Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Fast Forward

Zelenskyy: Ukraine will look more like ‘Big Israel’ than Europe in the wake of Russia’s war

(JTA) — Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Ukraine’s Jewish president, said his country will look more like Israel, a democracy on constant military alert, than like their more relaxed European neighbors, given the prospect of long-term tensions with Russia.

“We will become a ‘big Israel’ with its own face,” Zelenskyy said Tuesday at a briefing for Ukrainian media, Haaretz reported. “We will not be surprised if we have representatives of the armed forces or the national guard in cinemas, supermarkets, and people with weapons. I am confident that the question of security will be issue number one for the next ten years. I am sure of it.”

Armed soldiers are ubiquitous in Israel, where there is a mandatory draft for men and women and where men may do weeks of reserve duty every year into their 40s.

Zelensky clarified that he was not anticipating an autocracy. “An authoritarian state would lose to Russia,” he said. “People know what they are fighting for.”

Russia’s war against Ukraine, in its fifth week, has drawn into battle civilians who have been rapidly trained in the use of rifles and other means of combat.

“Ukraine will definitely not be what we wanted it to be from the beginning. It is impossible,” Zelenskyy said. “Absolutely liberal, European – it will not be like that. It will definitely come from the strength of every house, every building, every person.”


The post Zelensky: Ukraine will look more like ‘big Israel’ than Europe in the wake of Russia’s war appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.