The former Israeli prime minister explained to an Israeli journalist that Putin made this promise during the meeting the two had in Moscow in March 2022.
Former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has said that Russian President Vladimir Putin promised him shortly after the war in Ukraine broke out that he would not order the killing of his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky.
Mr. Bennett explained to an Israeli journalist that Mr. Putin made this promise during a meeting the two had in Moscow in March 2022.
The then prime minister of Israel was the first Western leader to see Mr Putin in Moscow after the war broke out. The visit was part of an unsuccessful mediation effort.
A leader’s life is the most precious thing in a conflict, according to Mr. Bennett. “I knew that Zelensky was in danger, he was in a shelter whose location was kept secret.”
That’s why he asked, about three to four hours after his meeting with Mr. Putin began, whether the Russian president intended to kill Mr. Zelensky, he continued.
Vladimir Putin replied in the negative.
Mr. Bennett then asked the Russian president to give him his word. “He said ‘I will not kill Zelensky,'” he added.
After the meeting, he called the Ukrainian president directly on the way from the Kremlin to the airport: “Listen, I just got out of the meeting, it’s not going to kill you,” he said he assured Mr Zelensky. His interlocutor asked him if he was sure. “One hundred percent,” he replied.
About two hours later, the Ukrainian president was videotaped in his office insisting that he did not fear for his life.
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