According to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the issue of weapons ending up in the hands of Hamas militants in Ukraine can be attributed to corruption rather than deliberate deliveries. Speaking at a press conference in Bishkek, Putin stated that he doubted there were actual deliveries of weapons from Ukraine, but leaks of weapons were highly possible due to the level of corruption in the country. He pointed out that there is a thriving black market for weapons when there is a high demand and many sellers, and Ukraine fits this description. The president also mentioned that weapons were being sold by Ukrainians on the international market through countries in Africa and the Middle East, including Russia.
Putin further emphasized that he was not surprised by the possibility of Ukrainians selling weapons to Russia, as it has happened before. The Russian president’s comments come after former President Dmitry Medvedev raised the issue that weapons sent by the US and its allies to Ukraine were being used by Hamas in Israel. Medvedev claimed that the equipment was actively being used in attacks against Israel. In response, the Ukrainian military intelligence accused Russia of conducting a “false flag” operation to tarnish Ukraine’s reputation by allegedly sending Western weapons captured in Ukraine to Hamas.
Israel has neither confirmed nor denied Medvedev’s claim about the weapons. However, Israeli authorities dismissed the accusations of Russian involvement in the Hamas attack as “complete nonsense.” The conflict between Israel and Hamas intensified when Hamas militants fired hundreds of rockets into Israel, leading to Israeli raids into nearby settlements, villages, and towns. More than 1,300 people were reported dead in the surprise attack, prompting a strong response from Israel, which declared a “war” against Gaza.
Commenting on the escalating conflict, Putin acknowledged that Israel is facing an unprecedented attack and that its response has been “quite brutal.” He also offered Russian mediation, considering that Moscow has “very good relations” with Israel, as well as traditional ties with the Palestinians. Putin emphasized that Russia’s involvement would not be driven by any hidden agenda or attempts to play games.
In summary, Putin’s remarks suggest that corruption in Ukraine is likely responsible for weapons ending up in the hands of Hamas militants rather than intentional deliveries. The Russian president also offered Russian mediation in the conflict between Israel and Hamas, citing the country’s good relations with Israel and traditional ties with the Palestinians.