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14 Dec, 2023 12:45

Putin compares Ukraine and Gaza conflicts

Nothing in Russia's battle with its neighbor resembles the bloodshed in the Middle East, the president has said
Putin compares Ukraine and Gaza conflicts

The Ukraine conflict, which will soon enter its third year, has resulted in far less devastation than the hostilities between Hamas and Israel that have been raging for several weeks, Russian President Vladimir Putin said during his annual marathon Q&A session on Thursday.

Asked by a Turkish reporter to comment on the Middle East crisis, the president called it a “disaster.”The whole world sees… Look at the special military operation, and then at what is happening in Gaza. And feel the difference. There is nothing like that in Ukraine.”

He recalled that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had described Gaza as the world’s largest “graveyard for children,” adding that “such an assessment speaks volumes.”

However, Putin dismissed speculation that the UN has lost its role in resolving conflicts, recalling that it was originally created as a platform for reaching a consensus. “If this does not happen, no decisions are made. This is the way it has always worked, especially during the Cold War,” he stated, reiterating that those mechanisms should remain in place, otherwise the UN could lose all its clout.

The president stressed that Russia insists on the recognition of a State of Palestine along UN-endorsed lines. “A fundamental basis for Israeli-Palestinian settlement should be established,” he explained.

He also praised his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his efforts to defuse the Gaza crisis, adding that they had similar views on the situation. The Turkish president is undoubtedly, a leader “who is paying attention to this tragedy and doing everything possible to change the situation for the better,” according to Putin.

The Russian leader signaled that the two could meet early next year, adding that he has also engaged with several Middle Eastern countries while expressing support for providing massive humanitarian assistance to Gaza.

In the same vein, Putin remarked he was open to considering the possibility of opening a Russian hospital in Gaza, although he noted that Israel warned him that doing so would be unsafe.

Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel on October 7, with hostilities so far resulting in more than 1,200 Israelis and 18,000 Palestinians dead. Russia, which has consistently advocated a two-state solution, condemned Hamas but has raised serious concerns about the humanitarian cost of Israel’s relentless retaliatory strikes.

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