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Putin compares 'unacceptable' Gaza blockade to Nazi siege of Leningrad

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with representatives of business, officials and other participants of the 8th Eastern Economic Forum via a video link in Vladivostok, Russia, September 12, 2023. (File photo by Reuters)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has denounced Israel’s siege of the Gaza Strip as “unacceptable,” comparing it to the Nazi blockade of Leningrad during World War II.

Israel is now about to do something that is "comparable to the siege of Leningrad during the Great Patriotic War," Putin told journalists in Kyrgyzstan on Friday. "In my opinion, this is unacceptable." 

Putin also warned the regime against hurting civilians in Gaza, stressing that "hardly anyone will agree" with Israel's siege of Gaza due to the civilian casualties incurred in it.

"By the way, all of us hear - we will discuss this informally - we hear about preparations for a ground operation in Gaza. But you and I understand how it is, quite semi-professionally speaking, the use of heavy equipment in residential areas is a complicated matter fraught with serious consequences for all sides. And it is even more difficult to carry out these operations without equipment in residential areas. But the most important thing is that civilian casualties will be absolutely unacceptable," he said. 

“More than two million people live there, and not all of them support Hamas, by the way,” the Russian leader said. 

"We proceed from the fact that there is no alternative to a negotiated solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Their goal should be the realization of the UN two-state formula, which envisages the creation of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, existing in peace and security with Israel," he said. 

He also said Israel has responded to Hamas operation with "quite brutal methods."

Israel has been constantly bombing Gaza since Saturday, when Hamas launched a surprise operation in response to the regime’s atrocities.

Israel used banned white phosphorus munitions against desperate people in Gaza, a human rights monitor said.

The Health Ministry in Gaza announced on Friday that at least 1,900 Palestinians, including 614 children, and 370 women have been martyred in seven days of incessant Israeli bombardment of the blockaded territory.

At least 7,696 Palestinians have also been wounded in the bombardment.

Hundreds of thousands of Gazans have also been displaced as a result of the regime's relentless and indiscriminate attacks.

At least 423,000 people have now been forced to flee their homes in the Gaza Strip, the United Nations said.

The coastal territory remains under Israel’s complete siege with no access to electricity, water, food, and medicines.

Various governments have warned over Israel’s indiscriminate bombings targeting Gaza, where 2.3 million Palestinians are trapped in what is described as the world’s biggest open-air prison.

Iran has called for global action to halt attacks by the apartheid regime against Gazans and prevent a genocide of innocent people there.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday Israel is committing a massacre in the besieged strip. Erdogan said Israel is trying to portray its bombing civilians as proof of its skills.

China's envoy to the Middle East Zhai Jun called for "an immediate ceasefire" to the conflict during a phone call with a Palestinian official, the Chinese foreign ministry said Wednesday.

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