After Iran's recent attack on Israel, the whole world breathed a sigh of relief, while in Ukraine, they sighed with envy and talked about double standards. NATO aircraft shot down Iranian drones over Jordan and Iraq. Almost all the missiles launched from Iran were intercepted by Israel and its allies.

“If they helped us like that, we would have liberated our occupied territories long ago!”  some Ukrainians wrote on social networks. Others said, “That was a perfect example of how to ‘close the sky’!”

While American and British planes were shooting down Iranian drones and missiles over Jordan and Israel, Ukrainian mobile units in jeeps tried to shoot down Iranian drones launched by Russia over Ukraine with light anti-aircraft systems and machine guns.


Even President Zelensky spoke resentfully about the successful repulsion of the Iranian attack by Israel and its partners. In response, British representatives explained that Ukraine does not receive such assistance “so as not to provoke an escalation” in the war with Russia. This explanation caused hysterical laughter among most Ukrainians.

A slow but steady advance of Russian troops is underway along the entire eastern front. Russian troops in Donbas have orders to take the city of Chasiv Yar by Russia’s May 9 Victory Day.

Ukrainian military journalists write about this as if the fate of Chasiv Yar was already signed and sealed with the discussion now being about how its occupation will affect further developments on the eastern front.

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What many Ukrainians have missed is that the defense of Israel, which cost $1.3 billion, was also undertaken to prevent the escalation of the military conflict between Israel and Iran. After all, if the Iranian missiles that were not shot down had hit an Israeli hospital or a multi-story residential building, Israel would have probably responded instantly, sparking much more serious and furious exchanges of blows between the two countries that could have proved impossible to stop.


If that had happened, Ukraine would have been negatively affected by the ensuing Israel-Iran conflict, with the US military aid that Ukraine is counting on being re-directed towards Israel. What is more, an that war would take center stage in international politics and on world news. News about Ukraine, that has already fallen down the news agenda, would have been pushed further into the background.

Biden’s efforts aimed at preventing the escalation of the conflict in the Middle East are very important for Ukraine, even if Ukrainian politicians and ordinary Ukrainians cannot see it.

One outcome of the Iranian attack should still bring a smile to Ukrainian faces. According to American military experts, as many as 50 percent of the Iranian missiles failed to launch or simply did not reach Israel due to manufacturing defects.

These failures have left a big question mark hanging over Iran’s military potential, although the Iranian drones that Russia is using to attack Ukraine are technically advanced and are certainly doing a great deal of damage.

The views expressed in this opinion article are the author’s and not necessarily those of Kyiv Post.


Andrey Kurkov is the author of over 30 books. His novels are translated in 37 languages, including English, Japanese and Hebrew! He is President of PEN Ukraine. He has published articles and essays in Ukraine in media around the world, including The Guardian, Die Wielt. He also did media projects for EBRD in Ukraine. He resides in Kyiv.

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