Russian ambassador to protest Zelensky address to Knesset 

Mickey Levy spoke on the phone with Ukrainian Ambassador Yevgen Korniychuk following the ambassador's request in a letter last week.

 Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky holds a press conference on Russia's military operation in Ukraine, Feb. 25, 2022. (photo credit: Presidency of Ukraine/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky holds a press conference on Russia's military operation in Ukraine, Feb. 25, 2022.
(photo credit: Presidency of Ukraine/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Russia’s ambassador to Israel, Anatoly Viktorov, expressed dissatisfaction with Knesset Speaker Mickey Levy’s agreement to facilitate Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaking to Knesset members.

In their meeting on Wednesday, Viktorov did not request from Levy the cancellation of Zelensky’s speech, nor ask for an invitation for Russian President Vladimir Putin or another senior Russian figure to address the Knesset. However, he did offer to have members of the Russian parliament brief the MKs about Russia’s side.

Viktorov explained to Levy Russia’s position on the war, and about Zelensky in particular.

“Viktorov informed Levy about the main reasons and goals of the special military operation to denazify and demilitarize Ukraine, protect the people of Donbass as well as the Russian Federation from a military threat,” the Russian embassy said. “The Russian side emphasized the importance of continuing the coordinated work of Russia and Israel to counter any attempts to revise the history of World War II, glorify Nazism and deny the Holocaust.”

Zelensky’s address, set for 6 p.m. on Sunday via videoconferencing, is restricted to government ministers and Knesset members. They will not be allowed to ask questions or respond, even if they speak Ukrainian or Russian.

 Prime Minister Naftali Bennett in the Knesset plenum, February 7, 2022. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST) Prime Minister Naftali Bennett in the Knesset plenum, February 7, 2022. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

“The Russian ambassador asked to keep details of the meeting discreet and we obliged,” a spokesman for the speaker said after the meeting.