Israel’s ex-PM Bennett says Putin assured him he would not kill Zelenskyy
Israel’s ex-PM Bennett says in a video interview that Russia's Putin assured him he would not kill Ukraine's Zelenskyy in a meeting during the early days of the Ukraine-Russia war
Israel’s former prime minister Naftali Bennett said that Russian President Vladimir Putin assured him in the early days of the Russia-Ukraine war that he would not kill Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
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In a video published to the former Israeli prime minister’s YouTube channel on Saturday, Bennett said that Putin gave him “two great concessions,” in their March meeting last year, just over a week after he launched an invasion on Ukraine.
Bennett met Putin in Moscow on March 5, 2022 to mediate during the early days of the conflict, which now runs into its 12th month.
“I knew Zelenskyy was under threat, in a bunker… I said to [Putin], ‘Do you intend to kill Zelenskyy?’ He said, ‘I won’t kill Zelenskyy,’” Bennett recalled in the interview.
He asked Putin: “I need to understand. Are you giving me your word that you won’t kill Zelenskyy?” to which the Russian president replied: “I won’t kill Zelenskyy.”
Immediately after the three-hour meeting with Putin, Bennett called Zelenskyy and said: “I’ve just come out of a meeting – [Putin] is not going to kill you.
“[Zelenskyy] asked me, ‘Are you sure?’ I said 100 percent. [Putin’s] not going to kill you.”
Two hours after their conversation, Zelenskyy took a selfie in his office and posted it with the caption “I’m not afraid,” Bennett recalled.
Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 last year in what it called a “special military operation.” Moscow’s invasion has since caused tens of thousands of deaths on both sides and has instigated Europe’s largest refugee crisis since the Second World War.
As of January 31, more than 8 million Ukrainians fled the country.
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