February 26, 2024 | Flash Brief

Russia to Host Palestinian Unity Talks

February 26, 2024 | Flash Brief

Russia to Host Palestinian Unity Talks

Latest Developments

The Russian government will welcome multiple Palestinian factions to Moscow from February 29 through March 2 for “inter-Palestinian talks” about resolving the Gaza war. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister and Special Envoy for the Middle East Mikhail Bogdanov invited as many as 14 Palestinian groups, including Fatah, Hamas, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, from various Middle Eastern countries, including Syria and Lebanon. The Kremlin hopes the meeting will increase Russian influence in the region.

Expert Analysis

“It is naïve to expect Vladimir Putin to create stability in the Middle East, as the Kremlin benefits from the chaos that it can use to blackmail the West and divert attention from Ukraine. This meeting is the latest Russian propaganda for its domestic audience and for the Global South. Putin wants to portray himself as a peacemaker while demonizing the West as a warmongering, destabilizing force. Moscow’s cynical offer to mediate the Gaza war should be understood for what it is: a farce.” Ivana Stradner, FDD Research Fellow

“Palestinian terrorist organizations, especially Hamas and Islamic Jihad, have been attempting to develop stronger ties with Moscow. These terrorist groups view Russia as a valuable ally that could elevate their status internationally and assist them in becoming the legitimate representatives of the Palestinian people that are backed by a world superpower.” Joe Truzman, Senior Research Analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal

Russia Opposes Western Mediation in Gaza War, Welcomes Hamas

Russia did not condemn Hamas for its brutal terrorist attack against Israel on October 7. Instead, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova expressed Russia’s “concern” over the “sharp escalation” that day, and she blamed the United Nations and Western countries for stalling Russia’s mediation efforts between Israelis and Palestinians. The next day, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov criticized the United States for “trying to monopolize the mediation efforts.” On October 13, Russian President Vladimir Putin equated Israel’s military operations in Gaza to the Nazi siege of Leningrad during the Second World War.

Bogdanov received a Hamas delegation on October 26. Hamas then released a statement applauding the Russian government for its efforts to end “the crimes of Israel that are supported by the West,” according to Russian state-owned media outlet RIA. Two days later, Hamas agreed to release the dual Russian-Israeli citizens it captured on October 7.

Russia’s worrisome invite to Hamas, PIJ and its implications,” by Seth J. Frantzman

Russia Demands Hamas Release Hostages,” FDD Flash Brief

Hamas Releases Russian Hostage ‘In Appreciation’ Of Moscow,” FDD Flash Brief

How Hamas Angled for Russia-China Support,” by Seth J. Frantzman


Lebanon Palestinian Politics Russia Syria