In Brief: Israel condemns Russia for massive missile barrage across Ukraine

Yair Lapid > Sapir Academic College, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Israeli prime minister Yair Lapid on Monday said that he “strongly condemns” Russia’s barrage of fatal bombardments across Ukraine, which he said targeted “the civilian population in Kyiv and other cities across Ukraine”.

Lapid added that he offered his “sincere condolences to the families of the victims and the Ukrainian people”.

The comments represents the latest shift in Israeli policy towards Ukraine, following an initial attempt to avoid aligning too closely with either side due to Russia’s military position in Syria.

Recent months have seen much more forthright criticism of Moscow, including rejections of Russia’s alleged annexation of occupied Ukrainian territories.

On Monday, the Russian president warned that even more “severe” strikes were possible.

The biggest wave of strikes across Ukraine in months killed at least 11 people, and was seemingly retaliation for an explosion that damaged a key bridge linking Russia to Crimea, which Moscow annexed in 2014.

Lapid’s statement follows a declaration in late September that Israel “recognises the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine” following sham referendums in four Ukrainian oblasts that Moscow used as a pretext to annex further territory.

This week also saw Iranian-made drones shot down over Ukraine, in a further indication that Middle Eastern geopolitical rivalries are being transplanted onto Ukraine.