their constant attention and support for Ukraine, especially in the current difficult time.
"Your voice sounds weighty and always matters to public opinion. Therefore, I ask you to continue to spread the truth about the terror that Russia has brought and about the help we need," Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
The President noted that the people of Ukraine and Israel have a lot in common, they are united by historical memory, including the tragic pages of history, as well as the desire to guarantee security for people and their states. Therefore, today, at the time of heinous Russian aggression, Ukraine hopes for more decisive support from the State of Israel.
"Today we are fighting such a heinous phenomenon as rashism, and it cannot be overcome without a united position of the free democratic world. If Israel does not give a clear political assessment of the Russian Federation, new phenomena such as the alliance between Russia and Iran will emerge. They have already launched hundreds of Iranian Shahed kamikaze drones against us. Then we will fight against it post factum with the whole world,” Volodymyr Zelenskyy noted and emphasized the need to act more decisively and in unity already now.
Natan Sharansky expressed solidarity with the heroic struggle of the Ukrainian people, who today defend their future and the future of the entire free world. Therefore, it is the duty of all democratic countries without exception to support this struggle.
He emphasized that this is why the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center is implementing a project to collect evidence of crimes against humanity on the territory of Ukraine.
The Head of State noted that at this time it is extremely important to pay even more attention to the protection of historical memory and informing about the conclusions humanity has drawn from the large-scale tragedies of the XX century.
In view of this, the parties discussed the continuation of the construction project of the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center.
"We have not forgotten and must implement this project. But for this we have to defend our state today," Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
The President of Ukraine thanked the supervisory board of the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center and everyone involved for continuing work on the project.
For his part, Natan Sharansky, as the head of the supervisory board of the Memorial Center, emphasized the importance of remembering all the lessons of the Holocaust and preserving the memory of the heroism of Ukrainians.
Former US Senator Joe Lieberman thanked Volodymyr Zelenskyy for supporting the Babyn Yar Foundation.
"From the very beginning, we understood that it should be not just a museum in Kyiv, but such a living institution that would be engaged in advocacy and defense of rights considering what is happening in the world today," he said.
President of the World Jewish Congress Ronald Lauder noted that today the main question for American society, for American Jews, is what they can do to help Ukraine, in particular, in the matter of preserving the memory of Babyn Yar.
"We are willing to work with the Ukrainian state, defend its interests to provide greater and faster support to your government and your army," Joe Lieberman emphasized.
Member of the supervisory board of the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center, businessman and philanthropist Viktor Pinchuk, who was also present at the meeting, noted that, unfortunately, today the world has witnessed a new genocide - in relation to the Ukrainian people. Therefore, these crimes must be recorded, and civilized countries, in particular Israel, must help Ukraine stop this genocide and terrorism.