Putin spoke out against the possible Israeli ground offensive in Gaza and compared it to the scene of Nazi Germany’s siege of Leningrad.
Russia, through its president, Vladimir Putin, expressed its concern on Friday about Israel‘s possible ground intervention in Gaza.
The Russian president classified the scenario of civilian casualties as “absolutely unacceptable” following the Israeli army’s request for Gaza civilians, who number more than a million, to move to the south in less than 24 hours. This move comes amid Israel’s preparations following the recent attack by the Hamas terrorist group .
Putin noted that some, including in the United States, have suggested there should be a total blockade of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip and equated it, saying, “it would be comparable to the siege of Leningrad during World War II.” During a summit in Kyrgyzstan, Putin told reporters: “In my opinion, it is unacceptable.”
He emphasized the region’s population density, “More than two million people live there. By the way, not everyone supports Hamas, far from it. But all of them have to suffer, including women and children. Of course, it is difficult for anyone to agree with this.”
Putin’s comparison between the siege of Leningrad (1941-44) and the situation in Gaza can be interpreted as a veiled criticism of Israel, suggesting similarities between it and the actions of Nazi Germany.
However, Putin recognized Israel’s right to defend itself after being the target of “an attack unprecedented in its cruelty.” “ Russia is ready to coordinate with all constructive-minded partners,” he assured.
The Russian president advocated a solution based on the creation of two states, proposing that the Palestinians have their own state with East Jerusalem as its capital. Likewise, he did not hesitate to criticize the United States, indicating that current events result from the failure of his policy in the Middle East.
It is worth mentioning that Russia has maintained relations with both Israel and the Palestinians, including the terrorist group Hamas. However, relations between Moscow and Jerusalem have been strained since the start of the war in Ukraine.
On Thursday, Moscow asked Israel for a ceasefire to facilitate the entry of supplies into Gaza and condemned the “indiscriminate” shelling that has caused numerous civilian casualties.
In another area, the Russian Foreign Ministry reported that its deputy minister, Mikhail Bogdanov, held a meeting with the Lebanese ambassador in Moscow. During the meeting, “the inadmissibility of the extension of the armed confrontation to Lebanon and other States in the region, the danger of a growing humanitarian crisis and a new massive influx of Palestinian refugees” were highlighted.