Following the internationally coordinated and effective air defence against the Iranian attack on Israel, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has called for the West to show similar resolve in protecting Ukrainian airspace against Russian attacks, arguing that the example of Israel shows that Nato membership is not necessary for a country to be defended in this way. Europe's press compares the situations of the two countries.

No convincing arguments for restraint

Neatkarīgā comments:

“Paradoxically, the main result of the Iranian attack could be the realisation that there is no justification for the West's cowardice. After all, Jordan didn't enter into conflict with Iran by downing missiles that flew over its territory towards Israel. After Israel and its allies were extremely successful in warding off the Iranian missile attack, shooting down almost all the missiles, the West must answer the question: why can we do this against Iran but not against Russia? It will be hard to find a convincing answer.”


Far too risky

Political scientist Iliya Kusa explains on Facebook why similar protection is impossible for Ukraine:

“Israel has a legally established ally, and has signed agreements to this effect. Ukraine has none of this and most probably won't have it either. ... The West will not defend Ukraine in the same way it defends Israel because it is not politically advantageous, as we have been consistently told since 2022. The risks of war with Russia are assessed as high and catastrophic. ... The situation with Israel and Iran was different: everyone knew that the Iranians would try to avoid a major escalation, that they were responding to an attack on their consulate and that there was no risk of nuclear war.”

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Moscow has more influence in the US

Having pro-Russian friends among the Republicans makes all the difference, argues historian Anne Applebaum in Gazeta Wyborcza:

“Leading Republicans do not sympathize with the mullahs, do not repeat their talking points, and do not seek to appease them when they make outrageous claims about other countries. That enables the Biden administration to rush to the aid of Israel, because no serious opposition will follow. By contrast, a part of the Republican Party, including its presidential candidate, does sympathize with the Russian dictatorship, does repeat its talking points, and does seek to appease Russia when it invades and occupies other countries.”


Left in the lurch

Ukraine also lacks air defence weapons, De Volkskrant criticises:

“More than two years after the full-scale invasion and ten years after the first Russian incursion into Ukraine Kyiv still hasn't received a single modern aircraft from the West that would allow it to shoot down missiles and keep the Russian air force at bay. It was almost unbearable for many Ukrainians to watch how Western countries immediately sprang into action with their own planes and pilots after Iran attacked Israel.”

Betrayal of Ukraine

The Tages-Anzeiger criticises the West for carelessly fuelling hopes of victory:

“The truth is: the West has betrayed Ukraine. The Americans, the Europeans and above all the Germans are doing far too little to give the country a chance to defend itself against the aggressors. ... Two years ago the West gave Ukraine hope that it could win the war on the battlefield. If Biden, Scholz, Macron and the British now let the Ukrainians down, it will be a betrayal of all those who have lost their lives since then. And that's exactly what looks set to happen right now.”

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