Bernard-Henri Levy, French philosopher and journalist
I told the American congressmen: Putin is your enemy, Putin hates you.
08.12.2023 18:20

Mr. Levy has long been a friend and champion of Ukraine. He calls Russia a terrorist state, advocates for its expulsion from the UN Security Council, and defends Ukraine's membership in NATO. On December 6, the UN headquarters hosted a pre-premiere screening of his documentary, Glory to the Heroes, about Russia's war against Ukraine, which Levy directed. It is expected to come out on big screens in the United States next. This is Levy's third film about Russia’s full-scale invasion. The hour-and-a-half-long film covers June 2023, when the author visited Ukraine, including the hottest spots on the frontline. He talked to the military, foreign and local volunteers, and civilians on the ground...

Immediately after the presentation of the film in one of the largest halls at the UN Headquarters, an Ukrinform correspondent asked the author a few questions.

BEST PART OF OUR EUROPEAN MEMORY HAS COME BACK TO US FROM YOUR TRENCHES

– This is your third documentary about Russia’s war against Ukraine. The first one was “Why Ukraine”, the second one “Glory to Ukraine”, and the third one “Glory to heroes”. What inspires you to make films like that?

– The admiration for Ukraine's bravery, the revival of the values of greatness and heroism that we have forgotten in Europe, and which you have reminded us of. It looks like a part, the best part of our European memory has come back to us, to me, to you from your trenches and your frontlines. So I am just full of admiration for that.

RUSSIA'S PLANS INCLUDED HAMAS'S CRIMES

– If you compare these two wars, Israel's war against Hamas and Russia's war against Ukraine, what do you see in common and what is different?

– It is the same war against democratic states, Israel and Ukraine, waged by terrorist states, Russia and the proto-state, the Hamas state-like entity. It is the same thing. Hamas and Russia are partners, partners in crime. Ukraine and Israel are like brothers in spirit, brothers in soul.

Hamas and Russia are partners, partners in crime

And you saw this in the movie. The film was made before the war that Gaza launched against Israel. You saw how these young Israeli veterans fought on the side of Ukrainian soldiers, passing on their knowledge, their experience, the experience of the IDF.

And I have to say that this is one of the many merits of Zelensky. He was one of the first people in the world to understand what was happening in Israel, to express his support for Israel, to offer to visit Israel. And he realized that Hamas was in Russia's plans. Let's say it this way: Russia's plans included Hamas's crimes. He was one of the first to realize this.

– Do you think Israel's position on Ukraine will change after the war in Gaza? After all, it has been somewhat uncertain so far...

– It must change.

Putin has made it very clear: he is on the side of Hamas

Putin has made it very clear: he is on the side of Hamas. Moscow was the only major capital that hosted Hamas with a red carpet before October 7, and after October 7, it was the only one where Russian officials accepted Hamas as a noble interlocutor. So everything is clear.

RUSSIA STOLE A SEAT IN THE SECURITY COUNCIL

– You insist that Russia should be expelled from the UN Security Council. Do you think the international community will be able to do this?

– More than that. Russia stole a seat in the Security Council. There are no legal grounds for Russia to have this seat in the Security Council. We know the history, we know how it happened. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, there was a meeting, an informal meeting of the members that were formed as a result of the collapse. And it was decided, like in a gangster club, that Russia would be the representative of the group. But there was no formal reception. It could be Ukraine, as well as Russia, Ukraine was among the heirs, those who defeated Nazism, in the part of the world that used to be the Soviet Union.

And, by the way, who liberated the Auschwitz extermination camp? It was Ukrainian troops. It was a Ukrainian tanker named Anatoly Shapiro who entered Auschwitz.

Many countries, including Ukraine, can inherit the past, which was the Soviet Union.

Therefore, this place that Russia occupies is an unfounded position.

– Would you call what Russia is doing in Ukraine genocide?

– It is an attempted genocide. Of course, it is not genocide, because Ukraine is resisting, Ukraine is fighting against genocide, but there is a will to genocide. When you want to destroy a culture, when you want to destroy a national identity, and when you kill people on a large scale, well, what is that? If not the will to genocide?

– What would you say to American congressmen who are hesitant about funding support for Ukraine for the next year?

The fortress of America is not Mexico, it is Ukraine

– I would say that if they are concerned about the border (I heard they are worried about the border), then OK, the border is here in Ukraine, the real border of the Western world. The fortress of America is not Mexico, it is Ukraine. It is here, in Ukraine, where the danger can arise and begin.

I said this yesterday on television. I addressed Speaker of the House Mike Johnson and Senator Lindsey Graham personally: Putin is your enemy, Putin hates you.

The border is here, and the Ukrainian people and the Ukrainian Army are holding this border.

Volodymyr Ilchenko, New York

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