Putin says Gaza 'catastrophe' incomparable with Ukraine
MOSCOW (AFP) - President Vladimir Putin on Thursday described the situation in the Gaza Strip as a "catastrophe" unfolding on a scale that could not be compared to the Ukraine conflict.
Putin, whose government has maintained ties with Hamas and Israel, gave the comments during a news conference in Moscow, as his full-scale military intervention against Kyiv approaches the two-year mark.
"Everybody here and around the world can see and look at the special military operation and at what is happening in Gaza and feel the difference," he said, using the Kremlin's name for its conflict in Ukraine. "But there is nothing like this in Ukraine," he added.
The war between Israel and Hamas -- now in its third month -- began after the October 7 attacks on Israel by Palestinian militant group Hamas, which Israeli officials say killed 1,200 people, mostly civilians.
It has left besieged Gaza in ruins and killed more than 18,600 people, mostly women and children, according to the Hamas-run health ministry. Russia has since February 2022 systemically targeted Ukrainian cities with missiles and drones, and occupied large swathes of the south and east of the country following fierce hostilities.
The UN has said that more than 10,000 civilians have been killed in Ukraine, warning that the real toll is likely to be much higher.