Russia: Expert says Putin will slow down Ukraine advance
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The last few months have seen Vladimir Putin court the wrath of every western nation, with a united alliance of NATO and its partners now planted firmly behind Ukraine. Russian officials have themselves to blame for the reaction, which has seen the country’s economy crippled by sanctions and its enemies equipped with top-of-the-line technology. Further provocation from the Putin regime could see Ukraine receive an enhanced support package from one largely neutral party.
Earlier this week, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov claimed that Adolf Hitler had “Jewish blood” as he attempted to legitimise his country’s “special military operation” during an interview.
Lavrov added that the “most rabid antisemites tend to be Jews”, causing upset in Israel.
The country’s government summoned its Russian ambassador earlier today as Lavrov’s Israeli counterpart Yair Lapid called the remarks “unforgivable and outrageous”.
He added that they were a “terrible historical error” as Russian officials doubled down on the comments.
Mr Lapid called attempts to “accuse Jews themselves of antisemitism” the “lowest level of racism against Jews”.
The Russian foreign ministry did not distance itself from its chief, alleging in a statement that Israel was supporting “the neo-Nazi regime in Kyiv”.
The ministry added that history knows “tragic examples of Jewish cooperation with the Nazis”.
The comments now threaten to disrupt Israel’s tentative neutrality in the conflict.
So far, the Yamina government, led by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, has primarily focussed on the humanitarian front.
Officials have set up field hospitals and sent supplies to those in need, stopping short of military aid.
But the repeated statements accusing the government of siding with “neo-Nazis” could persuade it to provide military assistance.
Israel daily newspaper Haaretz reported that Mr Bennett would consider bolstering aid after the recent comments on Tuesday.
The publication outlined that it would reconsider the list of items it currently sends to the Eastern European country.
The items may not quite meet Mr Zelensky’s needs, however.
Since the invasion began, the Ukrainian President has pleaded with the Knesset to help install missile defences.
He has asked for a defence system capable of intercepting Russian missiles – something Haaretz said the Israeli government would not supply.
A source told the publication that additional military aid would be “symbolic” and likely not include weapons or defensive technology.
Israel walks a delicate path in the Middle East due to Russia, which has operated in Syria since 2015.
Officials must reconcile their condemnation of the Putin regime with Israeli freedom of movement across the Syrian border.
The country would risk losing a strategic front to its northwest if it provoked Russia into closing off its access to the territory.
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