An Israeli early warning system for missile attacks began operating in Kyiv this week, Ukrainian Ambassador to Israel Yevgen Korniychuk said on Wednesday.
Ukraine had asked Jerusalem for the civilian defense system ever since Russia invaded last year, and while the previous Israeli government promised to provide it, the ambassador credited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s personal involvement in speeding up the process.
Israel is currently sending Ukraine defensive and intelligence-gathering equipment as well as humanitarian aid.
The Jewish state has denied Ukrainian requests to supply offensive arms for fear of upsetting Moscow. Russia remains the major military force in Syria, where Israel continues to conduct airstrikes against Iranian terrorist assets.
A trove of classified materials leaked from the Pentagon in February includes a document assessing scenarios in which Israel could begin supplying offensive weaponry to Ukraine for use in its war against Russia.
According to the intelligence document, the “most plausible” scenario in which Israel would change course would see it adopt a “Turkish model” under U.S. pressure whereby like Ankara, Jerusalem would sell Kyiv lethal defense systems or provide them through third entities.
Earlier this year, depots storing U.S. munitions in Israel were partially tapped in order to help Ukraine fend off the Russian invasion. The depots are officially designated as U.S. military storage facilities and as such are considered to be on American soil.
The understanding between Jerusalem and Washington over many decades has been that the munitions would be given to Israel in times of emergency, for example if the Jewish state faced a major attack along the scale as the 1973 Yom Kippur War.