“[Russia] has crossed all the red lines already,” said journalist, professor, and former Knesset member Ksenia Svetlova in an interview with CNN on Thursday.
CNN correspondent Bianna Golodryga spoke with Svetlova about the recent Wall Street Journal report claiming that Russia’s Wagner Group may supply Lebanese terror organization Hezbollah with an air-defense system.
Svetlova, a Russian-Israeli with expertise in Middle East affairs, said Russia was a “main beneficiary” of the current war in the Middle East.
“Even this diplomatic embrace of the Hamas team that visited Moscow recently – it meant a lot,” Svetlova continued, touching on the recent visit taken by a Hamas delegation to Moscow in late October. “Perhaps there is even more to this relationship than we know.”
No weapons transferred yet
She also emphasized that there is currently no indication that any anti-aircraft weapons have been transferred from Russia to Hamas.
Senior Hamas officials Bassem Naim and Moussa Abu Marzouk, and Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov meet for talks on the release of foreign hostages, at a location given as Moscow, Russia in this handout image released on October 26, 2023 (credit: Hamas Handout/Handout via REUTERS)
Golodryga brought up the close relationship between Russia and Iran, and the fact that Hezbollah, backed by Iran, poses a threat on Israel’s northern border.
“Israel is very much concerned about the ‘official opening’ of the second front in the North,” said Svetlova. “Because the capacity of Hezbollah is so much more robust than those of the Hamas. [They also have] precision rockets. That’s why, for all those years, Israel went to such great lengths to prevent Iran from helping Hezbollah with its precision rocket project.”
“Right now,” she continued, “they have enough to inflict great damage on the Israeli population.”
Svetlova concluded, saying: “Israel cannot live safely when on its borders you have two terrorist entities.”