Putin lambasts Israel: War on Gaza ‘total destruction’ of Palestinians

Russian leader Vladimir Putin. (Photo/Vladimir Astapkovich)

Since the start of the Ukraine conflict, Russian leader Vladimir Putin has increased his criticism of the US-led Western political system, describing it as “deceitful and hypocritical”.

On Wednesday, Putin escalated his anti-Western tirade in a press briefing with international journalists held in St. Petersburg, going into details on the possibility that Russia can arm anti-Western states and how the US-led political system has allegedly imposed its rule over states like Germany since WWII.

He also fiercely criticised Israel’s brutal war on Gaza, saying that it shows clear signs of “total destruction” of the Palestinian population, disproportionate to Hamas's October 7 attack.

Here are the Russian leader’s talking points:

Russia can arm anti-Western states

In a question about a recent US decision to supply American long-range weapons to Ukraine to target Russian territory, Putin raised the possibility that Moscow can arm anti-Western states in retaliation to Washington's measure. In addition to the US, Berlin also recently allowed Ukraine to strike Russian soil with German-supplied long-range weapons.

The Russian leader, however, did not name any country Moscow has “the right to supply” Russian weapons “of the same class” as the US long-range arms being utilised across “those regions of the world”. He also did not specify which “sensitive objects of those countries” Russian weapons may target.

He just said that Russian weapons could be supplied against countries which involve Ukrainian procurement of long-range weapons targeting Russian territory, showing Moscow’s “asymmetrical” response to the Western armament of Ukraine.

Putin also said that if the Biden administration had stopped arming Ukraine, the war would have ended a long time ago. “He (Biden) once sent me a letter, I answered him in writing: if you want to stop hostilities in Ukraine, stop supplying weapons, and these actions will stop within two, maximum three months,” he said.

He also found some Western projections that “Russia wants to attack NATO” as both ‘crazy’ and ‘nonsense’ ideas, being “as thick as this”, referring to the wooden table around which he was sitting with journalists.

Israel’s conduct is not a war

In response to a question from a Turkish journalist, Yusuf Ozhan, Anadolu Agency’s editor-in-chief, Putin also levelled harsh criticism on Israel’s attacks on Gaza, finding them “not very similar to war” but “some kind of total destruction of the civilian population”.

“I can only repeat Russia's official position on this matter. We believe that this is the result of the policy of the United States, which monopolised the Israeli-Palestinian settlement and pushed aside all previously created tools for collective attempts to resolve this complex issue,” he added.

He repeated the Russian position of the two-state solution in the long-standing conflict, underlining that Moscow recognised the Palestinian state a long time ago.

He also praised Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s "vigorous efforts to solve this very acute, long-standing problem” given the regional authority he commands across the Muslim world.

Germany ‘not a sovereign state’

Putin did not mince words in his attack on Germany, the world’s third-largest economy, and slammed it as a US vassal state. “We understand, as one of the famous German politicians claimed, after WWII, the Federal Republic of Germany has never been a sovereign state,” said the Russian leader.

The Federal Republic of Germany, a pro-Western state, came into existence at the end of WWII, after the victorious Allied powers and the Soviet Union reached a post-war understanding dividing Nazi Germany territories, including Berlin, into two separate German states. The German Democratic Republic, a pro-Soviet state, was formed in East Germany.

With the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, which preceded the collapse of the Soviet Union, the predecessor state to Putin’s Russia, West and East German states were unified under the Federal Republic of Germany.

But some extremist German groups like Reichsbürger maintain that because Nazi Germany surrendered at the end of WWII without any formal treaty with the Allied powers and the Soviets, the Federal Republic of Germany could not be a sovereign state, continuing to stay under occupation.

Putin also added that when the first German-made tanks appeared in Ukraine, it created “an ethical shock” across Russian society, which has always highly thought of the Federal German Republic. Putin did not clarify why Russian society highly respects a state he described as under heavy US influence.

In 2022, during a ceremony of accepting four Ukrainian territories into Russia, Putin said that the US “even today continues to occupy Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea and other countries.”

Nuclear weapons

During the briefing, Putin also touched on the delicate issue of using nuclear weapons, saying that he did not talk about their use against the West previously. “It’s a very tough topic,” he said, reminding that the US was the only country which used nuclear weapons during WWII, leading to massive destruction in Japan.

But he warned the West that it should not “believe” that Russia will never use nuclear weapons, citing the country’s military doctrine. “If someone’s actions threaten our sovereignty and territorial integrity, we consider it possible for us to use all means at our disposal,” he said, implying that Moscow can possibly deploy nuclear weapons against the West.

Last year, the deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council Dmitry Medvedev, one of Putin’s close aides, raised it as a possible option.

If Ukraine's counteroffensive backed by NATO, which largely failed, “succeeded and ended up with part of our land being taken away, then, we would have to use nuclear weapons by virtue of the stipulations of the Russian Presidential Decree,” said Medvedev in a Telegram post.

This month, Medvedev repeated his old argument, saying that dismissing Russian military capabilities would be a “fatal mistake” like making projections that the Kremlin would not attack Ukraine in 2022. "Life is much worse than their frivolous reasoning," he said.


Source: TRT