Photo Credit: Amos Ben-Gershom (GPO)
PM Netanyahu at a memorial ceremony to honor the Jewish victims of Babi Yar, Aug. 19, 2019

Ynet Israeli military journalist Ron Ben Yishai, who traveled to Ukraine, reported Wednesday that the Babi Yar Holocaust Memorial and center complex in Kiev are not damaged.

The report contradicts the reports of multiple news outlets, including, that quoted Ukrainian officials – including a heartbreaking statement from President Volodymyr Zelensky — as saying the iconic memorial site was bombed by Russian forces, and that both the site and surrounding Jewish graves were damaged.


Babi Yar is the site where nearly 34,000 Jews were massacred by the Nazis during World War II, in addition to tens of thousands of other people.

Ben Yishai reported, however, that upon visiting the site he found it intact, and that “No bomb, missile or artillery shell hit the site itself.”

Russian forces were apparently aiming for the Kiev TV Tower, located some 300 meters (400 feet) from the newly-built memorial, and about a kilometer (less than a mile) from the old one. Three missiles landed in the compound that surrounds the tower and in fact did badly damage administrative buildings, although the tower itself was largely unharmed.

Two guards were taken to the hospital, according to a fellow security officer quoted by Ben Yishai, who added that disinformation is apparently being spread by both sides in the war.

it could be disinformation or it could be the fog of war.

According to Jpost reporter Lahav Harkov, the Babyn Yar Memorial says that buildings and the cemetery inside the memorial complex was hit, but not the memorial statue.

Bennett Speaks with Putin, Zelensky
Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett spoke on Wednesday with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky.

It was Bennett’s second round of phone calls with both since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

No progress appeared to have been made.

Israel to Send More Aid, Set Up Field Hospital
Israel plans to set up a field hospital in Ukrainian territory, according to a report by Israel’s KAN News public broadcaster.

The move could come as soon as next week, according to the unsourced report.

It is not clear where the planned field hospital would be located.

More aid is being sent to Ukraine on Thursday from Israel in a specially chartered plane departing from Ben Gurion Airport.

The flight will be carrying 15 tons of medical supplies, food, humanitarian aid for Ukrainian refugees at the Moldova border, according to United Hatzalah, which is partnering with ELAL Airlines.

The flight will also bring 40 additional medical personnel, EMTs, paramedics, doctors, psychologists, and therapists, who will join the organization’s 15 volunteers already on the ground actively assisting Ukrainian refugees in the country since Sunday.

Rabbi of Kherson: Russia Has Captured the City
Russian forces reportedly captured the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson, and had surrounded the port city of Mariupol, on the Sea of Azov, according to multiple reports.

Rabbi Yosef Yitzhak Wolf confirmed reports from Moscow that its forces had captured Kherson, a city of nearly 250,000 people located slightly north of Crimea.

The rabbi said a “new reality” has been forced on the city’s residents, including its large Jewish community.

The story is that the Russians are here… What worries us most is the wellbeing of the Jews, that everything will be fine with them, and no one will be harmed,” the rabbi told Ynet, adding that he has asked everyone “not to leave the house under any circumstances. . . so that no one would be harmed, until the picture becomes clearer.

“We are examining the possibility of leaving here with members of the community, but only in the event that a humanitarian corridor is established; without it, we will not take any risk, God forbid,” he said.

Despite constant Russian shelling, Mariupol seems to be holding its own. “We are fighting, we are not ceasing to defend our motherland,” Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boichenko said in a live broadcast on Ukrainian state television quoted by Reuters.

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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, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.