Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky appealed directly to Jews around the world not to keep silent about the situation in Ukraine on Wednesday morning as the Russian military bombed Babi Yar Holocaust memorial site in Kyiv, Ukraine a day earlier.

In a video posted on his official Telegram channel, Zelensky spoke of Tuesday’s bombing of a TV tower in Kyiv, which damaged the memorial.

After seven nights of Russia’s aggression towards Ukraine, Zelensky said that what used to be a politically and ethnically divided country has unified, not only within itself but also the world.

“During this time we have truly become one. We forgave each other a lot. We started loving each other. We helped each other. We are worried for each other,” Zelensky said. “Yesterday morning, on Freedom Square, we were all Kharkovites. Then the enemy destroyed us all by striking at residential buildings in Borodyanka. We were all bombed in Kyiv last night. And we all died again in Babi Yar from the missile strike.”

Zelensky asked for what purpose did Russia see reason to bomb Babi Yar, which Russian authorities claimed to be a military target. He listed a number of religious centers in Ukraine and asked which one of those ‘military installations’ Russia wanted to bomb next.

“Although the whole world promises constantly ‘Never Again,’ for any normal person who knows history, Babi Yar is a special part of Kyiv, a special part of Europe. A place of prayer, a place of hundreds of thousands of people killed by the Nazis,” he said.

Zelensky, who is Jewish, said that he believed the purpose of the bombing was to erase Ukrainian history, the same way the inauspicious site which included a Jewish cemetery was overbuilt by the TV station, a sports complex and a park during the Soviet regime.

On the first day of the war, Russian forces, who claim to be on a mission to “de-Nazify Ukraine,” bombed the city of Uman, the site of the grave of Reb Nachman of Breslov, at whose grave hundreds of thousands of Jews assemble each year to celebrate Rosh Hashanah or pray at the grave.

“I am now addressing all the Jews of the world. Don’t you see what is happening? That is why it is important that millions of Jews around the world do not remain silent right now,” he said. “Nazism is born in silence. So shout about the killing of civilians. Shout about the killing of Ukrainians.”


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