PALESTINE – Russian President Vladimir Putin during his visit to Palestine yesterday on January 23, paid respects to the color guard as he was welcomed by Palestinian president Abbas.
Along the way, in a move rife with symbolism he helped a color guard officer who dropped his cap. A video was posted on Facebook by Muhammad Atik , a Palestinian leader’s personal photographer, Mahmoud Abbas. Some went as far as to speculate that the move was staged to send a larger symbolic message.
The author of the video signed it: “Respect for President Putin to the Palestinian Guard.”
Vladimir Putin arrived in Israel on Thursday morning for events dedicated to International Holocaust Day and the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the prisoners of the Auschwitz concentration camp by the Red Army (in Poland), and in the evening of the same day visited Bethlehem, where he held talks with the head of Palestine. It was originally planned that Putin’s trip to Israel and Palestine would be a two-day one, but then they decided to reduce the visit of the head of state due to a change in the Russian government.
Vladimir Putin previously invited Mahmoud Abbas to Moscow to celebrate Victory Day on May 9, 2020, and the Palestinian leader accepted this invitation.
Leading members of Netanyahu’s Likud Party expressed outrage that the Russian president ‘blindsighted’ them with the visit to Abbas, which took on official dimensions of a state-state visit, reports Israeli media. The view was expressed that such an invitation towards commemorating the Holocaust would not have been extended had it been known that the Russian president planned to also visit “those who plan and work every day to bring another Holocaust to the Jewish people”. The Russian Foreign Ministry did not offer a response to Likud protests.