Israel-Russia relations deteriorate further as Lapid ‘strongly condemns’ Putin’s latest attacks

The Russian embassy in Israel accused Israel of silence in the face of “Ukrainian terror.”

By Debbie Reiss, World Israel News

Prime Minister Yair Lapid on Monday said he “strongly condemns” the latest attacks by Russia on “civilians in Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities.”

Lapid offered his “condolences to the families of the victims and the Ukrainian people.”

The comments mark the first time Lapid has condemned Russia as prime minister. He has in the past been outspoken about his support for Ukraine and has condemned the Russian invasion – but only in his former post of foreign minister.

Since the Russian invasion on February 24, Israel has toed the line, maintaining a policy of relative neutrality because of its ongoing airstrikes against Iranian targets from Russian-controlled Syrian skies.

Russia launched a massive offensive on ten major cities in Ukraine, in apparent retaliation for an explosion that blow up a key bridge bringing supplies to the Russian-controlled Crimea – deemed an “act of terror” by Russian President Vladimir Putin. At least 11 people died in a barrage of missiles. Iranian drones were also launched from Belarus, the Ukrainian military said.

The Russian embassy in Israel responded to Lapid, saying, “It’s worth noticing, that, unfortunately, Israel chose to stand silent during eight years of ongoing Ukrainian terrorist attacks on civilians of Donbass, to turn a blind eye to the recent murderous Ukrainian attack on a refugee convoy in the Kharkov region, monstrous murders of civilians by Neo-Nazi Azovs in Kupyansk and other Ukrainian cities, vicious murder of a Russian journalist Darya Dugina, recent Ukrainian terror attack on the Crimean Bridge as well as other numerous horrific and unpunished crimes of the Kiev regime.”

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In May, Lapid slammed Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov for saying “Hitler had Jewish blood,” saying his remarks were “unforgivable and outrageous, as well as historically inaccurate.”

The Russian Foreign Ministry in response said that Lapid’s words “explain to a large extent why the current Israeli government supports the neo-Nazi regime in Kyiv.”