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Ukrainian official asks Israel to help bring back its children from Russia

Deputy Speaker of the Ukrainian Parliament Olena Kondratiuk with Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana, May 2, 2023 (Photo: Olena Kondratiuk/Twitter)

A senior Ukrainian official has asked the Israeli government to assist them in bringing tens of thousands of Ukrainian children back home from Russia.

Ukrainian lawmaker and Deputy Speaker of Parliament Olena Kondratiuk made an appeal to the Jewish nation for the assistance, following more than 14 months since Russian troops first invaded the country. Russian forces had illegally removed the children from their homes in Ukraine and transported them to the Russian Federation, according to reports.

Kondratiuk is currently leading the first senior Ukrainian parliamentary delegation to Israel since the Russian invasion began in February 2022.

“We really ask Israel to take on the issue of returning Ukrainian kids back home, the same way they treated their own Jewish kids after World War II,” Kondratiuk stated in an interview with The Times of Israel.

“Israel collected them from around the world,” she noted, referring to the Jewish state's considerable experience in various rescue operations.

Ukraine claims that as many as 20,000 Ukrainian children were taken by Russia against the wishes of their families. Moscow, however, claims the children were evacuated out of Ukrainian war zones for safety reasons.

Turning to other issues, Kondratiuk said Ukraine was currently focused on strengthening its defense against incoming Russian missiles.

“Our priority right now is the anti-missile system because it’s the number one cause of the deaths of civilians,” she said.

In addition, Ukraine recently renewed its request for Israel’s anti-missile defense system, following a lethal Russian attack that killed at least 23 civilians in the Ukrainian city of Uman.

“Israel should use this moment to step up anti-missile and anti-drone support to Ukraine and help protect civilians from Russia’s war of aggression,” urged Andriy Yermak, who heads the office of  Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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