Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Global Implications

Israel-Hamas War: Is Russia benefiting from the conflict?


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: NA

Mains level: Middle East conflicts and Russia's gains


Central Idea

  • Russia’s official stance on the Israel-Hamas conflict places blame on the US for the actions of the militant Islamist organization Hamas.
  • However, experts suggest that Russia’s interests deviate from its stated position, as it appears to benefit from the ongoing conflict and the global attention it garners.

Russia’s Interests and Official Position

  • Friendship and Disappointment: Russia had hoped for support from Israeli PM in the Ukraine conflict. When Israel did not side with Russia, Putin was reportedly disappointed.
  • Diverting Global Focus: This diversion of global attention away from Ukraine and towards the Middle East benefits Russia, as it weakens its adversary, the US.
  • Blame Deflection: While publicly advocating for peace and blaming the US, Russia may secretly favor the continuation of the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Potential Benefits for Russia

  • Public focus shift: The Israel-Hamas conflict provides material for Russian propaganda to manipulate public sentiment.
  • US hegemony loss: It can be used to suggest that while Russia is accused of starting the war in Ukraine, Israel’s actions are even more egregious and beyond US control, potentially leading to a larger conflict.
  • Affinity in the Islamic World: Despite diminished influence in the Middle East, Russia may use the conflict to demonstrate solidarity with the Arab world. This strategic posturing seeks to convey that Russia supports Palestinians, even though its influence in the region is limited.

Potential Challenges for Russia

  • Internal Turmoil: Recent anti-Semitic incidents in some Russian regions pose challenges to the Kremlin. These incidents, like the one in Dagestan, indicate difficulties in maintaining regional security. Escalating anti-Semitic rhetoric could destabilize Russia’s regions, necessitating caution from Moscow.
  • Economic Impact: Contrary to expectations, Russia may not experience economic benefits from the Middle East conflict. Rising oil prices, which usually benefit Russia, are not materializing due to oil-producing nations avoiding war support for Palestinians.

Can Russia mediate?

  • Controversial Hamas Delegation Visit: A recent visit by a Hamas delegation to Moscow raised concerns and criticism from Israel. The primary goal of the meeting was to secure the release of Russian hostages, potentially limiting Russia’s role as a neutral mediator.
  • Challenges in Hostage Negotiations: Negotiating the release of hostages requires engaging with multiple actors, making successful negotiations uncertain.
  • Irritation among Israelis: Russia’s behaviour, such as hosting a Hamas delegation and altering its stance, has irritated many Russian-speaking Israelis.


  • Russia’s role in the Israel-Hamas conflict appears to be marked by contradictions between its official position and underlying geopolitical interests.

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