Russian ambassador hails hostages’ rescue, without mentioning Hamas

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

Russian Ambassador to Israel Anatoly Viktorov releases a statement celebrating the rescue of Russian-Israeli Andrey Kozlov and three other abductees, but neglects to mention Hamas or the terror group’s October 7 attacks.

“Without the full knowledge of the details of the rescue operation carried out by the Israel Defense Forces,” writes Viktorov, “first of all, I would like to share with the relatives and friends of the now former hostages the joy of the safe rescue of their relatives from eight months of captivity and reunification with their families.”

He adds that Russia has prioritized the release of hostages “from the very beginning of the unprecedented escalation in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict zone.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Israeli counterpart Israel Katz discussed Russian citizens being held in Gaza on June 7, says the statement.

Three Russian citizens — Ron Krivoy, Irina Tatty and Elena Trufanova — were previously released. Alexander Trufanov and Alexander Lobanov remain in captivity.

Viktorov emphasizes that “not further escalation, but only an early cessation of hostilities adequately responds to the solution of all urgent humanitarian problems, including the release of the hostages remaining in Gaza.”

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