Ukraine Repeats That Uman Is Too Dangerous

By Hamodia Staff

Ukraine’s ambassador to Israel, Yevgen Korniychuk. (Avshalom Sassoni‎‏/Flash90)

YERUSHALAYIM — Ukraine reiterated its warnings against Jewish visitors to Uman on Rosh Hashana in light of the ongoing war.

Ukrainian Ambassador to Israel Yevgen Korniychuk told The Jerusalem Post, “We understand your willingness to go to Uman and favor your support for Ukraine, but this is not the right time. We cannot guarantee your security.”

“Imagine if Russia shells them, what would happen?” he asked.

Korniychuk said that Kyiv is willing to close its borders to religious tourists, but does not want to act alone.

“We want the Israeli government to intervene together with the Ukrainian government to prevent the massive killing of people that could happen,” he said. So far, the Israeli government has refrained from intervening.

Ukraine’s requests for additional support for Israel was also discussed.

Korniychuk said that his country’s request for a $500 million loan from Israel still stands, nearly three months after it was made to then-prime minister Naftali Bennett. Israel has yet to respond, the ambassador said.

“Our economy is in a deep crisis and has declined up to 40%,” he said. “Despite sanctions, Russia has much bigger reserves, and the prediction is that their economy will only drop by 10% by the end of the year.”

About 30 countries around the world, including Japan and much of Europe, have provided loans thus far.

One of Ukraine’s biggest economic concerns is that it will not have the resources to heat homes in the winter, and civilians will freeze to death, the ambassador said.

Korniychuk has apparently all but given up on persuading Israel to send arms, though.

While Ukraine continues to obtain more weapons from supportive countries, he said “this is not related to Israel directly,” as he understands Israel’s concerns about Russia’s military presence in Syria and for the safety of the Jewish population in Russia.

But he pushed Israel to follow the example of the U.S. in sanctioning Moscow.

“I understand the argument that Israel does not have a sanctions law, but I was a member of parliament in Ukraine twice – if you want a sanctions law, I can draft it for you,” he quipped.

Not to seem unappreciative of Israeli humanitarian support for Ukraine, he did say: “We’re grateful for every little bit of help, including to MASHAV [Israel’s development agency] which spent 80% of its budget this year on Ukraine.” he said.

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