President Volodymyr Zelensky has warned that Ukraine will look to Israel for inspiration concerning its future security arrangements, arguing that an “absolutely liberal” Kiev is now “impossible” after Moscow’s attack in late February.
Speaking to journalists on Tuesday, the president said security would be the “number one” issue for Ukrainians for the next decade, even going so far as to forecast a lasting armed military presence in the streets.
“Ukraine will definitely not be what we wanted it to be from the beginning. It is impossible. Absolutely liberal, European – it will not be like that,” he said. “We will become a ‘big Israel’ with its own face. We will not be surprised if we have representatives of the Armed Forces or the National Guard in cinemas, supermarkets, and people with weapons.”
Reached by Haaretz following Zelensky’s comments, Ukrainian Ambassador to Israel Yevgen Korniychuk said that “no matter what happens next, [things] in Ukraine will be similar to the security situation in Israel,” also adding that “you will see more armed people in the streets, even when things become more peaceful than they are now.”