Photo Credit: Wikimedia / Goran Tek-en
Map of Ukraine showing Donetsk and Luhansk (the Donbas), Kherson and Zaporizhzhia, all targeted for Russian annexation. (March 9, 2022)

The State of Israel will not recognize the results of a referendum held by Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement Tuesday night, “Israel recognizes the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and will not recognize the results of the referendums in the eastern regions of Ukraine.”

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Russia is planning to annex some 90,000 square kilometers of Ukrainian territory. The targeted areas include those currently under the control of Moscow’s forces – about 15 percent of Ukrainian territory — in addition to some three percent of the country where heavy fighting is still underway.

Donbas, one of the areas targeted for annexation, is comprised of Donetsk and Luhansk, two areas recognized by Russia as independent states just before the invasion, home to Russian-speaking Ukrainians and ethnic Russians. The port city of Kherson, in southern Ukraine, and Zaporizhzhia – home to the largest nuclear plant in the country – are also being targeted for annexation. Both are to the west of the Donbas.

Israel was among many member states who voted against Russia in the United Nations after the launch of its invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

Although Israel has refrained from sending offensive weapons to Ukraine, the Jewish State has built a field hospital in the besieged country and has sent planeloads of humanitarian aid, in addition to defensive and medical assistance.

Israeli & Ukraine NGOS Partner on Mental Health Infrastructure

The Israeli humanitarian aid NGO IsraAID is also continuing to provide assistance to Ukraine in multiple areas of the country.

Ukraine’s embassy in Israel thanked the Jerusalem government for “organizing the process of providing free care for the Ukrainian soldiers in leading hospitals in Israel” after two fighters arrived this past Sunday in the Jewish State for medical treatment.

Eighteen more Ukrainian soldiers, all of them severely wounded, are expected to arrive in the next two weeks for similar care.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.