Former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett says Putin assured him he would not kill Zelenski

Former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has claimed that, during his brief role as mediator in the Ukrainian war, Russian President Vladimir Putin gave him assurances that he did not intend to kill his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodimir Zelenski.

In a long interview granted this Saturday to Israeli TV Channel 12, Bennett — Israeli prime minister for only one year, until June 2022 — explained that he tried to present himself as an international mediator given the communal ties linking the Hebrew state to both countries in conflict, with little success.

Bennett recalls that Putin refused any kind of meeting with Zelenski during the first months of the war. “(Putin) was the nicest person in the world up to that point, suddenly he looked at me coldly and said, ‘They are Nazis, they are warmongers, I will not meet with him,” the former prime minister explained.

The former leader also explained the difficult position he found himself in during the war because “the United States believed that Israel would do everything it could to help Ukraine.” Given the country’s ties with the international Jewish community, Bennett thought it appropriate to offer himself in a neutral role.

Bennett recalled that he obtained from the Russian president a promise not to kill his Ukrainian counterpart with the exact words he addressed to Putin: “I need to understand that you are giving me your word that you will not kill Zelenski.” Bennett managed to wrest that promise from Putin.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dimitro Kuleba has responded to the former prime minister’s appearance with a message on his Twitter account advising people not to believe a word Russia says.

“In the past, Putin promised not to occupy Crimea, not to violate the Minsk agreements, not to invade Ukraine, and in the end he has done all that. Let no one be deceived: he is an expert liar,” Kuleba lamented.

“Every time he (Putin) has promised not to do something, it has been exactly part of his plan,” he added.


Author: editor

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