Israel condemns Russia ‘late’ as ‘horrendous images’ emerge from Bucha

Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid on Sunday harshly rebuked Russia’s actions in Ukraine as bodies of civilians were found in the town of Bucha, near the capital kyiv, after Russian troops withdrew .

“It is impossible to remain indifferent to the horrific images of the town of Bucha near kyiv, after the departure of the Russian army. Intentionally attacking a civilian population is a war crime and I strongly condemn it,” he said. he tweeted.

During Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Israel has generally been more hesitant to criticize Russia than many of its Western allies. Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has sought to mediate during the dispute, maintaining contact with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

For years, Israel has also coordinated with Russia when the Middle Eastern nation’s military moves to strike Iranian targets in Syria, according to Reuters.

“Israel strongly condemns Russia. Delayed but also more difficult given how much Israel depends on Russia for its cooperation with Syria. This is an important decision,” Ian Bremmer, political scientist and chairman and founder of the Eurasian group.

In a tweet in February, Israel’s Foreign Ministry said the country “effectively has a security border with Russia. Russia is the most important military power in Syria, and our mechanism of cooperation with them helps us in our determined fight against Iranian entrenchment on our northern border. .”

Lapid’s comments on Sunday do not mark the first time that Israel has criticized Russia for its invasion of the Eastern European country. Israel backed a UN resolution condemning the invasion in February and another last month demanding an end to Russia’s war, the Jerusalem Post reported.

On Sunday, Israel’s foreign minister harshly rebuked Russia’s actions in Ukraine, as bodies of civilians were found in the town of Bucha. Above, Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid at the US Capitol on October 12, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Anna Moneymaker

The Associated Press reported last month that Lapid had called on Russia to end its attacks in Ukraine. The publication noted at the time that his remarks differed from Bennett, who “refrained from condemning Russia.”

Last week, during a visit to Israel, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken praised Israel’s efforts to oppose the Russian invasion.

“We thank the foreign minister for his firm repudiation of Russian aggression against Ukraine and the Israeli promise that Israel will not be used as a back door for sanctions violations,” Blinken said, according to the report. Jerusalem Post.

Zelensky, however, criticized Israel, arguing that the country has not done enough to support his country. In a speech to Israeli lawmakers and officials on March 20, he asked why the country hadn’t done more to supply arms to Ukraine or impose sanctions on Russia during the conflict.

“We turn to you and ask whether it is better to provide aid or mediation without choosing sides,” he said, according to the Jerusalem Post. “I’ll let you decide the answer to the question, but I want to emphasize that indifference kills.”

Newsweek contacted the Israeli and Russian foreign ministries for comment, but did not receive a response before publication on Sunday evening.

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