Putin promised not to kill Zelenskyy: Ex-Israeli PM

Former Israeli leader says he received a pledge from Russian president: ‘I won’t kill Zelenskyy.’

Evgeny Biyatov | Credit: AP

Former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett says he received a promise from Russian President Vladimir Putin that he will not kill his Ukrainian counterpart.

Bennett emerged as an unlikely intermediary in the early days of Russia’s 11-month war with Ukraine, becoming one of the few leaders to meet Putin during the war in a trip to Moscow last March.

While Bennett’s mediation efforts appear to have done little to end the ongoing bloodshed, his remarks, in an interview posted on his YouTube channel late on Saturday, shed light on the backroom diplomacy and urgent efforts that were under way to try to bring the conflict to a speedy conclusion in its early days.

In the five-hour interview, which touched on numerous other subjects, Bennett says he asked Putin about whether he intended to kill Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

“I asked ‘What’s with this? Are you planning to kill Zelenskyy?’ He said ‘I won’t kill Zelenskyy.’ I then said to him ‘I have to understand that you’re giving me your word that you won’t kill Zelenskyy.’ He said ‘I’m not going to kill Zelenskyy.’”

Bennett said he then called Zelenskyy to inform him of Putin’s pledge.

“’Listen, I came out of a meeting, he’s not going to kill you.’ He asks, ‘Are you sure?’ I said ‘One hundred percent he won’t kill you.’”

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About Joel Cholo Brooks 14065 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.
Contact: Website

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