Ukraine's leader Volodymyr Zelensky will visit Israel this week to participate in the ceremony timed to the 75th anniversary of the release of prisoners of Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. The politician said so in the interview with The Times of Israel.
“The most important thing for each country is to honor the memory of its Holocaust victims. It’s very important to go, whether we [leaders] speak or not. For me personally, it doesn’t matter whether I speak. But so many people who died in this tragedy [of the Holocaust] were Ukrainian Jews — starting with Babi Yar, where 150,000 Ukrainian Jews were executed. The statistical information that we know shows that one in four of the Jews who were killed in the Holocaust were Ukrainian. That is why, for Ukrainians, it is very important to honor the victims of the Holocaust. I think it would be fair, therefore, that the president of Ukraine would give a speech", Zelensky said.
The Ukrainian President added that the government plans to start construction of Little Jerusalem memorial in the town of Uman, Cherkasy region. "We have a project in Uman, where, as you know, a lot of Jews from all around the world travel there to pay respect to renowned Jews (...). So we have decided to construct a historical museum, to create a big park and to reconstruct the synagogue. We want to make an authentic little town. We created the name “Little Jerusalem” as an idea, to make it very authentic, in a very professional way," he said.
The world forum in memory of Holocaust victims will take place in Jerusalem on January 22-23.