President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine on Monday condemned Hamas for its surprise assault on Israel and likened the attack to Russia’s invasion of his own country. In a speech to NATO, he also criticized Iran for its support of Hamas and Moscow.
It is the second speech that Mr. Zelensky, who spoke to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel on Sunday, has delivered in support of Israel since Hamas’s incursion into Israel. In another sign of the Ukrainian government’s strong backing for Israel, electronic billboards in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, were lighted with the Israeli flag on Sunday night.
Mr. Zelensky said that Hamas and Moscow were “the same evil, and the only difference is that there is a terrorist organization that attacked Israel, and here is a terrorist state that attacked Ukraine.”
“If the world unites whenever someone takes women hostage and condemns the children of another nation, terror will have no allies,” he said in a speech delivered by video link to a meeting in Copenhagen of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.
“The intentions declared are different, but the essence is the same. You see it in the same blood on the streets,” he said.
Mr. Zelensky compared the killings of civilians in Israel in recent days to those in the city of Bucha, northeast of Kyiv, in the early weeks of Russia’s invasion last year. Hundreds of Ukrainians were tortured or killed there in a series of atrocities being investigated as war crimes.
In an impassioned speech to the NATO assembly, Mr. Zelensky also singled out Iran for its sale to Moscow of exploding drones, thousands of which have been launched at Ukraine on the battlefield and in civilian areas. He noted that Iranian officials had also expressed support for Hamas.
The war in Israel comes more than four months into a counteroffensive by Ukrainian forces that has yet to achieve a decisive breakthrough and when Kyiv is looking to shore up support among its allies in NATO amid signs that some have wavered. Analysts have argued that visible success on the battlefield would make it easier for Ukraine to maintain its international network of support.
President Biden said last week that he was confident that Congress would approve military and humanitarian assistance for Ukraine “for as long as it takes” despite of opposition among some Republicans. His comments were an attempt to reassure Ukraine’s allies after the House passed a stopgap spending bill that did not include any additional money for Kyiv.
At the same time, voters in Slovakia, an eastern European state with historical ties to Moscow, elected a party led by Robert Fico, a former prime minister whohad taken a pro-Russian stance during the campaign.
In tandem with bitter fighting on the front lines, Russian forces have kept up a daily barrage of missile, drone and artillery strikes against Ukraine. In recent weeks, that has included a renewed assault on the country’s energy infrastructure, a strategy that Russia employed to devastating effect last winter.
On the battlefield, Russian troops fired on eight of Ukraine’s regions over the past 24 hours, according to Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense, targeting dozens of villages. One woman was killed in the northeastern region of Kharkiv, local authorities said.
In Kherson region in the south, the site of some of the most fearsome attacks, one person was killed and 18 others were wounded including two children, according to the head of the regional military administration, Oleksandr Prokudin.